Houston 2022 - Things to Do for Students

Hello All,

Seeing as many Detroit Champs teams have never attended Houston Champs (other than way back in 2003), I was hoping to get suggestions from folks of fun activities for students outside of or at competition, as well as any go-to places to eat.



Go visit NASA JSC (Johnson Space Center)


A must do while in Houston is the NASA Johnson Space Center, great experience. I remember the last Championship in 2019 they had special tickets for FIRST team members.


If you have an extra day or half-day, I HIGHLY recommend the Johnson Space Center! I took a tour there the first year we were in Houston. It was amazing! (And as an extra bonus, it included a view of the Robonauts blue banner wall…)

(image swiped from the internet, it was easier than finding my own)


We took a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and it was a hit!


And book the good tour that includes current and historical mission control. It’s worth the money to see it.


For sure, gotta get the good tours. Here are my highlights from my last visit:

Definitely one of the must-visit places in Houston


It’s now 5 years old and probably out of date on some things, but I started a thread a while back on this topic:

I’ll post some more updated info later.

The Blue Jays are in town to play the Astros that weekend, so it’s a great chance to see Vladdy Jr. destroy baseballs. (Scouting meetings can wait)


Any horse racing happening in Houston during champs? Good place to hold scouting meetings.


If you are there are day early or day late you can go to the beach at Galveston or check out Kemah Boardwalk. In past years, there were Kemah Boardwalk discounts linked from the Housing site.

Edit: CityPass also has a discount pack for Houston that includes most of the stuff already mentioned.


And the wait – I think we waited for a hour and and a half.

Didn’t they move to a different place?

Yea they did, however, the tour still includes the entirety of Building 9, where 118 previously built

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Is roboprom happening this year? I had a blast at Detroit’s roboprom in 2019!

I mentioned it in a separate Houston thread:

One thing to PLEASE keep in mind: humidity is a THING here. You might think its all nice and pleasant at 82 degrees, but 90% humidity hits different. Also pay close attention to any rain forecasts, especially if there’s a possibility of flash flooding.

I recommend the following restaurants:
The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation - This is a Houston institution. Great Tex Mex!
Kim Son Chinese Restaurant: Just a few blocks South of the Convention Center. Some of the best Chinese I’ve had in Houston, and a good spot to go with a group.
The Breakfast Klub: Okay, this might be tough to pull off. They’re only open for breakfast and Lunch, and They’re extremely popular (for good reason). Wings and Waffles, Catfish and Grits, pork chops and eggs……It’s all AMAZING!

Other good food options:
Torchy’s Tacos
Tacos A Go Go
BB’s Cafe (It’s Crawfish season!)
Our Fast Food Staple is Whataburger
Our donut staple is Shipley’s


You guys have time to do things beside compete and (sleeep) compete at champs?


+1 for this, multiple Texans have made me a torchy’s fan.


Yes. Going to champs without a robot is the best. Sleep in, eat great food, watch some robots at your leisure, mosey around the pits of the big wig teams for fun, sit in on some talks, get free swag from companies and colleges… It’s crazy awesome. Bringing a robot is downright annoying.


If Champs is ever in New Hampshire again I’ll give it a go. Festival of Champions was a blast. Though I guess that kind of defeats the point of traveling and doing new stuff…

Then again, flights to Houston are too expensive right now to justify going without a robot. Don’t ask me how I know.