I remember when Mall of America opened and how exciting it seemed. The largest mall in the United States, right here in Minnesota! Over time, though, the novelty wore off and my goal when shopping at the mall became:
- park quickly
- avoid as many teenagers and tourists as possible
- follow carefully mapped out route to make purchase
- leave as quickly as possible
Date 1: Featured Attraction + Twin City Grill
After checking out the latest, greatest attraction, I recommend dinner at Twin City Grill. The atmosphere is casually sophisticated, the food is delicious and the whole vibe has a 1930's throwback feel. This is my favorite sit-down restaurant at the mall.
Date 2: Bowling at Sky Deck + Masu
I think this outing would be really fun for a group of friends - we saw several large groups playing games at Sky Deck, sipping beer and laughing. Dan's got a birthday coming up in July...maybe we'll be back.
Date 3: Nickelodeon Universe + Oxynate
Yes, Oxynate is a little kooky. The store is floor to ceiling blue and contains an oxygen bar plus vibrating massage chairs situated next to individual oxygen machines. You pick a chair, attach a (new, unused) nasal tube to your nose, select which flavor of oxygen you'd like to inhale for 15 minutes and then recline. You can pull on a pair of headphones that pipes in Enya-style beachy soothing music. After that, you take an energy shot with water at the oxygen bar. Not only did Dan and I both feel soothed after the amusement park, we were thoroughly amused and had a good story to tell.
3 Survival Tips for Mall of America
- Park on level 4 or above of the parking ramp. Do not bother driving in circles, trying to find an amazing parking spot on one of the lower levels. You'll be irritated before you even hit the door of the mall. Just park and get inside, already!
- Tweet @MallofAmerica. Dan and I tweeted them several questions/comments and they answered quickly with really good tips and ideas that made our excursion even more fun.
- Spend $9.95 on the Mall of America coupon book. Not only does it contain coupons that we actually redeemed (15% off at Lane Bryant, free flatbread at Twin City Grill), but we used the book to guide our experience and try something new. Normally, Bubba Gump's is not a place we would go. But there was a coupon, and two seats at the bar were available, so we went...and it was fun!
Stores Worth a Stop
- Sigma Beauty - (Level 2) If you know me, you know I love Sigma Beauty. Their flagship store at Mall of America is gorgeous - laid out perfectly to sample products, ooh over displays and even pull up YouTube for inspiration from their signature YouTube beauty gurus. Store manager, Olivia, taught me a few tricks for using a couple of the more mysterious brushes in my collection and I walked out with a few new things too. If you love beauty products, don't miss Sigma Beauty.
- Pepper Palace - (Level 3) We went in because the coupon book offered a free bottle of hot sauce and wound up having a blast chatting with the somewhat kooky (but super helpful) guy managing the store. We sampled sauces, picked through spices, and walked out with a few delicious additions to our pantry.
- Nordstrom Rack - (Level 3) This is the one store that both Dan and I can go nuts in. They carry extended sizes in both clothes and shoes (for him and her), which means we can each scoop up armloads of stuff at discount prices. And don't miss their beauty section, near the front of the store. High end makeup and body stuff at prices so low, even I couldn't believe it.