Mall of America® is more than just a shopping mecca, it’s an educational experience and entertaining adventure rolled into one. If you’ve never thought about taking your students to Mall of America, it’s definitely a place you should consider. With the Mall’s seemingly endless number of options, it’s tough to decide where to go and what to do. Here are some of the top activities for student groups at Mall of America.
5 Top Activities for Student Groups at Mall of America
SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Located in Mall of America, SEA LIFE Minnesota features displays, hands-on activities and thousands of sea creatures. On a behind-the-scenes tour student groups can see first-hand how the aquarium cares for its animals, getting an exclusive look at a day in the life of an aquarist. Students will learn about medical treatments performed on rescued and rehabilitated marine life and how aquarists maintain habitats within the exhibits. Student groups can walk above the tanks and see the creatures up close. They will even be guided through the food prep kitchen to see what the aquarium feeds to the creatures. (Tours are available daily. Student groups of 10 or more should make reservations at least two weeks in advance.)
Nickelodeon Universe® Physics Program. The nation’s largest indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe provides students with lots of exciting rides to enjoy. Student groups taking part in the Physics Program can learn the science behind those rides through hands-on activities that can explore the laws of physics. Students will learn how the seats on the Avatar Airbender ride rotate or how much water is displaced on the Log Chute. (Tours are free with purchase of a three-hour ride wristband for a minimum group of 15.)
MOA Music Series. For student performance groups, Mall of America features a Music Series. This exciting opportunity allows school and community groups the chance to perform and share their talents with Mall guests. From January to mid-November (on select days each month), performance groups will take center stage in the Sears Court, located in the Northeast portion of the Mall, and showcase their talents for hundreds of people. The mall cannot accommodate all performance groups, so it’s best to read the criteria before applying for a spot.
Crayola Experience. Opening May 26, the Crayola Experience is a brand new attraction where the magic of Crayola comes to life. Here, students are encouraged to let their creativity run wild. This one-of-a-kind experience brings together color, chemistry and technology for a colorful adventure unlike any other. The Crayola Experience will help put together a unique lesson to show students the science of turning melted wax into the crayons they know so well. Students also have access to 26 hands-on attractions that encourage creative thinking.
Show your students the amazing sights of America without leaving their seats. FlyOver America is a fully immersive experience that uses special effects, incredible imagery and cutting-edge technology to give students a bird’s-eye view of America. Guests sit in a suspended chair, feet dangling, in front of an enormous spherical screen. With the help of effects like wind, mist and scents, combined with the chair motion, you will feel like you’re truly flying. This ride will take groups coast to coast, from valley floors to the tops of mountains. (The ride takes about 10 minutes. Groups should arrive within the 30-minute window specified on the timed entry ticket. Special rates are available for groups of 15 or more.)
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What are the best ways to get around Mall of America with a group?
While Mall of America is known as a leading shopping and entertainment center, many people don’t realize how large it really is. It features more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants and lots of attractions. It’s difficult to see everything, especially when you’re exploring this massive mall with a group. If you’re planning a group visit to Mall of America, how can you best navigate the Mall to make sure your group is getting the most out of its time there?
Before you arrive, download the free MOA mobile app on the App Store or Google Play to map out your day. The app allows you to browse stores, restaurants, deal and events at Mall of America and even has a to-do list that helps you stay organized. The app features a map to help you find your way through the mall. When you need advice, there’s a click-to-text option that let’s you speak with a digital concierge.
With the incredible array of attractions – from Nickelodeon Universe and Theatres of Mall of America to the Minnesota Children’s Museum and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf – you could fill day after day with things to do. You can find a complete listing of attractions at mallofamerica.com/attractions.
On top of the great attractions, Mall of America offers over 400 free events each year. Depending on when your student group is visiting, you may be able to catch one or more of them. Visit mallofamerica.com/events to find out what’s taking place when you visit, including book signings, music concerts, sports activities, charitable initiatives, product launches and special museum shows.
Mall of America hosts thousands of student groups every year. With hundreds of stores, restaurants and attractions, your student group will have plenty to keep them entertained.