This Ain't My First Rodeo - Memorial Village Moms

Y’all, let me tell you about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. As a mom originally from Louisiana, I thought I knew a thing or two about big festivals. Growing up, Mardi Gras parades were a yearly tradition, but nothing quite prepared me for the grandeur of the Houston Rodeo when I first experienced it nearly 20 years ago. Now, with three little ones in tow, my perspective has shifted from just enjoying the concerts to finding the best ways to make the most of the daytime events.

I’ve learned from experience that going the first week that the rodeo opens is the way to go. It is not yet spring break and the field trip groups usually go the second week. So, this year, I took my youngest out of school early to beat the crowds. We arrived at 11:00 a.m. and parked in the yellow lot for $25. Thankfully, they only accept credit cards now, which made things easier. We snapped a quick photo of where we parked, hopped on the tram (no wait!), and purchased our daily grounds tickets on the rodeo app during the ride.

Entering any place with kids means a beeline for the restrooms, and the ones at the convention center were easily accessible. From there, we headed to the Agventure inside the convention center, entering through the doors closest to the shopping. We made our way to the back to see the cows that would be in the livestock show, getting up close and personal with the animals and watching the handlers in action.

After spending some time with the livestock, we explored the shops and found doll-sized replicas of barns, pens, and trailers used in raising, transporting, and showing the livestock. Very cute, but very pricey! The lady at the booth reminded us that owning horses is expensive and I guess that goes for toy horses too!

After shopping, we checked out the chicks hatching. Going through the lifecycle of a chicken is always a crowd favorite. The pony line was not long, so we decided to knock that off our list. I was excited that they started taking credit cards this year! By this point, we were both hungry and headed outside to check out the food options.

While I usually go for BBQ from Goode Co. or Pappas, my daughter wanted chicken nuggets and fries, so we tried Paradise Burger. The variety of food options at the rodeo is impressive, and there’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy your meal. The volunteers do an excellent job of keeping the picnic tables clean, so we had a nice spot to eat and rest. After eating, we were both tired and decided to head home. I tried to talk my daughter into a fried oreo, but she wanted a plain Kona Ice. If only we could all crave something so healthy.

The best part about the rodeo is that it’s open for almost three weeks, so there’s plenty of time to go back and enjoy more. We have tickets to three shows this year, so we will have lots of time to explore. Over the years, we’ve learned how to make the most of our time at the rodeo. My advice? Pick one area to focus on each day. Do Agventure one day, the carnival another, and don’t forget to come back for an adults-only night at the wine garden before a concert.


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a must-visit event for families, offering a unique blend of entertainment, education, and good old-fashioned fun. As a mom, it’s been a joy to watch my children experience the magic of the rodeo and create memories that will last a lifetime. For a complete guide to all this HSLR, check out the Visitor’s Guide.

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