2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo {Everything You Need to Know}

Houston…it’s time to RODEO! {Sorry…I just couldn’t help myself!}.  With Garth Brooks visiting the rodeo twice and the new star shaped stage, it’s no secret that 2018 will be the best season yet.  At Houston Moms Blog, we are beyond excited about all that this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo holds!  From the expansive livestock show with more than 30,000 livestock and horse show entries, to the carnival that has something for kids of all ages, to the nightly entertainment…It is such a magical and festive time around our great city, and something we Houstonians look forward to every year. Before you go, just be sure to catch up on these tips and tricks below, and then put on your best western wear and enjoy all of the excitement the rodeo has to offer!

Psssttttt :: Reliant has a special deal for YOU this season. Rodeo season and Reliant go together like chaps and cowboy hats. Make the switch to the Reliant Rodeo plan and get a $100 Cavender’s gift card to use toward your favorite western wear. And of course, you’ll also wrangle a low price on electricity. Say whaatttt?!? 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Basics

Dates :: February 27 – March 18

Location :: NRG Park {right inside Loop 610 between Kirby & Fannin}. Click here for driving directions and to print out a map.

Schedule of Events ::
 Events and activities change each day, so be sure to check out the Daily Event Schedule.  If you’re planning your visit around a performance, just be sure to note that weekday performances begin at 6:45 p.m. and weekend performances begin at 3:45 p.m.

Parking & Transportation :: This can be a bit tricky to navigate, so be sure to check out the Parking & Transportation info when planning your trip.  Depending on where you’re coming from, there are lots of great options {METRORail, Park & Ride, etc.} to make it a bit easier though! We generally use METRORail because my kids love riding on the train! And strollers ARE allowed!

Tickets :: There are three different options when looking to purchase tickets to the rodeo or carnival.  1} You can purchase a Grounds Pass which allows you to check out everything at NRG Park, except for the rodeo and concert in NRG Stadium …. or 2} For $3 more, you can purchase a Rodeo/Concert ticket which gives you access to everything at NRG Park AND entry into NRG Stadium for the rodeo and concert.  {Bonus :: Children age 2 and under are free and do not require a ticket!}  3} You can purchase a season pass for $35, which is worth it if you plan to visit at least three times. This option does not include the rodeo and concert.  

Security :: In an effort to keep the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo as safe as possible, be prepared for a quick wand and bag check.  While it may add a few minutes to getting in those gates, everyone’s safety is well worth it!

Special Accommodations :: The entire grounds are filled with HLSR staff and committee members there to help.  If you need any special accommodations or have any particular questions, simply ask someone with a badge!

Top 10 Things YOU Won’t Want To Miss In 2018

1. World’s Best BBQ {…And Ongoing Rodeo Food}

When the rodeo is in full swing, enjoy everything from funnel cakes to enormous turkey legs, and of course, those delicious corn dogs! There is absolutely something to please every palate, whether you are looking for savory or sweet, or both! Fried ice cream? No judgments here! If you’re a planner, you can even map out your dining options ahead of time. {Note :: dining is open 10am – 9pm daily so make sure you grab your goodies before heading into the rodeo and/or concert!}

2. “Boots for Houston” Art Contest ***New this year!

Be on the lookout for eight larger-than-life, colorful boots and vote for your favorite at the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Reliant is kicking off its inaugural “Boots for Houston” art contest, where eight local charities will showcase their artistic skills by decorating 4-foot tall boots for display inside NRG Stadium. The public will vote for their favorite and help Reliant award more than $22,000 in donations.  We encourage you to LIKE the photo of your favorite boot on Reliant’s Facebook page. The first place boot, determined by the most likes, will earn a $10,000 donation for the nonprofit plus a fun rodeo experience for staff and volunteers. The second place winner will receive a $5,000 donation, third place $2,500 and all other charity participants will receive a $1,000 donation. The boots will be on display for the public to enjoy at Section 101 inside NRG Stadium.

Charities include the following :: 

3. The Entertainment

This year’s lineup features some of your favorite country and pop stars, and there is truly a concert that piques everyone’s interest. And with Garth Brooks opening and closing this year’s rodeo, the lineup is not one to miss! Unfortunately Garth tickets are sold out, but there are still plenty of concert tickets available for other performances.  Also, for the first time in three decades, Rodeo Houston has changed the stage. It’s a larger stage in the shape of a star that allows the entertainer to be closer to the fans – and of course, it still rotates around so that every spectator gets the best view. {Don’t forget to check out The Hideout if you’re sans kids too! The Hideout is for 21 and up only, and it’s a great chance to hear some amazing local musicians for just the cost of NRG Park admission. Yes, please!}

Photo courtesy of RODEO HOUSTON

4. The Junction {Formerly Known As Kids Country}

What’s not to love about an area just for kids, open from 9 am – 9 pm daily?  The Junction includes the ever-popular Mutton Bustin’ where 5 and 6 year olds try to hold on to a sheep for 8 seconds, as well as a petting zoo, pig races, camel and pony rides, and a classic carnival with rides and games. Don’t forget to stop by the farm-to-market exhibit, Fun on the Farm, for an entertaining and educational experience for all.

5. Charging Stations

Is there anything worse than your phone running out of battery when you’re surrounded by adorable photo opps and/or you need to stay connected with friends and family?  People depend on mobile devices to stay connected to their family and the world around them, and Reliant’s portable power solutions can help Rodeo-goers stay powered while enjoying the fun. There are 12 Reliant charging stations available inside NRG Stadium, located at every ramp on levels one, three and five, and six stations available across NRG Park around The Hideout, NRG Center and NRG Arena. Visit reliant.com/go to find a charging station near you. 

6. The Birthing Center

Yep, you read that correctly. Animals are actually being born at the rodeo in The Birthing Center. Be sure to stop by and visit the baby animals, watch as they take their first steps, and see how their sweet mamas nurse and nurture them.  All exhibits are open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. It’s the miracle of life!

7. The Livestock Show Barn

Kids {both big and little} love getting up close and personal with animals at The Livestock Show Barn. Here you can walk through the show stalls and see the exhibitors showing their animals off to the judges, giving them baths, feeding them, and more! Also in the barn area are fisheries, honey bees, horticulture, and a milking parlor too. 

8. Interactive Family Experiences

The Reliant Big Boot, at 20 feet tall, has become a well-known landmark and photo opportunity at the Rodeo. Guests can also play a cornhole-style “boot toss” game for a chance to walk away with fun prizes like free concert and carnival tickets. And don’t miss the chance to make your Rodeo visit memorable with a fun family photo at Reliant’s Western Saloon photo booth, located inside NRG Center at Entrance C. You can create a personalized “Wanted” poster with unique props and clothing to complete the vintage look.


From team roping to steer wrestling to bull riding, the best of the best rodeo athletes come together each year for RODEOHOUSTON. Be sure to find your seat early as the stunning Grand Entry performance is something that you {and your kids} won’t want to miss, and then settle in and watch the events.  There’s something for everyone … even rodeo clowns for a little comic relief!

10. Wine Garden

If you’re need of a little pick-me up while at the Rodeo, don’t forget about the Champion Wine Garden, located in Carruth Plaza and in between NRG Stadium and the Astrodome. This little oasis with more than 70 wines to choose from is the perfect place to kick your boots up and relax.

This guide is far from all inclusive and just hits on some of the need-to-know info and a few of our favorites activities and attractions that the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo holds.  Be sure to check out the HLSR Visitor’s Guide for even more good info. Let’s rodeo, Houston!

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Originally from Louisiana, Brittney has called Houston home for nearly all her life. Brittney graduated from Houston Baptist University where she was a member of Phi Mu and a four-year cheerleader. It didn’t take long after graduation for her to meet her husband Jeremy on the sand volleyball courts at Memorial Park. She jokes that when marrying Jeremy, she also married LSU because she tied the knot with the most passionate Tiger football fan. Many weekends in the fall, they can be found in the shadows of Tiger Stadium at their big family tailgating party. Brittney has a Master's Degree from LSU and works in secondary education as an administrator and a cheerleading coach. Brittney and Jeremy have three boys, Connor {Nov 2012}, Parker {Nov 2014}, and Ryan {May 2018}. Brittney is a big baby-making, food allergy fighting, NICU surviving mom. Though she grew up surrounded by hairbows, pom poms, and lots of pink, Brittney now embraces being a boy mom. She loves raising her three boys and learning all about superheroes, baseball, and the pain of stepping on a lego when barefoot. In her kid-free time she enjoys working on craft projects, getting lost in a good book, and watching Grey's Anatomy.


  1. On the rodeo site, children and seniors are free on Value Wednesdays. It doesn’t state anything with respect to grown-ups paying $5. The grown-up entrance is $15.


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