I am one of those people: I detest malls. I don’t particularly love shopping most of the time anyway, and the idea of a shopping mall as being a “fun” place just escapes me. Before my recent visit to Minnesota last month, I hadn’t been inside a mall in years.
Then I discovered the Mall of America.
This is truly a place that defies the notion of a “mall.” Of course, I’ve heard about it for years. And admittedly, my main reason for going there was because I was visiting the Twin Cities area with my four-year-old grandson on vacation – and the Mall of America (MOA) is rife with family activities.
I was surprised to discover, however, that I actually enjoyed MOA quite a bit too. Upon our entrance it felt more like a museum, with a large four-story rotunda and hundreds of pieces of artwork lining the walls. Add to that the dozens of cool attractions here – not to mention the dining and, yes, the hundreds of stores if you are into shopping – and this was one awesome place.
My grandson and I had a blast experiencing the following attractions, and I’m not sure who was the bigger kid during our time there. (But, read on for more attractions of the grown-up variety).
Other family attractions at MOA (that we didn’t get to) include the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, Crayola Experience, FlyOver America, the Amazing Mirror Maze, and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. You could easily spend a week here and not do everything.
As promised, there are plenty of diversions sans kids as well – check out the House of Comedy or catch a flick at the huge movie theater. MOA is home to many upscale, buzz-worth restaurants including Crave, Cedar + Stone Urban Table and the FireLake Grill House + Cocktail Bar. Happy hour specials, salsa dancing lessons and live bands every weekend provide plenty of entertainment. Various events throughout the year such as National Beer Day and live music series also promise adult fun.
Where to Stay:
As noted, we stayed at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America.
If you’re looking for a more urban location, stay at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. This sophisticated, chic hotel makes a great base for exploring Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and is still only a twenty minute drive to Mall of America.
More Area Information: