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Top 10 Things to do at the Mall of America

The Mall of America is one of the top rated tourist destinations in the country and with good reason. It boasts over 520 stores, 50 restaurants, the country's largest indoor theme park, and easy transportation to/from the airport. But, with so many options to choose from, how do you decide where to spend your time? Let me help with my Top 10 list of things to do when visiting the Mall of America.

If you prefer to watch the video with my Top 10 Mall of America Activities click here.

#1 Thing to do at Mall of America

Nickelodeon Universe

I’m pretty sure Nickelodeon Universe is one of the first things people think of when hearing about the Mall of America. And, with good reason. Nickelodeon Universe is the nation’s largest indoor theme park and packs an incredible amount and variety of rides into it’s 7 acres of real estate. They have rides for all ages and all levels of thrill seekers. Visitors can also purchase an all day wristband here which pays for itself rather quickly. Individual rides range from 3-6 points per ride. Be sure to peruse the list of rides and height requirements before deciding if an all day wristband is right for you. 

Be sure to peruse the list of rides and height requirements before deciding if an all day wristband is right for you. If you plan ahead you may just be able to find a wristband discount online.

For our family it most definitely is the way to go. And, if you plan ahead you may just be able to find a wristband discount online. Since the park is indoors, guests can feel secure with an advance ticket purchase because no matter the weather your visit will be perfectly temperature controlled! Lines here can get quite long on nights and weekends and of course in Summer, but if you can time your visit on a weekday, you will be rewarded with walk on walk off rides from opening until about 4pm. That’s what I call a great deal! Be sure to stop by the character meet and greet area to say hello to Spongebob and Dora the Explorer sometime during your day. And, don’t miss the nightly show which promptly begins at mall closing. The kids absolutely love it and burn off whatever energy they still have left dancing and twirling amongst the lights, fog, and confetti blast before heading out and falling completely exhausted into bed. View my top 10 Nickelodeon Universe rides here.

#2 Thing to do at Mall of America

Shopping and Dining

Ok, so it is a mall afterall and here in Minnesota that means an incredible amount of retail shops and dining options along with the added benefit of no sales tax on clothing and shoes.  The Mall of America has incorporated some interactive shopping experiences as well which are a lot of fun. We stopped by Canada Goose to test out their coats in the cold room which is a frigid -13 degrees. Sounds cold, but we were extremely warm in our newly fitted jackets. I know you don’t believe me, so go check it out for yourself. Then, we had to stop by Lululemon to check out their yoga studio, meditation room, and health bar. Not into yoga? Me neither, (flexibility is not something I’ve been blessed with) but they have a large variety of classes here so peruse the list and you may just find something that makes you smile. The night I stopped in they were doing a painting class. Who knew??? 

The Mall of America has incorporated some interactive shopping experiences as well which are a lot of fun.

Of course, the Lego Store is a favorite among guests of all ages. And, if all that shopping works up a hunger swing by Rybicki Cheese to try a few samples before making your purchase or visit VomFASS to sample healthy oils and vinegars or international whiskeys, port wines, Limoncello, and more. This store made me so happy because they sell many of the items I know and love from my travels. I’m also told that the Mall of America will be getting a 3 story interactive MandM store later this year. Work on that smile, because guests will be able to make their own personalized MandM’s showcasing their photo. I could have fun with this!

When it comes to dining the Mall of America takes the cake. Some of our favorite dining options are The Rainforest CafeBubba Gump Shrimp, The Sugar Factory, Oopa cotton candy, Wonders Ice Cream, and Margaritaville. Rainforest Cafe is an interactive dining experience that guests of all ages will love. Our favorite place to sit is near the elephants, but wherever you dine the rainforest will periodically come to life with shooting stars, thunderstorms, animal sounds, animal movements, and more. They also have a large menu for a variety of palates. Bubba Gump Shrimp satisfies my seafood cravings in a fun and crazy atmosphere. Don’t forget to brush up on your Forest Gump trivia knowledge before your visit. 

They have smoking drinks, shakes that look like works of art, and the famous King Kong sundae with sparklers and all.

The Sugar Factory is one of the most Instagrammed restaurants in the world and with good reason. They have smoking drinks, shakes that look like works of art, and the famous King Kong sundae with sparklers and all. And, contrary to what the name implies, they have delicious food and drink options as well. Be sure to snag a photo with their signature duckie found on every table before leaving. Oppa Sweets has the most adorable cotton candy creations I’ve ever seen. It tastes great too! And, Wonders Ice Cream introduced the first rolled ice cream to the Twin Cities area and they provide Vegan and dairy free options for those with allergies so everyone can get in on the fun.

#3 Thing to do at Mall of America

The Void - Virtual Reality

The only virtual reality experience I had before stepping into The Void was on the newest Norwegian ship, The Encore. I had so much fun doing virtual reality there so I was really excited to try this out. The Void took my first virtual experience up several levels. I will warn that it is quite intense so if you have heart problems, extreme anxiety, or smaller children that easily scare this may not be the activity for you. But, this was hands down one of my favorite activities of the trip. 

This was hands down one of my favorite activities of the trip.

They have multiple game themes to choose from when you purchase your tickets. First we entered the realm of Star Wars on a mission to retrieve a case and find out what was inside. This theme requires a lot of shooting, involved some heights, and we could even smell smoke and feel the heat on our legs when entering the lava filled abyss. Did I mention how life like The Void is? I was so wrapped up in the game, I completely forgot that an employee was in the room with us the entire time. I’m sure she absolutely loves her job. How entertaining. The next theme we chose was Jumanji. This game requires less shooting and more puzzle solving, communication, and cooperation skills. It also involved some heights so my friend Jayne definitely got more than she bargained for here, but she only had to grab onto my hand one time to make it across. Next time we visit I will bring my family to The Void to experience the fun together!

#4 Thing to do at Mall of America

CMX Cinema Experience

Movies, Broadway, Musicals, the Symphony...anything that requires me to sit for long periods of time is usually not my first activity choice. But, the CMX theatre experience intrigued me enough to give it a try, and I must say I absolutely loved it! After purchasing a movie ticket guests enter the Marketplace where there is a full bar serving up beer, wine, cocktails, and more along with multiple food vendors. Movie goers can choose from gourmet pizza, popcorn, burgers, shakes, a delicatessen, and an entire mini mart of items. Be sure to allow plenty of time to purchase your items. It took them about 10 minutes to prepare my pizza slice and a few more to make my shake. If you don’t arrive early enough it will be a very frustrating experience. Any food purchased inside can be taken into the theatre with you. 

Be sure to allow plenty of time to purchase your items.

The theatre holds less people than normal because the seats are wide and they recline so guests feel right at home. And, of course, they provide a movable food tray for all of those delicious items purchased from the Marketplace. Turns out, when I have something to eat and drink during my movie it doesn’t seem quite so long afterall. 


#5 Thing to do at Mall of America

Cooking Class at VomFASS

Mediterranean food provides so many health benefits so why not stop in for a cooking class and learn a bit more while enjoying a delicious meal. VomFASS offers “The Art of Delicious Dining” classes along with wine, whiskey, brandy, and absinthe appreciation in addition to a cocktail mixology class. Classes range in price from $32-$50 and last approximately 60-90 minutes. During our visit they offered a ½ off deal when joining their loyalty program or alternatively offered a Groupon for the same deal. I couldn’t believe how amazing our meal tasted while being incredibly good for us as well. We even got a tiny dessert! 

My friend has many allergies and they went out of their way to work with those. So, don’t let that stop you from booking a class.

My friend has many allergies and they went out of their way to work with those. So, don’t let that stop you from booking a class. Just let them know when you book and ask what they suggest. This is probably not the best class for children, because it is a group cooking effort. I quite enjoyed the down time, while watching others in the group prepare the next course, but the kids in our class seemed a bit bored. Click here for a list of classes and recipes.

#6 Thing to do at Mall of America

The Escape Game

I know escape rooms have been around for awhile now, but this was my first experience participating in one, and we had so much fun at the Escape Game. They offer multiple room themes from the gold rush, prison break, repairing a spaceship on Mars, to cat burglary in a museum and more. Gold rush was a level 7 and the easiest room they offered so we chose that one and managed to escape with just 2:37 to spare. My friend and I were paired with a family of 4 with 2 kids around 10-12 years old. The kids had a blast as well trying out the locks and working hard to find the clues. Their tiny fingers were quite useful to our escape! 

The kids had a blast as well trying out the locks and working hard to find the clues. Their tiny fingers were quite useful to our escape!

Want some escape room tips from the pros before booking your Escape Game room? I watched this video before our attempt and successfully used some of the tips provided. I would love to go back and try the museum room as well. It sounds like a blast! Which room would you choose?

#7 Thing to do at Mall of America

Flyover America

If you’re like me and you love the sensation of flying this is the activity for you. Flyover America is a 4D immersive experience that takes guests paragliding over some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. During our visit they offered a USA flight and a Canadian flight. We chose USA and absolutely loved it. While soaring through the air, we could feel the wind in our hair, the mist on our face, and smell the trees and ocean air as we sailed past. As an avid traveler, I was thrilled to see a map when we exited, clearly marked with each destination we flew over during the ride. Bucket list additions coming! 

I left Flyover America exhilarated and feeling very proud of this beautiful and diverse country I call home!

I’m told they will soon be releasing a Hawaii edition as well. Having paraglided over Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (view that experience here) I can say this was very similar with the added benefit of viewing multiple cities and landscapes in one journey. And, for those that are afraid of heights (like my friend) guests don’t have to run and jump off a mountain edge to start. (I’m not going to lie. That part of truly paragliding is a bit nerve wracking even for me.)  I left Flyover America exhilarated and feeling very proud of this beautiful and diverse country I call home! 


#8 Thing to do at Mall of America

Sealife Aquarium

As an avid traveler, aquariums are not typically on the top of my list. Afterall, how can an aquarium compete with my experiences snorkeling with sharks, stingray, tropical fish, eels, and more in Bora Bora or Hawaii? But, the 300 foot clear tunnel in Sealife Aquarium blew me away and I just kept stopping to see yet another swordfish, shark, sea turtle, etc. up so close. One swordfish was literally laying on top of the tunnel with it’s face smashed into the glass. In all of my travels I’ve never seen what a swordfish face actually looks like. It was so much fun! They look like they are smiling, so I assumed he was smiling for my camera and snapped some pics. 

Visitors can snorkel with the fish here, take a behind the scenes tour, feed the rays, or sleep under the sharks.

Sealife Aquarium also offers additional experiences that sound amazing. Turns out visitors can snorkel with the fish here. I had no idea. Guests can also take a behind the scenes tour, feed the rays, or sleep under the sharks. This overnight experience would be unforgettable!

#9 Thing to do at Mall of America

Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course & Zip Line

Ok, so I love the thrill of heights. We have a ropes course and zip line here in Montana that I’ve done and enjoyed, but this was my first indoor ropes experience and the Mall of America did not disappoint. Barnacle Blast is the longest indoor zip line in North America and I just spread my arms wide and felt that wind in my hair once again. Jayne (my friend that’s afraid of heights decided to sit this one out and take photos of me instead). Probably a wise choice since I had to climb up multiple flights of stairs to reach the takeoff point before stepping off into thin air with the excitement of visitors and Nickelodeon Universe coasters surrounding me. That first step is a doozy, but after that it’s smooth sailing. 

That first step is a doozy, but after that it’s smooth sailing.

Upon completion of my flight, I proceeded to begin the ropes course climb. I didn’t know at the time that the Ghostly Gangplank is the tallest Sky Trail ropes course in the world, but I started to get that sense upon reaching the third level and actually back tracked on a few routes that seemed a bit too wobbly for my liking. Each level has multiple routes you can take, along with stairs if it’s all just too much for you. The brave plank walkers are rewarded at the end with a 3 story twisty slide down to firm ground, complete with blinking lights. Allow plenty of time for this activity. Ticket holders are able to stay on the ropes course as long as they would like traversing various levels and routes.

#10 Thing to do at Mall of America

Rock of Ages Black Light Mini Golf

I love a good competition and mini golf is always a great time, however I had never experienced black light mini golf before. The course at Rock of Ages is quite simple (mostly par 2-3), but the various black light themes are the highlight here. Each of the 18 holes had a new glowing decoration and we loved plopping the glowing golf ball down and watching it roll through the darkness to it’s final resting place. Because the holes are quite simple, this is also a great activity for the entire family to enjoy. 

Because the holes are quite simple, this is also a great activity for the entire family to enjoy.

If you prefer a more challenging mini golf course Moose Mountain Adventure can provide what you’re looking for. Be sure to arrive early enough as they do book up and limit the number of guests before closing time.

But Wait, There’s More

Did you really think I could list just 10? The Mall of America has so much to offer that I just had to mention these options briefly because they may fit into your family's top 10 list.

Skate the Star - If my daughter was along, we definitely would have done this. During the Winter months visitors can Skate the Star for just a $5 skate rental or for free if they bring their own skates. Music plays as skaters circle the star before warming up by the fire.


Laser Tag & Nerf Wars - Tactical Urban Combat offers guests the largest indoor nerf and laser tag area in Minnesota. 

Arcades - The Mall of America has at least 2 arcades (Gameworks & Xscape), but possibly more. If you love a good competition be sure to use the directory to find your favorite.

Crayola Experience - boasting over 20 hands on activities for kids this is definitely the place to be with little ones and it’s quite affordable as well.

Mirror Maze - I’ve never done one of these, but they sure do look like a lot of fun. Have you tried one before?

Princess & Diva Spa - If you have young girls this is the place to spoil them and enjoy some memorable mother-daughter time.

Comedy Show - If you love a good comedy show be sure to check out the House of Comedy and see who is performing. 

Get Married - yes, you read that correctly. Did you know visitors can get married at the Chapel of Love in the Mall of America? They perform 5-7 weddings a week where the happy bride and groom can host up to 35 guests. Who knew???

Have you visited the Mall of America? What was your favorite attraction?

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