Essential Tips to Survive the Mall of America with a Group

Rising above the plains of Bloomington, Minn., colossal in stature, comprehensive in its offerings, Mall of America is a beacon for student groups from around the world seeking entertainment, culture and of course... shopping!

Mall of America Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, March 29, 2012. © Tony Nelson

Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minn., is the nation’s leading shopping and entertainment center. Did you know it would take you 86 hours to complete your visit to the mall if you were to spend just 10 minutes in each store? Mall of America is larger than most people realize, with more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants and several attractions. How can you make sure your group enjoys all that Mall of America has to offer?

Mall of America Aerial Photo

Mall of America

What are Some Tips to Help You Survive?

1. Plan Ahead

One escalator well

One escalator well

Mall of America works with hotels.com to offer a complete, online packaging solution. You can select your transportation, hotels and even attraction passes and coupon books.

2. Consider a Tourism Program

Your student group can book the Meet & Greet Service where, upon arrival, your group will be met by a Mall of America representative who will give a warm welcome and brief introduction to the mall. This service is ideal for first-time visitors or large student groups, and includes Mall of America shopping bags, coupon books and maps/directories. The Orientation Tour takes your group on a 45-minute walking tour of the mall with an overview of its history, development and architectural design, in addition to fun facts and information on guest services, specialty retailers and attractions. This program includes coupon books and maps/directories.

3. Time Manage

Figure out where your students want to shop and what they want to see and do, then include a sufficient amount of time to allow for all of these fun activities to take place.

How Can You Keep Track of Your Students?

Your students will most likely want to split up and see different sights. In a place this big with so much to do, you may not see all of your students until the end of the visit, unless you designate a meeting place. Here are some easy-to-get-to meeting locations:

  • Nickelodeon Universe amusement park lies at the center of Mall of America and is the easiest meeting place to find, but you may want to decide to meet at a specific place (such as the carousel) or entrance within this large attraction.
  • The South Avenue area, located just outside the Radisson Blu Hotel and in between the Apple Store and American Eagle Outfitters, is directly across from the LEGO store.
  • The rotunda is next to the East Ramp and Barnes & Noble Book Store.
  • The NorthGarden, located across from the Nickelodeon Store North Entrance, is next to Twin City Grill.
  • Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears mark the three major corners of the mall in the Southwest, Northwest and Northeast corners, respectively. The Southeast corner features Rainforest Café, which is a great lunch stop for your group.
  • The fourth floor, taking up only about half the space as the other three floors, may be a quieter place for a larger group to meet. This floor includes the theatres, House of Comedy, Sky Deck Sports Grille and Lanes, Dick’s Last Resort and Hooters.
Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe

Are There Convenient Guest Services?

The theaters at Mall of America offer hearing- and vision-impaired equipment free of charge to guests.

Lockers are available for rent on Levels 1, 2 and 3 on the East and West sides. There are also lockers available at the North Entrance to Nickelodeon Universe underneath the Ferris wheel. You can rent lockers to fit what you don’t want to carry around. Jumbo lockers are available to rent for luggage and larger items.

There’s no question about it; Mall of America is big. Seven Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the mall, and the walking distance around one level is .57 miles. If anyone in your group grows tired from all that walking, you can rent strollers, shopping carts, wheelchairs and electronic carts.

How to Get There and Getting Around

Mall of America is located five minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and fifteen minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. A convenient Light Rail Train service links Mall of America to the airport and Minneapolis.

Almost 40 Bloomington hotels are located within 10 minutes of Mall of America and offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the Mall and MSPAirport. Radisson Blu Mall of America is the first hotel to be attached to the mall, and it features a full-service restaurant and bar, meeting and event facilities, a large work out center and pool and complimentary guest package pick-up in the mall.

Inside Mall of America

Inside Mall of America

Mall of America annually hosts more than 12,000 groups. Group travel planners can get a complimentary VIP shopping bag for each group member, including a coupon book, map/directory and other discounts offering more than $2,000 in combined savings. With hundreds of shops and attractions such as an aquarium, mini golf and an experience based off the show CSI, your group is sure to never have a dull moment.

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