Thank you, Bloomington, MN and The Mall of America for providing us with media passes to experience a few of the attractions listed below.
Planning to visit the Mall of America for the first time? Wondering what to expect? What tips and tricks might you leave wishing you had known ahead of time? Luckily, we recently made our trek out to the Mall of America and made all of the mistakes, but we also did a few things right. Now we’re ready to spill the beans on everything we learned along the way!
The Mall of America | Not Your Average Shopping Experience
The Mall of America is truly a destination of its own – boasting over 78 acres and setting the standard for the largest mall in the United States! If you’re not that into shopping, don’t worry, there’s plenty else to keep one busy besides the hundreds of eclectic stores.
Take for instance the exhilarating thrill of flipping through the mall on a ride at Nickelodeon Universe or the excitement of attending one of the 400 events held at the Mall of America each year! Not to mention a robust list of family entertainment and dining opportunities!
But you shouldn’t let any of that overwhelm you. The Mall of America is perfectly do-able, even with kids. In fact, it’s quite fun!
Do We Look Like First Timers?
Absolutely! You could tell it was our first time stepping foot into the Mall of America at first glance! Our wide-eyed and silly grinned faces obviously gave us away. We were newbies, trying to figure out the best way to navigate this new-to-us land of opportunity.
Sure, we made a few mistakes like wearing uncomfortable shoes and not researching restaurant options ahead of time. We got lost and turned around (a lot). But in the end, we also learned something – like how to open our locker and get our Nickelodeon wristbands to stay on (that one is super tricky but there is an answer)!
So what were the top 10 things we learned that every Mall of America newbie should be aware of? I’m going to share them with you.
10 Things To Know About Before Visiting The Mall of America
1. Getting to the mall is easy and there is more than one option!
Since we were coming from out of town and needed a place to sleep at night anyway, we decided to book a hotel close to the mall with free shuttle service back and forth.
According to the Mall of America website, over 40 million people from around the world visit the Mall of America every year! Not having to deal with parking is surely a blessing!
Plus, the shuttles were super easy and quick! We simply grabbed ours from the Courtyard by Marriott, where we stayed, and had front door drop off and pick up at the Mall of America. Does it get any better than that?
Well, actually yes. During our visit, I noticed that there are hotels that are actually attached to the mall making it easy to simply walk back and forth! Amazing!
2. Free up those hands for fun by renting a locker or utilizing the coat check!
We chose to visit the Mall of America in March while the snow was still falling and needed to have our coats with us. Of course, I envisioned being stuck lugging the stack of coats through the entire mall and was delighted when I found out that I didn’t have to!
Directly after entering the mall and walking up near Nickelodeon Universe at center court, we stumbled upon a row of rentable lockers! We followed the directions, paid $5, and the locker was ours for the rest of the day!
This made me so happy. 🙂
3. Ride all day or squeeze a few rides in at Nickelodeon Universe!
Nickelodeon Universe is hard to miss – but why would you want to? The center of the mall is packed full of adventure with bumper cars, kiddie rides, and even a few rollercoasters!
For those wanting to play, wristband kiosks are found all over the center court. Simply purchase an unlimited pass or select how many rides you want to enjoy.
Here’s the tricky part – your band will be attached by the attendant at your first ride location. Let me save you the hassle of trying to peel off the imaginary tape – trust me, we weren’t the only ones!
4. Don’t miss a chance to FlyOver America!
Wow. All I can say is wow! FlyOver America is a ride unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. Imagine soaring over mountains, valleys, rivers, and fields in, what seemed to me, a real flight. My heart was thumping and my stomach flipped with each turn and drop. As I tried to hang on tighter, my kids squealed in delight, tossing their hands into the air.
FlyOver America can be found near Nickelodeon Universe, however, tickets are separate (but well worth it).
5. One day might not be enough to see it all!
Like I said before, this place isn’t just a mall. It is a vacation destination! Aside from shopping, we enjoyed the SeaLife Aquarium, the Crayola Experience, Nickelodeon Universe, and so much more! But we couldn’t do it all in one day!
6. Wear those walking shoes!
There was so much to do, we never wanted to sit down and take a break! At the Mall of America, comfy shoes are a must – take it from someone who barely wobbled back to their hotel room bed that night!
7. Research food ahead of time because the options are long.
I’ve learned pretty quickly that kids can be picky eaters (and mine can never agree on anything)! With the long list of options in dining at the Mall of America, narrowing it down to what we wanted was difficult. Look at the dining options on the Mall of America website ahead of time to be sure and find the perfect spot.
8. Help is always nearby so nobody gets lost.
Yes, it may be easy to get turned around in the Mall of America, but it is also easy to find help! Just look for one of the many interactive maps or even Pepper, the helpful guidance robot!
9. Find savings by picking up a coupon booklet.
With so many fun things we all wanted to do, having a few money-saving coupons in my pocket certainly helped out. These coupon booklets can be purchased online and contain a bunch of useful coupons for stores, restaurants, and attractions in the mall.
10. More savings found at Visit Bloomington, MN website.
Whenever I am visiting a location for the first time, I always hop online and check out the cities tourism website. Typically, they have awesome discount codes for local hotels and attractions and can help answer any questions I have about my trip.
Luckily, VisitBloomingtonMN had all of these things and more. Be sure to also follow them on social where I found fun and helpful posts about the Mall of America and other things to do in the area!
Be a help to someone else, use hashtag #BloomingtonMN when posting online so others can find your photos.
Have you ever visited the Mall of America? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below.