28 FUN Things to do in Bloomington Minnesota
The City of Bloomington is a great place to live, work, and play. It is close to downtown Minneapolis and fun attractions like Minnehaha Falls, the Minnesota Zoo, and Fort Snelling State Park.
There are also a number of things to do in Bloomington Minnesota that are not necessarily tied to Mall of America. Some of the best things include getting to see the great parks and playgrounds.
If you’re looking for a day out, there are plenty of things to do in Bloomington Minnesota. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
I absolutely love exploring Bloomington MN. Not only does it have the MOA, but it’s also home to the Minneapolis International Airport.
It has great parks to explore and even sweet treats hiding around. There are so many fun things to do in Bloomington Minnesota, that it’s hard to choose what to do first.
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Things to do in Bloomington Minnesota
Mall of America
Location: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
If you’re looking for a place to spend a day or two and have plenty of things to do, the Mall of America is definitely the destination for you. It still holds the title of the largest mall in the United States with more retail stores than any other.
It’s only a short 10-minute drive from the airport.
With more than 3 million square feet of shopping, food, and entertainment options, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. In addition to all of the standard mall attractions, such as department stores and movie theaters, the mall also has a number of unique areas.
The fourth floor is where you’ll find some more adult entertainment, like Rick Bronson’s Houseof comedy. Bars and other restaurants!
It’s funny when you hear people say locals don’t shop here. I absolutely love going for a day date and browsing shops I wouldn’t normally get to. They have great restaurants and upscale food court options. Plus all the fun attractions inside!
Enjoy Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs
Location: 8000 Ikea Way, Bloomington, MN 55425
If you have an hour or more and are looking for fun home ideas, you gotta go to IKEA. They have a large selection of affordable furniture. The top floor is dedicated to their showroom, inspiring you with new bookshelf and furniture combinations. You’ll also get to stop at their restaurant and fill up on Swedish Meatballs before heading downstairs.
There you’ll find endless grab-and-go selections of everything you need to fill out the house. Pickup rugs, frames, art, pillows, cookware, and everything else you can think of. While it may not be a favorite for my kids, my husband and I love getting new ideas here.
Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark
Location: 1700 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425
Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark is one of the most popular waterparks in the Midwest, and it’s easy to see why – with a massive collection of rides and attractions, Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark is perfect for all ages.
Kids will love the giant waterslides, like the Alberta Falls which takes them and a friend four stories down a tandem tube ride. Adults will enjoy the thrilling River Canyon Run, which spins riders around 360 degrees and you can pick your own themed light show above you.
There’s also a great selection of family-friendly attractions, like the Wave Pool and Fort Mackenzie treehouse. Stay in one of their themed bunk house rooms and take part in their nightly kid’s dance parties.
With so many things to do, Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark is sure to keep guests entertained for hours on end.
If you don’t need to spend the night, you can also get a day pass to the park. This I a great time no matter how long you spend there.
Looking for more great waterparks in Minnesota? Check out 16 of the Best Indoor Waterparks in Minnesota or Book your stay by clicking here.
Blue Sun Soda Shop
Location: 9801 Nicollet Ave, Bloomington, MN 55420
The Blue Sun Soda Shop in Bloomington, Minnesota is a nostalgic soda shop that has been in business since 1919. They hold the record as the Largest Craft Soda and candy store in Minnesota.
It is a family-owned and operated business, and the soda shop serves up traditional flavors of root beer, cola, and fountain drinks. The shop also sells ice cream, chocolates, and other snacks.
In Bloomington, you can visit one of their offshoot locations. From traditional colas to unique varieties like vampire blood and everything in between. You’ll find all the same soda collections you’ll find at their flagship store, without the drive.
Love Soda? You need to check out the store in person! So many great things to try. Check out Blue Sun Soda and Sweet Shop: The Perfect Treat All Year Round for the full experience.
Airport Viewing Area
Location: Cargo Rd, St Paul, MN 55111
Love viewing airplanes? With the international airport a mile away from the Mall of America, you need to check out this great hidden location. You’ll get the chance to view the airplanes take off and land all without needing a ticket!
Getting there is a little intimidating and even includes a trip under the runway. From Bloomington or I-494, take 24th Ave. north to 77th St.
Take 77th St. west to Longfellow Road, and follow Longfellow north to Cargo Road. Turn right on Cargo Road and follow it to the new viewing area, located just past and the Federal Express shipping facility.
The viewing area has picnic tables. You can visit it from dusk to dawn.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve & Play Area aka Chutes and Ladders
Location: 10145 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Hyland Lake Park Reserve is home to one of the largest play structures in Minnesota – Chutes and Ladders. The play area is large enough for toddlers to explore and has a number of different levels to keep the children entertained for hours on end.
Climb up giant cargo nets, through tunnels. There are also plenty of swings and other play structures for older children to enjoy.
During the summer, your kids will get drenched in the misters. It’s only a light spray but you know kids. They will go back until they are dripping. Make sure to get there early to get one of the covered picnic tables.
In addition to the play area, Hyland Lake Park Reserve is a great place to cross-country ski in the winter. Rent a paddle boat during the summertime or fish at the docks. There is plenty to see and do there.
What makes Hyland Lake Park Reserve a must-visit?
Hyland Lake Park Reserve is a beautiful nature park located in the heart of Bloomington. The park offers a wide range of activities within the park, including fishing, hiking and scenic views.
Normandale Japanese Garden
Location: West Lot, 9700 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431
The Normandale Japanese Gardens are a beautiful and tranquil place to visit. The gardens are filled with a variety of beautiful trees and plant life. Sit by the coy pond and watch the fish or walk over the bridge. They are also home to a number of interesting statues and artwork.
The gardens are hidden behind the college campus and are free to enter. It’s a great spot to have a nice calm walk or just refresh. It’s open to the public!
The LEGO Store inside the Mall of America
Location: 164 South Avenue, Bloomington, MN 55425
The LEGO store inside the Mall of America is a must-see for LEGO fans of all ages. The array of LEGO sets and models on display is truly astonishing, and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. If you’re looking to buy a gift for a LEGO enthusiast, the Mall of America is the perfect place to do so.
What I love about the Lego Store is getting to see all the models built. If you are looking for a special piece, you can find it in the store. There is also an area for kids to build just outside the shop. Above the open store are larger-than-life models.
On the weekends expect a line just to enter!
Bloomington Historical Museum and Old Town Hall
Location: 10200 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55431
Love a little bit of history? You got to explore the Bloomington Historical Society inside the old Town Hall. The
Town Hall is a building in Bloomington, Minnesota that was built in 1892. The Society uses the building for historical education and for hosting events.
The Town Hall is also home to the Bloomington Historical Society Museum, which has exhibits about the history of Bloomington and Cass County. Inside you’ll find memorabilia and photographs of everyday life in Bloomington during the mid-20th century.
Normandale Lake Park
Location: W 84th St & Chalet Rd, Bloomington, MN 55437
Normandale Lake Park is a beautiful spot to walk, picnic, and enjoy the many beautiful waterways that flow through the park. The pathways are well-maintained and 1.9 mile loop around the lake. It’s great to bike, or walk any time of the year.
On the east side of the park is a beautiful waterfall. Stop in for a summertime movie in the park at the bandshell or visit during the summer arts programs or some live music. There is a large parking area on the west side with access to the trails and lake access.
Location: 300 South Avenue Level 3, Bloomington, MN 55425
The Crayola Experience at the Mall of America was absolutely amazing! From the moment you enter to the time you leave. The exhibit has a great variety of Crayola products, from markers to coloring books to art supplies. Try out the latest products yourself.
Inside they have 25 hands-on attractions. Do a larger-than-life spin art on the Giant Light Board, Create your own Puzzle, see how crayons are made, create your own crayon wrapper or design, and scan your own fashion outfit, then project it on the screen and try it on!
Location: 5000 Center Ct, Bloomington, MN 55425
If you’re a Nickelodeon fan, then you know that there’s no better place to spend a day than at the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park! This is Minnesota’s only indoor amusement park and a family favorite things to do in Bloomington Minnesota.
This sprawling complex features attractions like Nick Arcade, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, and much more.
Meet your favorite characters and get your picture taken with them. Stop by the arcade or do a carnival game. Zipline high over the top of the park with Dutchman’s Deck Zip Lining. It’s a ton of fun! Or stop in during one of their theme months like Nickelodeon Boo-niverse.
Get an all-day wristband, or buy a few points and just do a couple of rides. Inside Nickelodeon Universe, you can also do things like Flyover America and the Mystery Mind ride.
With so many great options to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone at the Nickelodeon Universe!
Nickelodeon Universe has a bunch of fun things to do inside: Tips for a great day at Nickelodeon Universe in the MOA
Moose Mountain Mini Golf
Location: 376 North Garden, Bloomington, MN 55425
Moose Mountain Mini Golf is a great place to spend an hour. Located on the third floor of the MOA near the food court. This fun golf course is Northwood themes. Though Paul seemed to be missing when I was there.
The 18-hole course is a par 45. It’s easy enough for every skill level. With fun obstacles and ways to put around them with ease. You’ll be laughing the entire time!
Minnesota has some great Mini GOLF locations. This is one of our family’s favorites. To find more check out 24 Best Mini Golf Courses in Minnesota
Location: 9601 James Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431
Vertical Endeavors Indoor Rock Climbing provides a fun and challenging environment for climbers of all ages and levels. With over 20,000 square feet of climbing space, you’re sure to find the perfect challenge for your skills.
They also offer group classes, private lessons, and a Kids Zone with activities such as a climbing tower, bouldering wall, and foam pit.
Location: 750 American Blvd W, Bloomington, MN 55420
REI’s flagship location is in Bloomington Minnesota. This is the best place to get your outdoor gear in the Twin Cities.
Not only is the staff knowledgeable about everything they sell, but they have also tested it all in the field. They are no-nonsense and won’t try and upsell you with the gear you don’t need.
In addition to the great merchandise, you can also do an indoor rock climb at the front of the store. They also have a large rental department.
They can fully stock you for your adventure with all the gear of the BWCA or help you out with a few items you’d like to try out. We used them last year for a kids-size backpacking pack.
We didn’t want to commit to purchasing something my daughter would grow out of.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Location: 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425
The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place to hike. The refuge is home to many different types of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and bald eagles. There are several trails that visitors can follow to see these animals up close. The trails are well-maintained and provide a challenging but enjoyable hike.
The valley stretches along multiple cities, but in Bloomington, you’ll find the Education and Visitor Center. Inside is some great artwork and a gift shop. You’ll also be able to borrow binoculars for bird watching.
In addition to seeing the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, also stop by the Old Cedar Avenue Trailhead. There is a recently restored Old Cedar Avenue bridge that courses over the marsh and a boardwalk. You’ll see swans, geese, and other waterfowl. There is also a Natural Play Area at this location.
The Fair On 4
Location: 402 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
The Fair on 4 is a full-blown carnival inside the Mall of America. Located on the fourth floor, snack on favorites like hand-dipped corndogs, house-battered cheese curds, mini donuts, cocktail floats and beers.
When you’ve had your fill, take a trip on the quarter-mile go-kart track, throw axes or enjoy your favorite vintage arcade games. This a fun thing to do in Bloomington MN the family will love!
Northwest Airlines History Center
Location: Crowne Plaza Aire MSP Hotel, 3 Appletree Square, Bloomington, MN 55425
Long before Delta, Northwest Airlines was the biggest airline in Minneapolis. They were merged with Delta in 2008. Chances are if you flew out of Minneapolis before then, it was on a Northwest flight. To commemorate its long history in Bloomington they, have built the Northwest Airlines History Center.
The Northwest Airlines History Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, is home to artifacts, photos and memorabilia from the carrier’s past. The museum complex includes a gift shop, research library, and auditorium. The center is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 5pm.
Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center
Location: 11411 Masonic Home Dr, Bloomington, MN 55437
The Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center is both an event center and a free museum, exploring the work of the Freemasons’ throughout the world. They have documented the thousands of Masonic artifacts collected over the years by Minnesota Masonry.
Don’t be a mason-dummy, explore the history of Freemasonry! From the Fraternity’s formation in England in 1717, to the rise of anti-Masonic sentiment and the evolution to a world-wide fraternal order, find out the real origins of Masonic ritual and legend. This is a unique museum you need to check out.
Love free museums like these? You need to check out the other free museums spread out around the Twin Cities. There are Over 28 Free Museums in Minneapolis alone!
Scoops Ice Cream
Location: 3311, 7700 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Sure there are plenty of Ice Cream Shops in the Mall of America to try, but nothing beats the hometown cream of Scoops. Started by two school teachers and a promise to their son.
He was playing at the baseball field across the street and they promised him they’d go out for Ice Cream if he hits a home run. Wanting not just any ice cream, they soon found themselves with their own Ice Cream shop!
They have a great atmosphere inside and a perfect place to get a cool treat. The family continues to run the shop today and they are always doing special treat weekends to check out!
Bloomington Center For the Arts
Location: 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431
The Bloomington Center for the Arts houses eight resident art originations and is the place for arts and activities in the community. You’ll find the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Continental Ballet company, Medalist Concert band, and youth choirs.
The Bloomington Center for the Arts Performance Series includes awe-inspiring theater, band, chorale, and jazz concerts. Performances are held in the Schneider or Black Box theaters, located in the Bloomington Center for the Arts.
Richardson Nature Center
Location: 8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Richardson Nature Center in Bloomington is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something different. The center has a diverse collection of plants and animals, as well as a variety of trails and gardens.
The staff is helpful and welcoming, and the center offers educational programs for all ages.
West Bush Lake Park
Location: 9401 W Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
West Bush Lake Park in Bloomington is a beautiful place to spend a day. The park has a number of picnic areas, a playground, and a boat ramp.
One of the best reasons to go during the summer is for the beach. Bush Lake Beach is one of the most popular in the state, with over 100,000 visitors a year.
The beach and park are on opposite sides of the lake and connected by a bike path. The lake is also a great place to fish. In the winter months, there ice fishing tents are seen all over the lake. The whole family will have fun.
Hyland Hills Ski Area
Location: 8800 Chalet Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438
Hyland Hills is the place for downhill skiing and snowboarding in the Twin Cities metro area. The terrain park is full of progressive and innovative features and is known for some of the best snowmaking and grooming in the Midwest. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Hyland Hills has the perfect slopes for you.
With nearly 35 acres of terrain, progressive features, three chairlifts, four rope tows, and two surface conveyor lifts.
The terrain park is only one part of what makes Hyland Hills great. If you’ve never skied before or just want to brush up on your skills, check out one of their classes.
During the off-season, the hill is a favorite for hiking, especially for those training for trips on the Superior Hiking Trail.
Sea Life at the MOA
Location: One, Mall of America, 120 East Broadway East Side, Level, Bloomington, MN 55425
The sea life aquarium at the Mall of America is a great place to see some of the most exotic and rare fish in the world. The aquarium has a variety of different habitats, from the ocean to the rainforest, and it features a wide variety of different fish species.
Start by reserving some tickets online. Feed the stingrays and view the touch pond area. Then explore the 1.3 million gallon aquariums.
The Tunnels are 300 ft long as you go through 11 breathtaking exhibits, including the pacific northwest, Coral Caves, and Minnesota’s Sturgeon Lake. Watch the Sea Turtles and shark swimming above you at Sea Life Minnesota aquarium.
If you’re looking for a place to spend an afternoon, this is definitely it!
Tip: Get your tickets before you leave a save money!
Gideon Pond House at the Pond-Dakota Mission Park
Location: 401 E 104th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
Pond-Dakota Mission Park is the site of the historic Oak Grove Mission. IN 1834 two brothers served as farming instructors and missionaries to Chief Cloud Man’s band of Dakota Indians at Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.
Gideon Pond house is a historic house still stands. The house was built in 1894 for Frank and Lillian Innes, who were early settlers of the area. The house is a two-story frame structure with a gabled roof and features a large wraparound veranda.
You can explore the Pond-Dakota Mission Park, as well as the Gideon Pont House year around. Admission is free. During the summer, they hold a Dakota Language Camp there too.
Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad
Location: 8700 Bloomington Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425
Cedarcrest Park Splash Pad is located in Bloomington, MN, and is open from May to September. The splash pad features a variety of water features, a large play area for toddlers, and a picnic area. Cedarcrest Park is also home to the Bloomington Community Gardens.
On a hot summer day, the place is filled with kids cooling off. In addition to the splash pad, there is also a small playground, tennis courts, and a volleyball court.
The Links at Dred Scott Miniature Golf
Location: 10820 Bloomington Ferry Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55438
Dred Scott Mini Golf is a family-friendly golf course that features 18 holes of fun. The Links at Dred Scott offers a challenging course, with plenty of obstacles and natural hazards to keep you on your toes.
The courses are maintained by a team of experienced professionals who take pride in their work. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, you’ll love playing at the Links at Dred Scott.
What makes Bloomington MN a great destination?
Bloomington is not only located in the heart of Minnesota, but also in the heart of the attractions in Bloomington. It’s just 20 miles south of Minneapolis and has easy access to the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Mall of America, one of the best things to do in Bloomington, is also located there.
What are the top things to do in Bloomington MN?
There are a lot of fun and exciting things to do in Bloomington MN. The top things include visiting the Mall of America, exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, discovering SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, going on rides at Nickelodeon Universe, and staying at Great Wolf Lodge Water Park.
What is the best time to visit Bloomington MN?
Summer is a great time to visit and take advantage of the events around the city. But when it comes down to it, there is no bad time to visit because there is so many fun things to do in Bloomington MN.
What’s the easiest way to get to Bloomington MN?
Bloomington is located just 20 miles south of St. Minneapolis. Visitors can reach the city easily by taking a free shuttle ride from the airport.
What makes the Mall of America such a popular attraction in Bloomington?
The Mall of America is one of the best things to do in Bloomington, MN as it combines shopping, dining, entertainment, and attractions all under one roof. It features more than 500 stores, a huge indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and a ropes course, among other attractions.
What fun activities can the whole family enjoy in Bloomington MN?
Bloomington MN offers a variety of fun for the whole family, including exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, going on rides at Nickelodeon Universe, discovering SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, and staying at Great Wolf Lodge Water Park. Additionally, visitors can enjoy an exciting scavenger hunt at the Mall of America or visiting the Richardson Nature Center.
What can thrill-seekers do in Bloomington MN?
Bloomington MN offers a wide variety of action-packed fun for thrill-seekers. Visitors can go on rides at Nickelodeon Universe, go zip lining at Dutchman’s Deck, or challenge themselves at the ropes course at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center.
What are some free things to do in Bloomington MN?
Visitors to Bloomington MN can enjoy some free things to do in the region, such as visiting the Normandale Japanese Garden, exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and watching fashion shows at the Mall of America.
My Favorite Things to do in Bloomington Minnesota?
If you are looking for a weekend getaway in the Midwest, Bloomington, Minnesota is definitely worth a visit. This fun town has plenty to offer visitors, including a variety of places to eat and explore. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy.
You’ll probably find me at Scoops Ice Cream and the Links at Dred Scotts during the summer. In the winter, I’m headed over to the Mall of America for a little shopping! If you’re looking for a fun and active weekend getaway, Bloomington is definitely worth considering.