Bloomington Minnesota’s mega-mall, Mall of America, is so much more than a destination; it’s an entire experience! There is literally so much to see and do at Mall of America that you can stay busy here for days. This article will cover the 15 best Mall of America attractions for kids of all ages in order to help plan your visit to this Bloomington, Minnesota masterpiece.
Along with its 520 retail shops, Mall of America is home to an indoor theme park, bowling alley, movie theater, multiple experiences and attractions, and a wide range of dining options. The many Mall of America attractions is what entices over 40 million visitors here each year.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, discover why Mall of America is more than just your average shopping mall! With attractions geared towards toddlers, school-age kids, as well as tweens and teens, Mall of America attractions appeal to kids of all ages!
Mall of America Attractions for Toddlers
1. Nickelodeon Universe
Nickelodeon Universe theme park is a humongous 7-acre indoor amusement park that appeals to kids of all ages, including toddlers. This massive indoor playground is located in the center of Mall of America and is the crown jewel of Mall of America attractions.
For a theme park that has to fit inside a shopping mall, Nickelodeon Universe does a great job of appealing to a wide age-range of customers. In doing so, they offer 28 rides in three different categories: Family, Junior, and Thrill.
For the little tykes in your family, the 11 Junior rides are specially designed for children 36-42 inches tall. As a huge bonus, parents or chaperones ride for free with a paying toddler!
Pay for rides in the form of a points system, an unlimited wristband, or an annual pass. Junior rides cost 3 points and higher thrill rides cost up to 6 points.
If you and your kids plan on going on multiple rides, it is most cost-effective to purchase an all-day unlimited wristband. Save $2.00 on each wristband by purchasing them online or by checking for an applicable corporate discount.
Additional planning tip: Because of its temperature controlled environment, visiting MOA is one of the most fun things to do Minneapolis with Kids during the winter months!
2. Toddler Tuesdays
Visiting Mall of America mid-week? One of the best Mall of America attractions for toddlers are Toddler Tuesdays! Every Tuesday from 10 AM until noon, children ages 6 and under and their caretakers can visit MOA for ride specials, dining discounts, and free entertainment.
Events on Toddler Tuesdays vary by the week and include character appearances, arts and crafts, story time, and other free entertainment often held in the Mall of America rotunda. In addition, kids eat free at several Mall of America restaurants and toddler wristbands for unlimited Junior rides are hugely discounted.
Additional planning tip: Toddler Tuesdays are free, open to the public, and no reservations are needed. Be prepared, however, that on extremely hot, cold, snowy, or rainy Minnesota mornings, this event is extremely crowded.
3. Paw Patrol Adventure Bay
A giant indoor play space, Paw Patrol Adventure Bay is the most recent addition to the toddler-friendly attractions at Mall of America. Located in the heart of Nickelodeon Universe, kids have the opportunity to climb and play among their favorite Paw Patrol vehicles as well as to score a view from the Paw Patrol lookout tower.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to enter the enclosed, carpeted playground to play with their kids. With built-in charging stations in each of the supplied benches, this is also a great time to relax and charge your phone.
Paw Patrol Adventure Bay is a ticketed Mall of America attraction that costs 6 points per 20-minute “Adventure”. If your child has an unlimited wristband, they can visit as many times as they’d like.
Additional planning tips: Children 42″ and under must be accompanied by a chaperone. Children 43″- 52″ can use the play area without a chaperone. Finally, socks are required in order to play inside the playspace.
4. Build-a-Bear Workshop
Another one of the best Mall of America attractions for toddlers is the Build-A-Bear Workshop. At this interactive retail store, children can ‘build’ their own bear, bunny, dog, or other stuffed animal. After adding the stuffing, customize the animals with accessories, scents, and sounds. For an additional cost, children can even record their own message on behalf of their new furry friend.
There are various prices and packages available and Party Leaders are readily available to help you stay on budget.
Additional planning tips: Build-a-Bear Workshop is located on Level 1 of Mall of America closest to the East parking ramp. Plan on it taking a minimum of 20 minutes to complete the build-a-bear process. Last, be sure to make reservations for parties or special gatherings.
5. LEGO Store
A visit to the LEGO story is another Mall of America attraction that you don’t want your child to miss! The LEGO Store has hundreds of unique LEGO sets for sale that are difficult to find elsewhere. There is also a gigantic pick-a-brick wall (organized by brick color), where individual LEGO bricks can be purchased.
Throughout the store and above its open-air ceiling, gigantic sculptures made entirely of LEGOs will find you and your child(ren) standing in awe!
Last, take advantage of the opportunity to spend time at the LEGO brick building stations just outside the store. Here, kids can use their creativity to build creations from LEGO bricks while parents rest their feet.
Additional planning tip: The LEGO Store building stations are a free Mall of America attraction.
Mall of America Attractions for School-age Kids
*The American Girl Doll Mall of American location closed as of March, 2019.
Along with Nickelodeon Universe, Build-A-Bear, and visiting the LEGO Store, the following are great Mall of America attractions that elementary school-age kids are sure to love!
6. SeaLife Aquarium
SeaLife Aquarium is a fabulous aquarium attraction that is home to over 10,000 living sea creatures! As one of the best Mall of America attractions, SeaLife Aquarium is home to exhibits such as the tunnels of Shark Cove, Rainbow Reef, Seahorse Kingdom, and Jellyfish Discovery.
Our kids find this aquarium to be absolutely fascinating and they always learn something new when we are there!
Along with visiting the aquarium, several other more personal experiences are available. School-age kids will love snorkeling with the fish, feeding the stingrays, or participating in a behind-the-scenes tour.
Purchase tickets for SeaLife Aquarium tickets online, or at the Mall of American aquarium location.
6. The Crayola Experience
One of the most unique Mall of America attractions is The Crayola Experience! Located on the 3rd floor of Mall of America, The Crayola Experience is organized into 25 amazing and interactive art stations. Here, kids can draw, paint, color, and even melt and mold crayon art.
At the Wrap It Up station, you can name and wrap your very own Crayola crayon! The Drip Art station allows you to load your favorite crayon color into the machine and watch it drip crayon wax onto your paper. As the machine spins, it creates beautiful spiral art right before your eyes.
Finally, the Crayola Experience is enhanced with a live and entertaining show that teaches kids the science and magic of color behind their favorite Crayola products.
Additional planning tips: The Crayola Experience is self-paced. Plan to spend around 3-4 hours here. Lunch and snacks are available at the Crayola Cafe for those needing to fill-up.
General Admission is $21.99 +tax per person. Children 2 and under are free. Seniors 65+ are $16.99 +tax each. Save on general admission when you purchase online.
Interested in fun and games? There are two 18-hole mini-golf courses at Mall of America that will definitely add to the excitement of your day. Moose Mountain Adventure Golf has a Northwoods theme, complete with lifesize moose and horses. Rock of Ages Blacklight Minigolf features a progressive music theme starting from the 1950s onward.
Each miniature golf course costs $11.99 +tax per person to golf. If you’re looking to do both Moose Mountain and Rock of Ages, they can be visited in combination for a total of $19.99 +tax per person.
9. Dutchman’s Deck
Dutchman’s Deck is an attention-grabbing Mall of America attraction that your kids will want to try upon first glance! The gigantic lime green and purple adventure course towers 59 feet above Nickelodeon Universe. It includes a multi-tiered Sky Trail ropes course, zipline, and Anchor Tower spiral slide.
The process of reviewing the safety regulations and getting strapped in the zipline harness takes approximately 20 minutes on an average day. If the park is busy, however, the line and wait time at Dutchman’s Deck can take much longer. Once on the course, it is self-paced and depending on you or your child’s confidence and agility can take up to 1 hour to complete.
10. Amazing Mirror Maze
Another one of the less talked about Mall of America attractions that your school-age kids are sure to love is the Amazing Mirror Maze! Plan to get lost, feel dizzy, play games, and be surprised all throughout this 2,500 sq ft. maze made of mirrors and glass.
It is no wonder that Mall of America is home to this, one of the largest mirror mazes in the world. After all, everything at MOA seems to be on a scale of grandeur!
Additional planning tips: Amazing Mirror Maze can be found a little off the beaten path on the 3rd floor of Mall of America. Purchase tickets on-site for 8.95 +tax per person. The maze takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
Mall of America Attractions for Tweens and Teens
*Smaaash, the go-karting and virtual reality gaming attraction closed at Mall of America as of October, 2019.
11. FlyOver America
Our personal favorite Mall of America attraction is FlyOver America! This awesome 4D flight simulator experience is a must-do for tween and teens!
FlyOver America is an incredibly immersive experience and simulates a hang-gliding flight over awe-inspiring scenes and landscapes throughout the U.S.A. Not only is the scenery absolutely breathtaking and seemingly real-life, but the simulator mimics the sights, sounds, and sensations of the landscape as well!
Prepare to smell pine trees as well as experience the mist of the Niagra Falls!
Additional planning tips: FlyOver America is located within Nickelodeon Universe but requires an additional fee. The $19.99 +tax admission for adults and $15.99 +tax admission for children is totally worth it for this 15-minute experience.
12. The Escape Game
With the latest trend in escape rooms, it is no surprise that Mall of America is home to oh-so-popular, The Escape Game. The Escape Game involves being ‘locked’ inside a themed-room with other teammates to solve riddles and uncover clues in order to be let out. With only 60-minutes to complete this task, this game is a thrilling adventure!
The 5 themes to choose from at the Mall of America Escape Room are:
- Mission: Mars
- Gold Rush
- The Heist
- Prison Break
- Speical Ops
Additional planning tip: We recommend this attraction for tweens and teens as the game content may be too challenging for those under age 13. This is one of the Mall of America attractions that is perfect for groups and parties!
13. 5D Extreme Attraction by Matrix Technology
One of the newest Mall of America attractions (one that we have yet to experience ourselves) is 5D Extreme! There is a lot of hype surrounding this epic modern-day virtual reality experience, and by the sounds of it, this place rocks!
Two separate experiences, 5D Extreme includes both “Shark Attack”, which is a 5D extreme show, and “Mystery Mine”, which is a 5D extreme ride.
“In the state-of-the-art 5D “Shark Attack” experience, customers will meet eye-to-eye with prehistoric reptiles when standing on a motion platform. In “Mystery Mine” 1G forces combine with an adventurous ride as a mine car will deliver an amazing and memorable adrenaline rush.”MOA
Additional planning tips: 5D Extreme is located on Level 1 of Mall of America and ticket prices can be found here.
14. XD Ride
Immersive video games that can be played in groups is another trend in interactive entertainment. Mall of America’s XD Ride is just that! This state-of-the-art theatre combines stunning visual effects and sound technology while creating the sensations of falling, jumping and crashing in a thrilling attraction ride.
Not only that, but up to 16 riders compete for the high score by shooting at on-screen enemies using high precision laser blasters.
XD Ride screams awesome, and your teens and tweens are sure to love it!
15. Enjoy Dinner and a Movie
A list of the best Mall of America attractions for teens and tweens would not be complete without mentioning MOA’s upscale movie theater along with the mall’s amazing dining options!
Afterward, the CMX Market Cinema Experience is sure to be a treat. With its oversized, leather reclining seats and ultimate screen qualities, any film at CMX is enhanced by the viewing experience alone. (Let alone the ‘Popcorn Lab’.)
Mall of America Attractions: Where to Stay
The MOA is located directly across the interstate from Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport (MSP). Consequently, there are more than 50 hotels within 10 minutes of the mall.
Our favorite accommodations when visiting Nickelodeon Universe is Best Western Plus. Best Western Plus is located directly across the street from the mall close to restaurants and public transportation.
The clean poolside rooms, huge indoor pool area, and free gourmet hot breakfast make this our favorite family-friendly hotel in the area!
Here are additional Mall of American overnight accommodation options:
Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*
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