Sunday, August 26, 2018

Back to School shopping and fun at Mall of America

Living in central WI has it’s perks. One of those being living only a few hours from the Mall of America. A few weeks ago Dan and I decided to take the kids and spend the weekend at the mall. Even though both of us have nice cars, it’s always fun to drive something different. Kia was kind enough to send me their 2019 Kia Sorento to drive for a week (which was a blast).

So, Friday we loaded up the car, with the kids and were on our way. We wanted to leave early so we could have some time at the hotel for the kids to play in the pool area and get a good night sleep for 2 full days at the mall. Mall of America has a couple hotels that are connected to them and are amazing. We weren’t able to book there as they were full. However, we did book across the street at the Best Western Plus and it was super nice.

The room was great, plenty of space. The thing the kids liked the best was of course the pool area. They had a regular pool, hot tub and then a smaller pool with kids toys which was perfect for my 6 year old.

Day 1

Saturday morning, we got up, had breakfast (free from the hotel), and headed over to the mall. Being disabled, I can hardly walk from the parking lot to guest services and it was maybe 100 ft (valet parking and using the elevator), let alone walk around all day. Luckily Mall of America was kind enough to give me the motorized scooter for the 2 days. It was super helpful for me, and for Dan and my 15 year old as they would have had to push me in a regular wheelchair.

We decided the first thing we were going to do was Nickelodeon Universe, because let’s face it, we had a 6 year old, 10 year old and a 15 year old with. Rides were definitely on their mind. Most of the rides are geared more towards the older kids, but there were still plenty of things for Fallon to do which was nice, there were also rides that all ages could go on, like the bumper cars. They had a blast on those and really liked the Farris wheel even though Canon is afraid of heights (so proud of him for going on it).

If you are going to be at the mall all day and want to ride a ton, I highly recommend getting the wristband for unlimited rides. Then you don’t have to worry about having enough tickets for what you want to do and you can ride them over and over.

We took a break and got some lunch. MOA has over 70 places to eat, and what do we choose? Chick Fil A of course, and it was so good (Mya and I are just a tad obsessed with CFA).

We did a little shopping (it is a mall after all). Headed back to Nickelodeon Universe for more rides, then dinner at Dicks Last Resort. I recommend going to at least once in your life as it is a fun environment and good food. Keep in mind though, the waiters are trained to be rude and sarcastic (that’s part of the charm).

We ended the night at Build-a-Bear because what mall trip isn’t complete with 3 kids getting new animals. I did have a voucher from when they did the pay your age day, so I didn’t want that to go to waste.

Day 2

Sunday we got to the mall a little early as we forgot it didn’t really open until 11. I was so happy they provided me with the scooter again as it was a godsend the first day. We did a bunch of clothes shopping for Canon and Fallon on Saturday, so we focused on clothes for Mya, but first had to have some fun.

We figured it would be wise to go to Sea Life first before the rush. It seemed smaller that Sea life in phoenix, AZ but I could be wrong. The kids had a blast looking at the Sting Rays, which we got to feed. They learned that the Ray’s don’t see the food but smell it. There was a really cool room of just Jelly Fish. Besides the sharks, sea turtles they also have a “Rain Forrest” area with other animals. Overall the kids loved it. I think it’s great for them to see animals, fish etc in a way they normally wouldn’t be able to. Sea Life is a must do when you visit the MOA.

After Sea Life, we went to Crayola Experience on the third floor. If you have young kids with you, they will have a blast. There are so many stations for the kids to explore. They can name their own shades of crayons, melt crayons into shapes, like a ring, do drip art and so much more. Fallon would have spent the entire day there if we let her, as would Canon.

We finished the day up with lunch at Burger Burger, a lot more shopping and then some coffee from Ghirardelli for the ride home.

It was a great couple days at the mall. We looked at Dan’s health app and it said they walked 12 miles over the 2 days. Again, I was so happy to have the electric scooter as we wouldn’t have made it a quarter of a mile if I had to walk. It really allowed us to experience everything the mall had to offer.

I would plan for 2 days when doing a trip, that way you can spend more time enjoying the mall. Let me know what your favorite attraction or store is. Oh and they now have Carlos Bakery (cake boss), so make sure you stop and get a cannoli.

Once again, a big thank you to Mall of America for hosting us and making it a super fun weekend before the school year started.  

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Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. Top Notch Material blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. If you have any questions, please contact me at katrina dot gehman {at} gmail com. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 


  1. I've heard a lot of great things about the Kia Sorento. Some people have told me that one can't take in the Mall of America in one day!

  2. I LOVE Mall of America. I've been there a couple of times. I wish we lived nearby. I'd be there all the time. LOL

  3. Everything about the Mall of America is awesome! There's just so much to see and do! If we lived closer, we too would make a weekend of it!

  4. Being able to go shopping at the Mall of America would be awesome. It looks like a great place to take the family for a weekend.

  5. Toni | Boulder LocavoreTuesday, August 28, 2018

    That looks so much fun! I am sure my kids will enjoy this!

  6. What a perfect family fun day! I would love to go to the Mall of America. I think I've been there once!

  7. That is so cool! I would love to visit Mall of America someday!

  8. I've always wanted to to Mall of America! What a great family trip!

  9. What a totally fun experience. There is so much to see and do. Wish I lived closer so I could take my grandkids there.

  10. Wow, what a great trip you and your family had to Mall of America! I'd love to experience the Mall of America one day, but it's very far from us. I love that you got to drive a Kia and that the mall had a scooter for you. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  11. Think my comment disappeared. Have an upcoming trip to Minn...hoping to get in a side trip/adventure to mall of America...looks like so much fun!