The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
I suggest you browse the information to plan your budget, parking, date/times to go, and what to bring with you. I have compiled a list of tips based on my experiences and Rodeo’s website.
1. 610 Parking
The Entrance to the 610 parking lot is off of West Belfort and Kirby at Gate 20. The parking is cash only, and the cost is $15. It is available from 10 am to 10 pm.
The Public Rodeo Express Lot is at 2103 Braeswood (Old Spanish Trail at N. Stadium Dr.). The cost is $15 per car. It is open on weekdays from 5 pm to 1 am and on weekends from 11 am to 1 am. The ride from the shuttle bus is free. If you take the MetroRail, the cost is $2.50 roundtrip.
3. Yellow Parking
The lot is located at 610 Main Street. You will enter at Gate 16 off of Main Street. The lot is open from 6 am to close, costing $15. This is a cash-only lot, and there is handicap parking available. This is the closest place to park, and I prefer to park here.
4. Uber and Other Transportation Companies
They will be directed to the Teal lot from Main Street. Drivers should inform the officers that they are blocking the area they must enter. There is no other authorized drop-off or pick-up location.
The METRORail provides service to the NRG Park. From Monday to Saturday, the Northbound service runs until 1:40 am, and the Southbound service runs until 3:25 am. On Sunday, the Northbound service runs until 11:24 pm, and the Southbound service runs until 3:25 am. You can park at Fannin South (located at Fannin and West Belfort for $20 per car), including roundtrip rail passes. You can also park at one of the parking locations along the rail line. You must pay the parking fees, and the rail ride is $2.50 round trip.
This area is one of the best spots to bring your children. Kids Country exhibits and activities are open daily from 9 am to 9 pm. There are also special demonstration times.
1. Camel Rides
The camel rides are offered daily from 10 am to 9 pm. The cost of each ride is $9. If your child is interested in riding a camel, here is the perfect opportunity.
2. TDECU Fun on the Farm
This section is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm. It is an outdoor activity, so the hours are subject to the weather. Your kids can explore agriculture by helping with farm chores, planting, harvesting crops, milking a cow, etc. My kids love this area, and there are a ton of cute photo ops here.
3. Kids Country Carnival
The kid-friendly carnival is full of kid-friendly rides and games. The carnival is outdoors. It is open on the weekdays from 11 am to midnight and on the weekends from 10 am to midnight. You need to purchase tickets to participate in the rides and games. During Value Wednesdays, all rides, fun, and special food items in Kids Country Carnival are $2. There is a height requirement to ride the rides. My son and daughter were able to ride them at two years old.
4. Kids Pedal Tractor Pull
Children ages 4 to 12 years old can participate in these fun competitions. They take place on weekdays at 11 am, 12:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6 pm. They take place on Saturday/Sunday at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm, 5pm, and 6:30pm.
5. Mutton Bustin’
Children ages 5 and 6 years Sutton Bustin
old can hop on a sheep to see how long they can ride it. The cost of the ride is $15. The schedule is daily from 11 am to 7 pm. Registration begins at 10 am, and it takes place every hour. This is so much fun to watch, and you are sure to leave with a massive smile on your face.
6. Petting Zoo
The petting zoo is open daily for Houston rodeo petting zoo
om 9 am to 9 pm. It includes a wide variety of animals, from farm animals to exotic animals. There is a petting zoo indoors and outdoors.
7. Pig Races
The pig races take place daily at 1Rodeo Pig Races
0:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30. When the gate opens, a group of piglets race to the finish line.
8. Pony Rides
P pony rides are available daily front rides from 9 am to 9 pm. The cost of each ride is $7. You can purchase photos for an additional cost. The carousel-style rides feature Welsh ponies.
9. Statoil Stars Over Texas Stage
During the Rodeo, there is always somethiRodeo Stars Over Texas Stage
taking place. You can enjoy sing-alongs, animal acts, Rodeo Rockstar, Houston’s Up and Comers, and lots more.
During March 1-13, the carnival
is open on Monday to Friday from 4 pm to midnight and on Saturday/Sunday from 10 am to midnight. During March 14-20, the carnival is open on Monday to Friday from noon to midnight and on Saturday/Sunday from 10 am to midnight.
The carnival is full of rides, games, and food. Tickets can be purchased for 50 cents each. Most rides are 4-20 tickets. The Ferris Wheel, La Grande Wheel, is the Western Hemisphere’s most giant portable Ferris Wheel.
Big Top Swinger*
Bishop Little Dipper
Bishop Mega Drop
Bishop Mini-Bumper Cars
Bishop Sky Flyer
Bishop Up Up and Away
Dakota #16 Wheel
FunFactory (Moscow Circus)
GGW German Fun House
La Grande Wheel
Merry Go Round
Monster Mash (Fun Train)
Silly Seas #2
Balloon Bust Line
Balloon Pop Race
Bank a Bal
Big Water 1
Big Water 2
Big Water 3
Break a Dish
Fish o Matic
Mojo Speed Pitch
Ring a Bottle
Ring A Duck
Roll A Ball
Wack A Mo
Whopper Water Race
(see the Food section of this post)
Adventure is located in the NRG Center in Halls A and B. The exhibits are free with your admission pass. All exhibitions are open daily from 9 am to 8:30 pm.
1. Birthing Center
The Birthing Center is a place to see newborn calves, lambs, and piglets. You can watch the animals take their first steps if you’re lucky. You can also see how their mothers take care of them and see how they play together.
2. Breed Row Barn
While learning about the different breeds, you can get a close-up view of swine, cattle, sheep, and goats.
This exhibit explains how commercial fishing and aquaculture are part of the Texas agriculture economy.
4. Honey Bees
The honey bee exhibit is fun to see the bees make honey. Your child can get an up-close look at the bee hives.
5. Horticulture Exhibit
Your children can learn the importance of soil composition, insects, worms, water, and vegetation. Your kids can plant a seed to take home and construct a composting bin.
6. Milking Parlor
The milking parlor is a great place to see live demonstrations of cows being milked. You can see the farmers’ equipment, watch them milk cows, and see how they store and transport the milk.
7. Petting Zoo
The petting zoo has a variety of animals. Children and adults are welcome to pet the animals, feed them and brush them. The animals are friendly, and it’s a great place to get cute pictures.
8. Pony Rides
The pony rides take place indoors and outdoors at the Rodeo. The cost is $7 per ride.
The poultry exhibit has eggs and chicks at a level for children of all ages. You can see the eggs incubating, watch eggs hatch, and baby chicks take their first steps.
The exhibit features a variety of rabbits. Your children can pet the rabbits. It’s fun to see how the rabbits differ in size, color, etc.
11. Rainwater Harvesting
An exhibit is a place for children to see a fully-functioning rainwater catch system.
12. Tour of Texas
The Tour of Texas exhibit is a place for children to learn how cornflakes are made, how cotton becomes jeans, about the wine grape industry, and orange trees.
13. We’re Small, Y’all Barn
This exhibit features miniature animals such as cattle, pigs, and goats. They are fully grown animals but are bred small for various reasons.
The star entertainers begin their show after the last rodeo event. During the week, the rodeo performances start at 6:45 pm, and the entertainer starts at about 8:45 pm. During the weekend, the rodeo performances start at 3:45 pm, and the entertainers begin at about 8:45 pm.
During the Rodeo, watching your diet is tricky because there are so many tempting foods to enjoy. It wouldn’t be the Rodeo without tasty barbecue. The food is located in the NRG Arena, the NRG Center, and NRG Park.
The NRG Arena is open daily from 10 am-8 pm.
The NRG Center is open on Sunday to Thursday from 10 am-8:30 pm and Friday/Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm.
The NRG Park is open on Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 8:30 pm, and Friday/Saturday from 10 am-11 pm.
The food vendors are Marble Slab Creamery, Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls, Burton Sausage, Homes Smokehouse, Saltgrass Steak House, Texas Sized Pizza by the slice, Texas Skillet, New Braunfels Smokehouse, Oakridge Smokehouse Gifts, Yoakum Packing Company, Joe’s Ale House, Fields of Corn (snacks), Cobbler Cafe, Dippin’ Dots, Granny’s Cheesecake & More, Belgian Waffles, Blue Ribbon Grill, Feltcher’s Corny Dog & Funnel Cakes, Holmes Smokehouse, Kettle Korn of Texas, Paradise Burgers, Ranch House Burger Barn, Texas Pride Grill, Goode Company Bar-B-Que, Harlon’s BBQ, Pappas Bar-B-Q, Ranch House Meat Company, Triple J’s Smokehouse, Dak Shack, Half Moon Saloon, Margaritaville, Ranch House Lemonade, Polonia Restaurant, Berryhill Baja Grill, Freebirds World Burrito, Go Tehano Diner, Passasito’s Cantina, Taco Me Crazy, Tad’s Bodacious Burrito, Swain’s Pizza On A Stick, Cajun’s Unlimited, Sudie’s Catfish House, Aunt Edmoe’s Homemade Cookies, Bahama Buck’s, Custom Confections, Fried What!, Kona Ice, Once Upon A Cone, Piches Beignets, Sills Funnel Cakes, and lots more.
1. Tie-Down Roping
The objective of this event is to tie down the cattle.
2. Bareback Riding
The cowboy lifts one hand in the air while holding on with the other. The judges look at the horse’s bucking action and the cowboy’s spurring technique.
3. Team Roping
Two riders on horseback work together to rope a steer.
4. Saddle Bronc Riding
Many believe this is the most challenging rodeo event because it requires complex technical requirements. The cowboy is judged on his control of the horse, balance, and body position.
5. Steer Wrestling
The cowboy uses his strength and skills to tackle a runaway steer. The steer is at least twice his size and weight. This event is known for speed, ability, and precise timing.
6. Barrel Racing
Women ride through a course during this event. They must go around three barrels in a triangle formation.
7. Bull Riding
Bull riding is considered the most dangerous sport in the Rodeo. The rider’s goal is to stay on the bull as long as possible. It’s a big deal if he holds on until the eight-second buzzer.
8. Chuck Wagon Races
The horses and chuck wagons speed around the arena while taking sharp turns. The goal is to be the first to cross the finish line.
9. Calf Scramble
During this event, 15 calves are released into the arena, and 30 students chase them. The goal is to catch a calf to earn a prize of $1,750 to purchase a steer at the following year’s Rodeo.
10. Mutton Bustin
Young rodeo contestants take off on a sheep and try to hold on as long as possible. The children are ages 5 and 6 years old and must weigh less than 55 pounds.
Kid Fun Tips:
*Bring cash – The cost of everything adds up, and it’s beneficial to have cash on hand. You can pay for some things with a credit card.
*Bring a stroller – I like to bring my stroller to store all my extra stuff. You will be walking around a lot too. My kids don’t usually ride in a stroller, but this is one of the few times I pull mine out a year.
*Pack a bag – You might want to bring food, drinks, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, etc. Don’t forget to bring your camera too.
*Plan your trip – The Rodeo gets crowded on Value Wednesdays, the weekends, and later in the day. You want to keep this in mind when deciding when to go to the Rodeo.
*Stay comfortable – Although it’s fun to dress in your Rodeo attire, I suggest that you wear shoes and clothing that are very comfortable. You will have a blast, but you’ll be exhausted by leaving.
*Safety Tips – In the blink of an eye, your kids can easily get separated from you. I suggest you have a plan, keep a close eye on them, and pack a card in their pocket. On the card, I would write their name, your name, a phone number, etc. Of course, we don’t want to see any child separated from their parent, but it happens.