We took a long weekend trip to Minnesota a few years back. The main reason for this trip was to take our boys to Nickelodeon at the Mall of America. Like many kids in that 1-4 age range, our boys loved Blaze, Paw Patrol, and other Nickelodeon favorites. But would there be enough to do for kids their age?
The answer to that was ABSOLUTELY! There were plenty of rides and attractions for the older boy. At the time, he was 3.5 years old. Some of his favorite rides were the Barnyard Hayride, the Big Rigs, the Guppy Bubbler, and the Pineapple Poppers.
The little guy had just turned one, so for him rides were pretty much a no-go. However, he was at that age that just SEEING all the sights and sounds had him wide-eyed and excited! He did greatly enjoy wandering around the Adventure Bay play area. All of his Paw Patrol buddies were there!
What else made this such a great trip? Where did we stay? Where did we eat? Read on and find out!
The Mall of America
If you have never been to Mall of America and you are thinking about planning a trip there, we absolutely recommend it. There is so much variety of attractions, shopping, and dining that you are bound to have fun regardless of how old your children are (or if you are looking for a kid-free getaway!). Here is a list of some of the great attractions for your family:
- Nickelodeon Universe– As recapped earlier, this is great fun for kids and adults. There are a total of 27 rides for all ages. If your kids are 48” and up, we definitely recommend the Unlimited Ride Wristband. It is a HUGE money saver over buying ride tickets.
- Crayola Experience– This was an awesome experience for both of our boys. Most attractions are appropriate for all age levels. Many exhibits are hands on, allowing the kids to do and not just watch. There is also an awesome playscape area for kids to run off energy.
- M&M’s– An entire store dedicated to kids’ favorite candy? Don’t mind if we do! This is 24,000 square feet of chocolate lovers heaven. You can design your own M&M. There are tons of photo opps, digital downloads, and a massive gift shop. There are plenty of opportunities to bring home memories!
- Sea Life Aquarium– Minnesota’s largest aquarium! The coolest part is the 300 foot tunnel where you are surrounded by water and fish. So cool! In addition to fish, Sea Life Aquarium also has crocodiles, tarantula, and sea turtles!
- FlyOver America– This virtual reality ride takes you on an aerial journey above some of America’s most beautiful regions or sites. And when they say reality, they mean it! This ride features wind, scents, and even mist to match the location of the flyover. Riders must be at least 40” tall to ride.
- The Escape Game– Your team will choose from one of these adventures: Mission Mars, Gold Rush, The Heist, Prison Break, or Special Ops. Each adventure is 60 minutes in length. The goal is to crack codes, find clues, solve puzzles and more to complete the task. Teams work together to make it happen. Children are allowed, but they recommend 13 or older.
- Miniature Golf- Visitors can choose from two different golf experiences. Moose Mountain Adventure Golf is an 18 hole course with a historic North Woods feel. Rock of Ages Blacklight Mini Golf is an 18 hole course with a music theme. You start in the 50’s and work your way till today with songs from each era along the way!
What To Eat?
We ate at The Hard Rock Cafe when we visited, but the Mall of America location is no longer open. There are several other outstanding options at Mall of America when dining with family. Some of these options are:
- Johnny Rockets- Old school burger, fries, and milkshake joint. Hard to go wrong with the time tested recipe. Kids will love the bright lights, neon, and jukeboxes
- Margaritaville- We have been to several other Margaritaville locations (I might be a bit of a Parrothead). The food is always good and the decor and sights inside their locations keep the kids entertained. And for the adults…the drinks are always cold and delicious.
- Rainforest Cafe- These always have such mixed reviews. People either seem to love them or hate them. Personally, we avoid them. Though it is hard to argue the entertainment factor when eating out with kids.
- The Fair on 4- We wish we would have known about this place when we were there! Good food. Good fun. Cold drinks. Exciting atmosphere! They have ax throwing, a go-kart track, games and more. Food is locally sourced. Craft beers. Sounds like a winning recipe to us!
Where To Stay
There are PLENTY of highly rated and reviews in the immediate area of Nickelodeon at the Mall of America. Despite being highly rated, pricing is pretty reasonable with most properties coming in at around $95-$130.
- Homewood Suites Mall of America– This is where we stayed. Rates were super reasonable. They have an indoor pool and breakfast is included. Clean, comfortable and spacious rooms. Located directly across the street from Mall of America.
- Home2Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Mall of America– Indoor pool. Breakfast included. Spacious rooms with refrigerators and microwaves. Great for longer stays.
- Tru By Hilton Minneapolis Mall of America– We enjoy staying at the Tru brand of Hilton hotels. Good value. Indoor pool. Breakfast included.
- Holiday Inn Express and Suites Mall of America– Hard to go wrong with this brand. Breakfast included. Indoor pool. Good value. Spacious rooms.
- Great Wolf Lodge– If you REALLY want to make this a fun vacation, why don’t you add a hotel with a HUGE indoor water park to your travel plans? Lots of different room types to match your needs. Rooms are spacious. Did I mention there is a waterpark included? The only downside is that breakfast is not included. But hey…y’all are having fun aren’t ya?
Other Things to Do
The Minneapolis/St Paul area has many other things to do besides just Nickelodeon at the Mall of America. Here is a list of some other family friendly things to do.
- Science Museum of Minnesota
- Minnesota Zoo
- Minnesota Children’s Museum
- North Commons Water Park
- Minnehaha Park
- Valley Fair
Book Your Hotel and Pack Your Bags!
We had so much fun on our Minnesota and Nickelodeon at the Mall of America adventure. We enjoyed great experiences, fun attractions, delicious food and more. Like all of our trips, we have memories that we will never forget. Despite our kids being on the younger side at the time of this trip, we found lots of things to do that they enjoyed and we enjoyed also. This is a trip we will definitely do again. If you have any questions, let us know! If you have any other suggestions, also let us know!