Grab your Cowboy boots and saddle up North Texas, the Rodeo is in town January 13- February 4!
There are 23 days a year that remind us that although Fort Worth is a booming, trendy and lively city (yes, Dallasites, you can admit you’re starting to make some trips this way) it is still Cowtown. One of the reasons I love Fort Worth is its rich Cowboy culture. I’m not talking about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. I’m talking about the gun slinging, horse ridin’, hats and spurs kind of cowboys. Dating back to 1896 when the first ever Stock Show took place, Fort Worth has been hosting locals and visitors from all over to showcase their animals (22,000 livestock heads to be exact) and compete in one of the finest rodeos in America.
“Don’t miss out on edge of your seat PRCA rodeo action, world-class livestock shows, kid-friendly exhibits, daily live music, a fun-filled carnival midway, daily shopping and more. This thing is legendary!” – FWSSR Facebook
Now onto the part about taking your kids to the Stock Show…
The Parking. First of all, let’s talk about parking. Here is a link to the parking lots available. Be prepared to walk a long distance, possibly across a busy road or even ride a shuttle bus. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can park for free in select Park & Ride lots, and then hop aboard the T’s Stock Show Shuttle. Drop off is at the front gate and cost is $1 each way. If you prefer to park or aren’t there on a weekend, it’s $10 per car.
The Fair Grounds. Once you’re in the fair grounds, you’ll want to check out the animal petting zoo. Make sure you take an adorable picture with your child on a pony or with baby goats!! Each day there are different animals shown and judged by Texas FFA participants, so if you have a specific animal your kids love, make sure to look at the schedule ahead of time. With purchase of your grounds pass, you also get FREE entry into the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame through the Moos-eum Experience presented by Central Market. I highly recommend checking out both museums if your kiddos can handle a long day.
The Midway. The Carnival Midway is six acres of family fun filled with turkey legs, nachos, cotton candy, rides and straight up FUN (or pure torture depending on your kid’s mood). Please be aware that the Midway is not open until 4PM on most weekdays. Check out the hours of operation here to ensure your little ones aren’t heartbroken when they discover it is closed.
The Rodeo. If you’ve never been to a Rodeo, this is definitely one to check out. Nightly, shows start at 7:30PM except for day time shows during weekends. Tickets are already selling out and anyone over 2 needs a ticket so act fast and get your tickets online. For our family, my kiddos go to bed at 7 so this is the perfect date night for my husband and I. If you are taking your kids, make sure to sign them up for the Mutton Bustin competition. This year’s deadline has passed, but keep it in mind for next year. If you have kids sensitive to noise, bring a pair of earmuffs. The rodeo announcer is loud and exciting!
The Vendors. If you’re cold, or hot…this is Texas after all, head inside to check out all the vendors. Unique gifts, toys, clothes and food are inside anxiously awaiting your credit cards. This is my favorite part of the rodeo (obviously because I love to shop) and I always find something cute and original for my family.
The Mess. The FWSSR has real animals, real mud and REAL POOP. Please make sure you are prepared for this and have lots of wipes and hand sanitizer in your bag as well as a change of clothes, shoes, and towels for the car. Last year I took my Baby Jogger stroller and accidentally ran over a large pile of horse poop, my expensive stroller was covered in it and I had to do a major clean up job when we got home. This year I’m considering taking a less expensive double umbrella stroller like this and going to watch my step a bit closer.
Your Out and About Friend,
What’s your favorite Stock Show animal? For my kids, it’s the pigs and goats.
Time and day we visited? Tuesday 10Am
Level of crowds? Low
Cleanliness of Bathroom? Good
Recommended age? All
Food Options? Yes
Allowed to bring in food and beverages? Not encouraged but snacks and water are okay!
Stroller friendly? Yes- but beware of the dung piles AND if you are heading to the Rodeo, there IS stroller parking (can I get a high-five?!). Just ask for directions.
Safety concerns? Yes, live animals are always unpredictable but you should be fine if you obey the rules
Coupons? FWISD gives a free ticket to each student AND DAY OFF OF SCHOOL (other school districts might do this but I’m not 100%)
Museum members enjoy FREE entry into the Stock Show Grounds (parking and rodeo not included)