Here’s a teenager’s guide to the top things to do at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. – the largest mall in the U.S. The Mall of America, or MOA, is one of the best spring breaks or weekend getaways for teenagers.
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When my teenage niece, Ryta, visits the Twin Cities during spring break or other holidays, the Mall of America is typically a destination. As I only live about 20 minutes from the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., I met up with her and her parents on one of her visits.
First visit to Mall of America?
If you’re a first-timer, the Mall of America (or MOA as we locals call it) can be daunting and overwhelming as the 5.6 million-square-foot mall features more than 500 stores. How big is that? Like nine Yankee Stadiums. It’s more than a mile hike around one level at the Mall of America…and there are four levels (well, three and a half technically).
Tip when you visit the Mall of America: Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
Nickelodeon Universe – add to your teenager’s guide of Mall of America
Then there’s this seven-acre amusement park in the center, Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor theme park in the U.S. In all, the Mall of America features 27 rides and attractions (see related post). All of these are top things to do at the Mall of America.
A teenager’s guide to the top things at Mall of America
With Ryta’s permission, I’m sharing her Teenager’s guide to the top things to do at Mall of America. Did I mention that clothes in Minnesota are tax-free?
1 American Eagle (S120 and N250)
2 Fabletics (S142)
3 Garage (N140)
4 Lush (N186)
5 Nike (W244)
6 Nickelodean Universe (5100 Center Court) – walk to the center of the mall – you can’t miss it!
7 Nordstrom’s (NW1000) – there’s also a Nordstrom’s Rack at W324)
8 PacSun, (E246)
9 Pink (N120)
10 Victoria’s Secret (N178, W220)
11 Zumiez (N236)
M&M’s store now at Mall of America
Back story on this image: I took it the end of February 2020 – about two weeks before the pandemic shut the Mall of America, the state of Minnesota, and most of the world down. So while the sign says coming soon, the two-story, 24,000-square-foot M&Ms store is now open at the Mall of America. I’m sure it would make most teenager’s travel guide of the best things to do at the Mall of America.
Mall of America travel guide: take the scenic route
Of course, we did detour into other Mall of America stores along the way.
If you’re directionally challenged like my niece and me, you can find a number of interactive directories throughout the Mall of America, which literally point you in the right direction (see upper right in the image above). It’ll also estimate how long it’ll take to walk there, and can even text the directions to your mobile.
Travel tips to create your own guide to the Mall of America
Insider tips when visiting and creating an itinerary for the Mall of America in Minnesota
- Check out the Mall of America directory in advance to create your itinerary. You can view the MOA directory by category, list or map. Note that you can select all four levels of the megamall map individually.
- Make a list of your top 10+ and then prioritize / reorder by store location and address (most are East, West, North, South Broadway; if the address indicates Garden, it’s typically a kiosk; and the flagship stores are Court.
- Start your Mall of America shopping tour on the first floor nearest where you park. And then repeat on the remaining levels.
- Parking is free at Mall of America and the parking lots are massive (12,750 parking stalls). Become familiar with the parking lot options ahead of time. And when you get there, the Mall of America has a feature that tells you how many spaces are still available. If you see a red light, that means that section is full. Note that parking fees do apply at the two connecting hotels at the Mall of America: Radisson Blu and J.W. Marriott.
- Accept that time (patience and/or money) may not allow you to see and do everything.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Take breaks to fuel up on water and food – plenty of dining options (Mall of America offers fast food courts with seating as well as dine-in restaurants).
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint so be okay if your plans deviate from your original list. Check out those other stores and attractions you can’t find in other malls.
- It’s a comfortable 70 degrees year-round at the Mall of America so free up your hands and leave your coat in the car or in one of the self-serve rental lockers. If you valet your car, they even offer hands-free shopping services (for a fee).
- To ensure your child’s safety, a guardian 21 years or older must accompany anyone under the age of 16 from 4 p.m. to closing on Fridays, Saturdays and some holidays. See the Mall of America’s parental escort policy for details.
- Purchase the Mall of America coupon book at any of the MOA guest services desk. It features more than 250 offers to save money at Mall of America stores, rides, attractions and restaurants. I have one and highly recommend.
- Got a non-shopper in the group? Check out the non-shopping shenanigans four of us hockey moms did.
- And if you’re looking for some grown-up things to do at the Mall of America, check out this local’s guide.
Create your own teenager’s guide to the Mall of America
If you’d like to create your own teenager’s guide to the Mall of America, check out their website. If you have questions, leave a comment below. Happy shopping at America’s largest megamall!