If you’ve never been to the Mall of America, or make a weekly trek to this shopping Mecca, its massive size can be overwhelming and provide anxiety before you even hit the exit ramp. So here are some tips about planning ahead for your next trip to the Mall that can save you time, money and a few headaches.
Pre-Plan/Order Coupon Book
If you already have your visit planned, check out Mall of America’s website to request a visitor’s guide that includes a map and a directory so you can plan places you don’t want to miss. You can also order a coupon book for $9.95 with 200 offers saving you more than $1,500.
Social Media Deals
If you have a favorite store, register for e-mail alerts or follow them on the social media websites to find out when they have upcoming sales or specials. If you hate all those e-mails clogging up your inbox, consider setting up a separate account for e-mail alerts.
Free Events/Special Offers
Visit the Mall of America’s Facebook page or website to learn about upcoming free events or special offers. Some regular events include Toddler Tuesday (free events for kids on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon) and Family Flicks at Theatres at MOA (free family movie at 10 a.m. on Saturdays).
Get A Map
Once you arrive at the Mall, go to Guest Services and get a map. That way you can plot out what stores you want to go to. It will take an extra five or 10 minutes but could save you hours. And if you have any questions, the staff at Guest Services know it all — like where to find the old Met Stadium home plate.
Visit On “Quiet” Days
Want to avoid the crowds? The quietest days to shop are generally Tuesday and Wednesday.
The parking ramps can be busy on weekends, during special events or during the holiday season, cutting down on that crucial shopping time. Here are a few tips to get in and out in record time: if you work downtown or have a light rail stop near you, do the Park and Ride. With light rail, you never have to worry about traffic or parking. And the light rail drops you off right at the Mall. Nordstrom and Macy’s offer valet parking on the weekend. And for up-to-the-moment parking updates, be sure to follow @MallofAmerica on Twitter (#moaparking) on Saturday’s year-round or daily starting Black Friday through Jan. 1.
Where To Start
It’s best to start on 3rd floor and work your way down to avoid traffic, especially on weekends.
If this is your first trip to the Mall or you have out-of-town visitors there a few things, no matter your age, you can’t miss: Nickelodeon Universe, Underwater Adventures Aquarium, and A.C.E.S. Flight Simulator.