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All About Mall of America

Sherry provides a feature of the Mall of America, an attraction nearby campus.

Sherry provides a feature of the Mall of America, an attraction nearby campus.

Do you know that the largest shopping mall in the U.S., the Mall of America, is located in the Twin Cities in Minnesota? Aside from 520 stores and 60 restaurants, the Mall of America also features dozens of fun attractions, including a movie theater, an indoor amusement park, and Minnesota’s largest aquarium. Best of all, it’s easily accessible via Northfield Lines and is only a 40-minute drive away from Carleton’s campus. For Carleton students, it’s practically a rite of passage to trek to MOA to shop for clothes, consume some good food, and ride a roller coaster—all in one place. I haven’t been there since last winter term. Before memories fade away, I’d like to document some of my favorite spots in MOA and give you a heads-up of your potentially favorite place in Minneapolis.

The front door of MOA

1. Clothes

First of all, as a shopping center, MOA has a large number of clothing stores and gives you abundant choices in fashion. You can also find department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom inside. Back in the first fall term, the school organized a day trip to MOA during the mid-term break for international students to help us get prepared for our first winter here. Shopping malls in Minnesota are indeed excellent places for getting winter clothes. Just on the first floor, you could find Northface, Columbia, and Canada Goose, full of thick jackets and winter accessories in shop windows. There is also H&M, Zara, and various sports brands like Nike, Athleta, and Lululemon. My friends and I stocked up on all we needed for winter in a single day.

2. Food

As a huge food lover, everywhere I go, my main objective is discovering the best food there. MOA also does a great job in catering. The options are diverse, ranging from American food to Japanese food, Mexican food, and pretty much everything you could imagine. You can basically get everything that’s not available at school. There’s a huge food court, which is often crowded on weekends or holidays. Just take a look at the pictures below. You will like this place.

Shake Shack
Even Panda Express is a treasure for us

3. Milktea

I always like to say that Northfield has everything for basic needs. The only thing it lacks is a good milk tea shop. Fortunately, there are several great milk tea shops in MOA. The boba milk tea and fruit tea that I dream of every day are easily attainable there. Last time, five of us finished ten cups of milk tea in a single day. Well, you can only blame Northfield for not having a good one.

Taking milk tea back to school
The happiest moment

4. Amusement Park

While shopping in MOA, you might hear people shouting loudly all the time. That’s from the roller coasters and other amusement park rides at the center of MOA. It’s unbelievable that such a huge amusement park is built inside a shopping mall. I haven’t tried any of the recreation facilities yet, but I’m ready to buy a full-day pass next time and spend all day there just for the rides.

To sum up, MOA is a great place you can go for fun outside of Northfield if you are relying on the Northfield Lines shuttle. Despite its indoor setting, it has everything you need. Every term, we look forward to spending a whole day in MOA. Studying in a rural setting, that’s our joy.

Merry-go-round at night (credit: Kai)
The aquarium

Sherry is a first-year student from Hangzhou, China, and holds a real passion for travel and food. She is thinking about majoring in Mathematics, but would also like to explore more in Economics, Computer Science, English, and French. Things she likes to do in her free time include hanging out with friends, taking photos, writing random stuff, and finding the funny in everyday life. She also got started with alpine skiing and is always ready for the trip to Welch Village every Friday! Meet the other bloggers!