If you are looking for an affordable kid and adult friendly trip, I highly suggest the Mall of America. Not only does it have shopping for adults but it has tons of stuff to do for kids including an indoor theme park and aquarium.
Who to Fly
To fly to Minneapolis, MN I booked two tickets on the airline Spirit. This airline has a lot of bad reviews but is crazy affordable. A round trip ticket cost about $100. Which was not bad, the down side is that the $100 does not include a carry-on luggage or to check your bag. I had to pay $45 each way for each bag for me and my son’s carry-on bag. Which I really could have just flew a normal airline, since carry-on bags at other airlines are normally free. The airline does not give you any snacks unless you want to pay for them, no TV, no Wi-Fi, and the seats were really thin.
The service on the airline was not bad the crew was really friendly. The airline does allow one free personal item such as a book bag. So if you can manage to fit all of your travel items in a book bag or tote bag then you can avoid luggage cost and reap the reward of a cheap ticket.
Where We Stayed.
Getting a hotel near the Mall of American can be quite pricey. We chose to stay in the Quality Inn and Suites, which was about $85 per night. The positive side of this hotel is that it is affordable and it has a free shuttle that will take you to and from the Mall of America and a shuttle to and from the airport. It also has a free hot breakfast which cut down the cost of eating out. Right next door to the hotel is a Denny’s AND a full size bar in a separate area, which is a good eating option or drinking options for adults. In addition, there is a Walmart next to the hotel as well for any items you might need to pick up or snacks for the room.
Where we went
This water park is in the Radisson hotel. We actually walked to the water park from the hotel we were staying at. It was about a 15 minute walk. You can get half day admission or all day admission. We end up getting the half day admission, 11am-4pm. You can complete everything that you need to do in that time frame. The cost for a half day ticket is $33. However, we ended up getting a Groupon deal for way less than that since it was 6 of us going. We probably spent about $12 per person. So I suggest you check their website or Groupon for deals on this water park. The park has a few slides, a pool, a kids play area, Jacuzzi, lazy river, wave pool, and a surfing machine. For food there was a Dairy Queen. I suggest bringing your own lunch as the Dairy Queen was very packed and it took about an hour to get our food, even though it is a fast food place. They also have locker rentals for $10. You really do not need them as there are plenty of places to put your things and people will more than likely not bother them, especially if one person sits with the belongings.
Sea Life is the aquarium in the Mall of America. I ended up getting a joint Sea Life ticket with a Nick Universe ticket. This totaled $45.99 for entrance to both. Sea Life is a wonderful indoor aquarium and it is a very interactive experience for kids. You can check out my son’s video below for more in detail footage on Sea Life.
The combo ticket for sea life and Nick Universe, meant that you get an all-day pass for unlimited rides at the indoor theme park. My son is 8 and he was able to get on all the rides, including 3 roller coasters. For this to be an indoor theme park they have a lot of rides for it to be an indoor park. You will not be disappointed. We chose to go on a week day and so the lines were not long. We never waited over 10 minutes for a ride.
This is in Nick Universe, but is a separate ticket. It cost $15.99. Dutchman’s deck is a full obstacle course and includes a zip lining option as well. My son was able to do the zip line and the obstacle course. You have to be 48 inches to get on the ride and wear closed toe shoes.
This was another Groupon deal that with six people it came out to about $4 per person. This was so fun and a good maze that would really get you confused. I thought I was following my son and ended up running into a mirror. Without the Groupon the regular ticket price is $8.95.
For food, my son and I went to Hard Rock which was by Nick Universe. It was not packed due to it being a week day, but they had good décor and music playing on the monitor. The kid’s meal was $6.95 so it is an affordable option.
Check out My Son’s Video for More on Our Trip