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Top 10 Things to Do at Mall of America

Create digital art, laugh along with stand-up comedians or get a bird's-eye view of the mall by taking a spin on the country's longest indoor zipline. What do all these things have in common? You can find them at Mall of America.

Consider that if you only spent 10 minutes in each of the Mall of America’s 500-plus stores, you’d need 86 hours to see them all. If you’re a first-timer, pressed for time or want to do more than shop, here are our top 10 favorite Mall of America destinations for interactive entertainment and family fun:

1) Nickelodeon Universe Leave at least an hour or two for the top family attraction and epicenter of the mall. You can go screaming along the Pepsi Orange Streak or dropping off the Rock Bottom Plunge. Or opt for tamer rides like the Ferris wheel with its cool park views or toddler-friendly rides on hot-air balloons and miniature trucks. (952) 883-8800; nickelodeonuniverse.com

Nickelodeon Universe

Photo courtesy of Mall of America

2) Sea Life Aquarium Visitors start in a replica of Minnesota’s North Woods, birthplace of the Mississippi River, and follow ramps downward past exhibits of freshwater river fish and Southern swamps, ending with information on the Gulf of Mexico and tropical oceans. Kids will love the touch tanks, aquariums with jellies and sea dragons, and walking through a clear tunnel as sharks, turtles and manta rays glide overhead and eye-to-eye. (952) 883-0202; visitsealife.com/minnesota

Sea Life Aquarium

Photo courtesy of Mall of America

3) Lego store Even before The Lego Movie, this store has been a beloved destination for all ages. Chalk it up to the gigantic gawk-worthy Lego creations (a robot, a helicopter and a caveman facing a saber-tooth tiger just to name a few), a wall stocked with more than 180 colors and styles of brick pieces, and tables where visitors can sit and play surrounded by inspiration. (952) 858-8949; stores.lego.com

4) Dutchman’s Deck Barnacle Blast Zip Line whirs visitors 70 feet off the ground and across 405 feet of Nickelodeon Universe on the country’s longest indoor zipline. The attraction includes the Ghostly Gangplank high-ropes course on which harnessed guests walk across planks and narrow or wiggly bridges before reaching a spiral slide (the Anchor Drop) for the trip back down. (Admission to this adventure is not included in the all-day park pass.) (952) 883-8800, nickelodeonuniverse.com/rides/dutchmans-deck-adventure-course/ 

5) Crayola Experience + Store More than two dozen activities include naming and wrapping a Crayola crayon, creating your own coloring pages, working with digital art, and learning how Crayons are made in a live show. crayolaexperience.com

6) Rotunda shows The best place to sight the many celebs drumming up publicity is the Rotunda. Get in line early to snag a seat for musical performances or scout out a spot along upper-floor railings overlooking the Rotunda. It’s also used for book signings, dance performances, choir concerts, cheer competitions, plus gaming and product demonstrations. mallofamerica.com/events

7) American Girl For girls hooked on these dolls, this two-story store and bistro—with special doll seats and light eats— can be a dreamy place to explore. Check the store calendar for free crafts, scavenger hunts, and other activities on weekends and some weekdays. For dolls needing TLC, there’s also a hair salon. (877) 247-5223; americangirl.com

American Girl

Photo courtesy of Mall of America

8) House of Comedy Head to the fourth-floor entertainment district to eat and go bowling or verbally spar with intentionally cranky waiters. At Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, feast on a state-fair-theme appetizer plate (mini donuts, cheese curds and more) while laughing along with touring stand-up comics. (952) 858-8558; houseofcomedy.net

House of Comedy

Photo courtesy of Mall of America

9) Moose Mountain Adventure Golf Life-size moose and horses are just some of the adventures that visitors come across on the 18-hole miniature golf course.  mallofamerica.com

10) FlyOverAmerica Give your legs a break from mall walking and soar over national treasures such as Niagara Falls on one of the mall's newer rides. flyover-america.com

For more information, go to mallofamerica.com or call (952) 883-8800. 

Photos courtesy of Mall of America.

Lisa blogs about Minnesota and the Midwest at 10000Likes.com.

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