Since few of us Houstonians will actually get to see the Big Game February 5 inside our local venue, make sure you enjoy some of the Super Bowl LI festivities in the week leading up to it. I’ve pulled together a collection of free to $20 events — most are free and family friendly — so get out your calendars and plan your fun. You won’t find a $750 party on my list!

Super Bowl LIVE (free)

photo: Houston Super Bowl Host Committee

This nine-day free family festival features live music, performances, interactive exhibits, and a 90-ft virtual reality trip to Mars dubbed Future Flight. This huge festival features a variety of zones with something for everyone.

When: January 28 – February 5, various hours by day
Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney
What:

Future Flight: Imagine wearing virtual reality goggles 90-ft in the air on a ride designed in partnership with NASA! That’s all possible with Future Flight, the stand-out experience at this year’s Super Bowl LIVE.

Live music:

January 28 — The Band PureClass, Gio Chambra, Wild Moccasins, The Tontons, Blue October
January 29 — Picture Book, Lyric Michelle, Calvin Martyr, Lecrae
January 30 — Walker Lukens, Sarah Jaffe, Nick Gaitan
January 31 — Lunar New Year, Sam Lao, Bright Light Social Hour
February 1 — Feel Rich Fitness Concert, Buxton, Hayes Carll, Ryan Bingham
February 2 — Ingrid, Lizzo, Robert Glasper Experiement, Solange
February 3 — The Suspects, Feel Rich Fitness Concert, Robert Ellis, Shakey Graves, Leon Bridges
February 4 — The Suffers, Gary Clark Jr., ZZ Top
February 5 — Feel Rich Fitness Concert, Grupo Fantasma, Los Skarnales

Find the complete music schedule and times online.

Houston Live: This portion of Super Bowl LIVE is the first-ever locally focused zone. It shares the history of Houston and focuses on themes “Celebrate,” Inspire,” and “Energize.”

Food Trucks: More than 20 of Houston’s best food trucks will be selling their best food truck fare all week.

 

Game City Showcase (free)

Game City Showcase is a free community event is encouraging locals to get out and celebrate Super Bowl 51 by supporting local retailers, restaurants and non-profits in four neighborhoods.

When: January 30 – February 2, 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: Midtown, Theater District, EADO (East Downtown), Museum District
What: Locals and visitors are encouraged to explore Houston and support local business with a variety of experiences and food samplings each night. Featured events include live music, complimentary food and beverage sampling with Football Food Crawl, interactive art murals, contests, special appearances as well as a week long Scavenger Hunt. Here are the highlights:

Midtown, January 30 — Kick-off Event, Major League and Small Business Panel, Midtown Art Crawl, End Zone Live at Ensemble Theatre

Theater District, January 31 — Big Game Showcase at Bayou Place

EaDo, February 1 — WonderWorld at 8th Wonder Brewery

Museum District, February 2 — Special Super Bowl programming at Children’s Museum of Houston, The Health Museum, Holocaust Museum, Asia Society Texas plus extended hours at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The Menil Collection, Houston Center for Photography.

 

Super Bowl Opening Night ($20)

This event debuted in San Francisco at Super Bowl 50 featuring live music, player interviews with media, autograph opportunities and more.

When: January 30, 7 pm – 10 pm
Where: Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford
What: Super Bowl Opening Night is the first time players and coaches meet with the Houston media. It also features music by X Ambassadors and Hall of Famer Warren Moon. Don’t miss the red carpet fan photo opportunity! Doors open at 5:30 pm.

 

Children’s Museum Football Fun (free)

photo: VisitHouston

Children’s Museum of Houston is hosting a Super Bowl gathering perfect for kids! And even better — it’s free! The fun takes place during its Free Family Night Thursday, February 2, with extended hours till 9 pm. This event is just one part of Houston on the Cheap Museum Experience Night, where four museums are hosting Super Bowl related events the same night in the Houston Museum District.

When: February 2, 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: 1500 Binz
What: Families can enjoy Super Bowl themed crafts, activities and more in a family-friendly zone.

Anheuser-Busch Houston Brewery & Clydesdales (free to $10)

photo: Anheuser-Busch Houston Brewery

Anheuser-Busch Houston Brewery is hosting the Budweiser Clydesdales all week as part of the Super Bowl celebration. It also will be offering its normal daily brewery tours.

When: January 31 – February 5
Where: 775 Gellhorn Dr.
What:

  • Budweiser Clydesdales Stable Viewing — Visit the famous horses January 31 – February 4, 10 am – 6 pm; February 5, 10 am – 5 pm
  • Budweiser Clydesdales Photo Opp — Take advantage of a photo opp with the Clydesdales February 1-3, 11 am – noon and 3 pm – 4 pm (except February 3)
  • Hitch Team Parade — The Clydesdales hitch team, with red wagon in tow, will parade around the Brewery Grounds February 4 -5, noon – 2 pm.
  • Brewery Tours — daily 10 am – 6 pm (closing at 5 pm February 5 for private event). Tours are $10 (age 21+) and $4 (age 4-20).
  • Adults age 21+ who visit the Tour Center can enjoy a free beer sample!

 

Midtown Super Weekend Block Party (free)

photo: Midtown Houston

Get ready for a three-day concert series at Midtown’s Bagby Park.

When: February 2-4, 8 pm
Where: Bagby Park, 415 Gray St.
What: The free fun includes live music, lawn games (including mega beer pong), plus food, beer and wine. The country and rock bands performing include The Might Orq, The Mike Stinson Band, and The Electric Cowboys — same line up each night. Don’t miss the Stella Artois Airstream mobile bar and photo booth!

 

Mid Main SuperFest (free)

It’s four days of #SB51 celebration at Mid Main in Midtown.

When: February 2-5
Where: Mid Main (3500-3700 block) with entrance at Main St. and Winbern St.
What: The free fun includes live music

February 2 — DJ Tempty, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, The Stooges Brass Band
February 3 — The Grahamaphone, Ishi, The TonsTons
February 4 — DJ Mikey, The Phantom Royals, A Fistful of Soul, Us, The Polyphonic Spree
February 5 — Urban Harvest Game Day Brunch features an assortment of food vendors with live music from Light Rock Express

 

Midtown Park Super Block Party (free)

It’s a weekend of #SB51 celebration with local and national entertainment plus athlete appearances.

When: February 4-5; 10 am – 7 pm Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm Sunday
Where: Midtown Park (Main and McGowen)
What: The free fun includes music, an athletic activation with NFL players and area youth plus a chance for visitors and locals to preview the new Midtown Park. Shuttles will be available for area transportation.

February 4 — 10 am features Super Bowl LI Activiation with Line Dance Instructor Vanessa Branch, Baby Sonic Boom, drumline performance plus meet and greet with former pro athletes: Leonard Stephens, Mike T. Brown, Tyrone Smith, Chris Broussard, Maurice Evans, Rushia Brown. noon – 7 pm features DJ Mav, DJ Big Reeks of Waxaholics, DJ Larose Royce, DJ Envy of The Breakfast Club

February 5 — Super Bowl LI Activation featuring Lone Star Choppaz drumline and Fred Rusk at the Zydeo Hi-Steppers

 

Memorial City Countdown to Kickoff (free – $10)

photo: MetroNational Corporation

The Square at Memorial City will be hosting many free, cheap and interactive events in anticipation of the Big Game!

When: January 27 – February 5
Where: The Square at Memorial City, 303 Memorial City Mall
What:

Football Family Movie Night — January 27, 7 pm featuring a special screening of Rudy on the jumbo outdoor screen.

Chili Cook-Off — January 28, 5 pm – 8 pm featuring tastings by Houston chili masters, live entertainment and more.

Draft Night — February 2, 6 pm – 10 pm featuring live music, giant yard games, Giant Beer Pong tournament plus bar bites and draft beer by 8th Wonder Brewery.

Friday Night Lights — February 3, 6 pm – 10 pm featuring Houston’s best high school and college half-time entertainment and live performances by Sonic Boom Drum Line and Lunchbox Dance Crew.

Superstar Saturday — February 4, 3 pm – 11 pm featuring Little Rookies Training Camp, End Zone Celebration Dance Off, live interview and autograph with former Houston Oiler Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.

Ultimate Big Game Watch Party — February 5, 3 pm – 9 pm featuring Super Bowl 51 on the jumbo outdoor screen. Bring your blankets, chairs and friends to enjoy the Big Game.

 

First Down: Concert Series (free)

photo: Historic Market Square Houston

Market Square Park will be hosting First Down: Concert Series, two days of free concerts with 10 bands in anticipation of the Big Game!

When: February 3-4; 11 am – 3 pm Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday
Where: Market Square Park, 301 Milam
What: Enjoy live music downtown in the park:

February 3 — Charlee Brown, Mind Shrine, Young Girls, Dollie Barnes
February 4– Dayta, Handsomebeast, EL LAGO, VODI, Camera Cult, Birthday Club

 

Taste of Katy Chili Bowl, Celebrity Flag Football Challenge and No Label After Party (free – $20)

photo: Celebrity Sweat

Head to Katy for some great chili, tailgating and great fun featuring celebrity athletes.

When: February 4
Where: Rhodes Stadium, 1733 Katy Fort Bend Rd. and No Label Brewery, 5351 1st St., Katy
What:

Taste of Katy Chili Bowl — This event is free! Sample some great chili at this tailgate party before the Celebrity Flag Football game. It’s an amateur chili cook-off with live music, celebrity appearances, kids’ activities, food trucks and raffles. Hours are 9 am to noon. This will be located in the East side parking lot (Visitor’s side) of Rhodes Stadium.

Celebrity Flag Football Challenge — $20. This annual Super Bowl event continues this year! The Celebrity Flag Football roster includes current and past NFL players, other athletes, musicians, actors and celebrities who engage in flag football fun. Doug Flutie, Michael Irvin plus Bengals’ QB and Katy HS alum Andy Dalton will be there! Don’t miss the pregame featuring Katy ISD bands and veterans, along with a halftime show featuring Katy ISD cheerleaders and dance teams. Gates open at noon. Game is 1 pm – 3 pm. Tickets available online. Parking is available on the West side parking lot (Home side) of Rhodes Stadium. Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warriors organization.

No Label After Party — $15. The fun continues at No Label Brewery from 4 pm – 8 pm with live music, fun and food trucks. Three beers + a pint glass are included in the $15 ticket.

 

Pearland Super Concert (free)

Pearland celebrates the Big Game in a big way with a free concert February 4 at Pearland Town Center.

When: February 4, 7 pm – 9 pm
Where: Pearland Town Center, 11200 Broadway
What: Enjoy a free concert with Two Tons of Steel (7 pm) and RaeLynn (8 pm). Trolley car shuttles will be available for $1/ride Saturday and Sunday to get around between hotels and restaurants.

Soberbowl HTX Superfest (free)

 

Houston continues to be unique in its hosting of Super Bowl LI. For the first time ever, a city is hosting a counter culture party space to the usual parties held Super Bowl Sunday. This event is hosted by the Houston Recovery Initiative and The John Lucas Foundation. It’s family-friendly and free to the public!

When: February 5, 2 pm – 5:15 pm (live entertainment), 5:30 pm – 10 pm (kick off and game watch party)
Where: White Oak Music Hall, 2915 Main St.
What: The free event will host live bands, national entertainment and photo opps with former professional athletes such as John Lucas II, Earl Campbell, Brandon Mitchell, Willie Tullis and more.

 

Bonus: NFL Experience Driven by Genesis ($25-$35)

This official Super Bowl event doesn’t fall in my criteria (free to $20) but I can’t ignore it! Especially since I will be doing three volunteer shifts there as an official Houston Super Bowl LI volunteer! This is a huge event!

When: January 28 – February 5, hours vary by day
Where: George R. Brown Convention Center
What: NFL Experience features player autograph sessions, youth football clinics, interactive games and more. Admission is $35 (adult) and $25 (child).

 

TRANSPORTATION NOTE:

Transportation will be a huge topic during Super Bowl 51 week. Head online to the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Transportation Guide and #KnowBeforeYouGo. The guide mentions there are 62,000 parking spots available downtown during peak hours if you choose to drive. Or about 12,000 during business hours on weekdays. One option is buying a pre-paid parking spot — which guarantees you pay the price you want and it will be available for you. METRO and shuttles are obviously preferred.

Bcycle, Houston’s ride sharing bike program, announced the “BBVA Compass Free Rides” program. Folks can get free 60-minute Houston Bcycle rides for the 10 days leading up to the Super Bowl, January 27 – February 5, at all Bcycle stations in Houston. Every ride will be free after reserving the bike with a valid credit card or debit card and sharing an email address or mobile number at checkout.