My family just returned from an action-packed experience at the Colonial Life Arena. Monster Jam has returned after a pandemic hiatus and it couldn’t have come at a better time! After a year of limited activities and events, we were ready to get out and take part in something exciting. Monster Jam fit the bill with their ultimate mix of high-flying action and four-wheel excitement. And they introduced their new Fan Wellness Enhancements so that families can safely enjoy the show.
Fan Wellness Enhancements: The Rules & What We Experienced
- Field Entertainment spent 9 months on enhanced health measures that are designed to deliver the same revved up family experience fans expect from Monster Jam.
- Feld Entertainment worked very closely with their trusted venue partner, Colonial Life Arena, to ensure the highest standards of wellness when it comes to live experiences. Learn more about new Fan Wellness enhancements at Monsterjam.com.
- Seating capacity is reduced with a Pod Seating structure, which allows family and friends to enjoy the show while social distancing from other groups in attendance. This system felt VERY effective. Unavailable seats were blocked off with zip ties so there was no “jumping” or “skipping” seats. (Pre-COVID, we’ve all seen that person that moves closer to the entertainment when the show starts. Not in this case!) Also, the available seats were spaced very far apart, six feet or more, so we felt very comfortable watching the show following CDC guidelines.
- Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between your party and others.
- Colonial Life Arena increased sanitation efforts, hand sanitizer stations and social distancing protocols. We noticed signs on the ground showing people where they should stand in the ticket line, concessions line, bathroom line, and line to buy souvenirs. In addition, the bathroom and other areas were marked as one way to avoid individuals passing too closely.
- All fans age 2 and older must wear a properly fitting face covering over their nose and mouth throughout the event. Colonial Life Arena had staff in place walking through the aisles and staircases before the show and during intermissions enforcing this rule. I appreciated the venue’s commitment to keeping guests as safe as possible. No one seemed to mind the reminder, and everyone I observed happily complied. To avoid close interaction, staff would hold up a reminder sign to those who were not wearing a mask.
- Purchasing your favorite souvenirs is now easier than ever. They’ve created new touch-free payment and digital purchasing options for your convenience. Fans can now skip the line by pre-ordering items prior to arriving at the venue and have their purchase ready upon arrival at the event. During the show, fans can also order merchandise from the comfort of their seat and pick up their merchandise at select locations within the venue. This also was very helpful after the show when people seem to rush the souvenir stand. There was a very visible sign that allowed guests to easily scan a code and purchase items from their phone to pick up at a designated station. It was like being able to avoid a long line altogether! Win-win!
The Main Show: Tips & What to Expect
There’s something for everyone
I’m the mama of an 8-year-old boy. He loves all things loud, on wheels, and touting daredevil stunts. In other words, Monster Jam was perfect for him! And while I might tend to lean towards more calm events, Monster Jam was just as entertaining and fun for me! We loved watching all the jumps, spins, tricks, and spills. (And yes, one of the trucks did flip over and land on its back…all was well with the driver and vehicle, but talk about a wild ride!)
You get to score each truck’s performance and determine the winner live
One of the things that really made the show engaging, for both the audience and our family, was the voting. There were different competitions, and each vehicle would give its best. Guests were able to log into a special website and rank each performance. The live announcer would tell the audience what each truck scored and the ranking would fluctuate depending on who was currently in the lead (or lack thereof). As a family, we had to agree on a score. And we loved cheering when our favorites would move up the scoreboard (and sometimes win)!
There’s an intermission and plenty of breaks
Nothing is worse than having to get up in the middle of a show to take your little one to the restroom or buy that drink they’ve been wanting for the last 30 minutes. And, you know how kids are – their attention spans are only so long. While my 8-year-old never got fidgety and was glued to the show for the duration, that might not be the case for others. The first intermission was after about 40 minutes, and thereafter, there were several small breaks while the show staff broke down the equipment and set up for the next performance. It was the perfect chance to duck out without missing a beat.
You’ll be entertained the entire time
Full disclosure…my son can be really picky about entertainment. I’ll think he is going to love something, only to get through about 15 minutes with him exclaiming “I’m bored.” Not with Monster Jam! The show clocks in at right around two hours, but it didn’t feel that long at all because we were so entertained! In fact, when the announcer let everyone know the show was over, my son said “That’s it?!” None of us could believe how quickly time passed.
Pro tip – don’t forget ear plugs or noise canceling headphones
It’s LOUD in there. Like giant monster truck engine loud. Not only do your kids need something for their ears, you do too. I was able to pick up ear plugs from Target a few hours before the show and they worked like a charm! And at only $3.99 for a box of 12 pairs, you can’t beat the price. For smaller kids, noise canceling headphones are the best bet. These can be purchased at Academy Sports or the souvenir stand at the event. (The ones sold at the event are SUPER cute! The part that goes over the ear looks like a monster truck wheel and lights up!)
Ticket Information: It’s Not Too Late to Grab Yours!
Monster Jam is the ultimate family outing, especially with the new fan wellness enhancements! With shows on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, there’s still plenty of time to reserve your seats.
Saturday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 11 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC
ticketmaster.com and the Prisma Health Box Office inside Colonial Life Arena – seating is limited, so don’t miss out!