How to do a Rodeo Houston 2015 for Less

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 ūüôā

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!

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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!

Here is information on the other public parking lots near NRG Park.

TICKETS

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.

Concert tickets

  • 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)

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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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôll need to check the schedule for the day you want to go to make it work.

4. TDECU Fun on the Farm: ‚Äúallows 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.‚ÄĚ

  • Schedule: 10 AM to 7 PM

5. Agventure: ‚ÄúNearly 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‚Äôre facing it)
  • Schedule: 9 AM to 9 PM

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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)

FOOD

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.

VOLUNTEERS

“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.

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Day 13: Arriving in Beijing

[If you haven’t been keeping up with my travels, check them out¬†here!]

Today was filled with travel. We headed to Beijing for our 72 hour visa-free transit stay.

When we arrived in Beijing, we had no hitches when it came to getting through immigration — the counter that was marked was closed. We asked and they directed us to another counter that was for disabled and there was no line! We went through faster than anyone else.

We had a ride waiting for us at the airport; we had arranged through our hostel. Olivia’s life dream of walking out of the baggage claim to see her name on a sign finally came through!

Driving through Beijing rush hour was interesting… Cars (including ours) decide the shoulder is an extra lane, exit lanes aren’t actually exit lanes, and if the car fits (and sometimes even if it doesn’t) – shove your way in. ¬†Please disregard if someone is honking at you. That’s just how we say hello here. ¬†Our driver also used it as: “I’m coming through whether you want me to or not. Don’t try and stop me; I will crash into you.”

We arrived at our hostel and were showed the way to our 3rd story private room with our 6 bags. The staff is very helpful and speaks great English! There is a restaurant attached – we had dinner there, and then walked about town for a bit.

Here are some pictures of the hostel rooms in both Taipei (Fun Taipei Backpackers) and Beijing (365 Inn) at the request of my lovely grandmother:

To check some interesting ways life is¬†different¬†in Taiwan, check out my sister-in-law’s post on it HERE. ¬†I noticed all of these things in my stay as well!

Day 10: Taipei 101 & Typhoon

[If you haven’t been keeping up with my travels, check them out¬†here!]

Since the typhoon hadn’t hit yet, we decided to continue packing in as much as we could! ¬†We made our way to Taipei 101 – the world’s 3rd tallest building. ¬†It is 101 floors above ground and 5 below ground. ¬†There is a huge food court as well as many floors of high end shopping.

It has the world’s fastest elevator at 1010 meters per minute!

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For lunch, we went to the world renowned Din Tai Fung. ¬†The dumplings were AMAZING! And I successfully ate the WHOLE MEAL with chopsticks ūüôā

We found CHEESE in the Jason's supermarket!  Nick was EXCITED!

We found CHEESE in the Jason’s supermarket! Nick was EXCITED!

2013-07-12 Taiwan Trip 1544 ---We went back to our new room in the hostel and took a nap! Then, we headed out just as the typhoon was starting.  We found a place still open, got dinner, and then ran back to the hostel.  We could hear the wind and rain throughout the night!

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