Video: Tips & Tricks for Visiting Rodeo Houston, with Kids… Beat the Crowds & Save Money

Rodeo Houston is here!

If you are planning to take kids, here are our tips and tricks…. including how to get there, how to beat the crowds and how to save money.

See the video HERE or below… and get even more tips HERE!

Eating Your Way Through Rodeo Houston: Food Prices, Vendors, Deals, Award Winning Food & Dinner for $3

(Post updated for 2017!)

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is reasonable to enter (especially on Wednesdays), there are lots of free things to do with kids… and there are A LOT of ways to spend money.

The carnival costs money, shopping is everywhere, the food smells delicious and then there are pony rides, bucking bronco pictures, old time photos and more!

Rodeo Houston is one of our very favorite Houston events of the year… so I try really hard to strike a balance between enjoying the once-a-year event and not spending a fortune.  For us, we decide before we go what we will buy and what we will skip.

And we really like the food.

Rodeo Houston Tads Burritos
Tad’s Bodacious Burrito
We have a season pass and go most days for a few hours, so here is our strategy:

  • We only ride 1 carnival ride each, each year.  I know, I know… this won’t work for all families, but it works for us.  Now that the kids are bigger, they can bring some money for extra rides.
  • We do not buy the extras.  We go to the free petting zoo but do not pay to feed the animals.  We skip the pony rides, pictures, etc.  (Of course, if the extras are your favorite… do them!)
  • We bring our own drinks.  I have a really hard time paying $4 for a bottle of water.
  • We pick one great food item per person (and expect it will cost about $10 each)… and we do not buy drinks.

But then the question becomes, which is the very best food item to try?  You could probably eat nonstop for 3 weeks and still not sample everything.  So, we toured the restaurants, tried a whole lot of things and wrote down the highlights from all over the rodeo…  (And for more Rodeo tips, go HERE.)

Rodeo Houston Sills Funnel Cake
Sill’s Funnel Cake
The restaurant highlights are:

  • Coupons:  If you pre-purchased the discount carnival packs, the drink, cotton candy, etc coupons can be used at the carts inside the carnival area.  Look for the “RCS” flags.
  • Gift Certificates:  If you are “RAK” Certificates, these can be used at a lot of the restaurants and not just in the carnival area.  Look for the “RAK” sign in the window.
  • Drinks:  Sodas, water and tea, all over the rodeo, cost $3.00-$4.00.  Inside the carnival is not any cheaper than at the restaurants.  Save a lot of money (especially with a big group), by bringing your own drinks to the rodeo.  (Food and drinks are allowed through security.)
  • Price:  Most menu items are just under $10.
  • Kids Meals:  Many of the restaurants offer kids meals.  Most have chicken tenders or quesadillas, fries or chips and a drink for $5.00+.
  • Vegetarian Options:  If you are a vegetarian and don’t want more fries and funnel cake, try the Black Bean and Spinach Burrito at Tad’s Bodacious Burrito, in the “middle” big food tent. I asked and it’s 100% vegetarian.
  • Breakfast:  If you are at the rodeo early in the morning, many of the restaurants are still setting up.  Inside NRG Center, in the lobby by the Livestock Show, you can find several breakfast options… including the award winning Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Some of the best prices and most interesting things I found in 2016 are below… but I did not try them all (yet)!:
    • $3 Hotdog at Jack’s.  Add $1 to make it a chili dog.
    • $3 Cinnamon Roll at Stubby’s.  $4 for Cinnamon Roll with icing.  (I tested these… and they are good!) (Update: for 2017, add $1!)
    • $4 Kids Meal at Holmes Smokehouse, $5 Kids Meal at Freebirds
    • $4 for 2 Chicken Strips at Sills Funnel Cakes
    • $6 Funnel Cake at Corny Dogs & Funnel Cakes
    • $6-7 for Lots and Lots of Fried Things at Fried What!
    • $10 Scorpion, Cricket or Meal Worm Pizza Slice at Pizza by the Slice
    • $9.00-$12.00 Turkey Legs all over the rodeo
    • Try the winners of the 2016 “Gold Buckle” contest:
      • Best New Flavor: Paradise Burgers, “The Brookie”
      • Most Creative Food: Custom Confections, “The Ultimate”
      • Best Fried Food: Custom Confections, “Fried Brownie Ball w/ ice cream”
      • Best Breakfast Food: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls, “Cinnamon Roll w/icing”
      • Best Food-on-a-Stick: Berryhill Baja Grill, “Shrimp Diablo Kabob”
      • Best Dessert: Custom Confections, “The Emma”
      • Classic Fair Food: Holmes Smokehouse, “Bacon Chili Cheeseburger”
      • Best Value Food: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls, “Original Cinnamon Roll” ($3)
    • Updated: The winners for 2017 are:
      • Best Breakfast Food: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls (L259) – “The Works Cinnamon Roll”
      • Classic Fair Food: Stubby’s Cinnamon Rolls (L259) – “Cinnamon Roll with Icing”
      • Best Value Food: Stubby’s (AR 903) – “Loaded Baked Potato”
      • Best Food-on-a-Stick: Berryhill (RP85) – “Shrimp Diablo”
      • Best Fried Food: Berryhill (RP85) – “Crispy Shrimp Taco”
      • Most Creative Food: Cowboy Kettle Corn (Carnival) – “Nitro Pop”
      • Best New Flavor: Mad Hatter Funnel Cake #2 (Carnival) – “Chocolate Dipped Oatmeal Cream Pie”
      • Best Dessert: Fried What (J203) – “Buckeyes”

If you want a whole lot of information, here is what we found:

Find the NRG maps HERE.  Food is EVERYWHERE, but most of it can be found in 3 huge tents in front of the Livestock Show in NRG Center.  More restaurants are inside the lobby of NRG Center, along the outside of NRG Center and on the edge of Kids Country.

To give you an idea on food options and prices, here is a quick overview from 2016… just scan through and see if anything jumps out at you!  This is by no means official or all-inclusive… and if you have a favorite spot to go, tell us!  If you own a restaurant, tell me and I’m more than happy to eat more rodeo food!

Rodeo Houston Food Tent by NRG Center
Dining Tents
From 2016 (and note that 2017 is very similar… I just haven’t walked booth to booth yet!  The 2017 dining list is HERE.)

In the small food tent by the METRO Rail (NRG Parkway East) Entrance:

  • Oakridge Smoke House: Hot Dog $4.25, Nachos $4
  • Texas Skillet: Breakfast Tacos $4, Breakfast Quesadillas $6.50.  Some drinks were $2.50 (but I do not know the size). Opens Earlier than most tents.
  • Burger and Chili Shack: Hot Dog $3.75, Funnel Cake $6.50.
  • Go Tejano Diner: Kids Meal $5.50, Nachos $5.00-$8.00, Burriot $6.00.

In the big food tent in the middle:

  • Blue Ribbon: Kids Meal $6.00
  • The Finer Diner: “Fancier” Rodeo Food.  Waffle Bowls $8.00, Gyro Sandwich $8.00.
  • Good Co.: Sandwich $8.75, 2 Meat Plate $16.00.
  • New Orleans Shrimp Hotel:  Turkey Leg $9, Fried Alligator $7.00, Crawfish Etoufee $7.00.
  • Holmes Smokehouse: Sausage on a Stick $6.00, Kids Meals $4.00
  • Tad’s Bodacious Burgers: Taco Salad $9.50, Nachos $6.00=$8.00, Curly Fry Loaf $7.50, Black Bean and Spinach Vegetarian Burriot $9.50.
  • Pappasitos: Nachos $6.75-$11.25.

In the big food tent, by NRG Stadium (and Championship Wine Garden):

  • Pappas BBQ: Baked Potatoes $6.75-$975, Nachos $6.75-$9.50.  The no-meat potato was just potato and a whole lot of cheese.
  • Berryhill: Chips & Salsa $3.50, Breakfast Taco $3.00, Kids Meal $5.50, Fried Avocado Taco $4.50.
  • Paradise Burger: Roasted Corn and Old Fashioned Burgers $6.50+.
  • Sundies: Seafood Baskets $9.00+.
  • Yoakum Packing Co.: Turkey Leg $12.50, Foot Long Corndog $7.00.
  • Texas Pride Grill: Baked Potato with Beef $9.50, Foot Long Hot Dog $7.00.
  • Ranch House: Sweet Potato Fries $5.00, Fried Pickles $5.25, Burger $6.75.
  • Sills Funnel Cake: Kids Corndog Basket (with fries) $6.75, Funnel Cake $7.00-$9.00. 2 Chicken Strips $4.00.  We tried the funnel cake… my 4 year old’s first.
  • New Braunfels Smokehouse: Sausage on a Stick $7, Baked Potato $7.50-$9.50.
  • Freebirds: Kids Meal $5.00, Taco $3.00, 3 Tacos $5.00.

Rodeo Houston Scorpion Pizza at Pizza on a Stick
Pizza on a Stick

At the edge of Kids Country/Kids Carnival:

  • Polonia: Polish Food.  I did not grab prices!
  • Triple Js Smokehouse: Turkey Leg $12.00.
  • Jack’s: Hot Dog $3.00, Fries $5.00-$8.00, Add Cheese, Chili or Bacon for $1.00.
  • Pinchie’s: Fried Oreos $7.00.
  • Pizza on a Stick: Pizza Slice $6.00, Pizza on a Stick $12.00, Stuffed Pizza $8.00, Pretzel $8.00, Scorpion, Cricket or Meal Worm Pizza Slice $10.00.
  • Kona Ice
  • Kettle Korn: Kettle Corn $4.00-$9.00, Hot Dog $4.00.
  • Harlon’s BBQ: Ribs $12.00.
  • Roasted Corn: $4.00, $5.00 in bowl
  • Fried What!: Lots and lots of fried things, including fried pies, fried oreos, bacon wrapped fried oreos $6.00-$7.00.
  • Corny Dogs and Funnel Cakes: Corn dog $5.00, Funnel Cake $6.00

Rodeo Houston Carnival RCS Dining Carts
RCS Booths

In the Kids Carnival, between the rides:

These “RCS” Stands are where you can use your coupons from the half-price carnival booklets.  The prices are not really cheaper than the restaurants… except the coupons can help.

  • Jumbo Corndog $7.00
  • Lemonaide $4.00
  • Cotton Candy $5.00-$7.00
  • Drinks $4.00

Along the outside of NRG Center and the Livestock Show:

There are several restaurants, but the 1 below is the winner of 3 “Gold Buckles”.

  • Custom Confections:
    • Most Creative Food: “The Ultimate”
    • Best Fried Food: “Fried Brownie Ball w/ ice cream”
    • Best Dessert: “The Emma”


At peak times, these restaurants will get very very crowded.  The tents especially can be hard for kid-hauling parents.  For tips on how we avoid the crowds at the rodeo, go HERE.  And if you just want to eat at meal time… either look for a restaurant without a line, try one by the carnival (which has more empty space) or be ready for crowds!

If you have a favorite thing to eat at the rodeo, let us know!  For more rodeo tips, go HERE.

Rodeo Houston RAK Certificates

Rodeo Houston Fried What Food Truck

Rodeo Houston 2016: Things to Do with Kids, Entertainment, How to Beat the Crowds & Save Money

Houston Rodeo Cowgirl Milking Cow
Oh!  I love when Houston starts buzzing with Rodeo Houston excitement!  Whether you go for the rodeo, the concert, the livestock show, the carnival, the food or the shopping… here are the the insider tips we’ve collected over the years!

  • 2016 Dates:  Rodeo Parade – February 27, 2016, Rodeo Houston – March 1-20, 2016
  • Insider Tips: Where to park, where to find the least busy attractions, where to find the best deals and where to find the best restrooms!  (And NEW this year!  Portable restrooms around the park!)
  • The Best Deals on Food at Rodeo Houston:  You can get a hotdog for $3.00… and also a bottle of water for $4.00.  See the eating overview HERE.
  • How BKSC does the Rodeo (daily), without spending a fortune: Here’s our 2015 review of the Rodeo… Season Pass, Value Wednesday, Cheap Transportation, Lots of Free Activities and the Most Reasonable Refreshment at Rodeo.
  • Indoor Activities: The rain keeps the crowds away… so go see THESE indoor activities on wet days!
  • Free Activities: Once inside the gates, there are A LOT of free things to do with kids!
  • General Admission: You only need one ticket… Either a concert ticket or general admission ticket.  So, if you are attending the concert, do not buy these general admission tickets. Adult (Ages 13 & over): $10, Child (Ages 3 – 12): $5
  • Season Pass: If you plan to go several times, check out the season pass for general admission.  This is $25 for anyone older than 2 years old and is good for general admission for all 3 weeks.
  • Value Wednesday: Save money by going on Wednesdays!  $10 Value Wednesday Rodeo/Concert Ticket (includes NRG Park admission), $5 Value Wednesday NRG Park General Admission, Free Value Wednesday NRG Park Admission (for seniors, 60 and over, and children, 12 and under).  On Wednesday, kids carnival rides are $2.00.  (The tickets at the rodeo are $0.50 each. On value Wednesdays, the discounted (kids) rides will be changed to “4 tickets” – presale tickets and/or onsite tickets.)
  • Half-Price Carnival TicketsIf you plan to go crazy on the rides, this can get expensive.  Pre-order carnival tickets for half price!
    • If you have questions about half-price tickets or would like to purchase them, contact Rodeo Houston Volunteer, Cathy, at Herricane05 or go HERE.
  • METRORail:  METRORail is only $1.25 and free for kids 5 and under.  This is a lot cheaper than parking at NRG, and, my favorite part is, it drops you off right at the front door of NRG!
  • Entertainment Lineup: The rodeo takes place right before the concert… and strollers are allowed!  The performers are listed below:
    • Tuesday, March 1: The Band Perry
    • Wednesday, March 2: Chris Young
    • Thursday, March 3: Jason Aldean
    • Friday, March 4: Jason Derulo
    • Saturday, March 5: Cole Swindell
    • Sunday, March 6: Shawn Mendes
    • Monday, March 7: Miranda Lambert
    • Tuesday, March 8: Pitbull
    • Wednesday, March 9: Brett Eldredge
    • Thursday, March 10: Luke Bryan
    • Friday, March 11: Darius Rucker
    • Saturday, March 12: Billy Currington
    • Sunday, March 13: Go Tejano Day
    • Monday, March 14: Kenny Chesney
    • Tuesday, March 15: Kid Rock
    • Wednesday, March 16: Jake Owen
    • Thursday, March 17: FGL
    • Friday, March 18: Little Big Town
    • Saturday, March 19: Brad Paisley
    • Sunday, March 20: Keith Urban


Tips for Visiting RodeoHouston with Kids

Houston Rodeo, Entertainment Line Up 2015

Headed to the Houston Rodeo? It’s going to awesome AGAIN this year. If you plan to visit the rodeo and concert, and not just the livestock show and carnival, this is what you need to know:

1. Only one ticket is needed. If you buy a concert ticket, you do not need a general admission ticket. (And if you don’t want to go to the concert, you can buy a cheaper general admission ticket.)
2. The rodeo takes place before the concert. If the start time is 6:45pm, the rodeo will be first and the concert will be a couple hours later.
3. Strollers are allowed in the stadium, but no outside food. (Outside food is allowed in to the livestock show.)
4. It’s a little loud.  If you are taking kids, consider some Ear Protection.
5. Wednesdays are Value Days… so concert tickets are $10 (and if you only want general admission, it’s $5!)
6.  For Tips on Taking Kids to Rodeo, go HERE!  Margaret is a Houston Mom that has volunteered at Rodeo for 13 years… and knows all the secrets!
7. Find (often discounted) tickets HERE.  There is a new entertainer every night:

Tuesday, March 3 – Eric Church
Wednesday, March 4 – Hunter Hayes
Thursday, March 5 – Miranda Lambert
Friday, March 6 – John Legend
Saturday, March 7 – Alan Jackson
Sunday, March 8 – Fall Out Boy
Monday, March 9 – Justin Moore
Tuesday, March 10 – Tim McGraw
Wednesday, March 11 – Brantley Gilbert
Thursday, March 12 – Zac Brown Band
Friday, March 13 – Pitbull
Saturday, March 14 – Billy Currington
Sunday, March 15 – La Arrolladora Banda El Limon & La Maquinaria Nortena
Monday, March 16 – Dierks Bentley
Tuesday, March 17 – Ariana Grande
Wednesday, March 18 – Florida Georgia Line
Thursday, March 19 – Blake Shelton
Friday, March 20 – The Bandy Perry
Saturday, March 21 – Brad Paisley
Sunday, March 22 – Luke Bryan

As seen on ABC13: Insider Tips for Visiting Rodeo Houston!

Margaret Channel 13 Rodeo Interview
It’s officially Rodeo season in Houston!  ABC13’s Patricia Lopez spotted BigKidSmallCity’s Insider Rodeo Tips and interviewed 13-year-rodeo-volunteer, Margaret, to learn all her tips for taking kids to the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show!

For all the tips, go HERE.  To see the video, go HERE or look below!

Houston Rodeo Parade, February 28, 2015, Route Informaiton

Carnival at Houston Rodeo Credits Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau5

Photo Credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every February, the Houston Rodeo comes to town! Before the month-long celebration at at NRG Park, families can find floats, horses and marching bands in Downtown Houston. For 2015, the parade is on February 28.

The route is:

  • Starts at Bagby and Walker (By City Hall)
  • Walker Street to Travis Street, Right on Travis
  • Travis to Bell Street, Right on Bell
  • Bell to Louisiana Street, Right on Louisiana
  • Louisiana to Lamar Street, Left on Lamar
  • Ends at Lamar and Bagby (By the Central Library)

Find the map HERE.

Houston Rodeo: Discount Carnival Tickets, Admission Discounts, Entertainment Schedule & Tips from a Rodeo Insider!

Ferris Wheel at Rodeo Houston Carnival
It’s that time again!  The 2015 Houston Rodeo is March 3-22, 2015, at NRG Park.  Here is what you need to know before visiting the rodeo with your kids!

  • Tips for Visiting the Houston Rodeo, from a Rodeo Insider: Where to park, where to find the least busy attractions, where to find the best deals and where to find the best restrooms!
  • More Tips for NOT spending a fortune inside the Houston Rodeo!
  • You can visit the Livestock Show and Carnival without going to the Rodeo and Concert.  If you don’t want to see the cowboys and musicians, you can just buy the general admission ticket.
    • Adult (Ages 13 & over): $10
    • Child (Ages 3 – 12): $5
    • Children age 2 and under are free and do not require a ticket.
    • If you do have the rodeo ticket, you don’t need to get the general admission ticket.
    • Wednesdays are discounted admission days.
  • Get your HALF-PRICE Carnival Tickets from Houston mom, Amy!  New this year, the last day to select mail as a delivery option is Friday, 2/13/15. After that date all orders will be placed in Will Call. The last day to buy tickets online or from a volunteer is 2/28/15.
  • Find the Entertainment Lineup.  The rodeo takes place right before the concert… and strollers are allowed!
  • Wednesdays are Value Days!  $10 Rodeo/Concert Ticket (includes NRG Park admission) or $5 general admission.
  • Find all the latest information, straight from Rodeo Houston 
  • Take METRORail.  METRORail is only $1.25 and free for kids 5 and under.  This is a lot cheaper than parking at NRG, and, my favorite part is, it drops you off right at the front door of NRG.

Tips for Visiting the Houston Rodeo, from a Rodeo Insider: Where to park, where to find the least busy attractions, where to find the best deals and where to find the best restrooms!

Update: See the 2018 post HERE!

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is here and I want to know how to rodeo like an insider. Lucky for me, Margaret is here to tell us how to do just that!

Margaret has been volunteering a a Gate Keeper for over 10 years and has a few tricks up her sleeve! She also lives walking distance from Reliant, and is a Texans season ticket holder, so she basically lives at NRG in the Fall/Winter/Spring!

(Update: See the 2018 post HERE!)

Here are her tips!

If you are going to drive, especially if you are taking little ones and have strollers, juices, lunch bags, etc, I recommend parking in the Yellow Lot that is located off of S. Main between Murworth and Kirby (near Super Target).

There is a little traffic, but not as congested as Kirby/610. It’s $12 now $20 and the nice thing is that there is a tram that is in the Yellow Lot that takes you and drops you off at the McNee Street which is near the entrance of the Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center.

You can fold up umbrella strollers. If you take a heavy/large stroller or a Radio Flyer type wagon, no worries… there are locations on the tram for that. I’ve even seen people wheeling in coolers before.


There are shows starting as early as 8am. The kids area usually starts kicking off at 9am. If you go with little kids (and to avoid crowds and traffic) – early is the way to go; I like to get there when things open.

Keep in mind that the kiddie carnival opens an hour or 2 after the attractions open. The adult carnival opens even later than that. Check the schedule before you go since weekday/weekend schedules are different.

Since the carnival opens later, I like to do everything inside (petting zoo, pony ride, checking out livestock, looking at the chicks, etc) and then head outside.

A little tip: If the petting zoo and the pony rides (extra cost for pony ride) is busy, there is another petting zoo and another pony ride outside near the kiddie carnival rides.

As mentioned above, the kiddie carnival opens a little after the attractions. The adult carnival opens after the kiddie carnival opens.  If you are lucky, you have pre-purchased half price tickets (available only before rodeo starts in March), but if not, there are little stations throughout the carnival that sells tickets.

If it’s busy and you don’t want to wait in long lines, you can purchase a fast pass which gets to basically the front of the line, but you still have to purchase ride tickets in addition to the fast pass.

The hours are extended during the 2 weeks of Spring Break, so again, check the schedule. Kiddie rides typically open at 11am on weekdays and 10am on weekends.

If you have purchased a 50% coupon book, be sure to look through your book. There are coupons for buy 1 get 1 free game, free ferris wheel ride, free refills, etc.

4.  FOOD
This is Texas. Texans like to eat!

You can’t leave without trying the chicken fried bacon at Yoakum Meat Packing Company. They have a location outside the food tent and inside Reliant Center food court.

Another favorite of mine (and I’ve tried them all) are the fried Oreos. Imagine a beignet filled with chocolate. Uh-mazing. These can be found at the food trailers located throughout the carnival.

Corn in a cup is another favorite if you want to stay somewhat healthy. Under the food tent, you will see many familiar names like Pappasitos, Pappas Steak House, Saltgrass, Berry Hill, etc. Go for something unique and try the small independent vendors. There is a burrito there that can feed a family of 4.

For those Starbucks diehard, don’t worry, there is a “real” Starbucks located inside the Reliant Center near the food courts.

If you have little picky eaters, like mine, bring “emergency” snacks and food, just in case they don’t eat rodeo food.  Know that they do sell pizza and chicken strips (staple in our home away from home).

The rodeo DOES allow you to bring in your own food, water, juices, etc.

If you haven’t seen “Mutton Bustin'”, this is a must. This is located outside near the kiddie carnival area. Children between 5-6 years old ride bareback on a sheep. Yes, a sheep.

It is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen. If your child is between 5-6, and they are willing, it sure is something to experience. Make sure your camera/phone battery is super charged.

There are also pig races (also outside) that everyone enjoys. If your child is lucky, they may be picked to announce the start of the race. Check the schedule for times.

You don’t see a lot of camels in TX, but you can ride one at the rodeo!

This is the best kept secret – a secret that women keep from men that is! If you can ditch your male counterpart (and the kids) for an hour – this is where you want to be.

There are high priced items and very affordable items. Many of the vendors are those that come to the Nutcracker market. There are also very unique items to buy as well. Every year, I make a girls only trip – and, if I can, I even make a trip by myself so I can have 1 focus. Shopping!

Cash is golden, as some vendors (mostly the food) only takes cash. Most places, especially the shopping, take major credit cards. There are ATM machines everywhere.

This gets forgotten a lot. The horse arena is located in a separate building all by itself. If you are a horse lover, there are shows that take place throughout the day, and lots of animals to see. There is also SHOPPING inside. Since this area doesn’t get as much foot traffic, bargain and good deals are meant to be made here.


NEW from 2016! Portable restrooms will be around the park…. replacing some of the portapotties!

Real restrooms (and baby changing stations) are located all over the inside of the Reliant Center. Another little secret, if you go up the escalators, there are restrooms upstairs as well. Less traffic and usually a lot cleaner!

The Rodeo office, committee offices, and Corral Clubs are located upstairs, so mostly committemen go into these facilities. If you need a quiet place to relax, you can do that upstairs too.

-Season Pass: $25 gets you on the grounds the entire Rodeo season (kids 2 and under are free)
-Regular grounds: $10 for adult; $5 for children ages 3-12
-Value Wednesdays: $5 for adults; seniors age 60+ and children 12 and under are free for grounds only. For $10, get a Rodeo/Concert ticket that includes NRG park admission. 11am-4pm, games and some special food items in Kids Country Carnival are $2

If you only have a grounds tickets, there is free entertainment throughout the park. There is entertainment at the Wine Garden and a daily lineup at the Hideout from 6pm to midnight. Look for the big white tent on the east side of NRG Astrodome. Open to 21 years and older

Tips for Visiting the Houston Rodeo with Kids & Strollers, March 4 – 23, 2014 at Reliant + Where to Get Discounted Carnival Tickets (Half Price!)

Carnival at Houston Rodeo Credits Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau5
In our interviews with the people of Houston,  the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was the annual event that was most mentioned as being the favorite!

The 2014 Rodeo is March 4-23, 2014 at Reliant.  Go HERE to get all the information!  Go HERE to see the line up of entertainers!  And go HERE for tips from a rodeo insider!

Our tips for visiting are below.  Be sure to check the official website for new rules and last minute changes!  My favorites are the STROLLERS ARE ALLOWED and you can by DISCOUNTED CARNIVAL TICKETS before rodeo starts (here).

(Photo Credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau)

[Read more…]

One More Week to Visit the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – How long is the rodeo and what time does the concert start? Can you take kids to the concert? Can you take strollers into the stadium? How many tickets are each ride?

**For the 2014 Rodeo Post, go HERE!**

There is one more week of Rodeo!  Take advantage of the kids being home for Spring Break, and make your way to Reliant (through March 18).  There will certainly be crowds but it’s a big place and is big enough for everyone.

The kids and I went in the pouring rain last night to see the rodeo and Reba.  Here are our tips…

1.  Take METRORail.  For Spring Break, the city of Houston has added extra parking lots near the train stations.  Check it out HERE.  METRORail is only $1.25 and free for kids under 5.  This is a lot cheaper than parking at Reliant, and, my favorite part is, it drops you off right at the front door of Reliant.  If you park, you will pay a lot of money and then have a long walk or shuttle ride to the gates.

2.  Strollers are allowed in Reliant Stadium for the rodeo and concert.  You can take the elevators or push your strollers up the ramps.  It’s a bit of a work out, but easier than carrying a tired toddler.  Once near your seat, there are stroller checks.  Or, if there is room, you can wheel the stroller to the wheelchair section and watch from there.  You can also take strollers in the livestock show and carnival area.  If you ride the carnival rides, you will need to park your stroller outside the gate.  (This always makes me nervous… but our stuff was untouched.)


3.   The rodeo takes a long time.  It starts at 6:45 and Reba did not come on until almost 9:00.


4.  The rodeo and concert are very loud.  After 30 minutes, my big kids were ready to go see the livestock show.


5.  The Verizon VIP tickets are probably worth the money.  I usually buy the cheapest tickets available but last night a friend gave me tickets in the Verizon VIP area.  The price said $36 each.  The advantage is that outside of the stadium seating is a giant lounge with couches, food stands, bars and seats right next to the glass.  The show was just too loud for baby, but we were able to sit outside the concert and watch it from behind the glass.


6.  Kids under 3 get in to everything for free.  There is no charge for the Livestock Show, Carnival or Rodeo and Concert.  This saves my family a lot of money (for now).


7.    We found a few kid rides for 4 tickets, but most are 6.  If you buy a book of tickets, it will go pretty fast.


8.  Most rides require the kids to be 36 inches.  For many of them, they will let the parent ride with the smaller child.


9. Check out all the FREE things to do! There is a lot to at the rodeo, and it does not cost anything (except general admission). Kids can check out the animals in the Livestock Show and the great kids area. Outside the petting zoo is free (but there is a charge if you want to buy food for the animals). Fun on the Farm is also a great place. Here the kids “work” on the farm and feed the chickens and pick the vegetables, sell the food at the farmers market and then get to use their money to buy a treat (like a rice crispy treat).


10.  Get your drinks from Borden inside the Livestock Show.  My kids remembered this from last year, and it was their special request.  I didn’t mind, because I think the Borden booth, in the kids part of the Livestock Show, has the cheapest drinks in the entire rodeo.  For $2.00, you can get a big milk or sweet tea and money goes a scholarship fund.