Jan 30 2010

Fun Things to Do with Kids at Mall of America

For many people, there are two reasons to visit Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota:

  1. To shop ’till you drop; or
  2. To do the big fun family things like the Nickelodeon Universe amuseument park or the Underwater Adventures aquarium.

On a recent Thursday, however, I set out to Mall of America with my daughters, ages 6 and 4, to see what interesting and inexpensive things we could do.  We didn’t have much to shop for and our family is planning a Nick Universe outing soon, so this bitterly cold day was spend at MOA looking for cheap fun.

Here are my recommendations for keeping kids occupied at Mall of America.
Barbie store at MOA

  • The Barbie store won’t be there much longer, but this small space will leave little girls dreaming of all things Barbie.  The Barbie-adorned elevators on the mall’s west side certainly got my girls’ attention.
  • Step into Hanna Andersson and have your kids find out how tall they are–in centimeters–at the store’s measuring station.
  • Visit the Legoland play area and build something with the provided blocks, or head up to the third-floor food court and see the magnificent Lego creations from above.

Legoland MOA

  • Gymboree has a TV and small chairs, to keep kids entertained while their adults shop.  The Life is Good store has a TV and a huge beanbag.
  • Outside of Best Buy, there’s a white mat where kids can move around, making projected pictures move as they jump and walk.  All the while, they’ll be on TV, thanks to a camera and television set up inside the store.

Hop till you drop MOA

  • Find a second-floor overlook and watch the Nickelodeon Universe roller coasters zoom past, or visit the 3rd floor south food court and wave to people on the log ride just before they make their big splash.
  • Take their pictures at the cutout stand outside Kokomo’s, 3rd floor, south side.
  • See how many times you can shake hands with Sharky as he walks around the mall.  Can you beat our three Sharky sightings?
  • Stop in the American Girl store to dream, or have a snack in its 2nd-floor cafe.  We had a delightful time with $5 worth of ice cream.
  • Have the kids play “spot the rhinoceros.”  Hint:  It’s at the Ecko store.
  • Let them play in the Hello Kitty house at Sanrio, where there are also many affordable trinkets and treats near the checkout counter.
  • If you can visit on a Tuesday, there are special “Toddler Tuesday” activities happening, and weekends often bring special events to the mall.
  • See a free family movie in the theatres at 10 a.m. on Saturdays (and on Wednesdays in the summer).

Have you taken your kids to Mall of America?  Have you found any free-but-fun spots that kids would enjoy?


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11 comments so far

11 Comments to “Fun Things to Do with Kids at Mall of America”

  1. Mom of Two on 30 Jan 2010 at 10:39 pm

    We like to go to the Rain Forest Cafe & look at the aquariums in the gift shop and then throw pennies in the mechanical alligator (well, the game is to try to get one in there once he opens his mouth).

    We love Toddler Tuesdays with the discount wristbasn to Nickelodeon Universe and free kids meals and events in the rotunda.

    We usually hit the Lego Store too.

    Those are some other good ideas you have that I did not know about.

    Also, you can bring your camera & get pictures take with Nickelodeon characters, even if you don’t go on the rides.
    .-= Mom of Two´s last blog ..Playdate with Taryn =-.

  2. minnemom on 31 Jan 2010 at 7:35 am

    Thanks for the great ideas, Mom of Two!

  3. Laurie on 31 Jan 2010 at 7:48 am

    Is the mini golf still there? It’s been so long since I’ve been there!


  4. minnemom on 31 Jan 2010 at 8:45 am

    Mini-golf: yes and no. There was mini-golf when the mall first opened, then it closed and there was a General Mills cereal exhibit for awhile. Now there’s mini-golf again.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into the category of inexpensive things to do.

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