Tucked away in the picturesque state of Minnesota lies a shopping wonderland like no other — the Mall of America. This colossal shopping and entertainment complex is not just a mall; it’s an experience, a destination, and an icon in its own right.
Unveiling the Grandeur
Covering a mind-boggling 5.6 million square feet, the Mall of America (MOA) is nothing short of monumental. To put it into perspective, it’s larger than 78 football fields and could comfortably house more than 32 Boeing 747s. It boasts an astounding 2.8 million square feet of retail space, making it a shopping mecca that shopaholics can’t resist.
A World of Comparison
When it comes to sheer size, the Mall of America stands unchallenged in the United States and even on a global scale. It’s nearly twice the size of the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, its closest rival in North America. To give you an idea of its vastness, it could accommodate approximately seven Vatican Cities or around 30 Taj Mahals within its sprawling expanse.
Need more help to put that into perspective? Here are some ideas:
- The size of the Mall of America is equivalent to about 78 football fields.
- You could fit approximately 258,000 compact cars inside the Mall of America.
- The Mall could hold over 32 million beach balls if stacked together.
Mall of America is More than a Mall
MOA isn’t just about shopping; it’s a treasure trove of unique experiences:
Step into the world of your favorite Nickelodeon characters at the Mall’s very own theme park, Nickelodeon Universe. With thrilling rides and attractions, it’s an adventure for kids of all ages. A popular feature – roller coaster called the “Pepsi Orange Streak.” Fun fact: It once held the world record for the longest indoor roller coaster!
SEA LIFE Minnesota
Dive deep into the ocean without leaving the mall! SEA LIFE Minnesota, an indoor aquarium, showcases marine life from seahorses to sharks. Don’t forget to walk through the mesmerizing underwater tunnel. “Sleep with the Sharks,” you can spend a night in a special underwater sleeping area and wake up surrounded by sharks and other aquatic creatures.
The Crayola Experience
Immerse yourself in a world of colors and creativity. The Crayola Experience offers hands-on activities, live shows, and the opportunity to create your own crayon labels.
Take a virtual flight across the United States with FlyOver America. This immersive experience combines breathtaking visuals with motion seats, wind, and scents to make you feel like you’re soaring over the country.
Test your putting skills at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, an 18-hole mini-golf course filled with challenges and surprises.
Just in time for the holidays, a seasonal attraction will give your more chills and thrills than expected!
TIP: Buy an attraction package bundle for the best deals.
Shopping is just one part of the MOA experience. Whether you’re a fashionista, an adrenaline junkie, or a family with kids, you’ll find endless entertainment options:
Explore over 500 stores, ranging from high-end boutiques to popular brands and specialty shops. MOA has it all, from fashion to electronics to home goods.
Satisfy your taste buds at more than 50 restaurants. Whether you’re craving international cuisine, fast food, or a gourmet meal, you’ll find it here.
Let your creativity run wild at the Lego Store, home to an impressive selection of Lego sets, mini-figures, and exclusive items.
But Wait, There’s More!
Weather Inside the Mall
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Mall of America is its indoor climate. The mall maintains a constant temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) year-round. So, no matter what the weather is like outside, you can enjoy a comfortable shopping experience inside.
MOA isn’t just a shopping and entertainment hub; it’s also home to an impressive collection of art and sculptures. From contemporary pieces to stunning installations, the mall is a showcase of creativity.
No Sales Tax on Clothing
In Minnesota, clothing and footwear are exempt from sales tax, making MOA an even more attractive shopping destination. You can shop ’til you drop without worrying about additional taxes on your clothing purchases.
Thousands of Jobs
The Mall of America is a major employer in the area, providing thousands of jobs to locals. From retail positions to theme park staff and hospitality roles, MOA plays a vital role in the community’s economy.
If you were to walk one lap around the Mall of America’s interior perimeter, it would cover nearly 1.15 miles. So, it’s not just a shopping mall; it’s a great place to get some exercise too!
A Peek into the Past
The mall has a unique display known as “The Mall of America Time Capsule.” It’s a collection of items and memorabilia from the mall’s opening year in 1992, providing a glimpse into the past for future generations. The capsule held newspapers, magazines, popular clothing of the time, technology gadgets like cassette tapes, popular kids toys of the early 90’s, letters/messages, and even some future predictions.
MOA is committed to sustainability. The mall has taken numerous eco-friendly initiatives, including recycling programs, energy-efficient lighting, and even composting food waste from its restaurants.
A Giant Mirror
The Mall of America’s glass-encased eastern entrance is renowned for its massive mirror. It’s so large that it holds a Guinness World Record for the largest mirror in a shopping mall!
These intriguing tidbits add to the allure of the Mall of America, making it not just a shopping center but a destination filled with surprises and unique experiences. So, when you visit, take a moment to appreciate these fascinating aspects that make MOA stand out among the world’s great shopping and entertainment destinations.
An Art Gallery Within
The artistic elements and displays at the Mall of America are not just decorative touches; they play a crucial role in enhancing the overall shopping and entertainment experience. Here’s why they are important:
Creating a Unique Atmosphere
Art has the power to transform spaces, and at MOA, it creates a unique and inviting atmosphere. Whether it’s a stunning sculpture or a vibrant mural, these artistic elements add character and beauty to the mall, making it a more pleasant place to shop and explore.
Fostering Creativity and Inspiration
Art has the ability to inspire creativity and stimulate the imagination. As shoppers and visitors stroll through the mall, they are exposed to various forms of art, from contemporary pieces to interactive installations. This exposure can spark inspiration and encourage people to think creatively, which can be especially meaningful for children.
Enhancing the Shopping Experience
Artistic displays can help shoppers navigate the vast mall more easily. For example, large sculptures or unique installations often serve as meeting points or landmarks, making it easier for shoppers to find their way around.
Celebrating Local and Global Talent
The Mall of America’s commitment to showcasing art provides a platform for both local and international artists to display their work. This exposure can be a stepping stone for emerging artists and a way to celebrate the talent of the local art community.
Promoting a Sense of Community
Art often has the power to bring people together. Visitors can appreciate and discuss the various art installations, fostering a sense of community and shared experience among mall-goers.
Aesthetic Appeal for Shoppers and Diners
Dining and shopping aren’t just about products and food; they’re also about ambiance. Artistic displays and sculptures in restaurant areas create a more enjoyable dining environment. Patrons can enjoy their meals in aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
Artistic elements and displays often become popular spots for visitors to take photos. This social media presence not only promotes the mall but also allows visitors to share their experiences and favorite pieces of art with friends and followers.
Art has a unique ability to evoke emotions. Visitors may experience joy, wonder, curiosity, or even introspection when they encounter a particularly striking piece of art. These emotional connections enhance the overall shopping and entertainment experience.
Reflecting the Mall’s Identity
The Mall of America isn’t just a shopping center; it’s an iconic destination. The artistic displays contribute to the mall’s identity and help it stand out as a place where shopping, entertainment, and culture converge.
Offering Cultural Diversity
The mall’s art displays often reflect diverse cultural influences, showcasing a wide range of artistic styles and themes. This diversity enriches the visitor experience, providing a glimpse into different cultures and perspectives.
In essence, the artistic elements and displays at the Mall of America serve as more than just decorative elements; they contribute to the mall’s identity, enrich the visitor experience, and play a pivotal role in creating a welcoming and inspiring atmosphere. Whether you’re a shopper, a tourist, or an art enthusiast, these elements add depth and vibrancy to your visit, making it more than just a shopping trip – it’s a cultural and artistic adventure.
Even Big Corporations Make a Green Impact
The Mall of America has implemented several green initiatives to promote sustainability and reduce its environmental impact. While specific annual figures on waste reduction and energy savings may vary from year to year, here’s a general overview of the success of these initiatives and how they compare to common activities:
- Recycling Programs: MOA has robust recycling programs in place, targeting paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and other recyclable materials. These efforts help divert a significant amount of waste from landfills each year.
- Food Waste Composting: The mall’s restaurants participate in food waste composting programs, which can have a substantial impact on reducing the amount of organic waste in landfills.
- Retail Sustainability: Many retailers within the mall have also adopted sustainable practices, such as using recycled or eco-friendly packaging and reducing plastic usage.
- Impact: The success of these waste reduction efforts can vary, but collectively, they contribute to a significant reduction in the mall’s environmental footprint. However, specific annual figures would depend on factors like consumer behavior and the adoption of sustainable practices by individual tenants.
- LED Lighting: MOA has transitioned to energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the mall. LED lighting consumes significantly less energy compared to traditional lighting, resulting in substantial energy savings.
- HVAC and Building Management: The mall employs advanced HVAC and building management systems to optimize energy use. These systems can adjust temperature and lighting based on occupancy and external weather conditions, leading to energy savings.
- Renewable Energy: The use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind power, can contribute to energy savings and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- Impact: While exact annual energy savings figures would depend on various factors, including weather conditions and the efficiency of equipment, such initiatives can lead to substantial reductions in energy consumption.
Comparison to Common Activities
To put these efforts into perspective, consider the following comparisons:
- Recycling vs. Common Household Waste: The recycling efforts at MOA are similar to recycling programs in many households. On a larger scale, the mall’s recycling efforts can divert a substantial amount of waste from landfills, just as household recycling does.
- LED Lighting vs. Traditional Lighting: Transitioning to LED lighting is akin to replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs in homes. LED lighting can reduce energy consumption by up to 80%, a significant energy-saving measure for both households and businesses.
- Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels: The use of renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power, is a substantial step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The impact is comparable to transitioning from a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle, but on a larger scale.
It’s important to note that the overall success of green initiatives depends on multiple factors, including the scale of implementation, technology efficiency, and community engagement. While specific figures for annual waste reduction and energy savings at MOA may not be readily available, these initiatives align with broader sustainability goals and contribute positively to the environment, much like common sustainable practices in households and businesses.
Getting to MOA
Reaching the Mall of America is a breeze:
By Air: The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is just a 10-minute drive away. It offers numerous flights from major cities across the United States, making MOA easily accessible.
By Car: If you’re planning a road trip, MOA is conveniently located near major highways, including Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77.
By Public Transportation: The METRO Blue Line light rail service connects MSP Airport, the Mall of America, and downtown Minneapolis. It’s a convenient and eco-friendly way to get to MOA.
Where to Stay
With the Mall of America being such a popular destination, you’ll find an array of accommodation options nearby:
- JW Marriott Mall of America: For a luxurious stay with top-notch amenities, consider JW Marriott, connected directly to the mall.
- Radisson Blu Mall of America: This upscale hotel offers modern comforts and is just a short walk from the mall.
- Hyatt Regency Bloomington: Experience comfort and style at the Hyatt Regency, located near the mall and the airport.
- Budget-Friendly Options: If you’re traveling on a budget, numerous hotels and motels in the area offer comfortable stays without breaking the bank.
Trivia Fun: Can You Answer These Questions?
- What year did the Mall of America first open its doors? Answer: 1992
- How many roller coasters are there inside the Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe? Answer: 4
- What is the total retail floor area of the Mall of America in square feet? Answer: 5.6 million square feet
- Which U.S. state is the Mall of America located in? Answer: Minnesota
- What’s the approximate number of stores and attractions at the Mall of America? Answer: 500
- How many parking spaces are available at the Mall of America? Answer: Over 12,000
- What’s the maximum depth of the underwater tunnels in the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium? Answer: 14 feet
- In which area of the Mall can you find a life-size LEGO giraffe? Answer: LEGO Imagination Center
- How many food and beverage options does the Mall of America offer? Answer: 50+
- What is the name of the indoor amusement park located inside the Mall? Answer: Nickelodeon Universe
- Which famous musician once held a concert inside the Mall of America? Answer: Prince
- What’s the name of the iconic Mall of America’s indoor amusement park ride with a 90-degree drop? Answer: SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge
- Which major league baseball player opened a sports bar at the Mall? Answer: Joe Mauer
- What’s the height of the tallest indoor ropes course inside the Mall? Answer: 56 feet
- Which U.S. landmark could fit inside the Mall of America? Answer: The Statue of Liberty
- How many acres of skylights does the Mall of America have? Answer: 5.6 acres
- What is the name of the Mall’s wedding chapel? Answer: The Chapel of Love
- What’s the total length of the Mall’s walking path around all four floors? Answer: 1.15 miles
- What’s the capacity of the Mall of America’s indoor log chute ride? Answer: 3,000 gallons of water
- How many on-site security officers patrol the Mall of America? Answer: Over 100
- What’s the depth of the water in the Mall’s aquarium tanks? Answer: 300,000 gallons
- What is the name of the Mall’s indoor miniature golf course? Answer: Moose Mountain Adventure Golf
- Which popular TV show filmed an episode at the Mall of America in 2015? Answer: The Bachelor
- How many escalators are there in the Mall of America? Answer: Over 40
- What’s the maximum speed of the Mall’s indoor roller coasters? Answer: Up to 40 miles per hour
The Mall of America is more than just a shopping mall; it’s a colossal playground for shoppers, thrill-seekers, and families. With its vast size, unique attractions, and convenient location, it’s no wonder MOA is a must-visit destination in the United States.
Whether you’re hunting for the latest fashion trends, craving a thrilling ride, or seeking family-friendly entertainment, MOA has it all, making it a top spot for a memorable getaway. So, pack your bags, bring your appetite, and get ready to shop, dine, and play at the extraordinary Mall of America!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Radist/iStock via Getty Images
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