More than one million people are expected to converge on the Bayou City for Super Bowl LI – that’s 800-thousand more people who were here the last time the Super Bowl was in town thirteen years ago. And most of them will be looking for things to do.

The top five places expected to see those crowds are Discovery Green, Club Nomadic near the Washington Avenue corridor, Midtown because of its bars and nightlife, Galleria area hotels and — on game day — NRG Stadium.

“While we are expecting about one million people total, there are two huge events that we get to enjoy before all of the out-of-towners move in which means smaller crowds and shorter lines,” explained Kevin Cooper with the Super Bowl Host Committee.

On Saturday, January 28th, the NFL Experience opens at the GRB Convention center, complete with games, autograph sessions and an up-close look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy. A family friendly event, tickets are still available and range in price from $25 – $55. That same weekend right next door at Discovery Green, Super Bowl Live gets underway and hosts more than 90 musicians.

“We’re going to have big time headlines,” Cooper explained. “We’re going to have ZZ Top, we’re going to have Solonge. We don’t know when the next Super Bowl is coming, so let’s enjoy this one!

“This Super Bowl is literally for the city of Houston and the one place you can’t do Super Bowl is from your couch. We want all of Houston to come out and enjoy themselves.” said Cooper.

While there will be more than enough parties and events to attend, the Defender compiled some of the highlights so there’s no reason not to partake in the fun.

Major highlights

Super Bowl Live: Jan. 28 – Feb. 5 – Discovery Green, 10am -11 pm

The multi-day event with food, music, entertainment, attractions, and more will allow everyone to experience the Super Bowl even if they aren’t attending the game. This area of the city will serve as the epicenter of all the action at Super Bowl LI. Among the highlights at Super Bowl Live, Future Flight, an out-of-this world virtual reality experience and numerous hands-on space exhibits.

The NFL Experience; Jan 27-Feb 5

This family-friendly event at the George R. Brown Convention Center features interactive games, autograph sessions with current and former NFL players, and plenty of physical activities to tire out the tots, like kicking a field goal or playing a quick game. Check out the Hall of Fame memorabilia display and shop for limited-edition merchandise you won’t find anywhere else. Tickets start at $20;

St. John’s Bread & Life Celebration for homeless, Sun., Jan. 29,

Sports great James Brown will kick off celebrations at St. John’s Bread & Life Church with a sermon at both the 8am and 10am services.

Opening Night: Mon., Jan 30, 5:30 p.m.

Start the week right with this kick-off celebration at Minute Maid Park, where the teams that make it to the Big Game will be introduced out on the field, along with music, food and more. Tickets start at $20,

Luminaries of the Game: Wed., Feb 1, 7 p.m.

Houston socialite Lynn Wyatt and former Secretary of State James Baker are the honorary chairs of this gala at the Marriott Marquis Houston, featuring an NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer at each table. Proceeds benefit Touchdown Houston, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s charitable program, which supports non-profits throughout the city. Tickets start at $75,000 per table,

Super Bowl Breakfast: Sat., Feb 4, 8-10 a.m.

At this morning event at the Houston Marriott Marquis, one player will receive the 2017 Bart Starr Award, annually bestowed upon an NFL player who demonstrates leadership within the community. The NFL Today and Thursday Night Football host James Brown emcees, and players Tony Dungy, Roger Staubach, Bruce Matthews will be in attendance. Tickets start at $200,

The Super Bowl Taste of the NFL: Sat., Feb 4 at 7 p.m.

Benefiting the Houston Food Bank, this event at the University of Houston offers food and wine tastings from renowned chefs representing all 32 NFL cities. Guests get to sample the dishes and chat with the cooks as well as plenty of pros. Tickets start at $700,

The Players Tailgate Houston 2017: Sun., Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.

We’ve all seen Guy Fieri on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and now fans can watch him work live at this pre-game party, where he’ll cook up a mouthwatering menu—tacos, mac n’ cheese, burgers, brisket and nachos—for fans as well as more than two dozen current NFL players. Tickets start at $700,


Bruno Mars Super Bowl Concert: Fri., Feb 3 at 9 p.m., Club Nomadic

Making headlines as one of the hottest Super Bowl Week venues, Club Nomadic is a temporary space popping up at Sawyer Yards that will have plenty of “24 Karat Magic” when Bruno Mars headlines on Friday night. Tickets start at $175,

Taylor Swift Concert at DirecTV: Sat., Feb 4, 9 p.m.

Taylor Swift will headline AT&T’s DirecTV Saturday-night concert at Club Nomadic, the pop star’s second live performance since the end of her tour in December 2015.

Rolling Stone Live Big Game Bash: Sat., Feb 4, 9 p.m.

Although the headliners hadn’t been released as of press time, it wouldn’t be a Rolling Stone party without the biggest and best musical acts in history—past headliners have included Steven Tyler, Pitbull, Elle King, Avicii and Charli XCX. Expect celebrities and athletes to swarm the Museum of Fine Arts.

Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, Fri., Feb. 3 – Lakewood Church, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25

The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is the first and only inspirational music event sanctioned by the NFL for Super Bowl LI weekend. NFL players and top artists will join together on stage for uplifting music and inspirational messages. Guest artists include CeCe Winans, Damien Escobar, Natalie Grant and the Player’s Choir.

Super Comedy Bowl Explosion: Wed., Feb. 1 – Texas Southern University’s HP&E Arena, Tickets start at $55

Hosted by Rickey Smiley, this all-star comedy concert will feature Billy Sorrells, Ali Siddiq, Michael Blackson and Tony Roberts.


The Houston Power Party, Thurs., Feb. 2 – Houston Museum of Natural Science, 10 p.m. Tickets start at $100

The Houston Power Party is hosted by Houston City Council Member, Larry Green, the Santana Dotson Foundation and the Moran Norris Foundation.

Art, fashion, music and sports will collide for an exciting evening during Super Bowl week.  Enjoy multiple interactive experiences throughout the museum, access to one-of-a-kind exhibits, celebrity appearances, theatrical lighting and concert level sound.

Texas Size Super Bowl Party with Special Guest Morris Chestnut, Sat., Feb. 4 – Doubletree Hotel Greenway Plaza

Party like a rock star at one of Houston’s hottest pre-game celebrations with Actor Morris Chestnut.  He has appeared in numerous feature films including Boyz n the Hood and on television series including Rosewood.

The BIG TEXAS Party, Thurs., Feb. 2 – Silver Street Studios, 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $125

This Texas-sized event is designed for the people who love Texas and will be hosted by Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Randy White, and celebrates the city of Houston. Special guest appearances by Texas football players. Enjoy an evening of beer, BBQ and bourbon.

Ditka & Jaws Cigars with the Stars Party, Thurs., Feb. 2, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets start at $500

This VIP party features a red-carpet entrance and premium cigars from the industry’s top brands, single-malt scotch, heavy appetizers and football celebrities to keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Pre-Super Bowl 2017 VIP Meet and Greet Party, Fri., Feb. 3 – Hermann Park Golf Course, 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25

The Feb. 3 Celebrity VIP Meet and Greet Party will start with a Champagne hour and Red Carpet Event at the Hermann Park Golf Club. Will feature guest performances, celebrity guests, a lavish buffet, drinks, and raffles. Celebrity guest appearance by Houston’s own Damion Square of the San Diego Chargers.

Lil Wayne & Celebrity Friends “Undisputed” 2017 Super Bowl Party, Sat., Feb. 4 – Ayva Center, Richmond Avenue, 9 p.m.

Join Lil Wayne and celebrity friends for his live 2017 Pre-Super Bowl LI party at the Ayva Center on Richmond Avenue. Limited early bird tickets are available.  Reservations recommended for VIP sections. Full lineup of friends is to be announced.

Super Bowl Parties at GreenStreet; Jan 27-Feb 5

Just a block from Super Bowl Live, GreenStreet will be offering music, food, games, photo booths and digital art installations.

Rolling Stone LIVE: Houston Big Game Bash, Sat., Feb. 4 – Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), 9 p.m.

Rolling Stone’s sixth annual big game bash will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) in Houston’s Museum District. The event will host celebrities, athletes, and influencers with performances by some of today’s hottest artists. Players 

An AfroCaribbean Super Bowl, Sat., Feb. 4 – Midtown/Galleria Venue tba, 4-10 p.m.

The best DJs from across the country will be spinning Afrobeats, Soca, Dancehall and Hip-hop for an international Super Bowl vibe.

Woric 400 Men’s Super Bowl Party, Sun., Feb. 5 – Word of Restoration International Church, Rosharon, 5-9 p.m. FREE event

All men are invited to attend a special Super Bowl Party hosted by the 400 Men’s Ministry.

The Biggest Super Bowl Watch Party, Sun., Feb. 5 – Ballroom @Bayou Place, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $25

Watch the game on big screen TVs, drink specials, celebrity Djs, special invited surprise guests and NFL players, balcony view of the city.

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