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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Let's Rodeo: What not to miss at the Stock Show and Carnival

Back in high school,  I loved to pick out which performer we wanted to go see at the rodeo and it would be a fun girls night with friends to go and see the concert.  Now with my own little ones - it's isn't so much about the concert or even the rodeo yet. For my animal loving littles - it's all about the stock show.

We also go on either a Friday (this year February 13, 20, 27) or Presidents' Day (the 16th) because Dollar Day! Grounds admission is only $1 until 6 pm plus the carnival rides are also only $1 each as well as certain food items being only $1 in the carnival area as well (hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and drinks from what I recall)  This means I can let the kids ride more than one ride in the carnival area without breaking the bank and can be the fun mom that says "yes let's go ride some rides!"

Once we walk through the gates of the rodeo grounds we pass by the stock show. My kids area always excited to see the animals no matter how smelly they might be.  In this area, was also an arena where we caught some of the sheep herding last year which the kids loved -  because well they love dogs! 

Animals Adventures
This was a great place to teach the kids about the various animals they were seeing as each had signage with names and information. You could also reach and pet these animals if they wandered close enough to the fences.
This is almost always Abby's favorite. Here you can see various types of horses from miniature horses to the giant Percherons (one of my favorites - it's hard to get an idea of exactly how big they are until you are standing right next to one!) and there are various presentations to learn about horses. I always come away dreaming about a what-if I had a place and could get a horse… and what kind would I want. 
Petting Zoo 
If touching over the fence wasn't enough animal interaction for your little ones. The petting zoo is great. It's free to get in but you can choose to buy food it you want. It's not necessary to buy food to get up and close with the animals. There are your typical petting zoo animals - goats, pigs, ect. but also there are deer, wallabys and other animals you wouldn't expect to find at a petting zoo.

 Little Buckeroo Kids Farm
This has always been a favorite of my littles. It's totally geared for them to explore and learn. The past years they've had a scavenger hunt of sorts to collect various types of produce in their baskets which they get to turn in at the exit in exchange for a healthy snack (celery sticks on year, drinkable yogurt last year - thank you H-E-B!)
Last year they also had a (fake) cow the kids could milk while they learned about where milk comes from and it's importance for their bodies. 

 The Carnival 
Of course what kid doesn't see the shiny lights and want to go ride the rides? This is why we go on dollar day!  The kids have a blast and since all rides are one ticket on dollar day that makes it easy to set a limit on number of rides. Otherwise a one (tired by this point) kid could easily get upset a sibling got more rides than them if he choose rides that cost more tickets and therefore rode fewer rides - without having to buy the more expensive all you can ride wristband.
What's a carnival without cotton candy? 

Other fun attractions we like are:

Swifty the Pig
Seeing cute little piggies run around the track for an oreo treat and even a swimming piggy. We love this! Get there early before the show to find a seat you'll be able to see from and be prepared to say no your kids if you aren't interested in buying piggy nose souvenirs.

Wild World of Animals Show 
Another fun show all about animals - includes monkeys and my kids favorite - an alligator!

Texas Wildlife Expo 
Lots of fun to learn about all the various types of animals living in your own backyard. Often around this area is a reptile tent/building with maps that show where they are found and it's fun for my kids who love snakes, not so fun for mom to see how many live right in our county.

We generally play it by ear for the most part when we go and if we see a show we'll stay if it's one we want to see. However if you are a more type A personality and you want to play out the day, all the links are clickable and will tell you the times of the shows and give you a map of where they are located on the grounds so you can plan how you want your day to go.

The only thing I don't have a good suggestion for: carnival food. The first year we took snacks and did the popcorn, sodas and cotton candy in the carnival area and went after lunch and home for dinner. The following year we went on Presidents' Day and decided to try some of the food that smelled so delicious the year before and we totally picked wrong because the fries were yucky and overly greasy. So I need to know do you try the carnival food and if so what did you get?

Are you ready to rodeo? San Antonio Mom Blogs has some other free - and nearly free Rodeo events going on around town and a tip for how to get into the stock show for free.

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1 comment :

Traci said...

I remember going to the rodeo & livestock show at LSU when we were kids. We loved it!