I remember when the Mall of America® (MOA®, as we Minnesotans call it) opened. It was huge, bright and beautiful. The possibilities seemed endless back then and I’m happy to report that that feeling’s still present 25 years later. If you have never visited the MOA this is the year to do it. If you’re local to the MOA consider planning a staycation and seeing the tourist side of the MOA. Thank you so much to Radisson Blu and the Mall of America for inviting us to stay with you and experience all the fun you have to offer.
Five Reasons a MOA Trip Needs to be on your 2017 Bucket List.
The Radisson Blu is connected to MOA!
If you aren’t native to Minnesota seeing how skyways work is really a unique experience and the Radisson Blu at MOA is directly attached to the Mall. Plus, the decor and ambiance is so glam it’s hard not to feel like a starlet as you’re checking in to your room.
Insider tip: Go to lunch at their restaurant Fire Lake for lunch, especially if you have children and make sure you get the popovers. Splurge on your reservation and try to stay in a suite if you’re traveling with kids and also be sure to get in on their continental breakfast. Check out my live video below to see what our room accommodations were like during our stay.
Nickelodeon Universe – The Amusement Park INSIDE the Mall!
The amusement park that’s at the center of the MOA is definitely one of its tourist highlights. Boasting 27 rides for little thrill seekers and older ones, mild thrill seekers to dare devils, Nickelodeon Universe has something for everybody. My kids loved the Bubble Guppies ride and that was enough thrill seeking for them. They’re overly cautious when it comes to adventuring.
Insider Tip: Every Friday night at 9:30 Universe of Light, from Nickelodeon Universe,
Mall of America® guests will be brought together nightly for an experience that will take visitors on an emotional journey through music and lights. Universe of Light will underscore the unexpected and surprising characteristics of MOA, combined with the fun, playful nature of Nickelodeon Universe. The nine-minute light show is an ongoing attraction for mall visitors. Lights, music and smoke effects will transform the air space into a Technicolor dream that is sure to excite and engage.
Hit the greens and play a round of mini golf at Moose Mountain
If you have yet to experience mini golfing with your children, especially if they are three-years-old, you are in for a real treat! I’m not competitive when it comes to golf at all so I just wandered around with Kendall, my six-year-old, and Keira, my three-year-old. The view was fabulous.
Insider Tip: Plan to go in the morning before there’s a line. The waiting area isn’t huge and can be a little awkward when you’re waiting for the golfers ahead of you are getting started. Also, the newly renovated food court is across the way from Moose Mountain so you can grab some lunch after.
Sea Life® Aquarium – An aquarium in a mall!
There’s something so magical about Sea Life® Aquarium at the Mall of America. I don’t know if it’s simply because it’s in a mall or because it’s always warm and this is Minnesota but I love experiencing it. You could spend half a day at the aquarium so plan for some extra time. Home to thousands of sea creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, rays, jellyfish, seahorses and more, Sea Life is a breath of fresh tropical air during the wintertime or on a rainy day. My favorite exhibit is the jellyfish exhibit. Their aquariums are beautifully lit up with colored lights. They also have a Finding Nemo– esque exhibit and you can pop your head into the middle of that aquarium and feel like you’re in Marlin and Nemo’s world.
Insider Tip: Be sure to pick up the free activity book. There are stamps that your kids can get while they go through the aquarium and it’s really great for older kids who like games.
It’s the LARGEST Mall in America!
There’s so much to see and do and the fact that MOA turns 25 this year means that there’s going to be extra special events happening. You won’t want to miss out on it, trust me! For more information subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on their social media platforms. And while I wasn’t able to experience every single things that MOA has to offer that should just go to show you that it’s a very large place with so much to do. You won’t be bored and it’ll cost less than that family cruise. Just saying.
Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.