This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.My trip to the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota became part of a double bucket list item. Not only did I want to visit the largest mall in the country, but Minnesota was the kick-off to the five states I had left to finish up all 50 United States! However, little did we know we had a surprise coming. Because we flew in at 12:30 am on the cusp of the biggest blizzard to EVER hit Minneapolis in the month of April, we got snowed in and earned ourselves an extra night in Minneapolis. Since we now had an entire day vs the originally planned few hours to explore, I can share with you these highlights to the Mall of America attractions!
I can’t think of a more perfect place to be snowed in than the Mall of America, especially since we stayed in a connected hotel! We basically, sort of, I mean, you know…for all intents and purposes lived in the biggest mall in the United States for two days!
Mall of America Attractions
Family friendly, couple friendly, solo friendly, girls’ weekend friendly. It doesn’t matter who you’re going with or why you’re going, there is something for everyone. These are all of the Mall of America attractions and restaurants we hit up in our 24 hours!
The Lego Store
The first place we came to was The Lego Store. Perfect for kids, it has a pick-a-brick wall with over 180 legos to choose from, play tables, and eight larger-than-life models including a robot that stands over 34 feet tall!
Also fun for kids, but clearly fun for adults too (as you will see below), is the Crayola Experience.
I had read about this before we arrived, but I was surprised to see how big it was.
And well, you know I was in heaven with how bright, colorful and cheery it was!
I might have had too much fun with the gigantic Lite Brite. Who remembers those? Kind of hard to tell but those are Ts!
This is the “Wrap It Up” area and the activity I had come to do. You can name and wrap your own crayons!
The wrapping machine is a little tricky. I had to get the hang of it. But after experimenting with a couple of souvenirs to take home, I made an entire box of crayons each with its own creative, unique name to give as a gift back home. What child wouldn’t want their own box of personalized crayons?? 🖍😍
You can see the misplaced wrapper on my Trimm Travels Hot Pink. It’s harder to do than it looks!
Here are my finished products I kept as souvenirs!
I also might have been guilty of taking away
some a lot of this as a souvenir. It was a temporary souvenir, however, as it was intended for the week-long road trip we had coming up!
Rock Bottom Plunge
Since my friend and I are both roller coaster fans, we had to ride the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. It starts off with a straight up vertical and then plunges straight down heading right into a loop. It was exhilarating!
Find Home Plate
My Dad had told me before I left that they had preserved the former Metropolitan Stadium Home Plate and to be sure to find it. Well, we did find it but it wasn’t easy. We asked several employees who either didn’t know or told us incorrectly.
It’s very inconspicuous. Right there on the ground with nothing to point it out. But, it is cool to see since it’s part of history! For the record, it is located right outside the entrance of the Rock Bottom Plunge.
Amazing Mirror Maze
The Amazing Mirror Maze is really cool and interesting. It isn’t expensive and doesn’t take long to do IF you can figure out how to get through.
You might think, please, I will definitely know the difference in a real hallway and a mirror of hallways. 🙄 Yeah, okay. You just keep thinking that. And when you actually go through it, please have a friend video that evidence and send it to me! 🙌🏼
I never ran into anything, but let’s just say my hands were outstretched when I was walking! 😜
Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the biggest mall in America has an aquarium. I like to visit aquariums in different cities and so into the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium we went!
Have you ever heard of Plastic Bag Jellies? I had not, but they were so fascinating!
Left: Jellyfish are so beautiful and graceful. Right: I found Nemo, lots of Nemos!
While there are countless stores in the Mall, we weren’t exactly there to shop. However, we were surprised to come across the Alpaca Connection.
They sell Peruvian goods actually made in Perú! Since our annual girls’ trip the year prior was to Perú, Kim and I were excited and both made purchases!
If you are there to shop here is the complete Mall of America shopping directory, otherwise…
On both Saturday and Sunday (the bonus) nights, we actually had time left over and with a blizzard outside, we thought it was a perfect time to catch up on movies in the Mall’s gigantic movie theater. Until we found out it wasn’t yet open. But don’t worry, it is now so that’s always an option!
Where to Eat
There are SO many places for great eats and treats. It was impossible to try them all but we did a great job for only 24 hours I think!
Who doesn’t love a good burger? I prefer unusual burgers (and pizza) and Burger Burger had many fabulous options. If you love only the classics, it has those too!
I went with the Mac Daddy with a beef patty, mac n cheese bites, white American cheese, red onion (held), lettuce and bacon ketchup BBQ sauce. I paired that with the house cut fries dipped in a lemon garlic mayo (if you can’t tell I love sauces and condiments in general).
It. was. fabulous!!
Then it was time to “Shake it off” to top it off…the only problem was we were pretty much already topped off. Kim and I shared it but we weren’t able to finish it.
The S’mores milkshake
Walking by, these caught my eye and I knew I had to try the mini waffles at Minnewaffolis (creative name, right?). I went back and forth trying to decide which one to choose but ultimately went with the “We Be Jammin“, a Liege waffle with cream cheese and a bing cherry jam spread served warm. I highly recommend it for a snack, breakfast, dessert or just because!
For dinner that night, we wanted a sit-down meal that didn’t consist of junk food. Crave was perfect for this. And, it had a really cool atmosphere which was a bonus.
I am a sushi lover and like to eat it almost everywhere I travel. So, I went for the salmon sashimi to start.
For my entrée, I had the Sushi Sandwich which had crab, avocado, salmon and tempura shrimp layered between “slices” of nori, sushi rice, crunchy flakes and sesame seeds. I subbed the spicy mayo for eel sauce (or “sweet soy”) and also got their citrus soy sauce on the side.
The Sushi Sandwich reminded me of the Sushi Burger I had in NYC just a couple of months before. Both were delicious!
On the way back to our room, we stopped at Dough Dough for a to-go treat. Thankfully the room had a mini-refrigerator.
This was a five mini-scoop sampling. Some of the mini scoops came with toppings. I highly recommend the Salted Caramel (topped with salted caramel), the Celebration (topped with sprinkles and marshmallows), the Hot Chocolate, the S’more and the Chips Don’t Lie (classic cookie dough topped with a chocolate covered potato chip). If you love cookie dough, this is something that is a must-try. You just might want to eat it over the next few hours instead of all at once. 😉
The FireLake hot chocolate with chocolate syrup and chocolate ganache
FireLake is a fantastic place for breakfast or brunch. It’s located right inside our hotel, the Radisson Blu so we just walked downstairs the next morning. So convenient when there are two feet of snow outside, but I do recommend reservations. We made ours the night before, but I’m guessing the blizzard made this possible and I would make them a little further out especially if you are visiting in the high season.
Along with their fabulous hot chocolate, I ordered the Minnesota Morning. It came with wild rice pancakes (I subbed buttermilk pancakes instead), Minneosta back bacon (subbed maple sausage links), and organic eggs “your way” (my way is over-easy). The cool factor here is that the pancakes came with a chokecherry syrup that was amazing!
Where to Stay
As you have already learned from reading this post, it can definitely matter where you stay when visiting the Mall of America. We almost stayed downtown and decided to stay in a hotel connected to the Mall instead. This turned out to be a trip-changing decision (for the better)!
Radisson Blu Hotel
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel adjacent to the Mall of America. As you can see, the blizzard was in full progress!
Left: Hotel entrance Right: Front desk
Hotel lobby-I loved how different it was!
By adjacent to the Mall, I mean completely connected where you never have to go outside. This is standing on the hotel side looking straight into the mall. Just a short walk away!
See those little windows on the wall to the right?
This is the view out one of those windows at the parking deck of the hotel. In between where I’m standing and that parking deck is the hotel itself.
The rooms have a trendy decor. I particularly love the photo of the Spoonbridge and Cherry above my bed! As I previously mentioned, the rooms have refrigerators which is always nice, but really came in handy during our particular stay.
Just in case you forgot there was a blizzard outside…this is the whiteout from our room!
There you have the highlights of the Mall of America attractions along with the perfect place to stay! We hit all of these on a Saturday with the exception of FireLake which was brunch on Sunday morning. We had a blast and would have loved to have done more, but the next day we braved the snow to explore Minneapolis!
Have you been to the Mall of America? If so, what was your favorite thing you did or ate there? If you haven’t been, what would you like to do most on this list? As always let me know below! 🙂
‘Til next time…