*Disclosure-I received tickets to Nickelodeon Universe, Moose Mountain Mini Golf, and Sea Life in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Mall of America
When we were planning our summer vacation, it had to meet some very specific criteria. It had to be somewhere within driving distance, and somewhere there were activities for both kids and adults. Minneapolis, specifically the Mall of America, fit our requirements perfectly.
I had been to the Mall once before. It was when I was a kid, and I remember the giant Snoopy in the center of the mall. I believe it was called Camp Snoopy at the time. I also remember floors upon floors of stores, not managing to reach them all. One day, I vowed to return.
So, when we decided upon Minneapolis for our road-trip, I started doing some research by first looking at the Mall’s website. So many changes! In addition to the shopping (for me!) there was now Nickelodeon Universe, Moose Mountain Mini Golf, Sea Life, and the Crayola Experience all for the kids. Plus, there are tons of restaurants. And the shopping. Did I mention the shopping?!
Really, the Mall of America has something for everyone!
The Mall of America is located in Bloomington, MN, which is right outside the city of Minneapolis. There are plenty of hotels near the mall, and even a few that are attached. We chose one with a pool, of course.
Up first on our agenda was Nickelodeon Universe. From their website:
Nickelodeon, the #1 entertainment brand for kids, and Mall of America®, the nation’s premier shopping destination, have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind theme park. Located in the center of Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe® features seven acres of unique attractions and entertainment. Meet the Nick characters, experience spine-tingling rides, visit unique retail shops and much more!
It’s pretty amazing having a theme park in the middle of a mall. The boys were in awe of the giant rides, bright colors, and beloved characters. I have to admit that I was pretty excited too. I’m not a huge fan of roller coasters, but I absolutely love to see my kids faces when they ride.
Plus, there was such a range of rides, I knew we would find something for everyone. Bumper cars, a bounce house, a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a train ride were just a few other options besides the huge loop de loops and “big” kid rides. Everything has size requirements, so you know if it’s appropriate for your little one.
When you purchase your ticket, you get a wrist band that is good for the entire day, and you can ride as much as you like. The boys were ready to put those wristbands to the test.
Since our road-trip was in the middle of the week, the mall was not crowded. We hardly had to wait in any lines, and if we did, they moved quickly. The twins would ride, and then get right back on again with no line. I think the twins rode the bumper cars about 20 times. Not even kidding.
As a family, we all went on the Ferris wheel, a small roller coaster, and the carousel. Mr. B and my husband went on the bigger roller coasters, while the twins loved the rides with themes like Blue’s Clues, The Backyardigans, and Go Diego Go.
Mr. B’s favorite was the Jimmy Neutron themed ride.
The twins also got to meet some of their favorite characters! There are stations around the park that show the specific times and characters that will be available for pictures. You can take your own photos, and they also have a professional photographer there as well.
We seriously spent about 6 hours in the theme park, and still didn’t hit every ride. But, everyone was hungry, so we headed to the 4th floor of the mall where there were a ton of restaurants. There are also plenty spread throughout the mall, as well.
We ate at a Mexican restaurant that overlooked the theme park, and it was delicious. It was nice to relax a little after all the excitement of the day. I also needed to rest my feet in preparation for shopping! Plus, it was nice to have an adult beverage.
Since we had 5 tickets to Moose Mountain Miniature Golf (also inside the mall!) Grandpa and Dad volunteered to take the boys, while me and my Mom took advantage of the rest of the mall. We knew the golfing wouldn’t take up the entire afternoon, but there is also a huge Lego store that the boys were anxious to explore.
I don’t have any other pictures of mini golf since I wasn’t with, but I was assured that everyone had fun. Mr. B even got a hole in one!
I also don’t have any pictures of the stores because I was too busy trying to hit every single one. Ha!
I got an awesome deal on some boots, presents for each of the boys, a shirt for my husband, and an awesome new purse. Definitely a successful shopping trip!
We were all exhausted by the end of the day, so we decided we would save the aquarium for the next day. Back to the hotel we went for a little swimming and sleeping.
We hadn’t planned on spending two days at the Mall of America, but since we all had so much fun, we headed back again after our trip to the Zoo. They have an aquarium also right inside the mall, so the boys were anxious to see all the fish.
Again, we had 5 tickets, and since I’m a shopaholic, my Dad kindly volunteered again to go with the boys, while us girls finished our shopping.
I asked each boy what was their favorite part about the Sea Life Aquarium, and these were their responses:
Mr. B: My favorite was seeing the shark. It was also so cool how you could see it swimming over your head. It was like you were in a tunnel of water.
Big C: My favorite was all the Nemos and the Doris. Also, everything.
Little P: Everything. The shark. The fish.
Something for Everyone
The Mall of America was really a lot of fun for our whole family. I loved that we were able to spend time together, and also split up, so we could all do the things we liked. Plus, we didn’t even get to do, see, or eat everything, so that means we’ll have to plan a return trip.
Mr. B is looking forward to growing an inch so he can ride every single ride, the twins are still talking about the bumper cars, and I’m still wondering if I missed a good deal at one of the stores. We can’t wait to go back.
If you’ve never been, or it’s been a while, I highly recommend a trip to the Mall of America for everyone. Start planning your trip HERE.
Have you ever been to the Mall of America? What was your favorite part?