Mall of America--best hotel to stay and where should I take my 5 year old?
July 25, 2009 6:26 PM   Subscribe

What is a good hotel that is right next to or connected to Mall of America? And what are the "must go to's" for a five year old?

We are looking for a hotel that is clean and nice that is right next to or connected to the Mall of America. It would be nice if there was a restaurant attached to the hotel, although that is not necessary. Also, we would like a clean pool, preferably one that is kid-friendly, where there are steps that lead off down the pool and then there is a gradual recession in the water.

Also, is there anything that I just HAVE to go to in the mall, where my five year old will LOVE it?


posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Shopping (12 answers total)

Cant go wrong with a 5 year old there!
posted by EdoubleG at 6:35 PM on July 25, 2009

Make your choice
posted by yclipse at 7:10 PM on July 25, 2009

(No hotel is connected or right next to the MOA. Walking would be a real stretch for even the close ones, but there are excellent shuttles.)
posted by yclipse at 7:12 PM on July 25, 2009

The Ramada and the Hilton are both across the street and have pools. I believe they are the closest hotels. In terms of things of interest to a five year old, there is a large American Girl store, a Nickelodeon theme park, an aquarium, and a Friends2BeMade doll making store, too.

This is all on the MOA website.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:15 PM on July 25, 2009

People do walk there from nearby hotels; at least I assume that's where they're coming from when I see people on the sidewalks leading into it. If you're planning on walking around the mall all day, another quarter of a mile (if that) is not a big deal.

Minor things that five-year-olds like: The store on the third floor with a race car sticking out of it. The giant beanbag store. The miniature golf course. The truck with the dog driving it in the Old Navy store (or maybe I'm thinking of another O.N., sorry).

If you think you might go to Underwater Adventures, try to find a coupon - it is expensive. We picked one up from Subway recently for a free child admission.

Of course there are many restaurants there but the Twin City Grill is a nice quiet place, kind of a respite from the hubbub. There's also a good-sized mothers' room at Nordstrom in case your little one needs to chill out for a while.

The mall is walking distance from an IKEA, in case that's of interest.
posted by lakeroon at 9:55 PM on July 25, 2009

I really wouldn't stay down by the mall -- all of the hotels within walking distance are also within spitting distance of two freeways and a heavily trafficked runway. Even though the transportation would be slightly more difficult, you'd have a much more restful experience even a few more miles down the road.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:35 PM on July 25, 2009

Yes, if it's feasible to stay elsewhere and rent a car, I'll bet you'll be happier. Staying near the Mall of America is like staying at the hotel closest to an airport.

I'm not going to diss the Mall of America -- I haven't been there -- but it's just a huge shopping mall, and I don't see how a five-year-old kid is going to appreciate the huge specialness. There are some amazing things for five-year-olds to do in the Twin Cities. Take your kid to Minnehaha Falls and walk down to where the creek empties into the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam Number One. For a shopping experience, visit Ax-Man Surplus at University near Snelling.

Here's a Twin Cities mom with fifty more suggestions. None of them are at the Mgall of America . . .
posted by gum at 12:09 AM on July 26, 2009

I figure the Nickelodeon Universe theme park is a given, so besides that...

If you have a son, be sure to visit Lego Land, adjacent to the amusement park on the first floor (daughters may be interested in this too). They have huge Lego models and tables where you can build.

If you have a daughter, you could see the American Girl Doll store, but be careful--she may fall in love with a $100 doll and all of her accessories at $50 apiece.
posted by castlebravo at 4:20 AM on July 26, 2009

My brother stays at the Country Inn & Suites when he comes to town on business. It was clean the times I visited him there. Not sure how kid-friendly the pool is, but they have one. A restaurant is attached & you can definitely walk from there to the Mall. (It's literally across the street; if you can't handle that walk, just walking around the MOA will kill you.)

Other than the amusement park at the mall, though, I don't really think there's much that will interest a 5-year-old. Other ideas that might be more fun include the MN Children's Museum and Como Park Zoo in St. Paul. (Only about 15-25 minutes from the MOA.
posted by belladonna at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2009

The Mall of America was the least interesting thing I saw in the twin cities: are you sure your kid wouldn't enjoy walking across a bridge from one side of the Mississippi to the other? But since you asked, there was a cute store there that carried only farm toys. I bought a friend a John Deere fishing lure from there.
posted by acrasis at 10:12 AM on July 26, 2009

You can stay in any number of hotels in downtown Minneapolis and take the light rail to the Mall of America with zero hassle (and probably a lot of excitement for a 5 year old!). That way you could see a lot more of the area -- including Minnehaha Falls as gum suggested, also accessible by light rail. Minneapolis is beautiful!

If you do decide to stay in Bloomington and want to see some nature, check out the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It's a hidden treasure just down the street from the Mall of America.
posted by Maarika at 4:46 PM on July 26, 2009

Seconding the Water Park of America - stayed there a couple years ago when I was in town for work, family tagged along - they had a good time while I was working.
posted by jferg at 4:31 AM on July 27, 2009

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