Monster Jam: Fun for the Whole Family, Even Grandmas Love it!

Roaring by, one by one, loud, fast, the monster trucks entered one by one. The adrenaline in my body spiked and I knew I was in for an amazing night. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t really know much about monster trucks. I didn’t have any expectations, aside from thinking it looked really fun, and my son (and husband) had been asking to go for years. As we would frequently pass the US Bank stadium, my son would often ask, “mommy, can we go.” Thanks to Carrie the Moment Sales + Events, we had the opportunity to go. If you don’t already follow her on social media, you should. She offers amazing deals and promotions for many events in the Twin Cities, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Shortly after learning we would be going to Monster Jam, my mother-in-law asked if we were busy the weekend of December 7; she had found an amazing flight deal and could come visit. We mentioned we were going to Monster Jam, and invited her to join us.

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Fast  forward to December 7, 2018… this is my advice based on our experience:

PARKING

If you are in Minneapolis, park a few blocks from the stadium. The amount of people going into the parking garage attached to US Bank Stadium was INSANE. As we were trying to get out of the stadium, security guards were seriously shutting down escalators to enter the skyway to the parking garage because it was so full of people trying to get to their cars. We parked about 3 blocks away, near the Guthrie, for $10 cheaper (parking was still $20).

PIT PASSES

It was so great to go on the stadium floor. We are MN sports fans, so it was so cool to be where the Vikings play. If you aren’t familiar with Monster Jam, this is an opportunity to get close to the Monster Trucks and to get autographs by the drivers. There was a bouncy slide, a chance for kids to ride smaller trucks, a build your own truck, all offered for an additional charge.

FOOD

In between the Pit Passes and Monster Jam there was a few hour break. We took this opportunity to grab a bite to eat, outside of the stadium. I recommend making a reservation in advance; we did not do this. The first place we went had an hour wait, at 4:30pm. I think every other parent had the same idea we did. Luckily, the second place, another block away, had immediate availability.

MONSTER JAM

Have headphones or earplugs for your kids (we talked about this several days in advance to remember ours). Of course, we forgot ear protection, but they had earplugs and headphones available for purchase at the event. There are 3 parts to Monster Jam: racing, the 2 wheel competition, and the free-style competition. I highly recommend when the announcer tells you to go onto a website and voting to DO IT! Having the opportunity to vote for the trucks made the experience so interactive and fun.

We all chose our favorites trucks during the race. My husband was confused how I didn’t have the same knowledge of Grave Digger, as he did. “This is the best truck from our childhood,” he exclaimed, while I blankly stared at him. My son was enamored by the Hot Wheels truck. My daughter was rooting for Hot Wheels or Whiplash, the only female driver of the night. My mother-in-law and I both, although both very impressed with Whiplash, cheered very loud for the Minnesota driver of Storm Damage and the continuously impressive Truck/Driver, Max- D!

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We stayed the entire time. This doesn’t always happen with children 5 and 7. My daughter started to get pretty sleepy, but she didn’t fall asleep until our short car ride home. I seriously cannot recommend Monster Jam enough. My husband already asked if we can go back in February; maybe Carrie the moment will offer great discounts and promotions, again!!

5 Tips for Twin Cities must visit Can Can Wonderland

On Friday night, we went to Can Can Wonderland for the first time. I’ve been wanting to check it out since it opened. Can Can Wonderland is a must visit in the Twin Cities. Here are a few tips:

1.Mini-Golf

An indoor, artist designed, 18 hole mini-golf course. The holes were very cool and the course was a lot of fun. If you bring kids, pay for them to Mini-golf and you can chaperone for free. We didn’t do this and it got pretty expensive. $10/per kid 14/per adult

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2. Get the pizza

I was so excited that they offered something I could eat (health reasons make it so I can’t eat dairy or gluten). I was able to order a gluten free/vegan pizza. It was delicious. My kids got a cheese pizza. My husband eats everything and said both were good (although, he preferred the gluten free/dairy free over cheese).  We also got the kids some mini donuts. I almost sprung for the Loaded Mini-donuts, but we had already ordered pizzas. A few more fun food options, include: Cotton Candy, Popcorn, and Nachos.

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3. Adult Beverages

They have a huge variety of beverages at a 36-self-serving tap wall. I only saw one cider on tap, but was happy they had one. You get a card, fill your own glass, then pay when you’re done having beverages. They also have a full bar, including Boozy Malts and Themed drinks.

4. Arcade Games

There are tons of old arcade games. From what I understood, the games are quarter games right now, and have a card slot (like Dave and Busters), but I wasn’t sure where or how to get the cards. We only played a few games because we had very few quarters that I found in my wallet and no cash. We plan to return to try out more games.

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5. Karaoke

On Friday evenings, they offer all ages Karaoke. My kids had a ton of fun watching this, and my daughter wanted to go on stage so bad. Unfortunately for my very extroverted daughter, my husband and I are both pretty introverted. She wants to be in the spotlight. She loves the stage. My five year old daughter walked up to another little girl (whom she never met before) and asked if she could go on the stage with her. This little girl, we learned, is a regular at All ages Karaoke. My daughter can’t read yet, but she was very willing to get up with a microphone and pretend she knew what she was doing. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE WATCHING HER.Image-1(13)

We had a ton of fun at Can Can Wonderland, and my kids now want to become regulars at Friday night Karaoke. We plan to return to check out more of what they have to offer. Maybe we’ll see you there!

 

A Warm Day in September may be the Best Time to go to Valley Fair!

When I was 19, I lived in Virginia Beach, VA. My friend, Carlos, and I both loved theme parks, so we both bought a season pass to Busch Gardens Williamsburg & Water Country USA. The day I got my pass (I had the day off work, he didn’t) we were having so much fun he decided to call into our work sick. The bad news was… our BOSS was also at Busch Gardens. Oops… Well, 14 years later we are still friends, and when he came to Minneapolis, this past weekend, we both decided to get new theme park passes. I purchased 3 GOLD passes, which includes unlimited admission for the rest of the 2018 season and ALL of the 2019 season. The pass also gives you FREE parking, and FREE admission to ValleySCARE, Dinosaurs Alive, and Soak City. In addition, I was able to sign my daughter up for the Pre-k pass, a FREE pass for kids 3-5. My friend, who is visiting, signed up for the Cedar fair Amusement parks Platinum Pass; this pass allows him entry into 13 parks around the country; his lifestyle allows for him to travel frequently, so this pass was perfect for him.

Our day at Valley Fair was not preplanned, at all. We literally decided at 10am to go and were there with preregistered passes at roughly 11:30am.

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We immediately stopped at Dinosaurs Alive. My 5 year old is fascinated with dinosaurs and currently wants to be a paleontologist or a professional skateboarder when she grows up. I had zero expectations of anything we were doing, and I hadn’t been to Valley Fair in over 3 years so everything was new and fun. The moving dinosaurs were a bit of a surprise. The kids and I pretended we were in Jurassic Park. I personally liked all the dinosaur signs through-out the exhibit.

 

We made our way through Planet Snoopy, and were sure to get my daughter on as many rides as she was tall enough. She is a daredevil. So she was pretty bummed her brother got to go on bigger roller-coasters, but she wasn’t tall enough. 48in seemed to be the height requirement for most of the rides (outside of Planet Snoopy). Luckily, for my daughter, she is roughly 45 inches and is growing like a weed (we are giants in our family). I told her she may be tall enough by next summer. My son was only brave enough to try the High Roller roller-coaster; he did it twice.

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Unlike my daughter, I am a chicken and have a serious fear of heights, but lately I have been working on going on higher things. I made it on the High Roller, Renagade, and even the North Star Swing. There are a lot of rides at Valley fair that can continue to scare the crap out of me. Honestly, getting on the rides was almost scarier to me than the actual rides themselves. As my friend and I walked to get on the North Star, we both were wondering what kind of crazy things we were doing in our 30s. My husband was bummed he missed watching how scared I was getting on (he was with the kids on another ride). Chains, a metal-bar and a seat-belt were the only things holding you on this swing which took you 230 feet into the air. It went way faster than I anticipated, 40mph is what I’ve now learned.

The Great Pumpkin Fest was an awesome surprise to me. I have only been to Valley Fair 3 times before (once when I was 13, 23, and 30). So deciding to go the weekend Halloween festivities started, on a 75 degree day, with barely any lines anywhere was AMAZING. Our family LOVES Halloween! The Great Pumpkin Fest was a huge hit for both of my kids. While my daughter was singing and dancing on stage with Sally Brown, my husband had allowed my son to enter Pigpen’s People Washer. Once my son was out…. I asked him what his plans were with his very wet everything. Our friend took him to the bathroom to stand under a hand dryer. I was very thankful for the warm weather because he dried out pretty quickly. The rest of the Great Pumpkin Fest had mazes, games, and trick or treating (many of the kids wore costumes).

 

Seriously, going to Valley Fair on a weekend in September was an awesome choice. If you plan to go more than 1x in the year, I absolutely recommend getting a season pass, but make sure you sign up on line before you go so you aren’t charged $17 in parking.