The opportunity to go to Mall of America® came in my inbox a while back. I jumped at the chance! I’m a small town kind of girl, but I do love going up to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as much as I can. Mostly for the shopping. I love the variety and Mall of America is the queen of shopping centers. If you’ve never been to Mall of America, you’ll want to read on. And if you’ve been there lots, maybe you’ll find something new that you just have to try.
I remember way back, back when Mall of America first opened in 1992 – I was almost 12. My mom and brother and I went up to do some before school shopping. It’s crazy how exciting it was then. And it’s still exciting. I think it’s even more so because my girls are at really fun ages where we can do more fun activities (they’re 6 and 4). Seeing them excited about being there just makes it so much cooler.
So anyway fast forward 21 years later. We got to stay at the new Radisson Blu Hotel that’s directly attached to the Mall. I hadn’t heard of the hotel yet, but it had just opened in March. And it’s rad. I love that fresh and modern feel it has. Everyone was so extremely nice there. I’ve stayed at lots of hotels and this is one of the nicest and had the friendliest and most helpful staff. Haha, I have to admit they were awesome about answering our questions as we got turned around or couldn’t find the parking ramp. I really liked that we could stay out pretty darn late (ahem, 10 pm) in the Mall and not have to worry about going to get our car and heading back home or driving to a different hotel. It was awesome. We even tested the saline pool (no chlorine!). Natalie said she enjoyed the taste.
The room was really awesome, and Mall of America and some of its stores left us some really great things to try, including tickets to some really fun stuff (which I’ll get to in a sec), but most importantly – cupcakes from the shop Cupcake! I had the store written down as must visit, haha, cupcake sucker I am. They were amazing, I scarfed down a Chocolate Espresso cupcake.
We threw our things in the room and didn’t waste any time going to the first stop: SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium! We had a ton of fun. The girls loved seeing the sharks and jellyfish and even an octopus. We all got to touch starfish for the first time – I know, where have I been?! They’re awesome.
After the Aquarium we checked out LEGO® and checked out the lines for the rides. I’d definitely say that a Saturday afternoon is the busiest time, so if you can avoid that time and go another, definitely give it a shot. We waited until Sunday morning to check out as many rides at Nickelodeon Universe® as possible. Roller coasters (the Pepsi Orange Streak was our family fave), swings, Brain Surge, rides for little kids, plus things we didn’t even have time for like the Moose Mountain adventure golf or the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course (I’m definitely going back to try the ropes course!).
We stopped half way and did some shopping at Archiver’s (for me) and at the American Girl store for the girls. They loved looking at all the American Girl craziness! We also had to try our Build-A-Bear for the first time, it’s something I think the girls will remember for a long time! And afterwards, we ate at my favorite Panda Express (why oh why did our local mall have to close ours?!). Then back to some more rides and then we pretty much passed out from all the excitement.
It went by so fast, but we had such a great time. And we were totally wiped out on the way home we couldn’t even talk for over an hour. Happy kids make happy parents, so we were all set.
Thanks for reading about our adventures. Visit Mall of America this summer! It’s a great place to shop and have fun, plus no sales tax on clothes!! Bonus points! Hey and I’m giving away a $100 MOA™ gift card too!
To enter for a chance to win, leave me a comment telling me what looks like the best thing for you and your family at MOA?:
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/13 – 6/9.
Be sure to visit the Mall of America page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!