Beth Blair, author of The Unofficial Guide to Mall of America, has visited MOA to check on how the Mall of America celebrates the holidays. Here is her report.
While Christmas at Mall of America is going to be very different this year, Mall of America celebrates the holidays nevertheless. In mid-November Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, gyms, and children’s sports and activities. The closure dates, for now, are through Friday, Dec. 18th.
This decision greatly impacts Mall of America, as all entertainment venues, including Nickelodeon Universe, are closed. The good news is that retailers are still open, storefronts are decorated festively for the season, and the annual Holiday Rewards program is active with a new spin this year.
Year after year, excitement builds as shoppers await Mall of America’s vibrant holiday decorations. This year that part is no different. The annual giant Christmas trees have returned to the TCF Rotunda on the west side of the mall. Oversize nutcrackers greet guests throughout the mall and make for fun photo ops.
In the North Atrium a holiday display includes an oversize jack-in-the-box, nutcrackers, and more. In the Nordstrom Court are giant Christmas ornaments hanging overhead and adorning the water fountains.
Shoppers will be happy to learn Mall of America’ Holiday Rewards program is back this year. Now through January 1, 2021, shoppers earn rewards when spending a minimum of $150 (in the past, the minimum amount was $250). Shoppers can submit their receipts via the Mall of America or Ziploop Apps to choose a qualifying reward.
- Nickelodeon Universe 2-hour unlimited ride wristband
- Moose Mountain Adventure Golf tickets
- Rock of Ages Blacklight Mini Golf tickets
- XD Ride all-day adventure wristband
- Crayola Experience tickets
- Donate earned rewards to a nonprofit community partner
The Santa Experience worked hard to create a safe, no-contact, in-person experience at Santa’s cabin. However, due to the shutdown, all in-person Santa visits were canceled. Fortunately, the world of technology is allowing children to have their visits with Santa virtually from the comfort of their own homes. You may learn more and sign up here.
Because restaurants and bars may not service dine-in customers, some restaurants and food court tenants have opted to offer meals for takeout and delivery; however, the food cannot be consumed on MOA property.
Entertainment Temporarily Closed
The entertainment venues have been forced to close their doors. While many of these venues have pre-sold tickets or offer annual passes, these businesses are extending expiration dates and making accommodations to ensure visitors are not penalized. If you have any concerns, visit the venue’s websites for descriptions of reopening plans and extended expiration dates.
- The Santa Experience
- Nickelodeon Universe
- FlyOver America
- Moose Mountain Adventure
- Rock of Ages Blacklight Mini Golf
- XD Ride
- Crayola Experience
- Sea Life
- Experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
While this year is so different from any other Yuletide we have experienced, the Christmas spirit is still alive and well at Mall of America. A few perks for visiting in 2020: parking is widely available, the stores and shops are happy to greet customers, and, while you may have to wait in line at some stores to enter, the spaciousness is wonderful. Don’t forget to save your receipts! Before visiting, make sure to check the Mall of America website for updates on closures and reopenings.