With more than 520 shops, a wide variety of eateries, the country’s biggest indoor amusement park, a 1.3-million-gallon aquarium, connected hotels, and other unique attractions, Mall of America isn’t like most other malls in America. No wonder it’s one of the top tourist attractions in the United States, welcoming approximately 40 million visitors annually.
You may already know that Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the United States, but did you know these 23 interesting Mall of America facts?
Have You Visited Mall of America?
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1. Mall of America is Gigantic
This Bloomington, Minnesota, destination is not America’s biggest mall by an inch or two. Rather, Mall of America is nearly 70 percent bigger than the second-largest mall in the United States – the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia. In fact, Mall of America is so big that it has its own ZIP code: 55425.
The mall boasts more than 2.78 million square feet of retail space (not including the amusement park). That’s almost 64 acres, so wear good walking shoes!
And if you do plan to walk the entire space, you have your work cut out for you. As long as you spend no more than 10 minutes per store, you could visit all of the shops at Mall of America in about 86 hours.
And even spending just one minute per retail space, it would still take you nearly nine hours to hit them all.
2. But There is Competition for the King-Sized Crown
Across the northern border in Canada, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta boasts 800 stores, greatly exceeding Mall of America’s 520-some shops. But it’s only 5.3 million square feet (compared with Mall of America’s 5.6 million square feet). And while Mall of America is home to an aquarium, West Edmonton Mall is accredited as a zoo.
If you sense similarities between Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, that’s because Mall of America was proposed and co-developed by the Ghermezian family, the Canadians behind the West Edmonton Mall.
And, while not expected to open until 2026, a new contender is in the works in Florida. American Dream Miami is anticipated to have a larger footprint than Mall of America, making it the new largest mall in North America.
3. On-Site Stylists Can Help with Your Clothes Shopping
Need help putting a look together? Mall of America has a solution. Don’t let the numerous clothing shops overwhelm you! You can meet with an experienced stylist who will provide personalized advice about what colors and styles will look good on you. Use this service to make your visit more efficient and less stressful. Visit the stylist page for a complete list of services and prices.
4. You Won’t be Charged Sales Tax on Some Purchases
Here’s a budget-friendly fun fact: Whether you use a stylist or select your own outfits, you’ll be thrilled to learn that there is no sales tax on clothing or shoes at Mall of America (or anywhere else in the North Star State). So whether you are building a wardrobe for the upcoming season, prepping your kids to go back to school, or just really need that pair of cute shoes in the window, you won’t have to worry about any sales taxes on these items when you shop at Mall of America.
Sage Advice: The clothing tax exemption does not apply to clothing accessories (like belts, hats, and jewelry) or sports and recreational clothing and equipment (like leotards, hockey jerseys, ballet shoes, and ice skates).
5. There’s More to Do Than Shop at Mall of America
From soaring across the atrium on a zipline to diving in the ocean at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, and from dining with dinosaurs at Rainforest Cafe to catching a movie, Mall of America offers much more than shopping.
Whether you’re shopping, enjoying rides, or taking in a show, at some point you’ll likely want a bite to eat or something to drink at Mall of America. With approximately 50 eateries, you’ll find a full range of options ranging from food court classics, like Qdoba and Panda Express, to full-service restaurants offering everything from sushi to steak. There are also plenty of spots for just a little pick-me-up, like a matcha tea, chai latte, or sweet treat.
6. Mall of America is Built Around an Indoor Amusement Park
At the heart of Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe is America’s largest indoor theme park. On seven acres in a soaring, glass-ceiling atrium, visitors can enjoy more than 20 amusement park rides, from kiddie favorites and a Ferris wheel to thrilling roller coasters. One of my favorite experiences is FlyOver America, a flight simulation ride that feels like you’re seeing the country on the back of a giant bird.
7. And Includes a 1.2-Million-Gallon Aquarium
If you’d rather dive than soar, you’ll be glad to know that Mall of America also includes an aquarium. Glide through a 300-foot, underwater glass tunnel as sharks, fish, and other aquatic animals swim around you. Or feed the stingrays when you visit.
Sage Advice: You can save money on aquarium admission by also buying tickets to Nickelodeon Universe.
8. But NOT an Indoor Submarine Ride
Although it was part of the original vision for Mall of America, plans for an indoor submarine ride were scrapped in the early 1990s due to budget concerns.
9. Mall of America Welcomes More Visitors Than Disney
This Mall of America fun fact may really surprise you. With approximately 40 million annual visitors, this Midwestern tourist destination welcomes more than five times the number of yearly guests as the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. To put 40 million people into a different context, that’s about as many visitors as the combined population of Canada, Wyoming, Vermont, and Washington DC. Or seven times the current population of Minnesota.
Related Article: Why I’m Never Taking My Kids to Disney
10. Mall of America Brings the Cha-Ching!
Whether it’s on happy hour cocktails, Shake Shack burgers, Minnesota Vikings jerseys, LEGO sets, amusement park rides, or something else, the average visitor spends just over $160 per visit to Mall of America. Multiply that by the millions of visitors each year, and Mall of America generates multiple billions of dollars in revenue annually in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
11. A Child of the ‘90s
Groundbreaking took place in June 1989, and Mall of America opened on August 11, 1992. That makes it a Millennial in its early 30s.
12. That Cares About the Environment
And like the typical Millennial, Mall of America is dedicated to protecting the environment. Mall of America recycles more than 60% of its waste, an average of 32,000 tons per year.
The biggest mall in America uses two key programs to manage its food waste. The used oil drained from restaurant fryers is repurposed into biodiesel, creating 4,000 pounds of fuel per month. And the mall’s 2,400 tons of food waste are shipped to a local farm where it serves more than one million hog meals per year.
Nickelodeon Universe, the mall’s indoor amusement park, uses 400 live trees and 30,000 plants as natural air purifiers.
13. Mall of America Sits on the Site of the Old Metro Stadium
Before the land became host to the nation’s biggest shopping mall, the site housed the Metropolitan Stadium, former home of the Minnesota Vikings football and Minnesota Twins baseball teams. And a little band from Liverpool, England, known as The Beatles performed at the Metropolitan Stadium in 1965.
Mall of America includes a few shoutouts to the old stadium. When you visit Nickelodeon Universe, look for a bronze plaque embedded in the floor in the northwest corner. It marks the spot where home plate once stood.
And when you ride the Log Chute, watch for a red stadium chair affixed to the wall near a sign that reads “Harmon Killebrew, thank you for the memories.” It marks the spot where the Twins’s first baseman hit the longest home run in Old Met history, 520 feet from home plate.
14. There’s a Behind-the-Scenes Tour Full of Insider Info
Want to know answers to questions such as “Why isn’t the floor flat in Nickelodeon Universe?” Take a behind-the-scenes tour where you’ll learn insider information about Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe. The standard tour lasts about 90 minutes, and you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll do a lot of walking. (Remember Mall of America fun fact #1?)
Customized group tours are also available, perfect for a work team building event or school field trip. Check out the Mall of America tours web page for more details about pricing and schedules.
15. Plenty of Parking
If you fly in to visit the mall, you may not even need to rent a car. Mall of America is conveniently located a few miles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Shuttles and light rail run from the airport directly to the mall, and more than 50 nearby hotels offer free shuttle service.
But if you have a car, Mall of America can easily accommodate it. The facility has more than 12,250 free on-site parking spaces, and valet service is also available.
Each year, Mall of America security officers help visitors locate 1,200 “lost” vehicles. So before you wander too far from your car, whip out your cell phone and snap a pic of the state sign that marks your parking section so you don’t accidentally confuse Maine with Massachusetts when it’s time to leave.
Sage Advice: Use the MyPark app to reserve a premium parking spot.
16. Conveniently Located Interactive Directories
At four stories tall and the size of seven Yankee Stadiums, it’s understandable if visitors are concerned about getting lost inside the massive shopping center. Fortunately, it’s easy to navigate the nearly symmetrical rectangular shopping mall via widely available interactive directories. To find stores, restaurants, or mall attractions, look for one of the many map kiosks placed on each level and get directions, distance, and estimated walking time in a snap.
Sage Advice: Be sure to take advantage of the hand sanitizer near each interactive directory to keep away the germs of 110,000 people (or more) a day.
17. Directions at Your Fingertips
This dedicated app helps you maximize your visit by letting you virtually visit all 500-plus of the center’s stores, create a digital to-do list so you don’t miss anything, add parking reminders, and map the facility so you know where you’re going—and don’t get lost. It also includes a calendar of upcoming events, special deals offered by specific stores, and tools to help you remember where you parked your car.
18. Hostess with the Mostess
More than 400 events are held at Mall of America each year. That’s more than one a day! These events run the gamut from book signings to fashion shows and toddler Tuesdays to fan events. Be sure to check the Mall of America app or the mall’s event web page prior to your visit to see what fun events are on tap.
19. Free WiFi, Yay!
You may expect the biggest mall in the US to offer free wifi, but here’s a fun fact about Mall of America you probably don’t know: To provide free wifi to its visitors, the facility installed 71 miles of copper wire and 15,000 feet of optical fiber as part of an upgrade in 2015.
20. Consistently Comfortable Temperature Year Round
No matter what weather Mother Nature has planned for the Twin Cities on a specific day, you can count on Mall of America to be a perfect 70° F. But despite winter temperatures that consistently dip below freezing, Mall of America has no central heating. Instead, the comfortable indoor climate is maintained by the sun streaming through 1.2 miles of skylights, the residual heat from lighting fixtures, and the body heat from the approximately 100,000 people who visit daily.
21. Mall of America Has a Parental Escort Policy
While kids of all ages are welcome to visit Mall of America, the shopping center does enforce a parental escort policy. On Fridays and Saturdays, during the busy holiday shopping season, and on other posted dates, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older from 3:00 pm until close.
22. Lots of Hotel Options for Out-of-Town Visitors
Two hotels connected to Mall of America via walkways make it easy for you to “drop” after you shop. Combined, the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America and Radisson Blu Mall of America offer 842 guest rooms, and each hotel has a fitness center, indoor pool, and other amenities.
And don’t worry if these two are booked up – there are more than 50 hotels within ten minutes of Mall of America that offer courtesy shuttles. Door-to-door service during a Minnesota winter? Yes, please!
23. There Go the Brides
Better than a Vegas wedding chapel? About 8,400 couples thought so. The Chapel of Love, a Mall of America vendor, hosted weddings for nearly 30 years. Sadly, the Chapel of Love closed its doors in August 2022, ending a long tradition of matrimonial celebration at Mall of America.
Have You Visited Mall of America?
What did you like most about your visit to Mall of America? Any additional fun facts about Mall of America to share? Speak up in the comments section below.