Carnivals in Houston, Texas

by Tonya Whitaker
Houston carnivals are a part of several local events.

Houston carnivals are a part of several local events.

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Carnivals can be a treat for the whole family. Rides, games and food can provide an exciting evening of fun. Children will be especially thrilled and will likely never forget the rides. In Houston, some carnivals stay in one spot, but generally, carnivals move around from place to place during the year. Staying informed about when and where different fairs, rodeos and other special events are happening is helpful.

Family Shows of Houston

This Houston-based company runs carnival shows in the area year-round. They are not available in any one place because they are rented out by different site owners who want to have a carnival near them. Contact Family Shows for carnival dates and locations. Frequent carnival locations include the JayCee Fishing rodeo, March of Dimes fundraisers held in collaboration with Kroger Food stores, and various church fundraisers. They also offer single rides such the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Ferris wheel and smaller rides for private parties.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is held annually in March and April at Reliant Stadium. Besides the rodeo and the livestock shows, there is a carnival sponsored by 100.3 KILT. There is a giant Ferris wheel, a 1,700-foot gondola ride and carnival food. There is also a special area for children. Tickets are for the entire rodeo including the carnival. Ticket costs range from $18 for upper level seats to $200 for chute seats, as of July 2011. Children 2 and younger are admitted free.

Houston CaribFest

CaribFest is less traditional carnival, more in the style of Mardi Gras. The annual festival celebrates the contributions of Caribbean cultures in Houston since 2002. This festival usually occurs at the end of June and the beginning of July. Food, drink and concerts are offered at the carnival, which is well attended. The festival uses a portion of the proceeds from admission to create scholarships, aid community-based programs and develop awareness in Houston of the importance of Caribbean culture.

Downtown Aquarium

The Downtown Aquarium in Houston is home to several exhibits and more than 200 species of aquatic life. But, for kids and those who are kid at heart, the aquarium features several rides and games. Take a shot at winning a pink shark with leopard spots or venture on one of the aquarium's rides, including Shark Voyage, the Diving Bell Ferris Wheel, the Aquatic Carousel or the Lighthouse Dive. As of July 2011, an all-day adventure pass that includes unlimited access to rides and the aquarium costs $15.99. Otherwise, carnival ride tickets can be purchased separately for $2.99 to $4.99 a piece.

About the Author

Tonya Whitaker has worked as a professional journalist and copy editor since 1998. She has written columns and features for "The Huntsville Item" and "North Dallas Gazette." Whitaker earned a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.

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