The Definitive Guide to Houston

Navigate the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Like a Local

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Since its debut in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has grown to be the world’s largest event of its kind. In 1966, they moved the show to the “Eighth Wonder of the World” the Astrodome to accommodate their growth.

Many things have changed since then but the core values of RODEOHOUSTON® have always stayed true “to host a three-week experience that promotes agriculture, celebrates Western heritage, entertains millions, and, in the end, supports Texas youth and education with an annual commitment of more than $27 million,” says Rodeo President and CEO Joel Cowley. Being the most highly anticipated event year after year, we’ve mapped out a few things we think you should know to make your Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo experience the best it can be.  

Champion Wine Garden
A wine lover’s paradise tucked inside NRG Park.

Before the Rodeo kicks off each year, they host one of the largest international wine competitions in the world. The 2019 International Wine Competition included 3,156 entries from 18 countries. More than 70 of the top-rated champion wines are then featured in the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Garden, which is made up of nine bars, tables and tents available for private parties and two stages located in Carruth Plaza at NRG Park. Taste award-winning wines by the glass from Texas and beyond, all while listening to local artists pick their guitars. Or, grab your friends and register for one of 13 wine seminars offered, where you can sip and learn about some of the best-loved wines from the 2019 competition.  

Family-Friendly Fun
Top things to do with the whole family! 

Mutton Bustin’ – A classic Rodeo activity where kids between the ages of 5-6 and 55-lbs and under attempt to ride a sheep to compete for a kid-sized gold buckle inside NRG Stadium during the RODEOHOUSTON performance. Or, head to the Mutton Bustin’ arena in The Junction — it runs all day, and parents can register their child on the day they arrive. You will genuinely never see anything cuter and you can get a video of their ride after!

AGVENTURE – The best indoor activity at the Rodeo is filled with a petting zoo, birthing center, and loads of animal and agriculture education the entire family will enjoy.  Located in Hall A of NRG Center.  Vice President, Wendy Vandeventer says “don’t miss the Horticulture Exhibit where kids of all ages can plant a sunflower seed, take it home and tag their progress on #MyRodeoSunflower”

The Carnival – The carnival spans approximately 850,000 square feet and is packed with rides, games and all of the best carnival food your heart could desire! Joel Cowley dares you to try the latest fried on a stick item for the true carnival dining experience!  

Don’t miss the Horticulture Exhibit where kids of all ages can plant a sunflower seed, take it home and tag their progress on #MyRodeoSunflower

VP, Wendy Vandeventer

Guide to the Grounds
Two Step in the right direction.

NRG StadiumRODEOHOUSTON Competition and Concert Performance
NRG ArenaLivestock and Horse Show Competitions and Livestock Auctions
NRG CenterAGVENTURE, Livestock Show Competitions, Shopping and Food
The JunctionPetting Zoo, Mutton Bustin’, Stars Over Texas Stage, Fun on the Farm, Pig Races
NRG ParkChampion Wine Garden, Lone Star Market, Carnival    

21 nights of live entertainment from stars of all musical genres. A few of the highlight performers include Kasey Musgraves, Cardi B, Panic at the Disco, Tim McGraw, Kings of Leon and many more! Each night, once the Rodeo dust settles, a superstar takes the stage to entertain the crowds. Weekday rodeos begin at 6:45 p.m. and entertainers take the stage at approximately 8:45 p.m.; Weekend rodeos begin at 3:45 p.m. and entertainers take the stage at approximately 5:45 p.m. Start times for the concert can vary day to day due to the different number of rodeo competitors. George Strait will close out the 2019 Rodeo on Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m. with a concert-only performance. 

The Hideout – Boot scoot on over to the Rodeo’s very own honky-tonk for live entertainment from some of the best up-and-coming musicians. The Hideout is located in a white tent on the west side of NRG Arena. Must be 21 and up to enjoy. 

Logistics & Tickets
Park your horse and stay a while.

There are two ticket options, ‘Ground Passes’ which are $5 for children (3 – 12; children 2 and under are free),  $15 for adults, and get you access to all events at NRG Park, including admission to the carnival, access to the livestock show, shopping and exhibits in NRG Center, and access to horse show, events and more shopping in NRG Arena, but does not include entrance into NRG Stadium for the rodeo and concert performance. All ‘Rodeo/Concert Tickets’ are priced dependent of your seat choice and provide you with access to the championship rodeo action and superstars in concert inside NRG Stadium and everything included in Ground Passes. Rodeo tickets start at $20.  

There are many transportation options, but we recommend either using Lyft and utilizing the new “Lyft Lot” or taking the METRORail from either downtown or the Texas Medical Center straight to NRG Park.

Enjoy these events and many more starting February 25 through March 17Stay up to date with the RODEOHOUSTON Mobile App that will provide you with all the information you could ever need, including the concert lineup, maps and schedule updates.  And don’t forget to follow, mention and tag @RODEOHOUSTON.


All Photos Courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™

Local Houstonian and Editor + Digital Director of Houston Hotel Magazine. Follow her on Instagram for her latest adventures, @emilylunstroth.

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