Women shopping at Mall of America looking for directions

Enjoy a hassle-free visit to the largest mall in the United States by creating your own Mall of America travel itinerary with these travel tips and recommendations from a local. This Mall of America travel guide with a local’s recommendations is perfect for adults and/or those who aren’t all about shop til you drop.

The Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minn., just a few miles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and a suburb of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

This post contains links to products and services. While you will not accrue any additional costs to support my blog, I may – as a marketing affiliate – receive compensation if you link to or purchase products and services from places such as Amazon, Bluehost, Constant Contact, It’s a Lovely Life, HotelsCombined, etc. All images are taken by kmf and available for digital download.
Special thank you to Mall of America for hosting me. All opinions are my own.

3 Mall of America travel guide

A local’s recommended tips on what to do and see and the Mall of America

Living only 18 miles south of the largest mall in the U.S., I am happy to share my recommendations as a local on the top things to do at the Mall of America – the grown-up version.

And while our great state of Minnesota offers a tax-free incentive on clothing and features a lot of variety with 500+ stores at the Mall of America, this megamall (or MOA as we locals call it) offers so much more than shopping.

The Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minn. is an experience for all ages. And there is always a special event going on at MOA so it’s never the same experience twice.

Please check the Mall of America website and the individual organization’s website for the latest updates on what’s open, social-distancing guidelines, hours of operation, etc.

An insider's guide to the top things to do at Mall of America.
A local’s travel guide to the top things to do at Mall of America is perfect for adults and those who don’t like to shop.

Mall of America travel guide

Here’s a local’s guide to the top grown-up things to do at the Mall of America. if someone in your travel party doesn’t like to shop, these Mall of America (MOA) travel tips will ensure everyone has a great time at America’s largest mall.

Apple Store Mall of America | 114 West Market

Apple Store Mall of America top things to do

Note: This post was published pre-Covid-19; please check the vendor’s specific website for updates on their current operating hours and protocols.

Earlier this year, my son made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Apple Store at the Mall of America to clean-up his laptop. Super easy (well, the Genius experts make it look super easy). Walk in with your laptop at your reserved time slot; they do their magic; and then you walk out.

Well, probably not just walk out because the Apple Store Mall of America offers some really cool things. My son and husband noticed the MOA Apple Store had a class going on so thought I’d look into it more.

And here’s what I discovered. The Apple Store Mall of America is more than sales and service. Their location at MOA offers a series of really fun and creative events and sessions using your Apple devices, or in most cases, they also provide devices onsite.

MOA Apple Store classes

Here are just a few of the classes and labs Mall of America Apple Store offers.

  • iPhone photography and iPad photos: Photo walks and taking portraits on location (definitely checking this one out soon as I take all my photos with my iPhone. See my related article on my top iPhone camera accessories).
  • iPhone video: Learn how to make a movie trailer.
  • Music: Deconstruct your favorite Apple Music artists and remix your own versions using GarageBand on an iPhone.
  • Coding and Apps: A beginner’s guide to build an app or programming robots, for example, on your iPad using Swift.
  • Art and Design: Improve your digital art skills with ProCreate; Apple Creatives teach how to code an augmented reality through art.
  • Product skills:  Bring in your favorite Apple device to learn the ins and outs of all features such as the Apple Watch (from how to set up to customizing and connecting to apps, fitness tracking and more).

For dates and times of the events, check out the Apple Store Mall of America’s calendar of events.

Microsoft Store Mall of America | 162 South Ave

Microsoft Store at Mall of America: LinkedIn shots

Are you more of a Microsoft Windows fan? No worries. The Microsoft Store Mall of America is over on the south wing. They, too, offer more than just products and services.

MOA Microsoft Store events

  • You can find business events like updating your headshot for your LinkedIn headshot (limited time: now through March 31), insider tips to make meaningful connections and attracting new clients on LinkedIn
  • Gaming pods at Mall of America Microsoft Store allow you to play and experience the latest and cutting-edge technology for Xbox and PC games.
  • Are you a teacher looking for free stuff? Then head over to the Mall of America Microsoft Store for free workshops for educators like building a digital classroom and checking out free products for the classroom.

Check out all the cool events at Microsoft Store Mall of America.

LiveWell – Mall of America’s health and wellness program

Mall of America JDRF Type One walk for a cause
Mall of America hosts many walks to benefit causes such as JDRF One Walk. You can also walk MOA before stores open to avoid the crowds. Note that this image was taken pre-pandemic.

I know retail therapy and power shopping are good for your soul, but cool to learn you can work on your wellness goals at the Mall of America.

LiveWell program options

LiveWell is a health and wellness program featuring ways to get physical and make healthy choices at Mall of America. Here are a few of the MOA wellness program options.

  • Walking maps: Just one level of the Mall of America is more than a mile and you can burn 80 to 100 calories. You can find walking maps on MOA’s website.
  • MOA Mall Stars program: Offers monthly meetings with guest speakers and incentives for reaching your monthly and yearly goals. Membership is $15/month ($25 for a couple).
  • Check out this online smart dining guide to where to eat healthy at Mall of America restaurants – more than 50 restaurants showcasing MOA’s heathy dining and clean eating options. Categorized by:
    • Vegetarian
    • Under 500 calories
    • Vegan
    • Gluten-free
  • MOA special events: Check the calendar for special health and wellness events.

lululemon Mall of America experiential store |116 West Market

lulelemon Mall of America experiential store

Any lululemon fans out there? Get fit at Mall of America. Yes, you can shop for your favorite yoga and running apparel at lululemon. However, MOA’s lululemon experiential store also offers a series of classes, special fitness-related events and a café of healthy meal and drink options.

lululemon fitness sessions

You can book a lululemon fitness session for $25 at the Mall of America – see also their special 3 classes for $30 intro offer. Sessions include:

  • Barre fitness (hybrid workout class of ballet, yoga, Pilates, strength training)
  • Bootcamp
  • Boxing / kickboxing
  • Circuit training
  • Interval training
  • Yoga

Note: I am a customer and a marketing affiliate with Bluehost. That means if you purchase any products or services from them I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you). I only recommend products and services I use or would consider using.

Get married or renew your vows at Chapel of Love | 318 East Broadway

Wedding rings for Chapel of Love at Mall of America is a unique wedding venue in the Twin Cities.

Believe it or not, but the Mall of America is a popular wedding destination. In fact, more than 8,700 weddings have been performed at MOA. The Chapel of Love at Mall of America offers a romantic indoor garden chapel as well as wedding consultants, ordained ministers, a wedding accessories boutique and wedding photography. This full-service wedding Chapel of Love at the Mall of America makes it a perfect venue for your wedding or vow renewal ceremony.

Mall of America hotels for your wedding party

And with 50 hotels within 10 miles of the Mall of America (two of them connected), MOA is convenient for wedding party guests as well as extending the stay into a honeymoon.

See my top things to do in Minnesota post for ideas on what to experience in the land of 10,000 lakes – from the Twin Cities to the North Shore and more.

XD Ride at Mall of America

XD Ride top thing to do at Mall of America

The XD Ride at Mall of America is an interactive video game simulator where you compete against 15 others for top score. You earn points by shooting at on-screen enemies using your laser blasters.

The six different XD Ride adventures include:

  • Alien asteroid
  • Zombies
  • Los banditos
  • Pirates
  • Gigamon
  • Carnival

You can check each of the adventures’ trailers to see if this immersive video game, XD Ride, at MOA is suitable for you.

Each ride lasts four to six minutes; total time will depend on the type of package you purchase.

Travel tip: Don’t lug around a huge purse when hiking around this ginormous megamall. I love my SPIbelt as it stretches to fit my keys, credit cards, money, etc. and hides easily under my clothes (without any bulk). Or Mall of America does offer storage lockers you can rent. And with their car valet service, you can request hands-free shopping for a fee.

FlyOver America | 5120 Center Court

Flyover America top thing to do at Mall of America

Take flight over 26 top travel destinations in the U.S. like One World Trade Center in New York City, Napa Valley vineyards and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The entire FlyOver America at Mall of America takes about 30 minutes – 10 minutes in line, 10 minutes in preboarding and a 10-minute ride where you’ll travel more than 10,000 miles. I can definitely see myself as a frequent flyer.

My friends and I experienced FlyOver America recently and it was my favorite ride at Mall of America.

And here’s a fun fact. FlyOver America is the longest ride of its kind in the world at approximately 10 minutes long. Highly recommend.

Travel tip: Buy online and save 10% on tickets.

Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America

An underwater tunnel at Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America.

Sea Life Aquarium is not just for the kids. I love aquariums. I find watching fish, sharks and marine life so peaceful and relaxing. Of course, Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America does attract families. If you want to go when it’s not as crowded, I’ve found going to Sea Life later in the day or early evening is best. The aquarium at Mall of America is open until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays.

If you’re looking something a little more adventurous than the regular exhibits, you can sign up to snorkel for an hour with the fish and sharks. It’s a fun thing to do when visiting the Twin Cities.

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America | 5100 Center Court

And who says amusement parks are just for kids? The seven-acre Nickelodeon Universe offers several adult-friendly rides. Check out our experience when four of us hockey moms took on Mall of America.

Rides like:

  • Avatar Airbender
  • Brain Surge
  • Fairly Odd Coaster
  • Pepsi Orange Streak
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock
  • SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge

Attractions like the adventure course with the tallest ropes course in the world as well as the longest indoor zip line in North America. It’s 405 feet long and 55 feet above the ground.

Visit the Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America website where you can see all the rides and attractions separated by categories.

Travel tip: Save $2 when buying wristbands/attractions online. They have a number of ticket options including all day, attraction bundle, single rides, etc. Kiosks located at all the Nickelodeon Universe entrances. 

The Escape Game | 300 East Broadway

This is something I haven’t done yet, but would love to try. The Escape Game at Mall of America is where you and your team have 60 minutes to complete a mission by cracking codes and solving clues and puzzles.

The five themes include:

  • Mission: Mars
  • Gold Rush
  • The Heist
  • Prison Break
  • Special Ops

The Void | 379 North Garden

The Void sounds like the perfect experience for the thrill seeker in a controlled environment. I still need to check this virtual reality (VR) out, but sounds so fun!

Current fully immersive themes include:

  • Jumanji – Reverse the curse
  • Avengers – Damage control
  • Star Wars – Secrets of the Empire
  • Nicodemus – Demon of Evanishment

5D Extreme | 5130 Center Court

Here’s another MOA VR attraction featuring Matrix Technology (a European virtual reality with 5D).

The two themes of 5D Extreme include:

  • Shark attack where you come face-to-face prehistoric reptiles
  • Mystery mine that combines 1G force with a 5D roller coaster simulator  

Mystic Lake Casino Store | 296 East Broadway

If gambling is your thing, you can catch a free shuttle to and from the Mystic Lake Casino located in Shakopee, Minn. at the Mall of America’s Mystic Lake Casino Store. And that’s not all this store offers. You can also purchase tickets to a Mystic Lake Casino show, gift cards and hotel packages. And they also teach you how to play blackjack.

You can also learn more about the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and other Minnesota tribes.

Travel tip from Mall of America to Mystic Lake Casino

If going or leaving at night, check out the surreal beams of light coming from the Mystic Lake Casino. Looks like a scene out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spoiler alert: Google weird lights over Prior Lake and you’ll see that any UFO sightings in the Twin Cities have been debunked.

Where to eat at Mall of America for foodies

Sure, the Mall of America has food courts (which are actually pretty amazing; they’re not your typical mall food courts). But MOA does offer some great dining experiences for foodies.

Twin City Grill | 130 North Garden

Twin City Grill at Mall of America dining guide

If you’re a fan of comfort food, then head over to Twin City Grill. It’s located on the first floor at 130 North Garden. You’ll find Minnesota foodie faves like a walleye fish fry, Iron Range chicken breast and prime meatloaf.

Two of my favorites: garlic and parmesan-crusted jumbo shrimp and, of course, loaded mac and cheese with bacon. (It’s one of my top mac and cheeses in the U.S.)

And they offer a lot more. Even the basic burgers, sandwiches and salads if traveling with non-foodies.

CMX Market Cinema Experience | 410 South Avenue

This is not your typical movie theater. Like its name, CMX Market Cinema Experience is an experience of luxury. Not only does Mall of America’s movie theater show the current blockbuster films, CMX Market Cinema offers more than Milk Duds, such as:

  • Hand-crafted pizza stations
  • Made-to-order burgers and shakes
  • Deli featuring cheese and charcuterie platters, salads, gourmet sandwiches, wine and beer
  • Popcorn lab featuring gourmet popcorn
  • Center bar for cocktails before or after the movie

Crave American Kitchen and Sushi Bar | 368 South Avenue

Crave at Mall of America is a great place for date night or a night out with the girls. We’ve even met there for book club. I love Crave’s circular bar, open kitchen and indoor patio that overlooks Nickelodeon Universe. And the Crave menu options range from salads to sushi to pasta to seafood to steaks to burgers. Additionally, Crave offers cocktails and award-winning wine selections.

FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar | Radisson Blu – North side of MOA, Level 2

This farm-to-table restaurant partners with local ranchers, farmers and artisan producers to deliver some delicious Midwestern-fusion dishes. FireLake Grill House is located in one of the hotels connected to Mall of America, Radisson Blu MOA.

Cedar+Stone Urban Table | JW Marriott – South side of the MOA, Level 1

Located on the other side of MOA is Cedar+Stone Urban Table restaurant and Raise the Bar (featuring Minnesota craft brews and distilleries) located in JW Marriott (another hotel connected to the Mall of America).

And there are many, many more great restaurants to try at MOA. Check out the Mall of America dining guide for a full list of restaurants where you can fuel up.

Shop and stay packages

And speaking of hotels, there are 50 of them within 10 minutes of the Mall of America (most offering complimentary shuttle service). Additionally, two hotels are directly connected to the megamall – Radisson Blu and JW Marriott.

For some great deals, check out the Mall of America Shop and Stay packages.

MOA happy hours

Mall of America happy hour for hockey moms. Four women drinking a fishbowl drink at Sugar Factory.
The Mall of America is a great vacation or staycation destination for adults. Check out our hockey mom experience at Mall of America. Note: This image was taken pre-pandemic.

Complement your retail therapy with a little cocktail therapy at several establishments that offer regular happy hours. You can find specific bar and restaurant happy hours (usually Monday-Friday – early and late-night) on their websites.

Happy hour locations

  • Crave
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • Cowboy Jack’s
  • Hooters
  • Margaritaville
  • Cantina Laredo
  • The New Cantina
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • FireLake Grill House + Cocktail Bar
  • Cedar + Stone, Urban Table
  • Sugar Factory
  • And more

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy | 408 East Broadway

If you’re looking for a good laugh, you can catch a stand-up comedy show at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy at the Mall of America. This comedy club on the top floor of the Mall of America features some of the top comedians who have also made appearances on the late-night talk shows, America’s Got Talent, HBO, Last Comic Standing and more.

Create a customized Mall of America itinerary – the grown-up version

Of course, there is so much more to experience at MOA. These are just a few of the top things to do at Mall of America for those looking for a grown-up experience. Pick and choose your favorite experiences and create your own MOA itinerary.

Mall of America FAQs

Travel tip: How to save money at Mall of America

Looking for deals? Purchase a Mall of America® Coupon Book. You can save money at many MOA stores, restaurants, attractions and local hotels.

Pin it for later

If you’re planning to visit the Mall of America, please pin this for future reference when you need a MOA travel guide.

Top things to do at Mall of America for grownups

A local's guide: Top Things To Do at Mall of America

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  1. First of all, your cover photo with a shot of Shake Shack in the background now has me missing the burger and sweet bun! Second, what can’t you do at MOA? I’ve always wanted to go there and bring our kids. Sort of like an all inclusive resort…without that whole “included” payment part.

    1. Ha! Now I want a burger with its sweet bun! Your kids would love it…so much to do for everyone. Pick up the Mall of America coupon book and you can save a lot that way.

  2. Wow! So much fun stuff to do there! I’ve only been once, but I definitely want to return now! I’m sending this post on to my sister who is going in a few weeks. 🙂

    1. Awesome! If your sister has any questions or needs ideas for other things to do in the Twin Cities, I’m happy to provide recommendations.

  3. I had no idea there was so much to do! Now I’m going to have to plan a trip just for the Flyover America, Aquarium, and Nickelodeon attractions. Thanks for the tour!

  4. I think the Mall of America is the perfect place to get married. There’s so much entertainment built in all you need to do is have the wedding ceremony and the mall provide the rest. Perfect!

    1. I probably take it so much for granted since I live so close (isn’t that how it always is). Cool that you had the opportunity to experience it.

    1. It’s a huge entertainment center – something for everyone. I thought the classes are super cool…really want to try a couple of them.

  5. It is certainly a mall of a difference with so many activities. There’s nothing like it in my city, probably cause we don’t get snowed in during winter.

    1. Ha! The Mall of America does offer a consistent 70-degrees throughout the year (doesn’t have a central heating system; heat is generated from passive solar energy, lighting, store fixtures and body heat).

  6. Wow! There’s so much cool stuff to do there! We went when I was a kid, and after reading this I want to go again!!!!

  7. I am sold on the Fly Over America, I really want to do that, sounds cool! I am happy to see they have the Shake Shack there and The Sugar Factory, I will have to walk all floors of the mall to burn off all that sugar!

  8. My best friend and I are about to start planning a girls trip to MOA. I was a tad overwhelmed thinking about it. Your post is so detailed and helpful!

  9. Are you sure this is a mall and not a city. Wow it’s huge. The apple store sounds awesome with their courses, which they did that here. I’d never be bored at this mall. Yes malls usually do bore me.

    1. It kind of is a city. On most days, The Mall of America is the third largest city in Minnesota (based on population) – more than 40 million people visit each year. I really want to take some of the Apple Store classes.

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