10 Ways to Enjoy the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo with Kids and Tips to Know Before You Go

As a small-town girl from West Texas with deep ranching roots, February has become one of my favorite months of the year to live in San Antonio. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo feels like home to me, and I’m usually there at least 3-4 times while it’s in town.

1. Attend a Rodeo Performance

If you’ve never seen an actual rodeo performance, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget! From Bareback Riding to Bull Riding and some surprises in between, you and your kids will be glued to the action. My kids have been enjoying the rodeo since they were three years old, and they look forward to it each year. Their favorite part? Mutton bustin’ of course! There’s nothing cuter than watching a bunch of 4-7-year-old kids dressed to the nines in Western gear riding a sheep across the Frost Center. My oldest daughter even participated a few years ago, which will always be a treasured memory for me. But even after the last cowboy rides away, the entertainment is just getting started. With amazing entertainers like Keith Urban, ZZ Top, Jon Pardi, and KC and the Sunshine Band, there is truly something everyone will enjoy.

2. Ride A Sheep

Getting selected to participate in Mutton Bustin’ during an actual rodeo performance has become about as rare as winning the lottery. There are a lot more little cowboys and cowgirls who want to ride a sheep than there are slots for contestants. So this year, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo has done something about that! To help meet the demand for Mutton Bustin’ and give more little buckaroos a chance to ride, the rodeo is now offering Bustin’ in the Barn, where more than 1,500 kiddos will have the chance to compete on a sheep. The best of the best will win a spot to compete during an actual rodeo performance! To participate, children must be between the ages of 4-7 years old, weigh less than 55 pounds fully dressed, pay a $35 participation fee, and parents must fill out a medical questionnaire and release form. Spots are limited, and you can register online. There are also a few spots reserved for walk-ups, so you might get lucky on the day.

3. Enjoy Some Dairy Products

Learn all about milk production, watch a cow-milking demonstration, and (best of all) purchase homemade ice cream and milk shakes at the Dairy Center in the Animals and Agriculture area.

4. Watch a Pig Race

Always a favorite with my kids, watch pigs race around the track vying for the coveted Oreo cookie at the Swifty Swine Pig Races. Check the daily schedule for race times!

5. Learn About Agriculture in Animal Adventures

See live animals, including hatching chicks, sheep, goats, and more, and learn about the importance of agriculture in everyday life. This exhibit is always a family favorite, with plenty of hands-on activities, demonstrations, and audience participation.

6. See Wild Animals at the Wildlife Expo

This exhibit usually houses live wildlife and a variety of interactive and demonstrative exhibits. Children can learn about wildlife native to Texas and the importance of conserving natural resources.

7. Go for A Spin at the Carnival

Of course no trip to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo would be complete without a trip to the carnival or a ride on a pony. Before you buy carnival tickets, make sure to check height restrictions. I’ve made the mistake of buying a handful of tickets only to find out my child was too short to ride most of the rides. The classics are always there: bumper cars, the Ferris wheel, the giant slide, the roller coaster, and those intriguing fun houses and mirror mazes. Click here to see times and ticket pricing.

8. Break Your New Year’s Resolutions at the Food Court

Oh, that rodeo food court. What’s not to love? The smell of funnel cakes wafts through the air as sounds of live music and fun surround you. There are turkey legs and sausages-on-a-stick and hot beef sundaes and everything you said you would stay away from on your new year’s resolution. But everyone deserves a cheat day! And my personal favorite, the Island Noodles, seems healthy, right? (At least it has vegetables in it.)

9. Meet Animals at the Petting Zoo

The petting zoo at the SA Stock Show & Rodeo is like an extreme version of the petting zoo you probably visited when you were a kid. In previous years there have been the usual sheep, goats, and pigs, but also llamas, deer, ducks, and kangaroos, all roaming freely together. Food is available for purchase if you’d like to feed the animals, but otherwise admission is included with the regular fairgrounds ticket. Personal tip: Watch your handbag! I’ve had animals try to eat items out of mine before!

10. Visit Little Buckaroo Farms, presented by H-E-B

This fun, hands-on exhibit teaches kids about where their food and clothing come from. Visitors can see a live beehive, sample dairy products, visit with Bexar County Master Gardeners, and much more.

What To Know Before you Go:

  • The SA Stock Show and Rodeo offers FREE fairgrounds admission for any guest with a valid military issued ID EVERY DAY. Does not include admission into the Frost Bank Center for Rodeo performances.   
  • $2 Dollar Days will be held on Thursday, February 8, 15, and 22, plus Sunday, February 11 and Monday, February 19 for Presidents Day. All fairgrounds entry will be two dollars for admission. Select food, rides, drinks are also available for $2 in the carnival area.
  • All other days, admission to the fairgrounds (without a rodeo ticket) is $12 for adults (or $10 if purchased online in advance), $5 for children (3-12 years old) and senior citizens (65+), and free for children ages 0-2 years.
  • Admission to the fairgrounds is included with a rodeo ticket. Rodeo tickets include the concert after the rodeo performance.
  • Parking is available for $10-$20.
  • Bring a stroller if you’re coming to the fairgrounds with little ones! You will be walking A LOT and their little legs get tired!
  • There is a nursing lounge available for moms in the Expo Hall.
  • Click here to “Know Before You Go” and follow @SanAntonioRodeo on socials!

Grounds Gates:

  • Everyday: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Final Sunday (Feb. 25): 9 AM to 6 PM

Festival, Attractions, & Shopping:

  • Sun – Th: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Fri – Sat: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM


  • Mon – Fr: 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Sat: 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Sun: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (And President’s Day)
  • Final Sunday (Feb. 25): 10 AM to 6 PM

Live Music Venues

  • Sun – Wed: Closes at 11:00 PM
  • Th – Sat: Closes at 1:00 AM

For more information, visit the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Web site or view the Schedule of Events. 

updated in 2024 by Anastasia

Jill is a small-town girl at heart but has loved discovering all San Antonio has to offer since moving here in 2004. She and her husband of 18 years are proud Texas Aggies and parents to two elementary-age girls. Jill worked as an editor, writer, and 4th-grade teacher before discovering her dream job as a taxi driver (for her girls). As a stay-at-home-mom, she spends her days volunteering at her kids' school and at church, attempting to exercise, pondering how four people can accumulate so much dirty laundry, and driving her kids to numerous extracurricular activities. She has recently taken her love for all things Disney to the next level by becoming a Disney Travel Planner. Follow along on her family’s adventures in San Antonio and beyond on Instagram at @satxfamily or email her for a Disney (or Universal Studios) vacation quote and planning assistance at [email protected]. Favorite Restaurant: The Melting Pot Favorite Landmark: Japanese Tea Garden Favorite San Antonio Tradition: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo