The Best Things to Do at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

As the saying goes, everything really is bigger in Texas, and that certainly includes the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. This event is BIG TIME – exciting entertainment, loads of family-friendly activities, animals galore, exceptional food, and top-notch musical performances. In fact, the list of options for things to do far outweighs most peoples’ available time and money to do all the things. For those who may be overwhelmed by all the options, we have put together a list of the best things to do at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.


These events and activities are some of the most popular and beloved of each year’s rodeo. If you only have a day or two to spend at the rodeo, you will be able to fit in most, if not all, of the activities on our list and will walk away having experienced a well-rounded rodeo day.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check our last post for a complete guide to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, so you can map out that perfect trip to the rodeo.

The 10 Best Activities and Events at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

1. Rodeo Events

Bull Riding

Photo Credit: Courtney Roberts

This one is kind of a no-brainer. If you come to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, you should definitely spend at least one evening watching some of the best rodeo athletes in the world compete in a PRCA-sanctioned, pro-rodeo competition.

It is a true cultural experience. Where else can you watch elite-level cowboys competing in activities that may be completely foreign to you like calf roping, barrel racing, or bronc riding? There really is nothing quite like it.

If the ranch competitions hold no interest for you, you can always visit on an evening when the San Antonio rodeo is showcasing its most popular event – the bull riding competition. Even the most non-cowboy among us have a difficult time saying no to a night of raging bulls trying to violently buck off their amazingly athletic and stalwart riders. Nothing ups the entertainment quotient quite like the threat of severe bodily injury or death. It is 8 seconds of pure excitement and adrenaline – highly recommend!

Concerts and Music

Guide to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Photo Credit: Facebook

Each night at the conclusion of the rodeo action, a nationally recognized artist or band will take center stage in the Frost Bank Center’s rodeo arena to perform a concert. Access to the concert is included in each night’s rodeo ticket price, so it’s an easy activity to take part in if you are already there for the rodeo competition.

Some of the biggest headliners in years past have included Reba McEntire, Foreigner, Tim McGraw, and the Beach Boys. Performers will change nightly, and this year’s lineup can be found here

In addition to each night’s concert performance, live music by local artists and bands occurs outside on the fairgrounds at a number of small venues. To see who is playing and where, check out the calendar of events and filter by live music. 



Thrill seekers looking to attend the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will be pleased to learn that there is a nightly carnival open to attendees. The classic fairground carnival includes both rides and games and has plenty of kid-friendly activities.

The carnival is open Monday through Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm, and on the weekends from 10 am to 12 am. Guests can either choose to pay per ride or purchase a wristband for $25 for one day of unlimited rides. 

*Bonus – Each year, the rodeo offers $2 days, where rides, admission, and select concessions are all just $2. To see which days are included this year, click here


Rodeo Apparel

Head inside the Expo Hall to shop at more than 150 vendors for artisan goods including jewelry, rodeo apparel, home décor, specialty foods, and more. The Expo Hall is located in the far northwest corner of the rodeo grounds and you can find a comprehensive list of vendors on the rodeo’s website.  Shopping hours are from 10 am-8 pm, Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mutton Busting

Guide to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Photo Credit: Tejas Rodeo

Mutton Busting, in which little kids have a go at riding or racing sheep, is an absolute rodeo classic and one of the big fan favorites.

To participate, kids between the ages of 4 and 7 will strap on a helmet, mount a wool-covered sheep, and then hang on for dear life as they try to outlast all of the other competitors in a competition to see who can stay on the longest. (And if this sounds dangerous, don’t worry, the sheep are short, so the kids don’t have far to fall, and the grounds are covered in soft dirt so there’s lots of padding.)

The final winners from multiple rounds of competition will have a chance to compete against one another in a wildcard performance at the Frost Bank Center arena.

With more than 1,500 opportunities to participate, there is always a Mutton Bustin’ event to check out. For complete details, see the info page on Bustin’ in the Barn.

Livestock Show


It’s all in the name – the San Antonio STOCK SHOW and rodeo. While there are so many different things to do, the livestock show is one of the anchor events for the entire 2+ weeks of rodeo festivities and should not be missed.

The San Antonio Livestock Show and Junior Livestock Show offer city slickers a chance to learn about the important, yet highly involved, process of raising and caring for animals, as well as develop respect for the system of how our food goes from farm to table.

Kids, in particular, will enjoy the chance to get up close and personal with all manner of farm animals including cows, goats, pigs, and more. Even if you never took part in 4-H or FFA, you will quickly come to appreciate the quality care that our nation’s farmers and ranchers provide to these animals. 


Guide to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

Photo Credit: Jiawen Chen, Texas Public Radio

In homage to San Antonio’s heritage and culture, each year at the rodeo, spectators can come and watch a Mexican rodeo, or Charreada. This popular event, which originated in Mexico in the 1500s, saw charros (Mexican horsemen) from various ranches compete against one another in competitions that included ranch skills, horsemanship, and dressage.

Many of the charros competing today are descended from the original competitors whose families have preserved the tradition of charreada by passing it down through their generations.

Rigid tradition and costuming play a significant part in this event making for a very unique spectacle among the many competitions held at the SA Stock Show and Rodeo. For information, dates, and tickets, please visit the rodeo’s Charreada page online.

Rodeo Food

Rodeo Food

It won’t take long for guests to the rodeo to catch the smell of fried food on the wind and start craving all the goodies the fairgrounds have to offer. And at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, you won’t be disappointed.

Wherever you may be on the fairgrounds, food is never far with a multitude of food tents, a food court, and concessions around nearly every corner. In addition to the traditional fair foods like funnel cake, corndogs, and deep-fried EVERYTHING, be sure and stop by the Fajita Corral to grab a bite of San Antonio’s sizzling take on fair foods.

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