I’m the worst Texan ever.

Seriously y’all: I don’t like sweet tea, country music, barbecue, or most importantly, football.

So it took me a little bit to get excited about Houston hosting Super Bowl LI.

Houston NFL Experience

worshiping at the altar of the NFL as soon as I found out Chris Evans would be in Houston

BUT as soon as the Patriots made the cut I got real excited real fast because we all know that Christopher Robert Evans lives and breathes Patriots football.

I’m on a tight budget these days and couldn’t afford to get tickets to the actual game (nor do I think I could actually force myself to sit through it) or cool “exclusive” events around town, but I did head to the NFL Experience Houston with my sister for some major celebrity stalking.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t see Chris. But I did meet Eddie Redmayne one time.

Quick Tip: always take public transport (or park far away an Uber in) to Super Bowl Events, no matter the city. 

Houston NFL Experience

Houston gets hyped

Houston NFL Experience

Houston gets even more hyped

My sister had the genius idea to take the bus into downtown Houston which saved us $25 (minimum — they were straight up gouging people on parking places) and the relationship-ending fight that would’ve been born out of Super Bowl traffic.

However, once people got out of their cars, the foot traffic around Discovery Green wasn’t too bad and we were able to wander and take in the ~*NFL Experience Houston*~ without feeling suffocated. As someone who doesn’t like football, the pressure for accomplishing anything at the event was low and I was actually able to have a great time — although y’all KNOW I was on high alert for Chris Evans at all times.

Houston Super Bowl NFL Experience

Sisterly Bonding (after not fighting cause we took the bus)

Quick Tip: if you decide to attend the NFL Experience in your own city, go Monday — Thursday to avoid the crowds.

There were a lot of NFL heavyweights there (but I didn’t know who any of them were, so I can’t really report back on that — my bad y’all) filming TV spots for later in the week, a field goal contest, and the best part (since I didn’t end up finding Chris) a satellite PUPPY BOWL.

Check these pups:

puppy bowl houston

puppppieees

And this kicker:

Houston NFL Experience

I didn’t even bother to wait in line for this nonsense

There were also a few cool art installations sprinkled throughout Discovery Green, including a line of humongous NFL helmet replicas from each team. My sister picked the Cowboys because she’s married to their biggest fan, while I went for the Packers because if Harry Styles likes them, they must be the best.

Green Bay Packers Houston Texas

Go pack goooooo

Cowboys Houston Texas Super Bowl

Maybe they’ll give her a ring next year…

Houston is also home to NASA (like our only claim to fame…wait no, we have Beyonce), so the Space City’s upcoming programs were fully on display at the NFL Experience Houston. I’m not a STEM person, but my sister was in heaven as an engineer. She had a field day talking to the NASA team and learning all about the future of space travel and research.

Houston NASA Super Bowl

we <3 NASA

We ended the night rushing back to the bus stop on the OTHER side of downtown Houston from the festivities after a quick munch stop at a local grocery store.

Quick Tip: Never eat at these events. It’s way too much. Also pee at a store before you get there. 

Houston Texas Super Bowl

pretending we are pumped

I rooted for the Patriots in Super Bowl LI because they also won in 2015 and I got the day off school because of it — so I feel like I am in their debt. It was my senior year of college and I went to Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, MA. They’re real serious about football up there guys.

If you’re looking for more things to do in Houston, check out my list here. 

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*or whenever you find yourself in town.

Nobody does football quite like Texas (please hold your comments about the lack of a Texas team in the big game this year) and all of us in Houston are SO excited to play host for Super Bowl LI. If you have some free time while you’re in town, check out these great things to do in Houston:

Things to do in Houston NASA

The old Mission Control room at NASA via my good friend Sara (https://www.instagram.com/sara_maggs/)

Either it’s your life’s ambition to sit in Mission Control and say “Houston, we have a problem,” or you’re a total liar. You have to visit NASA when you’re in Houston. It’s our claim to fame and pretty much the coolest thing we have around here.

But it is a bit of a hike, so I recommend spending the morning at Johnson Space Center (of One Direction fame) before enjoying an evening at the relatively nearby Kemah Board Walk, which sports carnival rides, a great view of the water, and delicious places to eat.

  • Galleria / Water Wall

The Galleria is Houston’s premier shopping destination, but most importantly it’s home to a GIANT ice rink that you can use to cool off in the Texas heat. Because let’s be real. It’s going to be hot in Houston in February.

The Water Wall is also nearby. No one’s actually sure what it’s for, but it’s a great Space City photo OP.

  • The Museum District

 things to do in Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Only about 15-20 minutes away from the action at NRG stadium, the Houston Museum District has something for everyone: from a brand new dinosaur exhibit to art to the history of bicycles. Seriously y’all. Something for everyone.

  • Galveston Island

If you have a spare day, or even spare afternoon, pop down to Galveston Island to take in Texas history and catch some sun.

Galveston is home to the magnificent Moody Gardens, an “educational tourist destination” made famous by its three Pyramids, each housing different educational and recreational activities. They’ve even got penguins.

You can also relax on beach, play on Pleasure Pier (it’s right out of a movie) or visit the Texas Seaport Museum & 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, which tell the story of the 1900 hurricane that changed the course of history.

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Places to eat in Houston during the Super Bowl

Texans like to eat, y’all. And while smaller, family restaurants are always going to be your best bet, if you’ve got a hankering for some authentic Tex-Mex or a good Texas Ribeye, I’ve got you covered. Here are the best places to eat in Houston during the Super Bowl:

Taste of Texas is a Texas ICON, but that does come with a higher price tag. Expect to spend roughly $30-$60 per dish, depending on your meat.

If you still want a Texas steak, but are saving your money for Super Bowl LI merchandise, then check out one of Saltgrass’ many Houston-area locations. Just make sure not to fill up on the bread.

These two are really something to taco bout. With multiple locations throughout Houston and a wide variety of delicious dishes, if you want Mexican while you’re in Houston for the Super Bowl, you can’t go wrong here.

Blue Bell Houston

The great famine is over y’all! If you can’t make it to the factory out in Brenham, make sure to down a half-gallon or two. or three.

Of course this is just a short list to get you started. Everything really is bigger in Texas and there’s too many cool things to do in Houston to list here.

Are are you coming to town for the Super Bowl?

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