photo courtesy Mall of America®, used with permission
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Mall of America® Loves Kids – Best Family Events Throughout the Year

photo courtesy Mall of America®, used with permission
photo courtesy Mall of America®, used with permission

Mall of America® truly does love kids and families.   Aside from the great attractions, restaurants, and stores, the Mall hosts events throughout the year that are sure to please families of all sizes and ages.  Check the website for what’s going on during your stay, but here is a quick list of recurring and annual events you can find when you visit.

Toddler Tuesdays®:
Every Tuesday throughout the year visitors can enjoy free entertainment and discounts especially for toddlers in the Rotunda (by Barnes & Noble, and near the East Entrance).  Often the event includes a character meet and greet, and/or a short live stage show, theme-related crafts and coloring pages, storytime, and small trinkets as takeaways (not all these things happen at all events).  Families also enjoy discounts at most of the restaurants in the Mall, several offering kids-eat-free for lunch and dinner.  When my son was a toddler, we came to these all the time; spent the morning enjoying the special activities, had lunch, went through the aquarium, then either went on a couple of rides or did some shopping before heading home.

“Free Family Flicks” at Theaters at Mall of America®:
Every Saturday at 10 am, families get in free to see a movie together at Theaters at Mall of America® on the 4th floor.  This free event is on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early.  You can easily make a fun family day of this by having lunch after, then hitting Nickelodeon Universe® or the aquarium, before having dinner at the Mall or other nearby restaurants.

World’s Largest Indoor Trick-or-Treat:
Halloween can be cold and snowy in Minnesota. Escape all that and bring your kids trick-or-treating indoors at Mall of America® for the World’s Largest Indoor Trick-or-Treat! Last year trick-or-treaters enjoyed over 150 stores handing out candy, a not-too-spooky costume contest with cool prizes (last year it was at 5:30, so nice and early for the little ones), a magician doing cool tricks, and they finished the night (at 7:30 – again, nice and early) with a Monster Mash dance party! Check the website for this year’s lineup!

Photos with Santa: 
In early November, Santa arrives at Mall of America® with a grand holiday ceremony.  Come watch the festive parade that will likely feature some favorite characters.  Afterward get your photo taken with Santa.  Santa will also be available for photos throughout November and into December by appointment.  Last year they had Sweets and Stories with Santa which was a hit with kids:  “Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., kids can enjoy “Sweets and Stories with Santa” in Sears Court! Snuggle up for your favorite Christmas stories read by Santa’s friendly elves; enjoy a yummy holiday sweet; then hop in line to meet and greet the big, jolly fellow himself!”.  Check the website in November to see this year’s events and schedules.

Rock the Universe Family New Year’s Eve Party:
Mark your calendars for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party inside Nickelodeon Universe® with an early ball drop! Last year family party-goers posed on the Orange Carpet for a free VIP-style photo, met their favorite Nickelodeon characters, danced the night way to a live band at the family-friendly dance party, had their face painted, got their hair rocked out, and rang in the new year with a family countdown complete with live music, party favors and 10pm ball drop.

There is always something fun going on here.  From celebrity visits and performances (Big Time Rush was recently here), book signings, and charity events (like Race for the Cure), to educational and cultural events (like a beautiful Native American dance exhibition), you will always find something more than you expect.  Visit the Mall of America® events page to see what’s going on this week!

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