When you think of Minnesota, there are a few things that come time mind. The Viking and the Mall of America. The Mall of America is huge shopping and entertainment complex located in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Just across the highway from the Airport. With 5.6 million square feet of retail space, it is the largest mall in the United States, and one of the biggest in the world.
Do locals actually shop there? Is it just a shopping center? What are the best things you need to do there? As a local who was here for it’s grand opening, I am here to answer those questions and more.
The Mall of America in Bloomington MN
The mall features over 500 stores, ranging from popular clothing brands to luxury boutiques, as well as a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment options.
Some of the most popular attractions include an indoor amusement park called Nickelodeon Universe, a large aquarium called SEA LIFE Minnesota, and an interactive attraction called the Crayola Experience.
The mall is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. That’s because of it’s great shopping and entertainment. It has a bunch of great amenities for visitors, like free Wi-Fi, stroller rentals, and a variety of package deals with nearby hotels.
Is the Mall of America the biggest mall in the world?
While the Mall of America is one of the largest malls in the world, it is not actually the biggest. In fact, the world’s largest mall is the New South China Mall, located in Dongguan, China.
The Mall of America is still an impressive, with its mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
What is the parking situation at the Mall of America?
The Mall of America has great parking ramps on both side of the mall. Coming from highway 494 in Bloomington, just follow the signs and they’ll take you right there. It’s just south on the other side of the highway as the Airport.
Each ramp is big with plenty of room. In all my year’s I don’t think I’ve ever not found a spot! T\he mall does a great job of monitoring spots and letting you know when the level is filled, making parking so easy.
Take the train to the MOA
If don’t want to drive, they’ve made it incredibly easy! Metro Transit takes you directly to the mall. The train station is located at ground level. This is a great option for those who want to avoid the stress of navigating unfamiliar roads or finding parking.
Take the Blue Line train towards the Mall of America. The Blue Line runs 24/7 between downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America, with trains departing every 10-15 minutes during peak hours.
The Shopping at the Mall of America
With all the shopping at the Mall of America, you might wonder, is it just a big mall. While yes, there are a lot of the same stores you’ll find in every mall. There are plenty of great specialty stores.
One of the reasons people love the MOA is that they are all under one roof. With over 500 stores, it’s impossible to tell you about all my favorites. Here are a few that I personally love.
Looking for the latest and greatest? You gotta stop into the Apple Store. You’ll find the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and accessories.
A high-end department store that provides as one of the anchors of the mall. They have a wide variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and kids, all with a level of service that can’t be beat.
A cosmetics store with huge selection of makeup, skincare, and beauty products from all the top brands.
A store that specializes in Lego toys, sets, and accessories for kids of all ages. You can find just about every individual piece you are needing, plus sets. There is also a great hands on area where kids can build their own creations.
Yes, the one you’ve probably gotten tons of social media post about. They have high-quality workout gear, yoga clothes, and other athletic wear.
Zara is a clothing store that offers trendy and stylish clothing for men, women, and children at affordable prices. I highly recommend stopping in.
The mall has stores in and out all the time, making it a great place to find new things. You can always find a good gift or do some back to school shopping a the Mall of America. Plus with no sales tax on Clothing, make sure to stock up if you are from out of town.
What are the best restaurants in the Mall of America?
The Mall of America in Minnesota has a bunch of dining options, with more than 50 restaurants and food kiosks.
There are two main food courts, located on the third floor on opposite ends of the mall. These have all your favorites.
There are also other high end restaurants that are prefect for you great dinner. Here are some of the unique places to dine at the Mall of America and my personal favorites:
Twin City Grill
This casual restaurant has classic comfort foods with a little bit of Minnesota take. you’ll find things like walleye, Minnesota Hot Dish and burgers, sandwiches and salads.
A family-friendly restaurant that offers a rainforest-themed dining experience, complete with animatronic animals and a simulated thunderstorm. Definitely a favorite for kids
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
A seafood restaurant that offers a variety of shrimp dishes. You can also find other seafood, steaks, and sandwiches, all inspired by the movie Forrest Gump. Make sure to get a picture on the bench outside next to Forest.
Crave is a trendy restaurant that offers a variety of sushi, steak, and seafood dishes, as well as a popular patio overlooking the Amusement Park.
Benihana is a Japanese restaurant that offers teppanyaki-style cooking, where skilled chefs prepare meals on a hibachi grill right in front of guests.
Offering up sweet treats, cakes, pastries an more with a NJ based spin. While this isn’t the same location as the famous one on TLC’s Cake Boss, it does have all the same recipies.
Wahlburgers is a great family restaurant, serving up classic burgers with a twist. Founded by Mark Wahlberger and his brothers Donnie and Paul. You’ll find great food everyone will love.
Sugar Factory Express
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the Sugar Factory. They are know for their milkshakes, ice cream and sundaes. The best thing is, every single treat is Instagram worthy. Stop in if you get the chance!
Trust me when I say you won’t go hungry.
What are the top attractions at the Mall of America?
The Mall of America in Minnesota has some great enterainment options. It’s probably the number one reason my family keeps going back. We like to do somethign new each time, just to break up the shopping.
Aside from the shopping, these are the biggest draws to the mall.
The park’s rides are based on Nickelodeon shows, like SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium
A large aquarium that features over 10,000 sea creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays. It also offers interactive exhibits, including a touch pool and a 300-foot ocean tunnel.
A flight simulator ride that takes guests on a virtual tour of the United States, featuring 4D effects such as wind, mist, and scents.
An interactive attraction that allows visitors to explore the world of Crayola, featuring hands-on activities such as coloring, painting, and sculpting.
Moose Mountain Adventure Golf is an 18-hole miniature golf course that is themed around the North Woods of Minnesota, with waterfalls, caves, and a mining area.
This is just one of the Mini Golf courses around the state you need to check out.
The Escape Game
An interactive experience where guests work together to solve puzzles and clues to escape a themed room within a set time limit.
The Fair on 4
Stop into the fair and feel like you are at the state fair. Snack on fair foods like corn dogs and funnel cakes while you play classic fair food. They even have a1/4 mile go-kart track inside. You can throw axes, have craft beers and cocktails.
How long do you need for a trip to the MOA?
The Mall of America is 3 full floors, with the fourth floor is much smaller. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk each floor without stops.
I know some people that will take a day per floor. I recommend setting aside a full day to explore the mall. This will give you four hours of shopping, a couple hours for lunch and dinner, plus another 4 hours for different attractions.
Tips for visiting the Mall Of America
Here are some of my favorite tips to help you make the most of your visit:
Plan ahead: The Mall of America is huge, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit ahead of time. Check out the mall’s website, or download their app, to see a map of the layout, as well as a directory of stores and restaurants.
Get there early: The mall can get quite busy, especially on weekends and during holidays. To avoid the crowds, try to get there early in the day, before the mall gets too crowded.
Follow the weather forecast to avoid crows: Traditional speaking if its a weekend and it’s raining, it will be busy. If it’s snowing, it will be dead inside. Same on beautiful sunny days. Even when it is busy, you’ll still have a great time.
Check for deals: The mall offers a variety of deals and discounts on shopping, dining, and entertainment, so be sure to check the mall’s website or pick up a coupon book at the guest services desk.
Dress comfortably: The Mall of America is huge, and you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as the temperature inside the mall can vary.
Take advantage of the amenities: The mall offers a variety of amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, a nursing mothers room, and stroller rentals. Take advantage of these amenities to make your visit more comfortable.
Consider a package deal: The Mall of America partners with several hotels in the area to offer package deals that include hotel accommodations, transportation, and other perks. Consider booking one of these packages to save money and make your visit more convenient.
By following these tips, you can have a fun and enjoyable visit to the Mall of America.
What hotels are near the Mall of America?
This luxury hotel is located directly connected to the Mall of America, with easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment.
You can walk from the lobby, directly to the malls hallways. Don’t worry, it’s quiet and secure.
The hotel features spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities, a full-service spa, and several on-site restaurants.
This upscale hotel is located directly across from the Mall of America and offers easy access to the airport and downtown Minneapolis.
The hotel features contemporary rooms and suites, a fitness center, a restaurant and bar, and an indoor pool. Plus there is a shuttle from the Mall to the hotel.
Great Wolf Lodge is great for families. As the largest indoor waterpark in Minnestoa, you’ll have shopping and fun all in one spot. Spend a day at the Mall, Spend the night at the waterpark!