So instead of thinking solely of the best shops, I thought perhaps it’d be better to list the one-of-a-kind shops at the Mall. The places you can’t find just anywhere. The places that make the trip to the mall worth it. And sure, these places might be part of a chain and available throughout the nation, but if they’re unique to the Midwest — or Minnesota, even — then they’re making the list.
368 North Garden
Beadniks is one of the largest bead sellers in the world, offering customers a wide variety of gift ideas, jewelry making possibilities and a bead selection from around the world. They also offer bead classes and a location for parties and events. This is their only location in Minnesota.
American Girl Store
Level 1, East Entrance To Nickelodeon Universe
If you have a young girl in your household, be prepared to spend hours in the American Girl Store — a giant 22,000-square-foot retail shop full of everything American Girl, from the dolls to the books to apparel. Guests can even enjoy a little bistro inside the retail complex plus a location for birthday parties and events. The two-story store also includes a doll hair salon. Yes, a hair salon for dolls.
367 East Broadway
If you’ve never been wrapped up in 100 percent alpaca, well, you don’t know what you’re missing. At Alpaca Connection, these genuine furs are brought in straight from the Andes Mountains. Shoppers can browse through apparel and retail to gifts and shoes.
As Seen On TV Store
208 East Broadway
If you’ve seen it on TV, you’ll find it in this store. Here you can actually try out all the crazy items in the infomercials, before you buy them. All your favorites are here including the much-talked about Shake Weight and Snuggie’s galore.
It’s A Puzzle
216 North Garden
Attention puzzle lovers — welcome to your Mecca. It’s A Puzzle features any kind of puzzle you could imagine in a wide variety for any age. Buy an educational puzzle for your younguns, or challenge yourself with an 18,000-piece puzzle.
123 North Garden
Didn’t think you could be entertained by a store that only sells magnets? Well you’re wrong. This place has more than 1,000 wacky, unique and down-right random magnets to amuse and entertain.
Field Of Dreams
156 East Broadway
Sports fans and sports memorabilia collectors can find it all at Field of Dreams, the place where autographed baseball bats, jerseys and sports cards are found under one roof. Once you have a good collection, display cases and framing can also be found here.
A Simpler Time
308 North Garden
Take a trip to the past without the help of a time machine or Delorean at A Simpler Time, the place that offers nostalgia through its gifts and decor.
164 South Avenue
Though currently under renovation, Lego Land’s new look will be unveiled in December of this year. Fans can expect a lot more legos and a whole lot of mini model creations. Kids of all ages can enjoy a variety of places to build — and buy — the latest Lego sets and pieces. Plus, there’s space for birthday parties and events year round.
Sara Boyd is a Web Producer at WCCO.com.