Things to Do at Minute Maid Park from Chili Dogs to Mascot Selfies

Root, root for the home team—with new gear and, ideally, a hotdog in hand.

Houston Astros fans in front of national anthem fireworks during Game 6 of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Houston Astros fans in front of national anthem fireworks during Game 6 of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Major League Baseball is back and it seems like all of Crush City is abuzz as our beloved home team—the two-time World Series Champion Houston Astro—takes on another homerun season. Opening Day is March 28, 2024, with a showdown against ALS rivals New York Yankees at Houston’s 41,000-seat, retractable roof stadium Minute Maid Park.

All season long (and fingers crossed, in the post-season), fans can grab home game tickets on the MLB website, with season ticket and group ticket opportunities offered. No worries about will-call; you’ll be able to access your tickets instantly through the MLB Ballpark app.

Once you’ve secured your seats, have successfully memorized the words to seventh-inning stretch tune “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” and pumped to cheer on Altuve, Bregman, Peña, Tucker, and all your favorite ‘Stros—we’ve got the lowdown on all the best ways to experience Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

Here’s how to enjoy everything The Juice Box has to offer, from Friday Night Fireworks and game day Ballpark Tours to hometown BBQ Brisket.

How to Get to Minute Maid Park

Located on the northeast end downtown on Crawford between Congress and Texas Ave (fun fact: it’s in the space that once housed the Historic Union Station), you can find the ballpark with easy directions from I-45, I-10, and more, with info for drivers, rideshares, and METRO routes. Between street parking, lots, and garages, around 25,000 parking spaces are available within a half-mile radius of Minute Maid, plus limited bicycle parking available near the Left and Center Field Gates along Crawford and by the Right Field Gate near Preston.

Can You Pregame at Minute Maid Park?

Looking to pregame? While tailgate parties are sadly a no-no in the facility parking lots, Minute Maid’s prime location in downtown Houston means there is a Texas-sized load of choice pregame locales within walking distance to the ballpark. Pop into nearby bars including Biggio's (named after Houston Astros' legend Craig Biggio), Little Woodrow’s and Truck Yard in EaDo, and live country music bar The Rustic both before and after home games.

Peaux Boys/Minute Maid Park

What to Eat and Drink at Minute Maid Park

Savor local stadium snacks

While peanuts and Cracker Jacks are cool and all, you’ll probably want to save those for away game visits. Minute Maid’s new-to-2024 gameday grub includes AstroNauchos, ranch-dusted kettle chips) smothered in things like queso, Breggy Bomb BBQ Aioli, jalapeño slaw, and burnt ends; Beef Birria Empanada; and the Pennant Pickle Dog, a footlong chili dog topped with fried pickles. You’ll also want to try local standbys including Tex-Mex staples from El Tiempo (Mezzanine Level) and Slovacek's Crawford Bock Sausages from the Slovacek's Sausage Carts (Section 154, 431), H-Town Grill (Sections 109, 125, 308), and Texas Legends (Section 230).

Cajun Fries at Peaux Boys

Did you know rockstar third baseman Alex Bregman had his own line salsas, barbecue sauces, and rubs? Well, he does, and you can get a taste of some of it via the Cajun Fries at this Section 410 spot. Crispy AF fries come dredged in Breggy Bomb Cajun Seasoning, served with Cajun aioli and hopefully a side of Fried Shrimp or Catfish ‘PoBoy because those are pretty bomb, too

Brisket from Killen’s Barbecue

Stumble into grand slam smokehouse eats—from Brisket Sandwiches and Pulled Pork Sliders to Pork Belly-on-a-Stick and beautifully rendered, peppery crusted, meltingly tender Beef Brisket—at chef Ronnie Killen’s eponymous stand. Wait, weren’t you supposed to be watching a game or something?

Score big value during Dollar Dog Night

Every Tuesday night home game is Dollar Dog Night, when fans can and should take down as many $1 dogs as they comfortably can.

Sip local brews

The oldest craft brewery in Houston (and in Texas, for that matter) has a presence in Maid Park. Head over to the Saint Arnold Bar in Section 104 to sip a lineup of Saint A’s finest suds and seasonal; and over in Section 119, Love Street Bar’s got assorted beers from homegrown hero Karbach Brewery. Prefer your brewsky with a kick? Hit up the Micheledas Cart over in Section 128.

The Houston Astros mascot Orbit on field prior to Game 7 of the ALCS between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Monday, October 23, 2023 in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

More Things to Do at Minute Maid Park

Snap a selfie with Orbit

Fresh from the “Foul Territory of the Grand Slam Galaxy,” the Houston Astros beloved mascot, Orbit, is a ballpark fixture. Find him giving an Astros welcome to top MLB stars during pregame, then lookout for him running the field and the stands throughout all nine innings. Other prime photo ops include snaps in front of the newly unveiled Houston Astros Mural located near Hall of Fame Alley and 13-foot Spaceman sculpture in the main concourse near the Insperity Club behind section 118.

See the Minute Maid Park Train in action

As a nod to Minute Maid’s past as the once-thriving Union Station, the ballpark rocks a super cool, one-of-a-kind 1860s-replica train locomotive that sits high above the playing field (and carries. Catch the 50,000-pound train make its way along the tracks, bells and whistles blazin’, as the ballpark gates open and every time the Astros pull in a homer.

Catch a homerun ball on Home Run Porch

Watching ‘Tuve and crew hit absolute cannons into the stands is an absolute adrenaline rush. Even more so when you have the chance to catch one of those cannons. Over by the main concourse in left field, Home Run Porch hangs over the field to offer fans a better chance to catch a home run ball. You can also see the old-fashioned Phillips 66 gas pump, which keeps a running total of every single Astros home run hit at Minute Maid; and the nearby Hall of Fame Alley, featuring Astros legends from Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio to César Cedeño and Nolan Ryan.

Fans shop in the Houston Astros team store prior to game one of the American League Division Series between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 04, 2019 in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Gear up at the Astros Team Store

You’re not truly an Astros fan until you drop some coin on team gear. Visit the main Astros Team Store located in center field at the corner of Congress and Crawford (the entrance faces Congress and one-hour parking is available in the lot across the street during store hours). During Astros games, a second team store can be found behind home plate on the Main Concourse along with several small setups throughout the ballpark. And fans can find game-used merch at Astros Authentics, located on the Mezzanine Level.

Take a pregame Ballpark Tour and catch Batting Practice

Before the Astros and the visiting team face-off in the field, fans can get an early glimpse of the action as the hometeam takes the plate at batting practice, which is included in the pregame Ballpark Tour. You’ll need both a game day ticket and tour ticket ($45) to attend, with access starting 2 hours before the gates officially open to the public on game days. The one-hour tour visits the Upper Deck, Astros Suites, and Honda Club Level, finishing with 30 minutes of Astros Batting Practice viewing in the Crawford Boxes or bullpen seats.

Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who you can probably find in Section 156…or at the Saint A beer garden…or walking around with a Texas-sized plate of nachos…or, ok, just say “hey!” to her @brookiefafa on IG and @brookeviggiano on Twitter and see where she’s at.