Monster Jam: An American Experience

Monster Jam Sacramento 1

Sitting on the lower level of the Sleep Train Arena, we were close to the action and noise on the dirt-covered floor.  We took our two oldest kids with us and didn’t tell them where we were going until we got there.  The expressions on their faces were priceless when they realized that we were going to the Monster Jam truck rally.  We could hear the trucks well before we actually got into the arena.  Next time we will make sure to bring earplugs.

My family had never been to a truck rally before and had no idea what to expect.  For me, the show seemed to start off fairly slowly with races in much smaller vehicles.  The crowd roared when the actual monster trucks entered the competition.  Although the several different types of smaller vehicles were interesting and fun to watch, the monster trucks’ wheelee and freestyle segments with their slinging dirt and roaring exhaust were what we had all come to see.  My son and oldest daughter were riveted by the giant trucks flying through the air.
New Earth Authority’s Travis Groth left the ground accompanied by the gasp of the entire audience.  We were all instant monster truck fans when his truck crashed and landed upside-down.
My daughter was disappointed that Zombie won the donut competition when El Toro Loco obviously put on a better showing.  The crowd’s cheering for Kayla Blood was immediately followed by booing the judges.
Although she liked the roaring engines and flinging dirt of the donuts, her favorite part was the freestyle competition and Morgan Kane’s perfect score in Grave Digger.  The giant green and black truck flew back and forth over the dirt ramps and crushed cars all while deafening us with the roar of exhaust.  My Danish born wife said, “Now I feel very American.” with a huge grin on her face. We will definitely be doing this again.
Monster Jam will be at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena this weekend only with one show tonight at 7:30 pm and two shows tomorrow at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. For tickets, click here.
By Jed Christian
Monster Jam Sacramento 2
Monster Jam Sacramento 3

Win Tickets: All New Monster Jam Competition Comes to Sacramento

Monster Jam Sacramento

Each January for the past several years, Sleep Train Arena has rolled out the dirt and hosted America’s favorite monster truck show, Monster Jam featuring world-famous monster trucks such as Grave Digger, Blue Thunder and El Toro Loco. We’ve all been thrilled by the engines roaring, the trucks racing, the amazing jumps and the overall competition. If you and your kiddos have been thrilled as much as we have, then you are in for a treat as Monster Jam rolls back into town with even more of what we love.

Get ready for new tricks and more competition from your favorite teams. New this year, Monster Jam will add speedsters and ATVs to the mix, creating new and exciting entertainment for monster truck fans. And make sure you get your pit passes and arrive early for Party in the Pits where you will meet the drivers a see your favorite truck, up close and personal.

What: Monster Jam

When:  Jan. 29, Jan 30, and Jan. 31, 2016.

Where: Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena

Admission: $10 for kids ages 2-12 (select seating), $20-$50 for adults, $15 Opening Night discount tickets (select seating), and $10 for Pit Passes. Buy tickets here.

Win Tickets: Would you like some tickets? We’ve got a family four-pack of tickets to give away to one of our lucky readers. Here’s what you need to do to be eligible to win. Answer this trivia question correctly in the comment section below by 5pm on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2015: What Monster Jam truck/team consists of all female drivers?

A winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Good luck!



Start Your Engines: An Afternoon with the Trucks of Monster Jam

By Kari Miskit

Before we even walked through the doors of Sleep Train Arena, the sounds and smells made it clear that we were in for some excitement. Engines roared and exhaust hung in the air as the woman at the door scanned our tickets. My son turned to me with wide eyes and a big grin, “Mom – this is going to be AWESOME.”

Monster Jam 1-1
I’ve seen the commercials for Monster Jam for years but never quite imagined I’d ever attend a show myself. That is, until a certain little guy came into my life. If your kids love fast cars and motorcycles, big trucks, and of course dirt, then Monster Jam is for you. The show features several sections, including races and freestyle competitions, intercut with motorcycles and side-by-sides. The pace of the show is steady enough that younger kids can keep up, and my preschooler was engaged by most all of the competitions…expect when the popcorn and slushy vendors walked by.
One of my favorite parts of the show was when the audience was encouraged to wave T-shirts, towels or whatever they had with them to symbolize support for certain drivers – getting spectators involved, especially excited kids, is always a good idea.
The winning drivers are interviewed after competitions, and all were earnest when they addressed the crowd, which is a great thing for parents who are trying to teach their kids about good sportsmanship. It’s also a nice touch that winning drivers hand out their plaques to younger audience members – yet another way that the show’s organizer’s work to interact with the crowd.Sam Monster Jam
As I mentioned, the roaring engines you hear even before entering the building persist for most of the show, so ear protection is a must. We borrowed kids’ protective earmuffs from a friend, and the adults in our party sported earplugs throughout the show. Cool souvenir earmuffs are also available on site. There’s one intermission, and it’s fairly short, which is good news for those of who need the action to keep coming before our little companions get restless.
As we were heading back to our car, my son stopped and said, “Mom, I want to come back here again!” When I said we could, he stopped and headed back for the doors, “You mean, right now?!” So, all in all, I’d call the afternoon a “roaring” success.
For more information about the Monster Jam tour, visit

We’re Giving Away Tickets to the 2015 Monster Jam at Sleep Train Arena

Grave Digger 1Some big, bad monster trucks – those of little boys’ dreams – will soon be rolling into town. The 2015 Monster Jam will be putting on three thrilling competitive performances January 24-25 at Sleep Train Arena. You’ll see Monster Jam favorites Grave Digger, Zombie, Destroyer and others show off their moves as they race around the arena, jumping over huge mountains of dirt, and rolling over cars. Their engines will roar, the crowd will go wild, and all the little boys in attendance will think they have died and gone to monster truck heaven!

Shows are 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Saturday, and 1:00 pm on Sunday, with pit parties starting at 11:30 am before each 1:00 pm performance. You can also see a couple of the trucks up close and personal for FREE on Friday, January 23. Grave Digger will be on display at UTI (Universal Technical Institute) in Natomas from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, while Destroyer will be on display at Big O Tires in Elk Grove from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Would you like to win tickets to the show? We’ve got a family 4-pack to give to one of our lucky readers. It could be you! So, here’s what you need to do to qualify. Answer this trivia question correctly in the comment section below: What famous monster truck started out competing as a mud bogger? A winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Good luck!

Grave Digger 2

Weekend Family Fun

PicMonkey Collage

Thru 1/20 – It’s the Last weekend to enjoy the Holiday Ice Rink – The Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink has a long history on The Kay. The rink was first established in 1991 by the City of Sacramento. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership assumed operation and management of the rink soon after with the goal of creating a signature holiday experience for the region. Downtown Sac has been a holiday destination ever since.

1/17 – 1/19 – Monster Jam at Sleep Train Arena – Advance Auto Parts’ Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over – or smash through. The 2014 touring season brings more Monster Jam excitement with a massive night’s entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

1/17 – Library Minigolf at the Sacramento Arden-Dimick Public LIbrary –  The library will become a minigolf course. Come see if you can putt par around the books!

1/18 – Blast from the Past: Rockin’ Rocks & Diggin’ Dinos – A new exhibit opens at the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center.  Interactive displays will give visitors a real science encounter with rocks, crystals, and fossils of all kinds. The basics of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks are presented in an engaging, hands-on style using large, attractive specimens. Displays include volcanoes, floating rocks, magnetism, fluorescence,  and rocks under different magnifications.  Do you dig dinos? Discover the age of dinosaurs in our dramatic exhibits and presentations, including dinosaur artifacts, bones, and re-creations. Learn the latest facts about these fascinating extinct creatures and the Earth they lived on.

1/18 – Bluebirds: Animal Homes for your backyard – Create unique homes for your backyard feathered friends! What do all living things need? Food, water, shelter and space. Come create a home for blue birds in your yard!

1/18 – Hands On History: Traders, Trappers and Treaties – Visitors to the Fort will step back in time to the 1840s and learn why trappers were considered “jacks of many trades.”  Fort visitors will enjoy watching docent-led musket demonstrations and discover how they lived, worked, explored new territory and traded with local Native Americans In addition, guests will also have the hands-on opportunity to examine fur pelts, create documents with a quill pen and oak gall ink, string trade beads to take home, or learn to make a fire using flint and steel!

1/18 – Racing & Engineering for Teens -Geared towards high school students, this class is taught by the CSU Sacramento student organization, Hornet Racing! These college students develop their engineering skills through management of a competitive racing team, and they want to share their knowledge with you!  Learn what it is like to be an engineer and the inside workings of what it takes to build a race car from scratch. Students can see one of Sac State’s race cars and will build a motorized toy car in a group in the class.

1/20 – Harlem Globe Trotters: 2014 World Tour Fans Rule  – The Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind family show features stars such as Special K Daley, Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang and Dizzy Grant, along with many other fan favorites, including female stars TNT Maddox and T-Time Brawner. (rosters vary in each city). And of course, you, the fans are always a part of the fun when the Globetrotters take the court.

Win Tickets to this Weekend’s Monster Jam!

Grave Digger in SacramentoIf you heard some loud “roars” in Natomas this morning…I hope you weren’t alarmed.  It wasn’t that of ferocious lions on the loose, but the roar of truck engines!  The Monster Jam is in town this weekend, and the trucks are coming in to Sleep Train Arena throughout the day today.  We joined UTI for a free open house this morning and met up with the most iconic truck of all time, Grave Digger and his driver Carl Van Horn.  He’s there until 2pm, so you still have time to get over there for pictures and autographs!

And if you don’t yet have tickets to this weekend’s event, well you are in luck.  The nice Monster Jam folks have given us 2 Sunday Family Passes + Pit Passes (to meet the drivers) to give out to our readers.  To be eligible, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling us who your favorite Monster Truck is.  A random drawing will be held tomorrow (1/18/13) at 2pm.  Good luck!

Autographs with Grave Digger Driver

Weekend Family Fun

You’ll find plenty of family-friendly options this weekend.  Check out the new Space Quest exhibit at the Discovery Museum, Hands on History at Sutter’s Fort, Midtown’s Bacon Fest, the Monster Jam, MLK celebrations, and more!

Monster Jam1/18-20 – Monster Jam at Sleep Train Arena -Monster Jam, starring the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam monster trucks. These twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over—or smash through. Monster Jam provides a massive night’s entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

Party in the Pits: In 2013, Monster Jam has expanded the action by having TWO Pit Parties for you, the fans. Come out early on Saturday evening and Sunday morning for your chance to take pictures with the drivers, their trucks, and get all the autographs you can handle!

Space Quest Exhibit at the Discovery Museum1/19-21  – Space Quest at the Discovery Museum  – One of the most popular of the Museum’s rotating exhibits, Space Quest! returns on January 19th, 2013. Some visitor favorites will return as well, including – by popular request!– the rocket ship play area  from Habitot in Berkeley, complete with astronaut costumes and helmets. Little visitors will also be happy to know that the Cosmic Café play space is back, too!

Hands on History at Sutter's Fort1/19 Hands on History: Trappers, Trades & Treaties – Sutter’s Fort visitors will step back in time to the 1840s to learn why trappers were considered “jacks of many trades,” and experience how they lived, worked, explored new territory, and traded with local Native Americans. In addition to learning about many fascinating aspects in the life of a trapper, Sutter’s Fort visitors will have the hands-on opportunity to examine fur pelts, create documents with a quill pen and oak gall ink, and string trade beads.

Fun Family Activity Weekend1/19 – Family Activity: Animal Tracks & Signs at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center – There are many animal-made signs in the woods that reveal who has used the trail before you. Become a nature detective and search for some animal tracks, scat, and signs in the Nature Preserve.

1/20 – Family Activity: Turtle Talk – What is turtle island? What’s the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Learn about these shelled critters with a hands-on approach to these amazing reptiles. Find out what’s in the shell with Elaine from the Sacramento Turtle and Tortoise Club and her turtles.

Bacon Fest Midtown Sacramento1/20-27 – Bacon Fest – Bacon Fest Sacramento is all about pork from pigs who lived healthy, happy lives at farms where farmers value ethical and sustainable food production. All the bacon and pork enjoyed at BFS events are house-made by Sacramento chefs that
give a damn about quality natural foods. Bacon activities abound at Sacramento’s Bacon Fest. From a Kevin Bacon-themed musical tribute to a chef’s competition, with many delicious, bacon-filled activities inbetween, you will be sure to leave this event full and satiated.

Globetrotterw World Tour1/21 – Harlem Globetrotter: You Write the Rules World Tour -Your family’s smiles will begin before you even get to the show as the Harlem Globetrotters 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour takes kid participation to a whole new level. For the first time ever, fans will decide the rules for the game that could affect the final outcome. Vote for your favorite, craziest rule now, then see the winning rules implemented live into Globetrotter basketball. After the game, Globetrotter stars will remain on court for autographs and photographs with fans.

Before the game, take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family where you get to actually spend time on the court with the Globetrotters—shooting, trying out ball tricks, getting autographs, and taking photos! The unique 30-minute pre-show, Magic Pass, will create memories of a lifetime.

Anastasia KrupnikNow thru February 17 – Anastasia Krupnik at the B Street Theater – Don’t miss Anastasia Krupnik, adapted by Meryl Friedman and based on the story by Lois Lowry. This opinionated and imaginative 10-year-old gives you an outrageously funny perspective on finding herself.

MLK Day at Fairytale Town1/21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Fairytale Town – Fairytale Town will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Bring the kids for a day of fun. Fairytale Town offers children and families a safe place to imagine, play, and learn. With 25 playsets based on nursery rhymes and fairytales, a friendly flock of farm animals, two performing arts stages and several gardens, learning has never been more fun!

March for the Dream1/21 – March for the Dream – MLK365 is proud to bring you the 32nd Annual March for the Dream, the 2nd largest MLK March West of the Mississippi! Each year a diverse crowd of more than 28,000 enthusiastic participants from across Northern California come to Sacramento to honor late Martin Luther King Jr. Starting this year, marchers will be able to both “honor the past and impact the future.” While the march itself is free, MLK365 is encouraging participants to register, donate, and fundraise for the March for the Dream Foundation in their effort to eliminate the academic achievement gap, creating educational opportunities for all children to thrive.