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Travel-Mommy: Family trip to the Houston Rodeo

So you haven’t really experienced Texas until you hit a rodeo. A few years back, we enjoyed the Dallas rodeo but the one to hit is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This event truly makes memories of a lifetime for our families.

You can make the rodeo an inexpensive day outing or a fun overnite because there is so much to see and do.  The award-winning event rides into town with a Parade and a cook off on the last weekend in February and then gallops thru mid-march. Given the dates, it makes for a perfect mini Spring Break vacation.

You buy seats for a specific session ranging from $20 to $ 100. Paying a bit more for good seats is worth it, because we sat in the field section 101 with a fantastic view of the bronco and bull riding starting gates. The session typically starts around 3:45pm on the weekend. The events include bareback and saddle-back bronco riding, cow roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, and mutton racing.  The calf scramble at the end really made our children laugh as they watched teens try to chase and capture calves. These fun festive events are followed by a progressive country music concert and fireworks.

The rodeo ticket also admits you to one of the largest Livestock shows in the country. It highlights amazing animals from prize-winning pigs to newly hatched baby chicks. Be sure to go early so your little ones can meet the baby kangaroos, goats and the deer in the petting zoo. Don’t forget your Purell for after the fun!

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A massive carnival surrounds the Reliant stadium featuring a multitude of food vendors serving Texas’s finest from tantalizing tacos to perfect pulled pork to outstanding fried Oreos. The carnival admission is free, which is a wonderful way to offer an affordable “family night out” for all.  The rodeo also gives back to the local community by granting college scholarships for needy children. The Houston rodeo committee has donated over $330 million over the last few years and helped many worthy young men and women. So here are some terrific tips for navigating the rodeo:

Lodging and Logistics:

  • Hilton Houston PlazaMedical Center and the DoubleTree: are the closest hotels
  • VBRO or Dwellable.com: are great for family friendly rental & B&B options
  • Avoid the city slicker stampede at the local parking–park in the museum district and giddyup onto the metro for $1.25
  • Go early at 10am when it opens so you can make the most of your dollar
  • Diet for a few days before because it is hard to find low-calorie dining choices

Unique attractions

  • Fried butter and venison on a stick
  • Some of the best cowboy hat and boot vendors in the West
  • The Rodeo team does an amazing Harlem Shake

So put on your stirrups and favorite cowboy boots and two-step to the Rodeo.

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