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6 Houston Rodeo carnival hacks for deals, how to avoid long lines

The 2020 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a huge deal in Houston.
The 2020 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a huge deal in Houston.

HOUSTON – So, you’re taking the kids to the carnival at the Houston Rodeo?

It won’t be too bad if you follow these tips.

Here are six carnival hacks to get you through the fun and tiring day:

1. Download the app

This year, the Houston rodeo introduced its new carnival app. Visitors now have the ability to purchase and transfer digital carnival tickets and manage their coupons through the app on their mobile device. By managing your tickets digitally, you never have to ruffle through your purse or pockets to find them or constantly ask a ride operator to check how many tickets are left or wonder if you even have enough to get on.

2. Get in cheap

If you have a ticket to attend the rodeo and concert, your admission to the carnival is included. If not, buy one. Sometimes you can find tickets being resold on sites like StubHub and VividSeats for $6 each. This can save you some money, and you’d be able to attend the show.

If you opt to buy ground passes, visitors over the age of 13 will cost $15 each, $5 for children 3-12 years old, and children who are 2 years old or younger are free.

The rodeo also offers a $35 season pass that will get a visitor into the grounds through March 22.

3. Half-price carnival books

Although half-price carnival books are no longer for sale through the rodeo committee, you can still find them online. Sellers might charge more than half-price, but still less than full price. The safest option for purchasing these discounted tickets is through a neighborhood selling group or marketplace on Facebook.

4. Review and organize your coupons

If you purchase a half-price carnival book, get your full use out of it. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a “buy two deep-fried snacks, get the three free” coupon after the fact. The half-price carnival book also includes free ride and game vouchers.

5. Buy a fast pass

If you don’t want to spend the majority of your time waiting in line for rides, buy a fast pass. Most visitors don’t buy one so the wait time for those who do is essentially nothing. These are sold for $25 at RCS ticket booths.

6. Come prepared

Get the most out of your experience by coming prepared with spare clothes, empty refillable water bottles, and one nutritious snack for each child. By doing this you’ll save time and money by not having to hunt down a vendor that sells child underwear in case of an accident, purchasing a 20oz water for $5 or continuously buying sweet treats that won’t fill your appetite.


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