Mall of America Attractions and Things to Do at Mall of America Besides Shopping

Wondering about Mall of America attractions and want to know the fun things to do at the MOA when you visit? The biggest mall in America, called Mall of America, opened back in 1992. It is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Unlike so many other malls, there are so many things to do at Mall of America besides shopping. However, if you are shopaholic, there are more than five hundred stores for you to wander through as you find one deal after another on your vacation. This means that you can shop until you drop for hours every day of the week! And if you have a teen, you’ll probably want to add this to list of things to do with your teen.

But what if you don’t want to shop? What if you just want to experience other Mall of American attractions (MOA attractions) and want to know about other fun things to do at the MOA or around the Mall of America? Well, we have a long list of top MOA activities and attractions besides shopping to keep you busy at this mall when you visit.


Mall of America Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 10am-9:30pm

Sundays: 11-7pm; Some dinning options open after 7pm on Sundays

Mall of America Stores:

Here is the Mall of America Directory – Directory of MOA

30 Mall of America Attractions and Things to do at Mall of America Besides Shopping


1. Visit the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium

SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium
Credits: SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium

This aquarium is phenomenal, especially considering it is in the middle of a mall!  During your time there, you can see tons of marine life, plus you will be able to interact with many of them in the touch pools.  Don’t forget to make time to wander through the underground tunnel, so you can see sharks swimming all around you.

2. Create Your Own Teddy Bear

You can never have enough teddy bears in your house, so venture over to Build-A-Bear Workshop and start making the bear of your dreams. It is common for this Mall of America attraction to be busy, so you may need to go do something else and then return at a later time. It is important to note that this is one of the best things to do in MOA with kids, which is why it is always so crowded!

3. Play a Round of Golf at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf

Moose Mountain Adventure Golf - Things to do in Mall of America
Credits: Moose Mountain Adventure Golf

Mini-golf lovers will have a blast on this eighteen-hole mini golf course that includes features like a bi-plane, logging truck, and steam.  And don’t worry, you can’t miss the life size horses and moose that appear before you on the course. As you can imagine, mini golfing is very popular and is one of the best things to do at MOA.

4. Create Some Jewelry

If you are looking for a one of a kind Mall of America attraction, you will have plenty to choose from. However, in Minnesota’s biggest mall, creating jewelry at Lotus Beads and Jewelry is probably unique. This store is filled with different beads in all shapes and sizes and you can choose the ones you want for making your own jewelry. The best part is that Lotus Beads also offers jewelry classes, which is perfect for those special mother-child moments you might crave when you are on vacation with your kids. This is a fun thing to do at Mall of America. 

5. Visit Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe - Things to do in Mall of America

This happens to be the largest indoor theme park in the nation, and you can explore all seven acres of it when you are visiting the biggest mall in America.  You can pay per ride or you can simply purchase an all-day pass and spend the entire day going on the rides, meeting the Nickelodeon characters, and shopping at the souvenir shops.  Talk about a great vacation with the kids!

6. Wander Through a Rainforest

Surprisingly, there isn’t a real rainforest in the Mall of America, so you can’t add that to your list of things to do at MOA.  However, you can see pretend rainforest animals inside the Rainforest Café. Grab a bite to eat, listen to the rain and thunder in the distance, and watch the animals come to life. This is a Mall of America entertainment you don’t want the kids to miss. 

7. Go to the Spa

While Mall of America is known as a major shopping destination, you surprisingly have a few different spa options available to choose from. When you are trying to determine which Mall of America spa to visit, you should consider how much money you want to spend, what treatments you want, and how luxurious you want your experience to be.

Mall of America spa
Credits: Mall of America

A longtime favorite spa at Mall of America is Solimar Spa, which is at Radisson Blu. However, you will receive amazing options at both Progressions Salon and Relaxing Massage too. So, once you’re inside the Mall of America, your options of the best things to do at the mall, or in this case, the best spa to choose at the mall, is very vast. If in doubt, visit the mall often and try out all the spas! 

8. Go for a Swim

While there aren’t any swimming pools inside the mall, you can find two options near the Mall of America and you won’t need to leave the mall grounds.  Those two pools are over at the JW Marriott and Radisson Blu. These two hotels near Mall of America make for a good place to stay if you’re looking for hotels in or around Mall of America to stay while visiting Minnesota. 

9. Get a Makeover

A fabulous mother-daughter moment can be found any of the three Mall of America nail salons. Those three salons are Nail Trix, LA Nails, and Progressions Salon. Or just some me-time too. Moms also need some time away from the kids, so if you’re traveling with the little ones, finding time alone to get your nails done is never a bad idea. 

Mall of America, Nail Trix
Credits: Mall of America

You can choose to get your hair done too if you wander over to Mastercuts or Regis Salon. Don’t forget the makeup at the Sephora counter to make your makeover complete! These are fun things to do at the mall beside shopping. 

10. Conquer the Bad Guys on a 3D Ride

You won’t even realize your chair didn’t go anywhere when you are on the XD Ride, because this 3D adventure will have you shooting the bad guys while you zoom along on a roller coaster.  This is an excellent Mall of America attraction to do with a group, because it is more fun when you have more people involved. 

11. Play a Few Video Games

Video games are everywhere within Gameworks Mall of America, but you will find so many more in SMAAASH too.

Gameworks Mall of AmericaCredits: Mall of America

We recommend checking out both these MOA attractions if you want to play video games, ride on go-karts, play a little pool, or throw a few strikes while bowling. Certainly a lot to impress the Mall of America kids’ visitors. 

12. Watch a Movie

Watching a movie is one of the best Mall of America activities, if you do not count shopping. If you are looking for the best Mall of America entertainment, sometimes you don’t need to look any further than the CMX Theater. This is one of the newest things to do in Minnesota’s biggest mall, because it just opened in 2018. There are fourteen theaters and each one has more than one thousand seats that recline. Simply purchase your ticket, grab a bite to eat and a glass of wine, and store your bags in the storage section of your seat as you watch the movie of your choice. So, if you want to experience one of the top Mall of America new attractions, then come watch a movie right here. 

13. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

The Mall of America scavenger hunt is insane because you have quite the amount of space to go through as you are finding each item.

Mall of America scavenger hunt
Credits: Mall of America

It is best to print out your Mall of America scavenger hunt sheet in advance, so you can check things off as you go along. However, pulling it up on your phone works too, as long as you can remember what you found and what you are still looking for! This tops our list of fun things to do at Mall of America! 

14. Watch the Universe of Light

When it comes to Mall of America events, the Universe of Light is one of the best. This magical light show can be seen from all four levels of the mall, as music plays in the background and smoke billows out everywhere. It’s a nine-minute nightly show that is an ongoing attraction for all mall visitors. You can’t beat a light show at the mall. And best of all, it’s free to add this to your list of free things to do at the Mall of America and let the kids have a blast figuring out the magic! 

15. Go on a 5D Adventure

There used to be a time when 3D was as thrilling as movies and shows got, but nowadays, you can experience those same things in 5D.

Mall of America, 5D. Matrix Technology
Credits: Mall of America

Matrix Technology is where you will want to go to experience either Shark Attack or Mystery Mine. Most people recommend the mine ride, but personally we would do both before claiming your all-time favorite. Another entertainment at the mall that you can’t beat! 

16. Tackle the Ropes and Ziplines

There are so many thrilling adventures amongst the Mall of America attractions, but Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course might be the one that gets your heart racing the most. There are three different exciting options when it comes to fun things to do at this Mall of America attraction. Those options include the Anchor Drop Spiral Slides, the Ghostly Gangplank ropes course, and the Barnacle Blast Zipline. You may be tempted to just do one, but we recommend purchasing the pass that will allow you to do them all during your visit. You won’t regret that choice at the end, as you are still trying to figure out which one was your absolute favorite. 

17. Conquer an Escape Room

Out of all the things to do in Mall of America, the Escape Room is the one that has been growing in popularity. This MOA attraction is over three thousand square feet, which means each theme offers enough room to move around.

Mall of America, the Escape Room
Credits: Mall of America

While there are so many themes, the ones you may be interested in include Prison Break, Mission Mars, and the Heist. Since the Escape Room is popular around the world, make sure you chose a quest that’s new to you and the family and have a fun time enjoying this amazing MAO attraction. 

18. Get a Few Laughs in

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy is one of the favorite MOA attractions, so you might want to add it to your list if you have a sitter for the kids or are traveling alone. This comedy club is an adults-only Mall of America attraction and you never know which professional comedian will be on the stage during your visit. 

19. Eat as Many Samples as You Can Find

With so many tasty shop options scattered around the MOA, there is always a sample to indulge in. If you are craving cheese, you need to stop at Cheese Brothers or Rybicki Cheese.

Mall of America, Ruby Thai Kitchen
Credits: Mall of America

Chocolate lovers might prefer Lindt Master Swiss Chocolatier or See’s Candies, but don’t forget to try some Peeps over at Peeps and Company!  Ruby Thai Kitchen, Doc Popcorn, and Pepper Palace are a couple of the other destinations that offer food as you pass on by. We dare say this is one of the best things to do at the Mall of America, especially if you’re a foodie. 

20. Choose a Crayon Color

Do you love coloring and hate it when you don’t have the color that you really want to use? Me too! That is why we love going to the Crayola Experience at the Mall of America. You can create your own crayon color, give it a name, and wrap it up to purchase. You can also star in your very own coloring page and turn any art you make into a four-dimensional piece. Before you leave, fill up your own pack of crayons with the colors you love the most, so your next coloring adventure will be as perfect as it can be!

21. Play with LEGOS

LEGOS are just for kids, so you will love the fun you can have creating something new completely out of LEGO blocks at the LEGO store.

Mall of America, LEGO store
Credits: Mall of America

There is an entire wall of LEGO bricks, and they are separated by color and size. Of course, you can choose to sit and relax, while your children use the building stations outside the store to build something wonderful! Whatever you decide to do, this is something nice and free to do in MOA. 

22. Attend a LIVE Event

There are at least four hundred LIVE events held at the Mall of America each and every year.  The Mall of America’s events page is the place to go when you want to stay up to date with what is happening LIVE at this mall. If there is a specific LIVE performance you want to attend, you can easily book your Mall of America vacation for that same time.  Add entertainment at the Mall of America to your list of things to do on your vacation to Minnesota. 

23. Conquer the Mirror Maze

Have you ever wandered through a maze of mirrors before? If you answered no, then you must go through the Amazing Mirror Maze at the Mall of America! This twenty-five hundred square feet of space is filled with all types of mirrors.

Mall of America, Amazing Mirror Maze
Credits: Mall of America

Every guest is required to wear gloves, so the mirrors do not get marked up and smudged throughout the day. If you are a pro at mazes, this is the one that will probably give you a run for your money, with a few laughs along the way!

24. Get Married

Okay, so not too many people do impromptu weddings, but the Chapel of Love at the MOA has everything you need if you decide to say your I Do’s during your visit. They have held seven thousand weddings so far, so whether you want to get married or simply renew your vows, they have everything you need. We’re guessing that if you’re looking for something romantic to do at the Mall of America, this might make your list. 

25. Visit with the American Girl Dolls

Mothers and daughters can find so many things to do together inside the Mall of America and the American Girl store is another one for your ever-growing list.

Mall of America, American Girl store
Credits: Mall of America

While this is a MOA store, it is so much more, because you can participate in many of the different activities they offer every day. Imagine working on crafts, listen to part of a book being read, or going on a special American Girl scavenger hunt to fill an hour of your day. 

26. Have Your Picture Taken

There is only one photography studio in the Mall of America, so you will not need to make any major decisions if you decide to have a photo done to commemorate your visit. While Old Time Photos can do regular photography sessions, they are known for their old-time photos where you put on costumes and pretend you were living many years in the past.

27. Visit the Museum of Memories

If you love art, as well as the ability to be creative in so many ways, you will want to stop in at the Museum of Memories when you are at the Mall of America.

Mall of America, Museum of Memories
Credits: Mall of America

You could spend hours wandering around the different rooms and looking at the numerous murals surrounding each space. This is a place that is guaranteed to make your day at the MOA. 

28. Go Bowling

Very much like golfing, bowling is an all-time favorite for families and one of the most popular attractions at Mall of America is bowling at Gameworks located right inside the mall. Apart from bowling, Gameworks also has arcades, and several video games. The bowling lanes have black lights which allow your clothes to glow; the lights are dimmed; and the volume of the music is pumped. If you want an ultimate bowling experience, then this MOA attraction should fit your need.

29. Take a Ride on FlyOver America

FlyOver America - Things to do in Mall of America
Credits: FlyOver America

This virtual reality ride will have you taking a simulated breathtaking journey through the United States as you see many of the infamous landmarks, while also feeling the wind and mist of those regions. This is one of the fun things to do in the inside of Mall of America.

30. Go to the Waterpark

Yes, really, the Mall of America has an indoor water park that you will love visiting with the family. This water park was formally known as the Water Park of America when it opened back in May of 2006. However, the former Waterpark of America is now known as Great Wolf Lodge. While this water park of America Bloomington MN is not inside the actual mall, you will only need to travel just a couple miles down the road to have tons of fun and excitement.  This should answer the many questions that people have when it comes to the question, “Does Mall of America have a water park”. The answer is obviously yes! You can spend hours, if not days, inside this indoor water park near Mall of America and it is the perfect thing to do after a long day of exploring the mall itself.  If you think you will spend a good amount of time at this Mall of America indoor water park, we recommend reserving a room or a suite there. The reason for this is that it will make it much easier to indulge in a little water fun at the end of the day or after returning from the mall earlier than you thought. 


These are the thirty best things to do in Mall of America besides shopping. If you have never been to this mall before, you must plan a trip there for a vacation today! There are so many fun adventures to be had in this destination and shopping may actually be the last thing on your mind! 



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