Visiting the Mall of America

Perhaps it’s only natural that the generation who grew up hanging out in the mall went on to build one of the biggest and best malls ever imagined. Sure, you can shop at the Mall of America, but it offers so much more than just shopping. In fact, these features are just some reasons you might want to spend time there on your next vacation, joining the more than 40 million visitors to the mall each year.

The first stop for many visitors is the LEGO Imagination Center, which has four stories of LEGO buildings and more than 90 full-sized LEGO creations. This was the first retail space for LEGO in the United States, and every week, the Center has demonstrations and competitions. In the permanent display, you can find life-size models of astronauts, dinosaurs, and even a blimp. You can also plan birthday parties at the LEGO store or just enjoy seeing the world’s largest animated clock tower.

Ever played golf indoors? You can at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course, complete with a wooded forest with life-sized replicas of forest creatures. Be sure to look for the biplane and steam engine as you play through.

Or do you wish you could fly like Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Replicate the experience of flying an F/A-18 Hornet or a World War 2 P51 Mustang at A.C.E.S. Flight Simulator. With a little practice, you might also want to attempt a simulated air craft carrier landing. You can even fly combat missions against your friends.

If sharks give you reservations, return the favor and make a reservation with sharks. At the Underwater Adventures Aquarium, you can spend the night in one of the overnight family rooms and watch the sharks swimming at night. Or, if you’re SCUBA certified, you can even spend some time swimming with the sharks.

And if your kids love SpongeBob SquarePants, you have to include a ride on the Rock Bottom Plunge at Nickelodeon Universe. Spanning 7 acres, America’s largest indoor family-oriented theme park has more than 30 different rides and attractions. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Avatar Airbender and the Splat-O-Sphere.

Next up, the Nascar Silicon Motor Speedway provides a high-tech indoor stock racing simulation, complete with a real stock car. You’ll feel the vibrations of the powerful engine and, if you hit the wall, you’ll feel the jar. For many people, this is the closest thing available to actually driving a real stock car on the track.

And if you’re traveling with young children, be sure to check out Toddler Tuesday, a special celebration filled with fun for the Mall’s youngest visitors. The day kicks off with a special toddler-friendly exercise session with special songs and activities. Next, there’s free entertainment for the toddlers, then the kids can enjoy a free lunch at many of the Mall’s restaurants, as long as an adult purchases a meal.

And finally, if you fall in love with the Mall – or rather fall in love at the Mall – there’s a conveniently located wedding chapel, the Chapel of Love, where more than 5,000 couples have been married in the chapel’s 10 year history.

With all these things in mind, it’s pretty clear that whatever kind of experience you’re looking for, you can find it at the Mall of America.