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39+ Tips for a Perfect Mall of America Experience

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The Mall of America is the largest in Minnesota. Wait, it’s the largest shopping Mall in North America – hence the name.
Going to the Mall of America could take a few days, but most people only have one full day or even just a few hours to explore this Mall.
With traditional malls and stores closing throughout America, it was refreshing to visit the Mall of America and visit for a long weekend.
I recently spent about 36 hours in the Bloomington Area with my mom exploring everything the Mall of America offers. But what to do at the Mall of America (MOA)?
Keep reading, and I will give you my top tips of things to do at the Mall of America.

The Iconic sign outside of the Mall of America; Things to do in the Mall of America
One of the tips for visiting the Mall of America is to take a photo of its iconic sign!

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Mall of America Tips and Things to do

Besides shopping in the Mall of America, there are many things to do, from dining in the Food Courts to experiencing Flyover Americ


You could spend a lot of time figuring out the next fun thing to add to your list. The following list of Things to Do at the MOA is great for any traveler!

1. Wear comfortable shoes

I probably shouldn’t say this, but the whole family will rack up way more than the 10,000 steps your apple watch tells you to get. Wear cute yet stylish, comfortable shoes, or you might buy some!

2. There is no sales tax on shoes or clothes.

If you forget to wear comfortable shoes and need to buy some, it is not the end of the world since there will not be a sales tax on footwear!

I come from Louisiana, where our sales tax is super high, so when I found out there is no sales tax on shoes or clothing, I decided it was time to go seek out my favorite store and do some serious shopping!

Just note that there is a sales tax on items like accessories, but if you want to stock up on Christmas presents, Back to School Clothes, or Winter clothes, a trip to the Mall of America can save you some dough!

3. Pick up a Mall of America coupon book.

You can purchase a $10 coupon book at the Mall of America gift shop that could save you hundreds! You can buy the coupon book at various places, but I went to the gift shop right as I exited our hotel, the Raddison Blu.

Fun fact – the employee told me you could pick up a coupon at Guests Services to purchase the coupon book – I didn’t do this because it was across the Mall and I only had limited time.

But then she let me use a coupon in the book to buy the water in my hand while I was buying the book.

The coupons are good for one year, so if you visit the MOA in January and take another trip out there later in the year, you can use many coupons.

If not, I suggest giving the book to a friend visiting later in the year!

Nickelodeon Universe | Mall of America; mall of america rides coupons
Nickelodeon Universe is the Mall of America’s Amusement park. The coupon book has lots of coupons for this section of the mall!

4. Rent a locker or shopping cart

If you are not staying at a hotel nearby or have a car in the parking lot, you will probably want to rent a locker or shopping cart.

Either will come in handy after a full day of shopping and experiencing the Mall of America attractions. If you plan on visiting any rides, it’s best if you have a place to store all of your purchases.

5. Plan your Mall of America store floor list

There are tons of stores, and the sheer amount of retailers can be overwhelming. Before getting to the Mall of America, know what stores you would like to visit.

For example, do you love Anthropologie but don’t have one in your hometown? Make sure to put that on your list, so you don’t get distracted or overwhelmed by different stores.

Once you are at the Mall of America, grab a map, and map out the stores you would like to visit.

While there, I noticed that the first floor had most of the famous stores and became highly crowded the later it got in the day.

Make sure to save any stores on the second or third floor for later in the evening when the first floor is too crowded.

If you have a shopping game plan for the Mall of America, you won’t get side-tracked by a department store or the amusement park.

The earlier you can get to the Mall of America, the better!

seeing the mall of america from the third floor; what to do at mall of america
Shop the Mall of America early – it isn’t as busy as midday.

6. Take a photo with the Mall of America sign.

One of the things I wanted to do was take a photo with the Mall of America. Growing up, I always saw that iconic 1990s-style sign welcoming guests to the MOA on the news.

I didn’t research and was shocked that the Mall of America’s sign was changed during the Mall’s facelift in 2014. Even though it’s not the 1990s sign that we all grew up loving, it was still fun to take a photo with the sign!

Of course, I didn’t listen to my advice, and I forgot to take this photo while exploring the Mall the day before, so I had to run across the Mall to get my picture taken before we caught our flight!

Take your photo first thing in the morning; there are fewer people, and it doesn’t matter if it takes 20 minutes to take a selfie!

Mallory in front of the Mall of America Sign
Take your photo first thing in the morning, there are less people and it doesn’t matter if it takes 20 minutes to take a selfie!

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7. Have lunch at a Mall of America restaurant

The MOA has so many restaurants. There are over 50 restaurants in the Mall of America, including – fast food, fine dining, fast-casual dining, Mexican, American, and anything else under the sun.

The choices were plentiful, but we opted to eat at Cedar + Stone Urban Table inside the JW Marriott.

I decided to eat at Cedar + Stone, Urban Table because I could book on for extra points, and I used a check-in offer from Yelp for one free appetizer.

Saving money while traveling is one of my favorite things, and sometimes I will even go the distance by buying gift cards to pay for cruises.

We had an extremely late lunch since we were doing hardcore shopping in the morning. We made it to Cedar + Stone just in time for their 3 pm Happy Hour.

During Happy Hour, we were able to purchase a bunch of different appetizers to split. We opted for the Juicy Lucy Sliders, Spicy Cheese Curds, and the to-die-for Minnesota Cheddar Cornbread.

After spending time in Madison, Wisconsin, I’ve become a true fan of Cheese Curds, and these lived up to my Cheese Curds expectations.

Sliders and Cheese Curds
We had to take a break and eat lunch at Cedar + Stone, Urban Table where we ate sliders, cheese curds, and fries. Super healthy I know.

8. Grab a Snack from the Mall of America Food Court

There are so many different eateries around the Mall of America, so make sure to bring your sweet tooth.

We stopped and grabbed cookies and coffee so we could snack while we were shopping.

cookies int he mall of america
Some delicious cookies that we snacked on some cookies while shopping.

9. Free things in Mall of America

The Mall of America has tons of special events going on each week. Whether it is a concert or just a special promotion, you should attend one of the events if it lines up with your trip.

While we were in town, The MOA was celebrating its 25th year, and we visited the Birthday Room and enjoyed some free popsicles, Fizzies, and raffles.

Flower wall for Mall of America's birthday
In 2017 the Mall of America was celebrating its 25th year, but the MOA has tons of events every week!

10. Taste samples

Did you know you can get samples at some of the establishments at the Mall of America?

Yes, there are several food cour vendors and specialty stores that offer samples like Lindt Chocolate and Doc’s Popcorn.

11. Dinner at the Mall Of America.

After you finish your lunch and snacks at the Mall of America, there is dinner. There are over 50 restaurants in the Mall of America, so why leave the property to dine elsewhere?

We opted to eat at Cantina Laredo and split the portobello fajita. The fajita was so massive that we were both stuffed at the end of dinner.

We also got a Watermelon Margarita to celebrate our hard day exploring the Mall of America.

Fajitas from Cantina Laredo's in the Mall Of America
Cantina Laredo’s portobello fajitas were so huge.

12. Watch the Universe of Light.

Your evening is not over until you watch the Universe of Light. This nine-minute show is one of the best free entertainment shows in the Mall of America.

The show runs three times a night and you can check the MOA app for what time the show plays.

13. Spend the night at the Radisson Blu Mall of America

There are plenty of nearby hotels, but we stayed at the Raddison Blu because it is the only hotel that connects to the Mall of America.

All other hotels are close, but you will need to take a free shuttle service to and from the Mall. And who wants to do that?

I loved walking back and forth from my hotel to the mall to drop off any bags we picked up and didn’t want to carry around with us all day.

Radisson Blu even has free shuttles to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Lobby of the Radisson Blu
Inside the lobby of the Radisson Blu connected to the Mall of America.

Things to do at the Mall of America with Kids

The Mall of America has great activities and things to do for kids of all ages. there are so many top attractions that will keep your kids entertained.

From the sea life aquarium to the nickelodeon universe Your kids will be bouncing around from the lego store to the theme park!

The MOA has a Parental Escort Policy that states all youths under the age of 16, and younger must be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years of age after 3 pm and during the holiday season.

There are so many things to do with Kids at the Mall of America – but do not worry – many of these activities are perfectly acceptable for adults.

14. Attend Toddler Tuesdays

Toddle Tuesday is a discount day for Toddles and their caretakers! For a special price, Toddles and caretakers can ride the kiddie rides in the Mall of America for up to five hours!

15. Visit the Nickelodeon Universe theme park inside the MOA

A family could spend an entire day riding in the Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park. When we first walked in, it was overwhelming to see this seven-acre amusement park INSIDE a mall!

At the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park, you can purchase a day wristband to have unlimited access to all the rides and roller coasters.

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16. Ride a Ferris wheel

Take your loved ones on indoor fun with the el Circulo Del Cielo Ferris wheel ride with Dora and Friends. The Ferris wheel is a part of Nickelodeon Universe amusement park, but it is such a fun indoor attraction it needed its own space!

17. FlyOver America

After much debate, we decided that we were going to do FlyOver America. We since we enjoyed FlyOver Canada so much in Vancouver.

At the time, you could experience both FlyOver America and FlyOver Canada while in the Mall of America, but to save on time (and money), we just Flew Over America.

Check your coupon book for discounts on rides!

Mallory in front of the Fly Over America sign
Fly Over America was one of the best rides at the Mall Of America.

18. Visit the Sea Life Minnesota aquarium.

Make sure you visit Minnesota’s largest sea life aquarium with Minnesota’s only underwater ocean tunnel. If you love sea creatures, you will have a great time at the aquarium.

At the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, you can see the only sawfish in Minnesota!

19. Attend a concert or live event

The Mall of America has over 400 live events yearly – that is more than one a day! If you are looking for something to do, check out the MOA’s event calendar, and you might even be able to catch a free concert!

20. Meet your child’s favorite characters

Throughout the year, there are plenty of times when your child can meet some of their favorite characters. You can expect to meet anyone from Paw Patrol to Spongebob Square pants!

21. Go on a 5d adventure.

Who needs 3-D when the Mall of America has European virtual reality attractions in the United States! Whichever experience you pick, you will be fully immersed in using all of your senses while traveling through this virtual reality.

22. Visit a rainforest

Yes, there is a rainforest in the Mall of America – well, there is the Rainforest Cafe. If your city does not have a Rainforest Cafe, this is the perfect treat for the family.

With a variety of delicious food – this restaurant will not disappoint. Make sure to make a reservation. Otherwise, you might be standing in line for a while.

23. Play carnival games

On the fourth floor, there is a spot called The Fair on 4 – this area is devoted to Carnival games and fun. Eat corndogs, cheese curds, and more while trying your best to beat each other in vintage fair games.

24. Create your crayon color

At the Crayola Experience, you can create your Crayola named exactly after you! During the experience, you will pick your favorite color, name it and wrap it up!

There are so many more things you can do at the Crayola Experience that you can easily spend 3-4 hours.

25. Play mini-golf

I’ve always thought mini-golf on vacation was so much fun, and you can play all 18 holes at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf! You can play a traditional mini-golf game or the Rock of Ages Blacklight Minigolf.

26. Get lost in a Mirror Maze.

What would be more fun than exploring The Amazing Mirror Maze? With over 2,500 square feet of mirrors, it is sure to be a family favorite.

Fun fact – all guess have to wear plastic gloves to keep the glass pristine!

27. Get a Sugar High

There is nothing more fun than kids on a sugar high.

If you are on vacation, you might as well make it a big treat and go to the Sugar Factory and drink all of the sugary drinks and candies you can. It’s a great place for kids to try fun fruity non-alcoholic beverages!

28. Go on a ropes course

For the group’s adventurous ones, head over to Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course and try your luck at the drops course and zip-lining.

29. Build with LEGO bricks

What is more fun for a child than going to the Lego Store and playing with lego bricks!

From the larger-than-life models to gaining inspiration on what to build with legos – the Lego store is a must-stop o your family’s list.

30. Escape Game – Get out of the room!

The Escape Room has a 3,300-square-foot location amongst the Mall of America Stores. The family can decide which escape rooms they want to try to escape and work together to solve puzzles and earn their freedom from the escape game.

31. Build a teddy bear

Build-a-Bear Workshop has been around for over 20 years. If your child does not have one yet, it is such a fun experience that the MOA is the perfect place to get them that perfect teddy bear they built themselves.

32. Take an old-timey photo

One of my favorite things to do as a child on vacation was to drag my parents to take old-timey photos!

At Professor Z’s, you can get the whole krewe to dress up and pretend like they just robbed the bar.

Old-timey photos are one of the fun things that younger kids will remember and have the photos to bring home with them!

33. Go bowling!

Yes, if the Mall of America wasn’t big enough, they even have an entire bowling alley on the fourth floor.

Gameworks has everything that you expect a bowling alley to have. Delicious food, an arcade, and accessible gameplay with the GamePerks rewards program.

34. See a movie

After a long shopping spree and adventure, you might just want to wind down with the group and settle in to watch a movie at the movie theater.

But we are not talking about just any movie theater. B&B Theaters offer a fancier way to have dinner and a movie having an entire menu of flatbreads, funnel cakes, and french fries.

If the adults want to order an adult-only cocktail, they can do that too!

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Things to do at the Mall of America as Adults

If you are not bringing the kids or just want an adult-only time to try out cool things at the MOA, check out this guide on things to do at the Mall of America as an adult.

35. Indulge in a happy hour

If you leave the kids at home, you might as well start your trip to the MOA with a Happy Hour! Many of the restaurants have happy hours for both cocktails and food.

Delicious Cornbread which was free with my Yelp Checkin during Happy Hour!
Delicious Cornbread which was free with my Yelp Checkin during happy hour

36. Try some of the hottest hot sauces.

If you love hot sauces, you will love The Pepper Place. The Pepper Place is known for its hottest of hot sauces.

You can easily spend some time here and catch your mouth on fire!

37. Watch Live comedy

Catch a live comedy show at Rick Bronson’s house of comedy. You can see some up comedians and already famous comedians at Rick Bronson’s house.

But the best day for adults is Sunday when they have their soon-to-be-famous build-your bloody mary bar!

38. Special Live well health programs

Since the Mall of America is a small town, they have health and wellness programs for people of all ages.

From walking paths to smart dining guides, the MOA is ready to help you get healthy. There are even several health and wellness events throughout the year.

39. Get fit with lululemon

From exercise classes to events, lululemon strives to keep the visitors of the Mall of America healthy.

37. Get married or renew your vows.

The Mall of America’s Chapel of Love invites brides and grooms to come to the chapel for a beautiful, indoor garden wedding or vow renewal.

You can have as many or as few guests at this destination!

38. Have a spa day at Solimar Spa and Salon

Since the Radisson Blu is connected to the Mall of America, you only need to walk to the hotel and book a spa day.

After a few hours or days of exploring the mall, you will need to treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, or even a full body massage.

39. Go on a cocktail crawl

Treat yourself to a little DIY cocktail crawl, from getting margaritas at Cantina Laredo to a classy cocktail at Firelake Grill House + Cocktail Bar – you and your friends can do some damage on this cocktail crawl.

Just make sure you are spending the night at one of the nearby hotels!
Delicious Margarita to end the day Delicious Margarita to end the day exploring the Mall of America

40. Go Axe Throwing

If you haven’t been Axe throwing yet, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have fun and maybe make a fool.

Axe throwing is for those 18+, but 11+ can be there with a parent or guardian.

Make sure to wear comfortable closed-toe shoes – you wouldn’t want to lose a toe or two accidentally!

Mall of America Frequently Asked Questions.

As you can tell, there are so many things to do at the Mall of America, whether it is just eating delicious ice cream or checking out new stores. The MOA is constantly changing.

Where is the Mall of America?

The Mall of America is located at 600 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425. It is not too far from downtown Minneapolis and is a suburb of the twin cities.

What Time does Mall of America Open?

The Mall of America opens up at 8:00 Am for walkers to exercise before everyone begins to descend on the stores to shop. The mall is open Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

How many stores are in the Mall of America?

The Mall of America has over 520 stores! You will find almost any store you are looking for from regular stores you can find back at home to more high-end stores that are hard to come by! The Mall of America also has a few large department stores.

How long would it take to visit each store in the Mall of America?

If you spent only 10 minutes in each store, it would take 86 hours to visit every store in the Mall of America! That would be over three and a half days -not including opening and closing time!

What’s the best time to visit the Mall of America?

The best time to visit the Mall of America is early and during the week. You can spend some time walking around and exploring the mall before the stores open to get your bearings and then decide how else you want to spend your day – shopping, eating, or riding tries.

How much does it cost to visit the Mall of America?

The Mall of America can be cheap or expensive to visit. Parking is free, but since the mall is so massive, you may need to rent a stroller, electric cart, wheelchair service, locker, or push cart to make your stay more enjoyable. Many of the attractions are an extra charge.

Is The Mall of America Coupon Book Worth it?

Yes – the Mall of America Coupon Book is worth it if you plan on shopping or visiting any of the attractions. The Mall of America offers a coupon book that has over 200 coupons that are applicable in various areas of the 500 stores, food court, and area attractions.

Directions to the Mall of America

You can arrive at the Mall of America by Plane, Car, Foot, or Light rail.

If you are flying into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport you can take the Hiawatha Line light rail. When departing from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis or St Paul you can take the Light Rail to get to the Mall.

If you are staying at the Raddison Blu or JW Marriott, you are able to walk over to the Mall of America.

If traveling by car, the parking lot at the Mall of America is free. Just make sure to take a photo of what sections your car is parked in because tons of cars are lost throughout the year.

The Mall of America was so much fun to visit. I can’t wait to revisit it because the Mall is ever-changing and adding new attractions or restaurants.

Have you visited the Mall of America yet? What are some of your favorite tips when visiting the Mall of America?

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Wednesday 30th of August 2017

Wow, what an amazing place. I have never been there before but would like to now. I love those hanging chairs in the lobby. I want to climb in with a really good book and read away!


Sunday 3rd of September 2017

I know! Those chairs were very peaceful until some kids came by - they sure did liven up the place!


Wednesday 30th of August 2017

I really want to go to the mall of America and looks like you had a fantastic time! Thanks for all the tips! Great photos.


Wednesday 30th of August 2017

You need to put it on your bucket list! Doing it all in one day was a lot. But if you want to ride more rides I would do it over two days

Mary | Hello Peagreen

Wednesday 30th of August 2017

I could have done with this in 2007 when I visited, it nearly killed me. We have nothing on this scale in the UK


Wednesday 30th of August 2017

It's quite overwhelming - mom and I decided that the mall of America is a combination of the three malls here plus a Marshalls ha ha!


Wednesday 30th of August 2017

Wow! THis mall looks like a lot of fun. Who knew you could do all of this in just one mall

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