Covering more enclosed floor area than any other mall in the entire United States, Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is a testament to consumerism and capitalism like no other. Not simply a parking spot for retailers, Mall of America is a hot bed of entertainment, dining, events, and so much more. You could easily come here every day for a week and still not experience everything they have to offer. Opened in 1992, it is undergoing an expansion project that has it poised to become the official largest mall in America, both in retail space (where it is currently second) and in floor area. This expansion project is expected to include a regulation size ice skating rink, a water park, spa, hotels, and a dinner theater. And you thought there was a lot to do already; one would think if Mall of America has their way this “city within a city” will become its own fully functional metropolis!
[php snippet=1]It’s probably a good thing that this massive mall welcomes 20 to 40 million visitors (and a comfortable $2 billion income) a year as they are employing a whopping 12,000 people. And those 12,000 people sure know how to show those visitors a good time. To start off, it’s a shopper’s paradise with over 520 storefronts (and hey, Minnesota doesn’t charge sales tax on clothing!). Mall of America even employs their own dedicated “Trend Specialist” to make sure that every outlet has the most up to date and stylish fashions. Once you’ve exhausted your last credit card, you may want to get in a bit of exercise so you can fit into that “1/2 size too small” dress you just bought. Well, not to worry, the MOA Mall Stars Walking Club (with 4,000+ members) is sure to keep your heart pumping. Looking for a snack? Try any one of their 50 restaurants for anything from sushi to barbecue ribs to Mexican and Italian.
OK, so you’ve wined and dined, now what do you do? Well how about a trip to the aquarium. That’s easy with Underwater Encounters. Voted “Worlds Best Shark Encounter” (you can even SCUBA with them) Underwater Encounters houses over 5,000 animals in a fantastic 360° experience. Follow the 300 foot long tunnel to see stingrays, turtles, and of course every kids favorite, the clown fish. If the aquarium doesn’t wear your out, Mall of America has their own 7 acre indoor amusement park. Currently with a Nickelodeon theme (previously it was Peanuts) there are plenty of roller coasters (great for little tikes and big kids alike), giant SpongeBobs, and putt-putt holes to keep you laughing. Speaking of laughing, Mall of America has its own comedy club, Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, that attracts many big name stand up stars including Norm MacDonald and Damon Wayans. And if that’s not enough, there’s still a four story Lego play land and store, live music, the Silicon Motor Speedway, and much, much more. With so much to do, see and buy, the Mall of America is a great way to spend the day.
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