Maple Leaf Monster Jam 2016

courtesy of Maple Leaf Monster Jam

My three year old’s eyes sparkle. “It’s so LOUD mommy!” Enormous trucks and ear splitting action: he is in his glory, along with every other kid in the surrounding seats. From someone who is still fairly new to the whole monster truck phenomenon, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of the show!

  1. Bring ear plugs. We had the thrill of seeing Maple Leaf Monster Jam in 2015 and were warned to bring ear protection for the kids, which we did. This year we forgot and that was a mistake. They were selling earmuff style ear protectors for a steep price at the merch table, but I am cheap and made my kids just stick their fingers in their ears. Mom of the year, I know. Do better than I did.
  2. There is method to the madness. There are four events each truck competes in: Wheelies, Donuts, Speed & Skill, and Freestyle. Each judge assigns a score, with the highest and lowest mark thrown out. The truck with the highest score after that is the winner. Knowing the structure of the scoring helped me enjoy the competition better.
  3. Bring some money for souvenirs. There are lots of awesome things for sale at Monster Jam. If your kids are like mine, the temptations are almost irresistible. You might want to consider setting a budget or limit ahead of time, so don’t find yourself having to take out a second mortgage for the van load of stuff you bought. There is also Monster Jam licensed merchandise available online or at other retailers which could be a good compromise if you find yourself wanting to buy some toys at a later date.
  4. Spring for the Pit Passes. For a “VIP” experience, you may want to splurge on the pit passes. The passes are like a backstage pass that give you the opportunity to see the trucks up close and meet the drivers before the show. You will have the chance to take pictures and get autographs from the drivers. The only downside is that it can make for a long day Make sure you have some granola bars in your purse to help flagging energy levels for the ones who need a n extra boost.
  5. It’s not all monster trucks. The enormous trucks are definetly that biggest (literally!) draw of the show, but it’s worth it to know there is other entertainment as part of  the Maple Leaf Monster Jam tour. In between the monster truck events are quad races–I’m still surprised no one fell off, they lean so far into the turns! After the intermission was a battle between two transforming vehciles that stood up and blasted each other. I am assured it was EPIC.
Like lots of things, going to a monster truck show might not be something you pictured yourself doing before you became a parent, but with a little prep, you too can get into the jam!