FX Excursions

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Family Time at Mall of America

by Felicity Long

May 18, 2018

© Ken Wolter | Dreamstime.com


Did you know the Mall of America is the top tourist attraction in the Midwest and it draws a whopping 40 million visitors a year, many of whom come from far and wide? In fact, surprisingly, there are some international visitors who fly in and out of Minneapolis/St. Paul just to go to the Mall without seeing any other part of the United States.


What you also might not know is, in addition to the activities and attractions at the Mall itself, the surrounding area also offers its own dose of kid-friendly fun. Here is a run-down of wallet-friendly options your family can enjoy, courtesy of Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis.


In addition to restaurant and shops, family fun in downtown Minneapolis includes a line-up of sports venues, including the Target Center, where you can also see shows and concerts; Target Field for baseball and summer concerts; U.S. Bank Stadium for football and musical events; and TCF Bank Stadium for college sports.


Mall of America

© Yanmingzhang | Dreamstime.com

Of course, the main attraction is the MOA, opened in 1992 and whose blockbuster features include Sea Life Aquarium, where you can see more than 10,000 marine animals, including sharks, sting rays and even seahorses, and the seven-acre Nickelodeon Universe, complete with 27 rides. The MOA also houses several other theme parks; about 50 restaurants; and enough stores — 520 at last count — to make inroads into visitors’ wallets.


When all this becomes too much, the 303-room Hyatt offers a few more low-key, low-cost options of its own.


The hotel features an indoor heated pool located adjacent to its 845-square foot gym, for example, along with plenty of outdoor, run-around space for kids.


Families can also take advantage of a free shuttle to and from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport and its location next to the MOA, also accessible via complimentary shuttle from the hotel. There is even a METRO blue line directly to downtown Minneapolis.


For dining, take the kids to Urbana Craeft Kitchen & Market for locally inspired and sourced menu options — like steak or game — or grab a snack or deli fare at the on-site market.


The property is offering a Time to Play, Shop and Stay package, good through the end of May, that bundles in two all-day passes for Nickelodeon Park at MOA, free parking, complimentary shuttle transportation to and from MOA and a welcome Hyatt Kite gift for kids. The package also includes queen/queen guestroom accommodations, all from $179 per night.


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