• Grandparents Itinerary

Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler at Nickelodeon Universe®, Courtesy Mall of America.

Day One: 9-10 a.m. Arrive at your Bloomington hotel just minutes away from Mall of America. Bloomington offers more than 40 hotels with exceptional accommodations to suit every visitor’s needs. With a complimentary shuttle offered to the Mall, grandparents arrive at the world’s premiere retail and entertainment complex with their grandchildren for a memory-filled day of entertainment, adventure, pampering, dining, constructing and shopping.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Begin your MOA adventure in Nickelodeon Universe, the first Nickelodeon-themed amusement park in the world. Spread across seven acres in the center of the Mall, Nickelodeon Universe is a child’s paradise ... indoors. Grab an unlimited wristband and hop on nearly 30 rides and attractions for all ages and courage levels. Spiral and turn on SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, reach new heights on the Ghostly Gangplank, swing skyward into mutant mayhem on Shredder’s Mutant Masher, or take flight on the Barnacle Blast zip line, the longest indoor zip line in North America. Little ones can swing with the Backyardigans, take a trip on Diego’s Rescue Rider, or fly high above the park in the Bubble Guppies Guppy Bubbler. Once you’ve had your fill of thrills, be sure to stop and have your photograph taken with Nickelodeon characters that appear daily in the theme park. Grandparents can also team up and help their grandchildren solve The Great Spatula Caper in the Adventure Universe Club. This in-park and online scavenger hunt experience has guests seeing Nickelodeon Universe in a whole new way. Pick up your adventure kit from the Nick store and use a map and your knowledge to help SpongeBob SquarePants solve The Great Spatula Caper. Earn achievements at the park and then continue your quest at home.

Next, stop into the 22,000-square-foot American Girl retail store. There you will delight in seeing the complete assortment of dolls, doll outfits, accessories and best-selling American Girl books. Be sure to pick up an incredibly delicious dessert in the Bistro.

To keep the excitement going inside the Mall, stop into the other must-see attractions. The LEGO Store lets kids play with the latest and greatest in Lego products, SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium gets the grandkids face-to-face with sharks and other sea creatures, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf entices kids to challenge their grandparents on the mini golf course, and colors come alive at Crayola Experience, where the young ones can name and wrap their own crayon or star in a coloring book page.

5-7 p.m. After all of the excitement around the Mall, enjoy a bite to eat at one of the 50-plus restaurants located on the third and fourth floors. Kid-friendly favorites include Twin City Grill, Hard Rock Cafe, Rainforest Cafe, and Tony Roma's.

Day Two: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Start your day by grabbing a seat on The Fit Tourist biking tour. Tour routes include downtown Minneapolis, the Chain of Lakes, and the Mississippi River. Take in the Twin Cities’ history and famous spots including Longfellow’s legendary Minnehaha Falls, the University of Minnesota campus, and Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

2-5 p.m. Once you’re back in Bloomington, head to the brand new SMAAASH USA on the Mall's fourth floor. The one-of-a-kind attraction features a dozen virtual reality games, plus sports simulators and an arcade. "America's Adrenaline Arena" is SMAAASH's first location in the United States, and is the preferred hangout for many of Minnesota's professional sports teams. For even more fun, head back down to Nickelodeon Universe and take a ride on FlyOver America, a flight simulator that soars over some of the USA's most breathtaking landscapes.

6-7:30 p.m. For a Southern-inspired dinner, hunker down in a cozy booth in the ever-popular Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and enjoy what Bubba himself prided himself on, SHRIMP! But, don’t forget about the dixie-style baby back rib and scrumptious desserts. You better watch the movie before arriving for dinner, though, as the wait staff will try to stump you with Forrest Gump movie trivia.

Day Three: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Start your last day in the Twin Cities by visiting the Minnesota Zoo and view more than 4,700 animals in their natural habitats, including a lush tropical area, marine center, farm, boreal forest and tundra. The zoo is one of the nation’s largest and is home to over 445 different species of animals. Russia’s Grizzly Coast is a spectacular exhibit that represents one of the world’s last great wild places, the Russian Far East. Check out the grizzly bears, sea otters and Amur leopards and don’t miss the award-winning exhibit 3M Penguins of the African Coast. Grab a bite to eat in the Call of the Wild Food Court before you depart—and don’t forget that souvenir from the gift shop.

3 p.m.-5 p.m. Head back to Bloomington to take a relaxing walk through the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Try walking with a tour guide to find the more than 260 bird species in the 2,200-acre refuge. Some 121 birds are known to nest at the refuge, including eagles. This is a great place to see and learn about the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, plus the area wildlife and migrating water fowl. There is no better place to connect with your grandkids and reflect on how exciting your trip to Bloomington has been and the lifelong memories you have created together.