Houston rodeo carnival

photo: Katie Haugland

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is back March 3-22, 2020! Are you ready?!

This year’s Rodeo has all the attractions you’ve come to love, plus some new features, like the The Social Spur (a new social lounge), a balloon mural, sensory-friendly experiences, new food vendors, a parakeet encounter, and the Extreme Dogs show.

The good news is it’s possible to enjoy all the great things the Rodeo has to offer without spending a ton. From cheap Houston Rodeo tickets (TicketNetwork has Rodeo concerts starting as low as $7!) to pre-sale Rodeo Carnival tickets, I’m going to give you my best tips for saving big this Rodeo season.


1. Take advantage of presale half-price Carnival Packs

One of my favorite mantras is planning ahead to save money. If you have kids and are attending the rodeo, take advantage of 2020 Houston Rodeo Carnival Packs and save big when you buy in advance.

Select from two different carnival discount packages and a food deal:

  • $10 Carnival Pack ($39 value) — 22 tickets for rides/games, 4 refreshment coupons, 1 free game, 1 free ride, and more
  • $50 Carnival Pack ($139 value) — 150 tickets for rides/games, 8 refreshment coupons,3 free games, 2 free rides (ferris wheel and funhouse), and more
  • $20 Discount Food Card ($30 value) — Get $30 of refreshments for just $20; valid only for RCS food and beverage stands

This year, Carnival Packs are going digital, and you’ll use the RodeoHouston and Rodeo Carnival app to access all of your tickets and coupons.

Half price Carnival Packs are only available for purchase until Saturday, February 29, 2020, so make sure to get yours before it’s too late.

You must have a Reliant Park Admission ticket ($15 adults, $5 kids ages 3-12), Rodeo/concert ticket, or season pass to enter the carnival area. Save time and get your Reliant Park Admission ticket online, too. It’s not discounted, but you won’t have to stand in line to get in!


2. Get Rodeo Houston concert tickets at a discount from TicketNetwork

Right now, TicketNetwork has ticket deals to Houston Rodeo concerts starting as low as $7! Yes, you read that right — you can get Rodeo concert tickets as low as $7. As the dates for the concerts get closer and tickets don’t sell out, I’d expect more of these deals to pop up. Check out our guide to the full Houston Rodeo lineup to see which concerts you may want to attend.

You can take a look at all of TicketNetwork’s Rodeo deals at this link.


3. If you buy resale tickets, wait until a few hours before showtime

Some of the bigger concerts will likely sell out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attend them on the cheap. If you do have to buy resale tickets to a Rodeo concert, here’s a tactic I’ve used time and time again to save big — wait until as close to show time as possible to buy your tickets.

One recent study revealed that almost half of all resale tickets drop significantly in price in the hours leading up to an event. Here’s why this works — the closer it gets to show time, the more desperate sellers get to move their tickets so that they don’t completely lose out. Just keep an eye out on TicketNetwork (one of my personal favorite ticket resale apps, but there are some other good ones too) and refresh the app often in the hours leading up to the show. Chances are you’ll see prices dropping and you can strike when the time is right.


4. Take advantage of Family Wednesdays

Another great way to do the Rodeo on the cheap is to attend Family Wednesdays (formerly called Value Wednesdays). On Wednesdays throughout Rodeo season (March 4, 11, 18), kids 12 and under and seniors 60+ get in free to the carnival until 7 pm. Additionally, you get to enjoy $2 rides and games from 11 am to 4 pm, and $2 food and drinks at select food stands.

One note to keep in mind — because Family Wednesdays are free for kids and really cheap for families, the carnival can get pretty crowded, so keep that in mind. All in all, though, this is a good way to get Rodeo Carnival tickets free and at a big discount compared to the more popular weekend dates (the Rodeo is one of the most popular things to do in Houston on the weekend during its run).


5. Use Lyft promo code HOUCHEAP to get a $5 credit for your ride to the Rodeo

There are many ways to get to the Rodeo without spending a lot. Parking at the Rodeo isn’t something I’d recommend because it can get very expensive, but if you do park there, go for the Yellow Low and take a tram to the front.

Personally, I like to Lyft to the Rodeo. Here’s why — during the Rodeo, Lyft offers a lot of promo codes for free or discounted rides — use promo code HOUCHEAP and get a $5 credit for your trip to the Rodeo.

That means you can get to the Rodeo cheap or free, and you don’t have to worry about paying for parking or getting stuck trying to get out of the lot whenever you’re ready to get home. And if you’re planning on having a drink or two at the Rodeo, taking a Lyft is absolutely the safe way to go.

Other Tips to Save This Rodeo Season

There are several other things you can do to enjoy the Houston Rodeo on the cheap:

  • Take the METRORail to the NRG Center rather than parking onsite. One of my favorite places to park is at Hermann Park. Just hop on METRORail for a couple bucks and save big.
  • Take advantage of free kids activities, like the petting zoo.
  • If you plan to go multiple times, consider the Season Pass to get the best bang for your buck.

Have any questions about how to get Houston Rodeo tickets or Carnival tickets on the cheap? Comment below and we’ll help!

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