Visiting RodeoHouston With a Baby

visit rodeohouston with a baby (photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/)

Let’s Rodeo! With a Baby!

It’s rodeo time in Houston! Are you planning on taking your baby or toddler to the show? It’s not easy, but it’s doable — and even fun. In this guide, you’ll learn about navigating some of the special challenges that come with visiting the Houston rodeo with a baby.

RodeoHouston Tickets for Babies

Children two and under are free and don’t need a ticket. If you’re just planning to visit the grounds, older kids are $5 and adult tickets are $10. On Value Wednesdays, babies are still free and all grounds tickets are $5. If you’re planning to attend the rodeo in the stadium, your ticket will get you into the grounds for free.

Getting to RodeoHouston with a Baby

There are a few different options for getting to the rodeo. The most popular is park and ride. You park, then ride a shuttle bus to the show. The cost varies, as you will pay either to park or ride the shuttle, but not both. But it can be difficult to get a stroller on the bus.

On-site parking in the Yellow Lot is available for $20 and you can ride the tram, which is stroller friendly (you will be required to fold it up, though, so be ready!). You can walk with a stroller from this lot, but it’s a hike!

An often overlooked option is the light rail, but don’t count it out. Lots of kids love to ride the train! To get on the train, you can park at the Smith Lands station for $15 (or anywhere else along the light rail route). The traffic tends to be light on weeknights, so you should be able to find seats and make room for a stroller if you’re not there on a busy weekend. Train tickets are $1.25 each way for ages six and up. METRO has a mobile ticketing app, so you can buy your tickets with your phone instead of waiting at the kiosk every time you ride.

RodeoHouston Fun for Babies

The rodeo is a blast for older kids, but babies can have fun, too. There are two free petting zoos where babies can check out the goats, pigs, and other animals. There’s one inside NRG Center and another outside in the kiddie carnival. For toddlers, there are pony rides, carnival rides, and the Fun on the Farm exhibit (complete with a corn sandbox) in the carnival. They may also be interested in checking out the livestock show attractions in NRG Center.

Strollers at the Rodeo

Strollers come in very handy at the rodeo, especially when you’re visiting with toddlers. You can use it to hold food and prizes even when you’re not pushing children around.

RodeoHouston is stroller friendly. You’ll find plenty of parking for strollers at the carnival and livestock show. If you bring a stroller to the stadium, you can walk up the ramps or use an elevator (you might wait a while for the elevator). You can check strollers at guest services.

Of course, be careful about leaving items in your stroller. When you park it, it’s out there for anyone to pilfer through. Do your best to travel light and always take your purse or diaper bag with you instead of leaving it in a parked stroller.

Babywearing at RodeoHouston

Babywearing can make carrying your baby at the rodeo easier. It gives your arms a rest and a place for your baby to sleep. If you have a tiny baby, it can discourage strangers from touching them. And your arms are free to eat a turkey leg or sausage on a stick, too!

We recommend the Zolawear ring sling (made in Houston!). It is lightweight, comfortable, and isn’t awkward to continue wearing even when your baby isn’t in it (especially helpful when you’re in a seat at the stadium with no place to set stuff down other than the floor!). But the killer feature is it has a pocket, so you can stuff a few diapers, wipes, and other necessities in there and maybe avoid having to haul a purse or diaper bag around all day.

Breastfeeding at the Rodeo

Breastfeeding your baby at the rodeo can be tough. It’s not always easy to find a place to sit down at RodeoHouston, much less privacy. You can find seats in the carnival, sometimes in NRG Center, and at your seat in the stadium if you’re going to the show. But if you’re seeking privacy, NRG Center is your best bet. There are relatively private spots where you can sit on the floor along the main corridors, especially if you go up to the second floor. On the second floor, you might even be lucky enough to find an unused room you can sit down in for a while to feed your baby (hit the restrooms while you’re upstairs-they are cleaner and the lines are shorter).

It’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle to the rodeo to stay hydrated. You’re allowed to bring food and water into the carnival and livestock show (not the stadium), but gate attendants may not be clear on the rules. Bring a disposable plastic water bottle, so if it gets lost or you have to throw it away at the gate, it’s not a big deal.

Changing Diapers at RodeoHouston

The bathroom options at the rodeo can be a little challenging when you’re changing diapers. Obviously, you’re not changing your baby in a portapottie. If you’re careful, you can do a quick non-poop change in a stroller. Or, you can head in to NRG Center or the stadium to find a changing table.

Noise Level for Babies at RodeoHouston

The rodeo can get pretty loud in the stadium, which can bother your baby’s ears. If you’re concerned about noise, you can use sound blocking ear muffs.

We’d love to hear your tips for visiting RodeoHouston with a baby! Share your best ideas in the comments.