Hey neighbors! Quick question: Is there anything better than Houston during Rodeo Season? I swear, there is something about Rodeo season that just makes this whole city light up and it's so amazing to see! When you think about it, what else could bring 35,000 volunteers out each and every year? The sheer numbers of it baffle me every time, it truly is one of Houston's proudest moments and I'm HERE FOR IT!
As a kid, I remember going to the rodeo often -- my very first concert was seeing my girl Reba at the rodeo (that counts right?) -- and its such a pleasure to be able to do that with my own family and to get to see the joy that brings to my Bella, too! Now, Bella is animal OBSESSED. I mean, high-key obsessed. All day long, "I want to see cowwwws. Horsies. Tigers. Giraffes. Fishies." All the animals. So I knew we just HAD to take her to rodeo for the very first time this year and oh my gosh, she was in heaven!
But I took a look around this year and had a thought about how this event just gets bigger and bigger each and every year. There's so much to do that it's easy to get overwhelmed -- even for the experienced Rodeo-goer; so I thought I'd put together a quick list of things you've just GOT to do when you get the chance to at Rodeo (this year or the next!).
So, first and foremost:
1. Rodeo Cook-off -- Oh my gosh, a STAPLE! This is what sets the whole month of Rodeo in motion: cook-off kicks it off (see what I did there?) and if you like a party and like TO party then this Rodeo event is for you! Cook-off is scheduled for the first weekend of Rodeo (so this is one you'll have to catch again next year) and has it all, there is truly something for everyone. Live music in the tents, live music on the outdoor concert stages, sooo much food, soooo much to drink, carnival activities, everything! Bring some friends with you and it will truly feel like Mardi Gras at times. You've got to do it at least once!
2. AGVENTURE -- You'll find AGVENTURE in Hall A of the NRG Arena and is a MUST for any one with kiddos that are avid animal lovers like my Bella. This is an educational and fun, interactive area that is great for kids (even little littles) that includes exhibits such as:
- The Petting Zoo,
- Pony rides,
- Areas where you can watch chicken eggs incubating and even hatching (so cool!),
- The milking parlor (where you can watch live demonstrations of cows being milked),
- A rabbit exhibit -- this one was a Bella favorite!
- A parakeet habitat -- this one was a Dad favorite!
- A miniature animal barn,
- The birthing center; an area where there are pigs, cows, etc. ready to deliver and/or have just delivered (so amazing!).
And so much more! This part of the Rodeo -- obviously other than the carnival -- is tailored for fun-filled kid activities. Got to the bring the kids to this, they'll love it!
3. The Carnival / Junction Carnival -- Obviously a huge kid/family-driven activity.
This is a quintessential, old-fashioned carnival complete with rides, prize games, slides and more! Fun for any member of your family! We were glued to the carousel the entire time - Bella's latest obsession.
4. THE FOOD! -- Now, you simply cannot talk Rodeo without mentioning the carnival food. This should really be wrapped up there with number 3 but I truly felt it needed its own call-out here. THE FOOD, ohmygosh. Anything and everything you can think of but never thought of because it sounds crazy -- it's at the Rodeo, deep-fried and ready to eat! We had a blast this year trying out so many yummy things like deep-fried Oreos, a donut chicken sandwich (YES THAT'S A REAL THING), deep-fried Cookie Dough (like, are you kidding me?), all the funnel cake my little heart desired, sausage-on-a-stick and so much more!
Of course, there is much fancier fare there if you're so inclined but -- come on! You've got to get to trying some of these deep-fried treats! I was in hog heaven!
5. The Champion Wine Garden -- Now, I am very VERY sad to say I have never been to the Champion Wine Garden. We just recently went to the Rodeo (kid-free) on a weeknight and I had told my husband I was dying to go grab a glass of wine and hang out here before the actual rodeo started but it was a rainy night and it just wasn't in the cards for us. But y'all -- this looks so perfect for a date night or even for Sunday Brunch with your girlfriends (I'm going to try to drag mine to it before the rodeo ends!). Please let me know what you think if you've been!
6. The actual Rodeo! And the Concert! -- Mutton Bustin', Barrel Racing, Bull Riding! We love going to watch the actual Rodeo just as much as most love going for the concert at the end (which we love too!). Its a pastime!
Now, I'm sure I've left some things out or brushed past some things too quickly but this is meant to be a quick brain dump of what might attract you to the Rodeo in the first place. Please let me know if there is anything else I've missed that I need to know about because Rodeo is so big, I bet I'm missing something!
But that being said -- y'all get dressed up in your best western attire and get out there, you'll be missing out if you don't!
Until next time, neighbors!