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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?