TEXAS BOWL: ILLINOIS vs. BAYLOR, DEC. 29, 6 P.M. ET
• Stadium name: Reliant Stadium
• Address: One Reliant Park, Houston, TX 77054
• Home team: Houston Texans
• Capacity: 71,054
• Opened: 2002
• Surface: Grass
• Tickets: Buy tickets
• Passport: Are you going? »
• Driving distance from Independence Bowl in Shreveport: 245 miles, 4½ hours
• Driving distance to Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas: 250 miles, 4½ hours
• Distance from downtown Houston: Stadium is 8 miles south of downtown.
• Websites: Bowl site | Stadium | Seating chart | Directions/Parking | Twitter
• TV: ESPN
• City Guide: Houston
• TexFest, Dec. 29, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time, Reliant Stadium
Held in the Blue Lot 18 outside of the stadium, TexFest features a concert by Roger Creager, football-themed interactive displays and the Texas Bowl Tailgating Competition between participating schools.
FOOD & DRINK
2520 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
713-528-1308 | website
Located about 5 miles north of Reliant Stadium in Montrose, Niko Niko's always draws a crowd (that's part of the fun to some) and serves hearty portions of its Greek and American cuisine.
2515 South Loop West
Houston, TX 77054
713-668-5756 | website
This Tex-Mex favorite repeatedly has been voted best Mexican restaurant in publications across Texas.
The Mezzanine Lounge
2200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 150
Houston, TX 77098
713-528-6399 | website
This establishment's theme is, "Eat, Drink and Be Mezzy." An extensive array of TV sports packages should keep fans happy, and there are even TVs in the restrooms, so you don't miss any action. Ride the elevator to the mezzanine and take your chances with the shot wheel at the upstairs bar. Downstairs features more of a lounge atmosphere, with seating, televisions and a jukebox.
Space Center Houston
1601 NASA Parkway
Houston, TX 77058
281-244-2100 | website
The official visitors center for NASA's Johnson Space Center allows guests to experience adventures in space. Through its exhibits and hands-on experiences, visitors can see astronauts training, feel what it's like to be on a space shuttle and learn about the history of NASA and the American space program.
410 Bagby St. and Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77002
713-223-3474 | website
Everything from sharks to dwarf gators to white tigers is on display here. In addition to several tanks, the aquarium has a Maharaja's Temple exhibit. Several restaurants also are open in the complex.