Did you know that the Mall of America is the largest shopping complex in the country? Nestled in Bloomington, Minnesota, minutes from Minneapolis, this megaplex offers typical mall shopping (over 500 stores) and entertainment, and one-of-a-kind shops that you haven’t seen anywhere else. Best of all, it has a theme park located right in the heart of it.
Nickelodeon Universe is the mammoth family fun attraction that boasts rides, a slew of restaurants, and meet and greets with your favorite characters. After an invigorating visit (without kids), here are nine things you can’t miss at the Mall of America.
1. Riding A Unique Coaster
I love rides that go upside down and sideways. I found this and even more in the SpongeBob Square Pants Rock Bottom Plunge roller coaster. You literally go up the first straight up and down incline lying on your back, then crest over the top and fly down a pretty steep plunge before starting the loops and other thrills of the ride. The ride seems to last quite a long time for a coaster, especially in a mall. This was my favorite thrill ride at Nickelodeon Universe. Note: Must be 48″ tall to ride.
2. Shopping at the Anchor Stores
Macy’s and Nordstrom are the glossy, shiny and incredibly stocked anchor stores to Mall of America. With great discounts and sales running continually, chances are if you want it, they’ve got it and for the right price. You don’t even have to come into the full extent of the mall to enjoy the goodies at either of these anchor stores.
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3. Flying Over America
Flying Over America is a simulator ride experience that offers special features to enhance your ride, such as wind, scents, and mist. During this ride, you soar through the skies and across the country as you get with a visual treat from scenic areas from multiple states. I won’t spoil it for you, but expect to see lakes, mountains, landmarks, and more in this unique offering. There is also a Flying Over Canada version, as well.
4. Sampling the Food Scene
With over 100 choices for food and drinks at the Mall of America, you are going to go insane trying to decide what to have! The choices seem endless! There are 19 food court offerings (think Panda Express and Sbarro), 18 fast casual spots (Auntie Anne’s and Noodles & Company), 23 full-service eateries (Rainforest Cafe, Wahlburgers, and Cantina Laredo), 29 places to get your junk food fix, and 15 for coffee and tea needs. Whew! I’m exhausted thinking about all of them.
Besides Mall of America, Minnesota also hosts one of the best state fairs in the entire country. Read more about the fun and great food scene at the Minnesota State Fair here.
5. No Tax
Stock your closet or buy those clothes you’ve been wishing for all while saving money. There is no state sales tax on clothing purchases in the state of Minnesota. How cool is that?
6. Sharing Your Coloring Skills
The Mall of America offers the Crayola Experience, a 60,000 sq. ft. space with cool things to see and do. It is also the largest selection of Crayola products found anywhere. Dive into the 25-hands on activities where kids and adults alike enjoy creating crafts, coloring, making crayons, and learning throughout the whole experience. You can even star in your own coloring page. My favorite activity is to name and wrap a crayon with whatever name you choose. I created a red Wherever I May Roam crayon.
7. Investigating Sea Life
Another great find in the Mall of America is Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. While the price tag is a bit steep, the visuals of the underwater life featured in the tanks is incredible. I find it difficult to take good pictures at most aquarium across the country, but this one was an exception. Walk from jellyfish to sea dragons, and sharks to clownfish, while you explore the kind of sea life from that particular part of the world. The Shark Cove was incredible! There are also stingray touch tanks, perfect for letting the kids have hands-on time . The moon jellies exhibit was my favorite; colorful, fun, and almost psychedelic.
8. Play with Legos
Kids and adults both love visiting a LEGO store and the Mall of America has a great one. Whether you make a purchase or not, you can still enjoy playing with the massive quantities of these favorite building toys to let your imagination run wild. There are also several life-size LEGO creations to admire and make great photos.
9. Experience New Stores First
Mall of America is a popular area for new stores to make their homes. Some of the newer ones include Kendra Scott (jewelry), Morphe (beauty retailer), Riley Rose (cosmetics) Indochino (made-to-measure menswear), Minnewaffolis (waffles with a Minnesota twist), and Peloton (savvy home biking club).
Mall of America: A Vacation Destination In Itself
With so many awesome things to see and do, regardless of the weather outside, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is a unique vacation destination. It’s a shopping spree, a way to get in your Fitbit steps, and a place to wander for hours. Happy exploring!
Fun Fact: The Mall of America cost $650 million to build in 1992.
Thanks to Mall of America for proving me with attraction tickets to explore Nickelodeon Universe. All opinions and reviews are mine and 100% unbiased.
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