Pow Wow Traveler’s Guide to Mall of America

Going to a Mall as a destination has not been part of my travel plans since I was a teen in the 80s.  Without a pocket full of quarters ready for the arcade, I wasn't sure how I would spend my days.  On top of that a trip to a mall in Minnesota in the middle of February.  Nope, not what I thought would be a weekend I would enjoy.

The Mall of America is more than just a mall.  The mall is a travel destination!

When you plan your Pow Wow trips in Minnesota, add the Mall of America as a stop.

Don't forget each August the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux host exhibition dances at the mall as part of their Shakopee Pow Wow!

2012 Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Wacipi Dance Exhibition at Mall of America

I was honored to be invited to participate in the annual MinNoCoata program by the Mall of America.  The mall brings together several bloggers each year to show that the mall can be a great trip even during a Minnesota winter.  My flight from South Carolina landed in  11-degree temperature with a wind chill of -5!

How To Get There

From the airport, you can travel to the mall via light rail–and not have to go outside!

If you are driving through, the mall has plenty of parking in their garages.  Uber also has designated pickup and drop-off locations.

Attractions – Things to Do

The mall isn't just about shopping!  The mall is like a mini Orlando under one roof.  You can enjoy a full theme park, aquarium, virtual reality, mirror maze, Crayola Experience, and more.

Minnesota Sea Life



Aquarium, theme park, and shopping! Excited to explore the Mall of America!#minnocoata #mallofamerica

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boy-feeding-stingrays family-with-sawfish touching-sea-anenome-at-new-pacific-northwest-rockpool

Minnesota Sea Life features 1.3 million gallon aquarium that includes a pathway that goes through the sea life.  You can watch the fish and marine life swim right above your head.  Enjoy seeing jellyfish, sharks, sea turtles and sea horses.  You can event get up close and touch the sea creatures in the Pacific Northwest Rockpool.

Nickelodeon Universe

This is a 7 acre theme park – in the middle of a mall!  Take a break from the shopping to ride 27 attractions including 4 roller coasters, zip line, and a water ride.  Despite the small space, this theme park packs in excitement.

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The highlight of Nickelodeon Universe is Fly Over America.  The ride system is based on Soarin' at Disney's Epcot.  However, the Minnesota version travels through the air across the entire United States.  You are immersed in this flying adventure, feeling the wind, smelling the trees, and having the sea mist blow in your face.

Crayola Experience


My wife and daughter could have spent days inside this store and attraction!  The smell of crayons had them scampering towards the Crayola store.  They have every color of crayon on sale.  Fill a tin with your own mix of colors.  You can also enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Crayola Experience.


driving-smaaash finger-coaster-smaaash

My expectations were once again blow away by Smaaash.  I had my doubts about how life-like virtual reality experiences could actually be.  Wow, was I wrong!

Smaaash includes several different VR attractions.  Design your own roller coaster and then ride it!  Fight off approaching gunmen!  Battle against aliens!  Or try the most immersive,


With over 550 stores, it is safe to say they have a little something for everyone.  If you can't find something you like here, they don't make it!  We enjoyed exploring the unique stores.  Who would have thought there was stores for cheese, wine, and Peeps!

Minnesota has no sales tax on clothing or shoes!  So the mall is a great place to stock up on clothing.


1 weekend, explored 40+ stores, 1 aquarium, 1 theme park and 50,000 steps! #minnocoata

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And then there is the food…

The food was so surprising I actually wrote a full post about the food at Mall of America.  The Mall has more than corndogs and fries!  You can enjoy everything from Shrimp and Grits to farm fresh vegetables, Sushi, and more.

Our weekend at The Mall of American was an amazing experience!  Can't wait to return!

Make sure to add the mall to your travel plans.

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by poeticresearch

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