The Mall of America! Yes, even if you are not a shopper, this is the best people-watching in the country. The best restaurants (especially the Twin City Grill) and the best place for kids is the amusement park inside the mall (Knotts Camp Snoopy).
It is 3 miles of shopping, eating, entertainment, and fun! Clean, safe and with something for everyone, you're sure to leave feeling you have experienced something new and different!
This is the largest indoor shopping & entertainment area in the United States. It includes Camp Snoopy, Lego Center, Underwater World, Planet Hollywood, Hooters, Rainforest Cafe + many cinemas & HUNDREDS of stores & food places.
This is the largest mall in the United States and second largest in the world. There is an amusement park in the center of the mall (Knott's Camp Snoopy) and an aquarium in the lower level (Underwater World). The entire upper level (Upper East Side)is devoted to entertainment with a sports club, arcade, movie theater, restaurants, and night clubs. Everything you can imagine buying is available here
My wife and I have visited this mall on many occasions and it's an absolute gruesome expense of time being harassed by all the little mall kiosk vendors ALL OF THE TIME. We can't walk through the hallways without the kiosk vendors walking in front of our path "excuse me sir, can i ask you a question", "beautiful wife sir, beautiful wife, can i speak to you for a second", "wow look at this couple, come over here for a moment, let me show you something"... then when you ignore them they say "Have a GREAT afternoon" and you know by GREAT they mean "go f yourself" On most other occasions when you ignore them as you walk by they speak to your back in a foreign language (most of these harassers appear to be of Persian descent), and again, you know that what they're saying to you must not be good at all.
On an occasion where my wife went alone, one of the kiosk vendors (on the 2nd floor next to the escalator in front of Nordstrom) a couple of guys who work that kiosk continually followed my wife as she came up the escalator as she walked around their kiosk to the escalator for the 3rd floor asking for her phone number.
I am considering speaking to the police or mall management about this harassment, and I'm sure my wife and myself surely aren't the only people to get harassed while walking through the halls.
One should see the biggest Mall in the US whenever visiting Minneapolis. It's really big I don't have time to scan the whole mall. It is located in Bloomington area. The mall has over 500 stores and numerous restaurants in the second floor. Kids will also love this mall because of Nickelodeon Universe, SEA Life, Lego store etc. It's just very busy during weekends and holidays made me dizzy . The mall is connected to the international airport and downtown by LRT.
I know the Mall of America can get a bad rap as a tourist trap, but it really depends on how you do it. And it should be noted that since locals shop at this mall as well, it really isn't fully a tourist trap at all.
First of all, if you have kids, you're probably wondering about the Nickelodeon Universe theme park. It is kind of a cool area to walk through and take pictures of, since it's a complete theme park within a mall. However, the park was way better when it was Camp Snoopy and more affordable, it's a bit of a rip-off now to be honest. But if you're family really loves theme parks, it's really not a bad place.
However, may I suggest the alternative of visiting the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium instead? It's located on the lowest level of the Mall of America and is really a neat experience. You get to walk through tunnels surrounded by sharks, fish, and rays, learn so much about aquatic life, and at the end they even let you touch or 'pet' some stingrays. As a kid I personally found getting an "I touched a stingray" sticker much cooler than going to a theme park, but then again I was a bit of an odd duck. Either way, this aquarium's a cool thing to check out, for people of all ages, not just families either.
Next, some advice on restaurants... I don't advise the Rainforest Cafe. I love the rainforest and was obsessed with it as a kid, but at this restaurant you are paying for the atmosphere, not for the food. My family paid over $100 for food that was much worse than what we usually ate at home. You can get the same atmosphere--and some cute souvenirs--for a lot less if you just stop by the gift shop rather than eat at the restaurant. A restaurant I do recommend--and one where almost everyone I know loves to eat while in Minneapolis--is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Whether you love Forrest Gump, excellent shrimp and seafood, or both, you'll love this place. They ask you trivia questions from the movie during your meal and the food is great and not terribly expensive. The gift shop has some nice things for any big Forrest Gump fans you know as well. Either way, this place is fairly unique and a favorite local restaurant.
Now, the stores. They have pretty much any store you would want here, so pick your favorites and stop by. My absolute favorite is LegoLand. The Legos there are overpriced, so I don't really recommend buying them, but otherwise I think everyone would enjoy stopping by and seeing the giant creations made from Legos. I've seen dirt bikes, Transformers, dinosaurs, Toy Story characters...they change them up all the time so there's always something new and exciting to see.
Some other stores that are favorites are the Mac Store (since we don't have very big ones near us we usually enjoy going there), the Disney Store (any Disney souvenirs you could want at a fairly expensive price), and the American Girl store, which I definitely would have loved to see as a kid. There are also a few other attractions in the Mall--mini golfing, the Mirror Maze (about $8 to try to work your way through the maze--much harder and more disorientating than you would expect), theatres, etc. Sometimes there are acts with live music around the mall, kiosks selling unique and interesting things...basically it's definitely worth just walking around and stopping at what looks interesting as well. Happy exploring and shopping!
Mall of America is the largest, fully enclosed retail and family entertainment complex in the U.S.
It is so big that Seven Yankee Stadiums would fit inside Mall of America. It has every shop you could wish for as well as a theme park with over 30 rides including a roller coaster, a speedway, a lego park and even an aquarium!!
Spending 10 minutes in every store would take a shopper more than 86 hours to complete their visit to Mall of America. It took me 3 days to complete the mall. A floor a day!! Luckily I was staying at a hotel just outside and spent my entire stay at the mall. Amazing!
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from as well as a food court.
This is my favorite place to shop. I can almost always get everything I need there. Its a great place to shop for tall people, especially tall women! And with the activities for kids and families, everyone can have fun and get their shopping done. Oh and its all inside, so even if the weather is freezing or steaming you can keep shopping.
Shop 'Til You Drop...literally.
Whatever you need...I sure you can find it here. There are some really interesting specialty shops here. When you get tired of shopping,try one of the many restaurants...something for every taste...visit THE PARK...the huge indoor amusement park,see a movie,swim with sharks or visit one of the museums.
I live near the 2nd largest mall in America, so I was not expecting to be impressed by Mall of America. I was wrong. This place has almost every store and a ton of things to do, including an amusement park right in the middle of the mall! Definitely worth a visit, especially if you are from South Dakota (which has 2 malls in the state -- one East and one West!). You can spend an hour here or all day or all month!
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