Generally considered to be the largest mall in the United States, the Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. In reality, the mall, also known as MoA and the MegaMall, is the largest U.S. shopping mall in terms of entire floor space, and the second largest in terms of retail space. It features over 500 retail stores arranged on three stories. A planned expansion of the Mall of America will add up to another 400 stores.
Opened in 1992, the Mall of America was built on the former site of Metropolitan Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins until 1982 when the teams left for a new home at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. To acknowledge the history of the site, the Mall has two memorials - a plaque in the amusement park and a seat from the original stadium, which is placed in the exact location it occupied there. The seat commemorates the 1967 home run by Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
The Mall was built in partnership with a number of groups including Melvin Simon and Associates, TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity) and the Triple Five Group, which continues to own and operate the mall today. In addition to the 520 stores, the Mall of America includes a full size amusement park, a 300 foot long aquarium, a 14 screen movie theater and flight simulators.
Nickelodeon Universe is the largest indoor amusement park in the United States. It opened on March 15, 2008, taking the place of Camp Snoopy, which had been part of the Mall of America since 1992. It has also been called Knotts' Camp Snoopy and The Park at MOA. Nickelodeon Universe is free to enter, but the rides and attractions require purchased tickets for admission. Day passes and season passes are also available. Rides range from kiddie-themed rides like Diego's Rescue Rider to thrill rides that include the Pepsi Orange Streak and the Fairly Odd Coaster.
Also located at the Mall of America, the Underwater Adventures Aquarium is a 14 feet deep aquarium bisected by a 300 foot long tunnel. In addition to the underwater tunnel, the Aquarium features a number of exhibits that allow visitors to explore various underwater and shore ecosystems. Underwater Adventures is open daily on a varying schedule, and offers educational tours as well as special events. It can be booked for birthday parties and meetings, and offers special behind the scenes tours by reservation.
The Mall of America features four main anchor stores and four "junior anchors''. The main anchor stores are Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Nordstrom and Sears. They are buttressed by Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, DSW Warehouse and Marshall's. The mall includes more than 500 other stores, including the newly opened American Girl store. The range of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities available at the Mall of America have made the MoA a tourist destination in and of itself. There are shuttles available to the mall from downtown, as well as from the airport, and it is well serviced by public transportation.
The Mall is open daily from 10 am to 9:30 pm, and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays. Nickelodeon Universe and other attractions have their own opening and closing hours.