Disclosure: We received tickets to some attractions at the Mall of America. As always, all opinions are my own.
When I think about going to a mall, I think of walking around, shopping, grabbing food in a greasy food court, then shopping some more. And I’ve always equated being inside a mall during the day to being in a cave.
Visiting the Mall of America (MOA) squashed all of those preconceived notions instantly.
To start, when you walk inside, you feel like you’re outside. With the 8 acres of skylight that brings in 70% of natural light, and the entire place is filled with plants and trees, (30,000+ plants and 400 trees to be more precise). The year-round the temperature is a perfect 70 degrees!The food court is filled with all different types of food. For the cautious eater, they have the familiar food court libations. But for the curious, traveling foodie, you have an insane variety of restaurants to choose from. There’s fast food, healthy fast food, sit downs, family friendly, cocktail bars, and the list goes on. The MOA boasts 50 restaurants, surely anyone can find something they love from that list!
For the avid shopper, there are 520 stores to peruse. If you decide to visit every single one for 10 minutes each, it will take you a whopping 86 hours!! Or, you could just spend more time in your favorites…
For the non-shopper, like me, there was plenty to do. It is the perfect vacation spot for kids! With an entire theme park inside, an aquarium, miniature golf, and more, your kiddos will never get bored!
While we were there, we got to experience some of these super fun attractions!
The Crayola Experience
My daughter could have spent days here. As it was, we went first thing in the morning for a few hours. THEN, we went back at night to close them down.
In my experience, there was 5 hours worth of stuff to do there. But considering we had to leave when they closed, who knows how much longer it would have been.
A ticket for the whole day is $20 per person. If you don’t want to spend that much, you can always show up at 5 pm to pay half price. But that only gives you 2 hours until closing time. So, it’s up to you if you want to risk it. Nice to have the option though, eh?
Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium
I like aquariums as much as the next guy, but I was not planning on visiting an aquarium in another city. BUT. When I found out the Sea Life Aquarium had an ocean tunnel with sharks, I was SO IN!! And it certainly did not disappoint. It was 14 feet under the water’s surface and across 300 feet of surface. I had no idea if that would be a lot, but it went on and on!! And I loved every second of it!! I mean, sharks (!!), swimming right above your head! My photos don’t do it justice, but just know, it was incredibly cool and an absolute must-see!
There was also a Pacific Northwest Rockpool, also known in my neck of the woods as a “touch tank,” (sharks not included).
The Lego Store
My 4 year old sorta kinda has an obsession with Legos. And he also has a one track mind. While we were at the mall, all he wanted to do was to play at their play tables and put together a million different types of Lego guys. It was his fourth birthday while we were there so he got to pick out
several a few sets to take home, courtesy of the grandparents. The Lego creations on top of the store are incredible to behold. The robot is 34 feet tall, but to me, seemed so much taller than that.
The nation’s largest indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe has seven acres of family fun with 28 rides and attractions. They also have the longest indoor zip line in North America at 405 feet long, 55 feet above the ground.
We didn’t spend time inside the park, but we sure kept looking at it longingly. We were too busy with our other activities to take the time necessary for it. On Tuesdays they have “Toddler Tuesdays” for a special on wrist bands. Too bad we arrived late Tuesday night! Nickelodeon Universe is a full day of fun, and it will be the first stop on our list next time, for sure!
A few other fun attractions at the MOA:
The American Girl Store
A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation
Moose Mountain Adventure Golf
For this trip, we were there for a day and a half. Next time, we’ll plan on staying a bit longer. I didn’t even get a chance to go shopping-we were too busy visiting attractions! But rest assured, they have all the good stores to get in some serious retail therapy.
Have you ever been to the Mall of America? What is your favorite thing to do there?