Let's face it. Shopping with toddlers is no fun.
Then why would my family and I travel over six hours to THE
shopping mecca, Mall of America?
Well, it turns out that the mall offers much more than just
shopping - it offers tons of entertainment for the family! In fact,
if you plan it just right, it makes for the PERFECT cold-weather
destination and you may not have to leave the complex at all. Here
are some suggestions for fun with the family at the Mall of
An amusement park? Inside the middle of the mall?
You bet! If you have kids,
Nickelodeon Universe is the place to be
whether you're looking for scream-worthy coasters or tamer kiddie
rides. My toddlers had a blast chugging on the Dora train, flying
through the air on a hot air balloon ride and meeting Dora and
Interested in having sharks, sea turtles and
stingrays swim above you? At the Sea Life
Minnesota Aquarium, located directly underneath
the mall, you can completely immerse yourself underwater without
getting wet as you can walk through a 300 foot ocean tunnel. Meet
the octopus named K-Love, some really cute seahorses and lay eyes
on one of the coolest jelly fish exhibits you'll ever
Catch a flick at the Theaters at Mall of
America where they have motion seats that move and
vibrate according to the action shown on the screen. Stop by on
Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. for "Free Toddler Flicks" featuring free
family movies and a special $4 kids concession package including
popcorn or a hot dog, fruit snack and juice pouch.
The mall hosts hundreds of events, most of them
being family-friendly. One of their most noteworthy caters to the
younger set. For the past 15 years, "
Toddler Tuesdays" has been entertaining
toddlers with fun, interactive and educational programs. Activities
include special appearances from popular children's characters,
readings from favorite children's book authors and a healthy
complimentary breakfast. In fact, Tuesdays are also designated as
family day at the Mall of America and include free baby stroller
rental, "kids eat free" in many mall restaurants and other
Looking for waterpark action? If you don't mind
leaving the mall, drive down (or take a shuttle) to the
nearby Waterpark of
America. Thrill-seekers will enjoy careening down
the ten-story slide or attempting to surf the waves, while
youngsters will love the fun water play area where they can climb
and slide to their heart's content.
With over 50 restaurants at the Mall of America,
there's no way you'll ever go hungry! The tough part will be trying
to decide what to eat. Interested in dining at the ORIGINAL
Cafe? How about something more regional? Look no
further than the Twin City
Grill with it's delicious wild rice soup and
walleye dishes. Sushi-lovers won't be disappointed with the
melt-in-your-mouth sushi at the cute Tiger
Sushi. If you're looking for something quick or
can't decide what to eat, stop by one of their two food courts.
Craving dessert? Walk around and you're bound to find options such
as gelato, ice cream or cupcakes from a
Cupcake Wars Champion!
Families that want to be close to the action will
want to stay at the newly opened Radisson
Blu which is connected directly to the mall. The
rooms are hip, modern and comfortable, and we couldn't get over how
convenient it was. I mean how often can you go down a set of
elevators, check out an aquarium or go to the amusement park and
not worry about strapping wiggly kids in their car seats? It was
Cheryl Eugenio is a wife and mommy to two toddler boys and a newborn girl who are officially addicted to traveling and exploring Chicagoland and beyond.
See more of Cheryl's stories here.
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