Some questions about the Houston World's

We have a few questions.

  1. Is there ample room, for volunteer cars, in the volunteer parking lot? Location?
  2. Is there ample parking for mentors vehicles? Price per day? Free?
  3. Are there areas, around venue, that we should stay away from? We have never been to Houston.
  4. Do you feel safe around venue?
  5. Can you recommend and restaurants? Prices?
  6. Is there parking for team vehicles w/trailers or should we leave it at the hotel?
  7. Is there other stuff, to do, for entertainment?

Thanks in advance.


I work in Houston regularly for the last 10 years. While I haven’t been there for FRC (just joined as a mentor), I can give you some tips while at FIN Championships this weekend. Just swing by our pit and ask for Mr. Kris.

The general rule in Houston is to stay on the west side - Between I-10 and Westpark tollway (Mid-Town). If you go into Galleria (very pricey) or Katy, you’ll also be fine, just dealing with the traffic on weekdays.

I think you should re- title your thread if you want answers to these questions to decide.

A few answers:

  1. There is plenty of parking within a few blocks of the convention center for mentor vehicles, but it’s expensive. If you aren’t used to city parking prices (in the range of $30/day) then you’ll have some serious sticker shock.

  2. and 4. The area around the convention center is quite safe. This is a big city, so always be aware of things, but there’s nothing in the area you need to worry about.

  1. There are lots of good restaurants but what you find is going to depend more on where you’re staying than anything else. This is something that you’d be best to look at TripAdvisor or Yelp to help you out.
  1. There is not much in the way of parking for trailers, etc. near the convention center. These are best left at your hotel while the team takes public transit in to the convention center. Fortunately, Houston has a good transit system and you can get discounted passes as a FIRST team.

  2. Of course, there are a great many things to do in Houston (it is the 4th largest city in the US) but you’ll find that being at Worlds is pretty all-consuming. There’s so much to do and see at the event itself, that you likely won’t get to anything else.

1 Like

Another question: As someone who is flying to the Championship in Houston for the first time, and intends to bring home many souvenir buttons, I have one question; Is is likely that I would run into issues bringing a quantity of buttons with me in a carry-on, considering the potential hazard they could theoretically cause?

As someone who has flown with way weirder things - no. You’ll probably get a weird look and they might pull your bag to manually search it though.


Your volunteer coordinator will send you a parking pass a few days before the event. The lot opens at 5:30am and is likely to fill up quickly each morning, so it depends what time you plan to arrive. This lot is located at GRB.

FIRST lists alternative parking locations on the championship website ranging from $10-$30+/day. There will be lots of options, but they may be expensive depending on your arrival time and the distance you’re willing to walk.

Note that trailers aren’t allowed in volunteer lot.

These, and other questions, are a great reason to join the volunteer orientation webinar this Tuesday! Check your email for the link.

Seems like it would be safer to pick up a flat rate usps box and just mail them back. I think the small box is like 10 bucks to ship anywhere, no matter the weight.
Better safe than sorry. It would suck to get the tsa agent having a bad day and they confiscate your buttons.


Last Championships, someone (not on my team) got pulled over and checked since they had a swerve module in their bag. All they got was an awkward conversation with a TSA officer.


I want to see a student come through the metal detector, wearing a button vest covered by a jacket. :smiley:


I second the flat rate box suggestion. You could even pre-print the label so you can leave it with just about anyone that sees the mail truck.

If you have an extra day, go down to the space center. It’s worth the visit and worth paying for the good tour that takes you in the old mission control.


The plan is for us to come down early and do that very thing. Thanks

As 2 of our mentors are driving the robot and our pit stuff down to Houston, I could probably just put them in the trailer in a sealed container to avoid them spilling. (I’m fine waiting a few days after we get back to display my new collectables.)

I will throw my first question out there.

We are staying about 30 minutes away from GRB. Driving mini-busses. Is there any nearby lot, that those mini busses can park? I fully assume a parking fee, but where even? I have to assume others do this. The transit system does not seem to go very far out. So, to use it, we would have to bus our kids to the nearest stop, then have them ride it, but leave the busses somewhere. That may be an option, but I do not know if it is plausible.

Been to champs before, but never Houston.

Last year I found this site super helpful. We parked in a lot overnight, and it worked out great.
Parking Lot (


This is beautiful. Thank you.

1 Like

The prices can vary due to events such as a baseball game being held in the area.

For some lots, you can pay early in the morning and it is good through the evening. There are some lots where paying in the morning covers only up to 5pm or 6pm and one would have to pay again for the evening.


I carried on a whole sewing machine once. TSA just shook their heads at me.

1 Like

Can anyone recommend an evening activity walking distance from the convention center that’s free or cheap?
Most of my students want to go to Roboprom on Thursday night but due to cost/interest, some students may choose not to go.

For them, I need to find an alternate activity during that timeframe because due to school rules, students have to generally be co-located (within walking distance and with chaperone is generally okay). I found a few escape rooms nearby as a possibility but that also has a cost. Are there any arcades or museums or mini golf something open between 7pm-10pm Thursday night?