Ferris Wheel at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America

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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U.S. Flag and Christmas Tree at Mall of America
Attracting 40 million visitors annually, the Mall of America is vigilant in their efforts to keep MOA clean and safe for guests.

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?

Mall of America stores

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

Mall of America Nickelodeon Universe

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.

Ryta’s a teenager so she’s kind of a pro at this shopping thing. Especially since this wasn’t her first visit to the Mall of America. Here she is back during her Disney princess days (you can find their Mall of America store at S118). 

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

M&Ms store 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.

Mall of America Directory Close-up

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

Mall of America Navigation Directory

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.

The Mall of America’s parking lot system provides real-time parking availability.

Parking lot sign at Mall of America
Another helpful Mall of America parking tip: Take a snapshot of your location that you can find on the closest pillar (state, section and row). Trust me. You will not remember. The Mall of America has two main parking ramps as well as several surface lots. Take the picture or you’ll be wandering around trying to find your vehicle among the 12,550 parking spots at Mall of America.

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!

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A teenager’s guide to the top things to do at Mall of America

Teenager's guide to the top things at the Mall of America

Related posts to Mall of America

Insiders Guide to Mall of America
Top 17 grown-up things to do at Mall of America

Top things to do in winter: Visit the Mall of America

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller


  1. I get lost in any mall but this is a whole other level (or maybe more than one). I can’t even imagine how much I’d spend here though

  2. I’m in the UK so haven’t actually heard of ‘Mall of America’, but wow, it looks and sounds amazing. An amusement park in a mall sounds perfect to me!

    1. The Mall of America is not quite like any other mall – there’s something to do for everyone – even for those who don’t shop.

  3. I need to get my son here before he’s not a teenager anymore, lol. It’s nice to hear they have so many things to do to help break up the monotony of shopping for the younger generation.

  4. I love the amusement park inside the mall. Between the food options, the shopping, the rides and everything else, I’d think it’s every teenagers dream location.

  5. I knew the MOA was huge but I didn’t realize it was THAT huge. Wow. Hope to go check it out one day.

  6. I see tons of teenagers at MOA each time I’m there. It’s so big, it’s perfect for teens to expend all their energy. It exhausts me but I love that Nordys!

  7. I love that you got a teens opinion for the MOA. We have wanted to visit the Mall of America for a while now, hoping to get to it this year! It is one of a kind, that’s for sure. Thanks for all the tips, I will be using them when we visit.

  8. Payton hasn’t reached the shopping age yet, but it is good to know what lies ahead! Best part of MOA is that there is something for everyone!

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