10 Tips for Navigating the Livestock Show & Rodeo with Kids:
1. Enter the parking lot at the Kirby & Westridge entrance and tell the parking attendants that you have children. During the week, they’ll let you park up close to minimize the walk, although you’ll need to leave by 1 pm. Arrive as early as 9 am.
2. Before you arrive, talk to your family about how to gently pet animals. Many of the exhibitors instruct kids to use the “2-finger pet” but in the excitement, arms are flying. Prepare your youngsters by showing them how to use two fingers to pet animals.
3. Back pack, back pack. Forget the purse and strap on your backpack so your arms are free to help your kids explore.
4. Pack hand wipes. While the petting zoo area does have hand sanitizer available, our hands still felt filthy after an hour. We were glad we had a bag of wipes.
5. Eat a snack on the way & avoid spending too much money on pricey carni-fare.
6. Wear closed-toe shoes. Not everyone can pull on boots, but avoid flip-flops or sandals. I was surprised how many people walked around the show in flip-flops and filthy feet. Ewww!
7. Wear a cowboy/cowgirl hat that fits. Encourage the kids to wear cowboy hats that have the under-chin strap so that the wind doesn’t blow off their hats. Pull back long hair on windy days.
8. Head to Reliant Center first to explore indoors at Destination: Agventure. Most of these activities are included at no extra charge, although photos on the bulls and the pony rides are extra. If the kids still have energy after this, then head outdoors to the carnival and food area. This will minimize the money you spend there. Don’t forget the Horse Arena for a view at these beautiful animals.
9. Bring your own camera to capture candid moments. Discounted prices exist at the longhorn bull photo shoot for those who brought their own camera.
10. Don’t feel like you have to cram it all in. Buy the FunPass! for $20 and you can return as many times as you’d like. Shorter trips are easier on young children. Kids under 2 years old are FREE.