It’s a shopping mall that is also a tourist attraction. Each year, millions of people visit the Mall of America, located in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. Its massive footprint accommodates more than 500 stores, 50 restaurants, and attractions. If you enjoy the shopping experience, you can immerse yourself in it like nowhere else. If you tired of accumulating goods, you can also ride a roller coaster, play miniature golf, or otherwise amuse yourself for hours without ever putting anything in a shopping bag.

Mall of America Video and Photos

Highlights

  • A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation: They have a simulator to help you experience what it’s like to fly military jets, although we’re not fully convinced there isn’t plenty of space in this mall to fly real ones.
  • Amazing Mirror Maze ®: Dodge yourself as you try to find your way through this reflecting labyrinth. Don’t worry, they will get you out if you become hopelessly lost.
  • American Girl® store: The two-story store is all about letting girls bond with their dolls. Among other features, the store employs stylists specially trained to help your doll pull off the latest looks.

American Girl store

  • Barbie Dreamhouse®: They needed some twenty pounds of glitter and a hundred gallons of pink paint to decorate the 30,000 feet of this exhibit. It includes interactive areas and, of course, a sizable collection of Barbie dolls.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop®: You can create your own stuffed animal here. Master Bear Builders are available to assist.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

  • LEGO ® store: This shop covers the gamut from bins of the most basic blocks to huge displays of amazing figures constructed from Legos.

LEGO store

  • Moose Mountain Adventure Golf: This 18-hole miniature golf course allows you to putt your way through woodland-themed obstacles.
  • Nickelodeon Universe: In the middle of the mall you will find, and, in fact, can’t miss, seven acres of Nick-branded roller coasters and other attractions. They also have daily light shows viewable from any level of the mall. The rides do have a cost associated with them.

Nickelodeon Universe

  • SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium: The aquarium houses more than 10,000 marine creatures. You can walk through a 300-foot see-through tunnel located fourteen feet below the main tank’s surface for an inside look at the sharks, turtles, and other oceanic life forms.

SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium

  • Sky Deck Sports Grille & Lanes: The mall arcade also contains TVs and bowling lanes. It features both classic and modern video games, plus sports on television and standard bar and grill food.
  • Theatres at Mall of America ®: What’s a mall without a movie theatre? Find first-run and independent movies here. They also have setups for 3D and motion seats.

Prices

Admission to the mall itself is free. Once inside, the various rides and experiences cost money, as, of course, do the wares in the various shops and restaurants.

For discounts at mall retailers and attractions, visit moaspecialoffers.com. You can also find discounts in the back of the guide to Bloomington and the Mall of America. It is available at the airport and other places catering to tourists or online.

For group rates at the various attractions, email [email protected]

Tips

  • Fitness: If you want to take advantage of the large indoor space to move your legs at a more constant pace than browsing the stores, the Mall of America welcomes mall walkers. You can even register for their MOA™ Mall Stars walking club.
  • Kids and Teens Supervision: After 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays, the mall requires that an adult, age 21 or older, be on hand to supervise persons age 15 and under. One adult can supervise up to ten youths.
  • Navigation: Did we mention the place is humongous? Check the map and make sure you wear comfortable shoes. The mall has a number of map kiosks located within, too.

MOA Map

  • No Apparel Tax: The state of Minnesota doesn’t charge sales tax on clothing and shoes. That is a consideration if you know you’ll need to buy wearables and your trip include multiple states.
  • Restaurants: Eating establishments often stay open later than shops, so if you wander in right before closing time, don’t worry, they’ll still feed you.

Transport

Hotel shuttles, taxis, and buses drop off visitors at a transit station near the east entrance.

  • Bus: If you are coming from south of the mall, you can take the Metro Transit Red Line. Its northernmost stop is the Mall of America station. This is an express bus service with limited stops and vehicles designed for easy on-and-off. From other parts of the Twin Cities, you can take a number of different bus lines, including 5, 54, 415, 444, 515, 538, 539, 540, 542, and 683. The Metro Transit website has a summary.
  • Car: The mall has more than 20,000 free parking spaces among various ramps and surface lots. It is close to the airport and freeways.
  • Hotel shuttle: Bloomington contains more than forty hotels and nearly all of them offer shuttle service to the mall. Check with your hotel’s concierge. The Radisson Blu connects to the Mall via indoor walkway.
  • Rail: The Metro Transit Blue Line runs from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America. The Mall of America station is its southern terminus.
  • Taxi: The mall offers cab stands near its north entrance.

History

The Mall of America stands on the land once occupied by Bloomington Stadium, home of baseball’s Minnesota Twins and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings until 1982. After the teams moved to the Metrodome, the Bloomington Port Authority bought the site’s 78 acres with the intent to develop it.

In 1986, the authority signed an agreement with the Ghermezian brothers’ Triple Five Group to develop the space for entertainment and retail. They broke ground in 1989 and opened the complex in 1992 with 330 stores and some 10,000 employees.

Interesting Facts

  • 8 acres of skylights provide the mall with natural light.
  • There are 4.3 miles of total storefront expanse.
  • More than 5000 weddings have taken place at the mall.
  • Up to 13,000 people work at the mall at any given time.
  • The Nickelodeon Universe contains more than 30,000 live plants.
  • The entire building encompasses some 4.2 million square feet (390,193 square meters).
  • More than 40 million people visit the mall each year.
  • The Mall of America has its own zip code from the United States Post Office (55425).

2 Reviews

  1. amcki
    amcki
    United States 26 Comments
     -  06 Dec 2017

    Mall of America is a cool place, but if you’re not trying to shop or deal with herds of people, I wouldn’t go. The theme parks in the mall and the variety of stores make it somewhat worthwhile, and the sales tax break is also nice. I would visit if you’re a big shopper or are simply fascinated by such a huge mall, but for me, it’s not on my must-do list.

  2. nicole5056 14 Comments
     -  03 Apr 2017

    This is a massive mall. It is not so busy on the weekdays, but on the weekends it is a zoo. Even if you don’t love to shop, this is not a bad place to go since there is such a wide variety of stores. There’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes.

Post a Review

You must be to post a comment.