Mall of America has always been big, and it's not done growing. The famous mall, home to more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants, a theme park and an aquarium, continues to add trendy shops, exciting entertainment options, restaurants and major events that bring 40 million visits through its doors each year.
Find fun and excitement at the new The Fair on 4 where your family can savor fair-inspired foods like cheese curds & house-cut fries, compete in axe throwing (with parent or guardian), drive a go-cart and more.
Calling all candy fanatics! Spanning more than 24,000 square feet, the all-new M&M’S Mall of America location pays homage to the state, featuring Minnesota-themed M&M’S products while dipping guests into a free-to-enjoy interactive M&M’S experience. This “sweet” store includes a series of cool components unique to the M&M’S Mall of America location, including “Peanut Peak,” a rooftop celebration of local landscape inspired by marvelous Minnesota views. The store also features a personalization station, signature M&M’S, “Wall of Chocolate,” photo ops with larger-than-life characters and exclusive in-store merchandise.
In addition to seeing the store in person, fans can “visit” via virtual tour at MMS.com. Fun fact: Mars Candy Factory, Inc. opened in Minneapolis in 1920. The Mars Retail Group is proud to return to its roots to introduce the M&M’S Mall of America store.
Check out the #OnlyinMN monument at the Explore Minnesota information area at the North Entrance, Level 1, near the wall of travel information to help you plan your next vacation. Grab a travel guide or brochure, snap a photo with it in front of the monument and then share it (using #OnlyinMN, of course) to reveal the getaway you're planning.
For even more fun with friends, work together to solve clues and escape from one of the immersive experiences inside The Escape Game. Challenges include breaking out of a jail cell, fixing your Mars rover to get back to Earth and rescuing a stolen painting from an art gallery.
MOA’s popular indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe, is home to 27 attractions and counting. Some of the newest include the Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler, the longest indoor zip line in the country, and a nightly light show. Opened in fall 2018, the Paw Patrol attraction recreates the animated world from the wildly popular TV show.
Adjacent to Nickelodeon Universe, FlyOver America simulates soaring over national landmarks. The seats move and swing gently, creating a sense of flying. The immersive experience features wind, mist and scents to enhance the images on the screen. Next to FlyOver, the 5D Extreme Attraction gives riders the choice between a wild ride through a mystery mine or a trip underwater with prehistoric beasts.
At SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, the newest exhibit takes visitors into the rainforest for face-to-face interaction with cockroaches, piranhas, crocodiles, snakes and other creepy critters. Another family favorite, Crayola Experience offers kids 25 hands-on activities like naming and wrapping their own crayons, as well as a massive retail store.
Finally, if you're kids are into collecting and/or playing with toy cars, the country's fourth Ridemakerz location opened last holiday season and offers custom mini vehicles as souped-up with premium rims and tires as anything you'd find in The Fast and the Furious series.
Mall of America has two on-site hotels, the JW Marriott and Radisson Blu. Both hotels feature full-service restaurants and bars, fitness centers, pools and meeting space, as well as direct access to the mall. Several other hotels in the area offer shuttle service to the mall, including the Great Wolf Lodge with a water park, arcade, bowling alley and interactive games.
While it's always boasted the country's biggest chains, the mall has added a wide range of rarely seen boutiques in recent years, including one of the country's only K-fashion emporiums (ALAND), a lifestyle brand from actress Reese Witherspoon (Draper James) and a fashion line out to "erase industry standards" around sizing (Arula).
The Mall of America also spotlights many local merchants throughout its sprawling, 5.6 million square foot space. The past few years has seen everything from a new Love From Minnesota shop (a.k.a. The Neighborhood) to a clothing line from Brandon Barnes that combines streetwear and rowing. Can't get much more Minnesota than that!
Culinary on North, an upscale food court on level three, features a dozen fast-casual restaurants with food served on actual plates with silverware. Diners can dig into Italian-style street food at Piada, burgers and milkshakes at Shake Shack and a brand new taco concept from the Hot Indian crew (Bussin' Birria).
Other new eateries include a custom cream puffs chain (Beard Papas), a stand that specializes in locally made fruit drinks (Juicebox) and donuts so fresh they're made right on the spot (Duck Donuts).
MOA's new transit center makes it easier than ever to get to the mall via light rail, bus or bike. Valet parking, formerly available at Nordstrom and the Radisson Blu, now includes the option for shoppers to drop their car off on one side of the building and pick it up on another. Park Assist shows shoppers where there are open parking spots.
Once inside, the mall offers free Wi-Fi throughout the building, a mobile app and interactive digital directories in 10 languages.
Families with kids on the autism spectrum can rest assured they'll be well taken care of thanks to the mall's new designation as a Certified Autism Center, with sensory guides available for each ride at Nickelodeon Universe.
In 2022, the Mall of America will hit a major 30-year milestone. Learn about its mega history with the ultimate mall walk to gain insider access to hidden highlights throughout the mall. Slip on your comfy shoes (or purchase a new pair, tax-free) for a 90-minute behind-the-scenes VIP tour that starts at $350 for up to 10 guests and will get visitors thinking even bigger about the Mall of America.
Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's social media strategist and resident Disney expert. She grew up spending summer weekends at her family's lake cabin in Detroit Lakes, and brings that "up north" attitude to everything she does. When traveling around the state, she likes trying new restaurants and taprooms, or watching Minnesota hockey.
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