We did it! My family finally hit the rides at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The kids had a blast, my husband had a blast, and I recommend it to anyone passing through. There are certainly some perks for this indoor amusement park. You get to leave the sunscreen behind, parking is free and the rides are always open – no matter what the weather is.
Here are a few family tips for Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America.
1. Use a locker. These aren’t your fifty-cent roller-rink lockers. They are electronic, meaning they use a code rather than a key. Expect to pay $5-7 for a locker (yes, pricey) but it’s worth it, especially during the winter months when you have a ton of gear.
2. Bracelet or tickets? The choice is yours, but if you are going to the mall and just hit a few rides, the per-ride tickets are the way to go. If your family is there for one thing, the rides, opt for the bracelet and ride your heart out.
3. Ensure the family meets height requirements. The employees will check your child’s height, so don’t try to sneak your 41-inch-tall child on a 42-inch ride. It’s only wasting your time because they won’t be allowed on the ride.
4. Food. Just like your normal outdoor theme parks, you can feed your family at the various snack stands. We grabbed a bag of reasonably priced popcorn, but another food cart had Dots, the ice bream balls, and I saw fried cheese curds on a long list of typical park foods. However, if you need to sit down and relax for a bit, behind the Lego store is an elevator. Take that up to the third floor and you will find the food court with a huge assortment of choices.
5. Bring your camera. There are colored “spots” throughout Nickelodeon Universe which offer a meet and greet with Nickelodeon characters. On our most recent trip we saw Dora, Diego, Sponge Bob and Patrick. The employees take digital photos which you may view and purchase, but the great thing is they also urge parent to take their own photos with their own cameras/phones.
6. Stay in a local hotel. Not long ago I stayed in the nearby Country Inn and Suites, the closest hotel to the Mall of America. If you need to go back to your room for a bit, perhaps you have a toddler who naps, the hotel is only a shuttle ride away. You can always return when refreshed.
Do you have any family tips for Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America? If so, we’d love to hear them.