• 3 Hours in Bloomington

Gucci at Mall of America.

Hour One: Knowing that you only have one hour to do some damage in Mall of America, the key word here is pace. You can’t see it all, but you can see a handful of highlights in the complex. First, stop in the center of the mall to see Nickelodeon Universe and have your photograph taken in front of one of the many sculptures throughout the theme park. Next, grab a cup of locally owned Caribou Coffee on the third floor and carry that with you as you stop at Moose Mountain Adventure Golf for a round of fast-paced miniature golf. Before you head out, stop into a Mall of America gift store to purchase a souvenir of your trip to the mall. If you prefer to forego the world’s largest indoor theme park and a round of mini golf, simply visit our Visitor’s Guide ahead of time and plot out your fastest shopping course (be sure to download the money-saving coupons found in the guide as well). Try to include the Mall’s newly remodeled South Avenue shopping in your trip for the latest designer stores, including Hugo Boss, Burberry, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman and Henri Bendel.

Hour Two: After enjoying the grandeur that only Mall of America offers, you’ll likely be hungry, so satisfy your appetite at the brand new Bloomington ChopHouse in the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel. Specializing in tender steaks, fresh seafood and attentive service, you will be able to sit back and take in the fresh atmosphere of this upscale restaurant. An extensive, but affordable, wine list is available for wine connoisseurs. Reservations can be made online.

Hour Three: Walk off the delicious meal you just enjoyed by visiting the wonders in Bloomington at the two-acre oasis of the Normandale Community College’s Japanese Gardens. Designed by a Japanese architect, guests will be able to view more than 300 Minnesota-hardy plants, shrubs and trees, including six flowering cherry trees and traditional key features of a Japanese garden. This beautiful sanctuary offers FREE admission and is open year round. Brochures for a self-guided tour are available.