As you may remember if you have been following me for a while, I visited the Mall of America for the first time last May. It was a ton of fun, but since I was there for a conference, I didn’t have much time to fully enjoy everything that the mall offers. So when I was recently invited back to the Mall of America for the #MinNoCoata press trip, I was thrilled. I, along with four other awesome bloggers, visited Minnesota in the middle of winter without a coat. Sounds excruciating, right?? Well, it wasn’t at all because we were nice and warm inside the mall for the entire four days. This gave me the chance to experience all of the fun the mall has to offer for wheelchair users and see what is truly accessible.
Four days in a mall… as a wheelchair user. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound too appealing. But I assure you that by the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll be begging to spend not just four days, but your entire winter inside the Mall of America, just like I was. This place is completely unlike any other mall in the world and now has me totally spoiled for any future trips to other malls. It felt more like I was exploring a city instead of a mall because there is so much to do! Here are 10 wheelchair friendly things to do at Mall of America –
You simply cannot visit the mall and skip FlyOver America. This is located on the first level and might be my favorite thing that I did during my trip. If you have ridden Soarin’ at Disney World, it’s kind of like that, but better. You feel like you are hang gliding over some beautiful American sights during the 10 minute ride. The ride is very gentle, so you might want to transfer from your wheelchair to a ride seat to have the full experience. You’ll feel wind in your hair and mist on your face from soaring over the ocean. If you would rather not transfer into a seat, that’s completely okay. There is an area where you can stay in your chair and still enjoy FlyOver. You won’t be soaring per say, but you will be watching the film, which is incredible. To be completely honest, I was almost moved to tears from how great it was. It gave me a new sense of pride for how beautiful America is. The only thing that I wish was different about FlyOver is that it was about 30 minutes longer!
Try to Escape the Mirror Maze
I’m always a big fan of mirror mazes and whenever I see one, I have to give it a try. The Amazing Mirror Maze is located on the third level of Mall of America and is completely accessible… just try not to run into any mirrors with your chair! The first time that I went through the maze, I got majorly turned around and ended up back at the beginning after about 15 minutes. The second time, I got lucky and completed the maze in just 3 minutes. It’s not a huge Maze, so you can’t get too lost, but it was a lot of fun.
Color at The Crayola Experience
You don’t have to be a child to have a blast at the Crayola Experience! I got to make my own crayon, paint and color, make artwork out of melted crayons, and more. For the hour and a half that I was there, it was like I had been transported back in time and was 5 years old again. And the best part? The Crayola Experience is completely wheelchair accessible. There was even a special accessible area at a photo booth, where you can print out your picture and color it. At the end of the attraction, there is a store with every possible crayon souvenir that you can possibly imagine.
Play Games at the Arcade
The arcade is located on the fourth level of the mall inside Sky Deck Sports Grille. There are dozens of games available, but my favorite was Deal or No Deal. As a fan of the game show, it was fun to play in person on the machine and I even won 50 tickets (the most you can get is 200). The majority of games in the arcade were at a good height for my chair and I was able to reach them easily. This was a fun place to spend an hour. If you get hungry after playing games, you can eat here as well.
Play a Round of Gooney Golf
If you want to try your luck at getting a hole in one, check out Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. Located on the third level, this 18 hole mini golf course is fully wheelchair accessible. At the majority of mini golf courses I’ve visited in the past, there is usually a step at each hole or terribly uneven terrain… but not here! This is probably the most accessible course I’ve ever seen, and at just $9.99 per person, give it a try!
See the Ocean Life at the Aquarium
SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, located on the first level of the mall, is another must-do for any visitor, whether you’re in a wheelchair or not. Who knew that an entire aquarium could fit in a mall?! The Mall of America literally has anything that you can possibly imagine. SEA LIFE is quite large and has stingrays, a jellyfish area, seahorses (my favorite), gators, and an incredible walk-through shark exhibit. You’re in a tunnel and all of a sudden there’s a shark right above your head. It’s an awesome experience! Check out this video to see my aquarium visit in action –
Attend the Mall’s Special Events
There are numerous events held at the Mall of America on an almost daily basis. Celebrities will frequently have book signings or give performances in the mall. Just in the 4 days that I was there, I saw a Super Bowl announcement party (the 2018 Super Bowl will be held in Minnesota and they are pumped!) and Boyz II Men gave a free surprise performance. As a 90s kid, I’m a Boyz II Men fan and it was cool to see them in concert at the mall. And wow, they can really sing!! To see all of the mall’s upcoming events, click here.
Laugh at the Comedy Club
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, located on the fourth level of the mall next to the arcade, is a perfect place to end your night. There are shows Tuesday-Sunday every week. When I visited, there were two opening comedians and the headlining comedian was Erik Griffen from the TV show Workaholics. He was hilarious and had me in hysterics through his entire set. This was definitely a fun way to spend a couple hours! While you’re watching the show, try one (or more) of the House of Comedy’s drinks or have a full meal if you’re hungry.
Eat Delicious Foods
THE FOOD. OMG, the food at Mall of America is ridiculously good. I probably gained at least five pounds during my four days at the mall. With over 50 restaurants to choose from, it isn’t hard to do. These are not your typical food court restaurants either. There are many delicious restaurants to choose from, everything from Margaritaville to Shake Shack. My favorite places that I ate at were Tucci Benucch and Twin City Grill.
Tucci Benucch is an Italian restaurant that serves the absolute best wood fired pizza and Italian soda. I was seriously impressed by the pomegranate Italian soda. Tucci Benucch is worth a visit just for that, but you’ll find plenty of mouthwatering dishes on the menu. You’ll feel just like you’re eating authentic Naples pizza, I promise.
Twin City Grill, on the other hand, offers Minnesota comfort foods and is currently the #2 ranked restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota on TripAdvisor. I had the walleye fish fry with salt and vinegar fries. Yes, you read that correctly. The salt and vinegar fries were probably the best fries I’ve ever eaten and the fish was perfection. So much yum!!
Shop Till You Drop
With so much to do at the Mall of America, it’s easy to forget about shopping, but you shouldn’t. There are more than 500 stores and you’ll be able to find anything that you could possibly want or need. From high-end brands such as Burberry and Lacoste to fun stores like Lego and the Peeps store, anything is available.
Here’s a pro shopper tip: as soon as you arrive at the mall, put your money on a Mall of America gift card instead of using your regular credit card. This way, you won’t overspend. Once you hit your limit, that’ll be the end of shopping for you. Trust me, it’s extremely easy to overspend when there are this many choices so taking precautions is a good idea.
Stay at the Mall
If you are looking to make a full vacation out of your Mall of America visit, there are two connecting hotels: the J.W. Marriott and the Radisson Blu. I stayed at the Radisson Blu and it was exceptional. The staff was friendly, my room was 100% wheelchair accessible, and it only took about one minute to get from my room to the mall. It couldn’t be easier! I’ll have a full review of the hotel up here on the blog in a few weeks, but if you’d like to check out the Radisson Blu just click here.
Use the Restroom
Using the restroom seems like such an easy and unthought of task for most, but for wheelchair users it can be quite daunting. Are accessible restrooms available? Are there grab bars? At the Mall of America, the answers to both questions are yes! Large companion care/family restrooms are located on the first level of the mall at all four entrances. They are also on levels 2 and 3 on the north side.
Text the Concierge
This is a really cool feature at the mall! You can text (952) 479-4839 while you’re in the mall and ask any questions to the Mall of America concierge. I took advantage of this convenient service and they always text me back very quickly. They’re committed to making everyone’s experience at the mall a superb one.
As you can see, the Mall of America is a fun and accessible place to spend a few days. It’s completely unlike any other mall that I’ve been to in the past. Whether you’re visiting Minnesota in summer or in the frigid winter, you’ll have plenty to do at Mall of America.
*Thank you to the Mall of America, Bloomington, and the Radisson Blu for making my #MinNoCoata trip possible. All opinions are authentic and my own.
*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers. wheelchair accessible things to do mall of america