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June 4th, 2013 by Stinkhead

Monster Mutt Dalmatian

My son and I are very excited for Monster Jam – Path of Destruction, hitting M&T Bank (Raven’s Stadium) in Baltimore this Saturday. We’ve done a handful of Monster Jam events before, so I wanted to share some of my advice, and what to look out for. Click below for a lot more.

Watching the show

Before you go

You absolutely must consider ear protection for yourself, and especially the little ones. Not only is it so loud as to cause discomfort to younger ears, but prolonged exposure can cause permanent damage. Our favorite is the 3M Junior Earmuffs, $12 on Amazon. You can also use those foam eraser looking things that squeeze into your years, but small children may have better luck with the over-ear-muffs like these. I absolutely recommend ear plugs for yourself too. They do sell earmuffs for kids at the event, that look like monster truck wheels, but we always bring our own protection.

Playing in the dirt

I like to purchase a Hot Wheel car ahead of time at Toys R Us for $3.50, and then give it to my son once we get there. This and some glow-sticks were supposed to help me avoid having to buy overpriced souvenirs once we get there, however nothing tops the siren-call of cotton candy or the motorized spinning light-up thing all the other kids eventually get their parents to buy them, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. My son loves playing with his monster trucks in the dirt at the Party in the Pits too.


Party in the Pits

The pre-event pit party is a great way to add some over-the-top fun to your outing. It’s about $10 extra, per person (and usually requires a ticket for that day’s event as well), but check the event page for your area, local Advance Auto Parts locations may be offering free passes if you walk in and ask for them. Basically you get to walk around and take pictures with each of the trucks. If your favorite driver is there, you can wait in line and get an autograph. Last year was Grave Digger’s 30th anniversary, so they had a bit more going on. They had the original(?) mud-bogger Grave Digger, and a Grave Digger you could sit in and get your picture taken behind the wheel. There’s food and souvenirs as well. At the bigger, outdoor events (like this weekend at the stadium), the Pit Party is in the parking lot adjacent to the stadium. This is a lot of fun, and there is a lot going on to see and do (like moonbounces, cheerleaders, the Marines) but I also really like when the Pit Party is inside ON the dirt. It’s really fun walking around the wrecker cars, and walking in the same dirt the monster trucks are going to rip up. This perk though only happens when the main event is indoors, at a smaller arena.

Fire fall time lapse

There’s always a few special events at the Pit Party as well, so get there early. (I typically get there with one hour left, that’s plenty of time for us, and my son would get worn out before the show if we came down earlier). The above photo is a timelapse composite of a daredevil lit on fire, jumping off a crane. Two years ago they had Megasaurus come and chomp a car in half. So you never know what they’re going to have. Here’s the video of Megasaurus, (and then after that is a bit of video from that year’s event.)

What to do in between?

If you do attend the Party in the Pits, you may notice that there’s an hour or two between the close of the pit party, and the start time of the main event. Have no fear, Feld has got you covered. There’s plenty of pre-show entertainment going on, such as quad-races, high-end RC car exhibitions, and races. So on the way to find your seat, grab some dinner and get comfy. Even with a 3-4-5 year old we’ve never gotten antsy waiting for the “real” show to begin. Speaking of which, just like any Feld Entertainment event, they start promptly on time. But they also have some lite entertainment at the very beginning, so if the less-prepared parents are walking in front of you for the first few minutes, you’re not missing much. But hey, I appreciate you taking the time to get there promptly!

Monster Mutt jumps

The main event

And now for the big show! I don’t need to spell out all the exciting parts of a monster truck rally, but let me give you some basics. Alllll of the trucks come out one by one and get introduced. After these introductions, they get started right away into the one-on-one races. The trucks race each other, in a bracket system, with semi-finals, and then a final winner. It’ll depend on how many trucks are coming on how long this part takes. In between races they typically have the two sparring quad teams racing. This is all scripted, but highly entertaining. It’s best to really, really get into it. There will be a clear bad-guy (he will make fun of your local sports team) and a clear hero. It’s a lot more fun to just let it go and cheer really hard.

Flying high

After the racing portion, there is a half-time break. At the indoor event a few years ago, they had Galactron the real live transformer, come out and battle Reptaur, and it, was, awesome. And last year they had a motorcycle stunt family performing in the Cage of Death. It was pretty impressive. After the halftime show, they get right into the freestyle portion, and start doing wheelies, donuts, and crushing cars. Each driver is timed, and judged on style, and after a few eliminations, another winner is crowned. Freestyle is my favorite, as this is when you’re going to see the real spectacle. Here is Son of a Digger performing the first successful backflip.

Sonuva Digger Flips out

And there’s of course the destruction. All around the course are piles of old wrecker cars, awaiting their fate. There’s nothing more satisfying than a boring old car smashed to bits by a noisy monster truck, but for my money, the explosion of pieces is better when they hit an RV. Whoooo boy!

Grave Digger Destroying the RV

Ok, don’t think twice, you gotta go. Bring the kids, bring the wife (maybe… mine is not so interested), bring the ear protection, and get ready to settle in for some ultimate destruction.

Monster Jam is coming back to the M&T Bank Raven’s Stadium on June 8th and tickets are available now. I have a bunch of links, let’s make this a bullet list.

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Posted in 3&up, Monster Trucks, news, picture | Comments Off on Get ready for Monster Jam!

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