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!!

X Games MPLS 2018: 5 of My Favorite Things

When I was in elementary school, growing up in North Dakota, I spent a lot of time sledding. I would go off of jumps, and eventually I started standing on my sled. One year, I asked my mom for a snowboard for Christmas. I wanted one so bad, but I also knew it was unlikely that I would actually get one. When Christmas came around, we were opening presents, and my mom had indeed gotten me a snowboard. A fingerboard, I was crushed. I was enamored with extreme sports: snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, motor cross, skiing, snowmobiling. My family didn’t have the money for me to do these sports, but I loved watching them. Not very common for a girl in the 90s. I loved the skill that came with landing tricks. I can even remember watching the  X Games on TV, by myself. When the X Games started, I was 10.

Imagine my excitement when hearing the X Games were to be in my town, as an adult. For FOUR years! The first year I missed it because I was out of state, but my husband went. So, when the X Games was to host their 2nd year of summer games in Minneapolis, I KNEW I had to go. My kids were thrilled as well. We chose to go Friday, the 2nd day of X Games. These are my 5 favorite things of the X Games (click here for YouTube video):

5. Affordable

Tickets to the X Games start off at $20 for General Admission. General Admission tickets include access to the competition, located inside US Bank Stadium, and X-fest, located outside of US Bank Stadium. In addition, taking public transportation keeps costs down. We took the Metro Blue Line light rail to US Bank Stadium, saving on the cost and chaos of parking.

4. X Fest

 

X-fest provided so many activities to keep everyone engaged. The kids won prizes, playing games at the booths. My husband and son got free underwear from Fruit of the Loom, and my daughter was given a hat from ESPN. My kids were so excited to try everything. We signed a few liability waivers, and they were able to try almost everything (a few activities they were two short or too young to do). The kids tried the American Ninja Warrior challenges and they biked on the ramps. ALL the people working were so helpful with the kids, I was impressed.

 3. Competition

I think my jaw was hanging on the floor for most of the stuff we saw. The tricks were AMAZING! My favorites were watching 11 year old Gavin Bottger in the Next X Skateboard Park Final, Dave Mira’s BMX Best Trick final, Moto X Quarter Pipe High Air Final, and The Real Cost BMX Big Air Final.

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4. Shred Hate

The X Games is serious of ending childhood bullying. The X Games teamed up with No Bully, a nonprofit to recognize the signs of bullying and put an end to it, forming Shred Hate in 2017. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to this booth because we were rushed inside when a storm was rolling in, but I 100% support this cause and am so thankful for the compassion of these organizations to work towards ending something so serious.

1. Role Models

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While my kids were waiting their turn to ride bikes on the ramps, professional athletes were sitting down at the table next to them to sign autographs. Everyone was wondering where the line of people to get autographs were, but then it was quickly realized the whole crowd of people were surrounding the water-skiing squirrel. My kids rode the bikes then wanted to get autographs. Every single athlete talked to my daughter. They asked about her skateboard shirt, if she skateboarded, found out she wanted a skateboard for her birthday, and she would be 5 on August 2.IMG_0910

 

During the time we were waiting in line for the wall climb, we were able to watch the filming of X Games hosts, former professional snowboarder, Jack Mitranti and professional snowboarder, Craig McMorris, attempt to climb the wall. They both made it! After filming, I asked Jack Mitranti if he’d take a photo with my son. Not only did he immediately agree, but he says, “Do you want a picture with both of us? Craig will be right back.” I told him it was up to him if he wanted to wait. He did. He sat and chatted with my 7 year old about the X Games, ensuring he was having a fun time, and what his favorite things at X Games were. As a mom, I was through the roof with admiration for this man. Craig McMorris returned and the three of them got a photo. Later, I tweeted a photo of my son to Jack Mitranti telling me how much respect I had for him. AND HE RETWEETED IT!!!

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                **We will definitely be returning to the X Games next year!**