Early last year, I saw that the Monster Truck show, Monster Jam, was coming to a stadium near us, and I thought it would be the perfect thing for Nick and Mystic’s two boys to go to. Unfortunately the scheduling didn’t work out and we didn’t end up going, but I filed the idea away for another time.
Flash forward a year later, no more Mystic, but another nearby tour stop for the Monster Jam, and this time the dates worked out perfectly. I’ve never been to a Monster Truck show, but decided it felt like a “bucket list” sort of item. Something that is fun to do, that the kids would get a kick out of, and definitely a different way to spend a Saturday night.
And so it was.
Ticketmaster was running awesome deals on kids seats, and certain sections of the stadium offered $15 kid seats. Which, for this sort of entertainment, was a bargain and a half (and once we got there, I was stoked to find out that the seats were in a pretty awesome location).
Because of the level of noise we expected, I bought a set of noise reduction headphones for the kids, taking no chances that they wouldn’t fully enjoy it because it was too loud.
There were ten trucks at the show, everyone from the Grave Digger (which just celebrated its 30th anniversary) and El Toro Loco (a truck with fun, colorful horns on the top) to Bounty Hunter (Nick’s favorite), and Scarlet Bandit (complete with a female driver, Dawn Creten, who is actually the wife of the Bounty Hunter driver) and Monster Mutt (Madeline’s two favorites). When the Monster Mutt flew in the air during the various competitions, it was cute to see its tail and ears flopping in the breeze.
The trucks took their turns flattening the cars in the middle of the arena, and then had a donut competition (our favorite) and a freestyle segment. During the donuts, some of the trucks built up so much speed in their turns that it looked like they were flying – El Toro Loco managed to get three wheels off the ground, so he practically was! Each round was scored by some random scoring system that we couldn’t figure out (by a trio of two adults and a child), and then the trucks would advance to the semi-finals, and then the finals.
During the competition, various plaques were awarded to the drivers, and they would jump out of their trucks to speak with the emcee, and this was the part that I loved the most. Each of the drivers gave their plaques to fans in the stands, climbing a ladder on the side of the arena and venturing high into the bleachers to find a lucky recipient. Two of the drivers even went into the nosebleed sections.
I so loved that they went out of their way to acknowledge and give back to their fans (even mentioning them in their little interviews). And it definitely speaks to why their fans are so devoted.
The show started exactly on the dot of 7:30, and lasted about two and a half hours. The only downside to the show is this weird little lag between each set. When the trucks were moving, it was fast-paced and fun, but then there were these weird five minute gaps between everything, though I don’t think the kids noticed. Oh and the smell. The diesel/gas/oil/smoke might get to your head after awhile. The kids didn’t notice or mention it, but friends that went with us left with headaches.
When we left, it was snowing hard and icy, but Nick and Madeline barely noticed. They were so hopped up on the energy of the show and fell over themselves thanking me for such an awesome night.
Which is totally what it’s all about. Whether we’re eating dinner in bed watching a favorite tv show or spending a night out at a Monster Truck show, I just want them to be happy.
If the Monster Jam happens to come to your neck of the woods, it makes for a lively night out. For kids, do get a pair of headphones to protect those little ears. There are also vendors selling ear plugs for the grown-ups, which was appreciated as well.