Bloomington, MN, is world-famous as the home of the Mall of America. But there are many other fun and exciting things to do in Bloomington, MN 55425.
Located on the north bank of the Minnesota River, Bloomington is a suburb south of downtown Minneapolis. The suburb is approximately twelve miles from the twin cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The Mall of America is the highlight of the town. It has a significant impact on fun and entertainment in the midwest and Bloomington. The mall is much more than shopping. From roller coasters to virtual reality, kids of all ages will love going to the Mall of America.
Of course, there’s plenty to do if you don’t want to go to the mall. Below we’ve covered the best things to do in Bloomington with kids & family. Let’s get right on the list.
World Famous Mall of America
Since 1992, The Mall of America (MOA) has wowed visitors. Located on ninety-six acres of land across from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Mall of America is home to 520 stores. It’s also the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
The sheer size of the mall is mind-boggling. It’s been estimated it would take visitors over 86 hours to visit every store in the mall.
Your kids can get lost shopping at the LEGO store, Build-a-Bear, M&M’s shop, and other family-friendly locations.
But Mall of America is much more than a collection of stores. Inside the mall, you’ll find countless restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, theaters, and amusement centers. This makes it one of the best things to do in Bloomington for kids. Children of all ages can find something fun to do in the Mall of America.
Entertainment at the Mall of America
Having fun at the Mall of America is just as important as shopping. You can find thrilling roller coasters, mini-golf courses, aquariums, comedy shows, carnival games, and escape rooms at MOA.
Upcoming plans include adding a massive 335,000-square-foot indoor water park to Mall of America.
You could spend days having fun in the mall. If you want to try something unique, you should check out these activities while visiting the mall which is among the 32 best things to do with kids in Bloomington.
- 5D Matrix Technology Virtual Reality lets you experience cutting-edge technology.
- Catch the latest blockbuster at B&B Theaters Bloomington.
- Test your ax throwing skills at The Fair on 4.
- Create and name your crayon color at the Crayola Experience.
- Enter a professional e-sport event at Wisdom Gaming Studios.
- Take control of a flight simulator at Flyover America.
- Get lost in the amazing mirror maze.
Dining and Staying at the Mall of America
You can expect to find many of the most famous chain dining options including Starbucks, Panda Express, and Johnny Rockets. No matter what you are in the mood for, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect meal.
After dinner, it’s time for bed, and you can book a hotel. Inside the mall, you can stay at the 14-story JW Marriott Hotel or Radisson Blu Mall of America.
If you love your visit to Bloomington or even the whole state of Minnesota, be sure to check your guide to property tax in Minnesota in case you’re thinking about moving or renting a property.
Your kids will love visiting Nickelodeon Universe in Bloomington. Located at the heart of the Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe is an amusement theme park based on the television network.
Nickelodeon Universe is a seven-acre indoor amusement park and playground. The park features twenty-seven rides and attractions for guests of all ages.
Your youngest kids will love the junior-themed rides that are thrilling yet safe for toddlers. Of course, there are also attractions for thrillseekers. The Brain Surge and Avatar Airbender roller coasters offer thrills and excitement for your brave kids.
The interactive Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course tests your skills. The adventure course features rope climbing, slides, zip lines, and other adventurous experiences for teens and adults.
The weekends add more fun to the Nickelodeon Universe. Every Friday through Sunday, you have a chance to meet iconic Nick characters like Spongebob Squarepants or Blue of Blue’s Clues. You can also expect new events and surprises during holidays like Halloween and Christmas.
While you can purchase tickets for individual rides, the unlimited ride wristband is the most economical option for families planning on spending the day at Nickelodeon Universe.
If the Nickelodeon Universe doesn’t feel like enough fun for you and your family, check out the best things to do in Plymouth MN with kids.
SEA LIFE Aquarium and Much More
SEA LIFE Aquarium is in the Mall of America. This massive aquarium holds 1.3 million gallons of water and is home to over 10,000 sea creatures. You’ll find everything from massive sharks to friendly sea turtles at SEA LIFE.
The underwater tunnel adventure is the highlight of SEA LIFE. This 300-foot-long glass tunnel lets you come face to face with all the fish and life in the aquarium. Once you leave the tunnel, it’s time to journey to the rainforest. Here you can come face to face with crocodiles, poison dart frogs, and tarantulas.
- Touch weird and unique creatures at the Pacific Northwest Rockpool.
- Feed stingrays while visiting the Ray Lagoon.
- Surround yourself with colorful fish at the Clownfish Pop-Up Exhibit.
- Have a birthday party at SEA LIFE.
SEA LIFE Aquarium also offers educational opportunities and workshops for kids of all ages. Workshops range from learning about sea habitats to learning about how to protect the oceans.
If even the aquarium feels small for your family aspirations, be sure to check our list of 15 things to do in Minnetonka Minnesota.
Great Wolf Lodge and Water Park
If you can’t wait for the new mall water park to open, you can head to Great Wolf Lodge to hit the waterslides. The indoor water park, theme park, and family fun resort boast a wide range of fun amusements and activities.
The water park features over ten slides and pools with varying thrill levels. If you don’t want to get wet, you can test your climbing skills on the climbing wall or bowl a perfect 300 at their bowling alley.
While visiting Great Wolf Lodge, don’t forget to enjoy their events. You can enjoy story time, yoga practices, dance parties, and more.
Great Wolf Lodge also features a variety of dining and hotel options including private chalets.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
In the heart of Bloomington, Hyland Lake Park Reserve is an oasis of pristine landscapes and beautiful scenery in a state park. The park features 18 miles of hiking and biking trails on 27,000 acres of forested land.
The park features a play area for kids, horseback riding, fishing spots, water sports, mountain biking trails, and more. Winter is just as fun, and you can spend your time snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or sledding throughout the reserve.
- Enjoy a round of disc golf on the 18-hole course.
- Spend the night at one of the 200 camping site rentals available.
- Hit the slopes and go snowboarding at Hyland Hills Ski Area.
- Enjoy fishing, boating, and canoeing throughout Hyland Lake.
- Learn how to shoot a bow at an archery class.
Normandale Japanese Garden
The Normandale Japanese Garden is a two-acre nature center and garden at Normandale Community College. Normandale Japanese Garden has free admission and is open year-round.
Completed in 1976 and designed by Japanese garden architect Takao Watanabe, the gardens are a must-see in Bloomington.
You’ll feel transported to another world upon passing through the garden’s cedar gate. Inside, you’ll find Japanese bridges, waterfalls, lagoons, lanterns, and statues. While small, there is plenty to view and contemplate while visiting the Normandale Japanese Garden.
Como Zoo Conservatory
If your kids love animals, you should take a trip to Como Zoo Conservatory. This 384-acre reserve has free entry and is home to a wide range of exotic life.
While visiting Como Zoo, you can get up close and personal with gorillas, giraffes, snakes, lions, and more. The zoo also features botanical gardens, bonsai collections, and water gardens. The zoo has large visitor centers where you can learn more about the animals as well.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Centrally located in Bloomington, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge offers 14,000 acres of hiking and cross-country skiing fun. Established in 1976, the refuge is home to all types of birds, including eagles.
You can spend your day traversing forty-six miles of hiking and walking trails while visiting the park. The nature center is also open for hunting, fishing, biking, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
The Best Things to Do in Bloomington, MN, With Kids
Which attraction do you want to visit the most? There is so much to do in Bloomington that it’s hard to decide where to start. It’s not hard to find something fun to do for the whole family while in Bloomington, Minnesota.
You could spend a week inside the Mall of America having fun. With that being said, if Bloomington feels small, you can also check out 10 fun things to do in Plymouth MN for all.
If you plan on visiting Minnesota, we encourage you to venture out and enjoy everything the city has to offer. Maybe you end up with other pretentious things like buying a property. If so, we recommend a guide to the Shakopee housing market (2022).