UPDATE: Reliant Stadium is now called NRG Stadium! I attempted to update all the links for 2015, but some were not successful. I left some of the maps from 2014 – hopefully they’ll be close to the same this year 🙂
On Facebook, I saw a friend asking about ways to go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) for less money!
RodeoHouston is the largest rodeo in the world! Isn’t that awesome?! And, there are ways to do it for cheap! I have gone the past 3 days, so I decided to share what I have learned about doing RodeoHouston for less!
Park and Ride: Here is some GREAT information about where to park and ride – pick a spot based on where you live, the group you’re with, and how much traveling you want to do!
If it were me, I would probably park at the OST lot – it’s a $10 and free shuttle!
Astrodome Lot: If you want to park closer to the park, I recommend the Astrodome lot – it a grass/gravel lot across 610 from the rodeo. It’s a bit of a walk, but there’s a free tram! The parking costs $12 – and make sure you bring cash!
The entrance for the astrodome lot is off West Bellfort (and Kirby). This is my favorite spot, because there is less traffic, and it is usually less full than the yellow lot. There are large electronic signs pointing your way to it.
If you’re headed to the NRG (formerly Reliant) Stadium (concert or rodeo), after you get off the tram, go towards your left as you’re facing the stadium, and enter the park at the first gate you come to!
If you want to save money, Wednesday is the day to go to the HLSR!
Admission to NRG Park (for access to everything EXCEPT the Rodeo and the concert):
- Adults: normally $10; on Wednesdays, $5
- Children (under 12) and Seniors: normally $5; on Wednesdays, FREE!
- Children under the age of 2 are always free.
- The upper level seats are normally $21.75 online, $18 at the door; on Wednesdays, upper level tickets are $10! Now, these are in the “nosebleeds,” but there are some fabulous big screens and some great videography that makes it easy to see what is going on.
- Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – Hunter Hayes
- Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – Brantley Gilbert
- Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – Florida Georgia Line
- Children under the age of 2 are free if they will not be taking up an additional seat.
- The seats at each of the “narrow” ends of the arena aren’t quite as easy to see, but again, fabulous big screens!
- Bring binoculars if you want to get some good views!
- Click here to purchase tickets online.
[On Wednesdays, $2 rides, $2 games, and $2 food bites from 11 AM to 4 PM in Kids Country Carnival.]
RODEO AND CONCERT INFORMATION
- The rodeo and concert are held in the NRG Stadium (Formerly Reliant).
- The doors open around 5:30, but the rodeo doesn’t start until 6:45 – you can see all sorts of events: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, mutton bustin’ and more! It really is worth going for if you have never been before, IMHO.
- The concert usually starts around 8:45, and lasts about an hour, depending on the performer.
- No outside food or drinks are allowed inside the NRG Stadium, and all purses and bags are subject to being searched.
FREE ACTIVITIES (once you’ve paid to get in!)
Here is a GREAT guide to the activities. But since the goal of this post is not spending money, I’ll share with you the free things that I enjoy, or I have heard good things about! (The times are from last year – I have not yet updated them)
1. Mutton Bustin‘: Sit in the stands and cheer on the cute 5 and 6 year olds as they attempt to hold on to sheep for the ride of their lives!
- Location: Kids Country (brown area on the map)
- Schedule: 10 AM to 7 PM (starting on the hour)
2. Pig Races
- Location: Kids Country (brown area on the map)
- Schedule: 10:30; 11:30 AM; 12:30; 1:30; 3:30; 4:30; 5:30 and 6:30 PM
3. Statoil Stars Over Texas Stage: sing-alongs, animal acts and more.
- I got to see the Amazing Animals show, and it was PHENOMENAL. They were engaging, educational, and fascinating – even for adults! Check out the schedule in the RodeoHouston App or Online.
- The Animal Show seemed to be most days at 11, then at 2 or 3, then at 4,5, or 6. You’ll need to check the schedule for the day you want to go to make it work.
4. TDECU Fun on the Farm: “allows children to explore the world of agriculture by following the process of producing farm products, from planting to market. Children can help with farm chores such as gathering eggs, planting and harvesting crops, and milking a cow. Be sure and check out Goat Mountain. Observe goats as they frolic on a rocky hill and learn how the goat industry contributes to Texas agriculture and your daily life.”
- Schedule: 10 AM to 7 PM
5. Agventure: “Nearly every species of livestock can be found inside this fun and educational area, with several live animal exhibits.”
- Exhibits included: petting zoo, honey bees, rainwater harvesting, fisheries, birthing center (watching baby chicks hatch!), rabbits, poultry, and more!
- Location: Hall A of NRG Center (far right side if you’re facing it)
- Schedule: 9 AM to 9 PM
You can also check out some pretty neat cattle, sheep, goats, etc. and just walk around! I’ve seen lots of interesting animals by doing that!
Here is a visitors packet with much of this information, including maps and the daily schedules. (not yet posted for 2015)
There’s not a whole lot of money that can be saved here… Most meals are $8-$12 (not including sides or drinks). Plan on eating as much as you can beforehand, and sharing a meal with a family member if you want to save money. Inside NRG Stadium, food seems to be at least $2 more expensive than outside.
“The HLSR would not be the well-run success that it is today without the vision, dedication and hard work of its volunteers. What began as a small group of people with a dream has developed into an event supported by the efforts of more than 28,500 volunteers.” — Remember that most of the people you come into contact with are VOLUNTEERS! Don’t forget to show them a smile and understand there may be lines.
I hope you and your family/friends are able to go to the rodeo! Make sure you comment anything YOU enjoyed that others might like as well!
**Most of this information was verified on the RodeoHouston website, although some of it is just from personal experience. If something is not 100% accurate, I am sorry and please comment below so that it can be corrected! Maps are RodeoHouston (although may have some notes); photos are my own.