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Bloomington, Minnesota, may be a small town in the shadow of two big cities (the Twin Cities to be precise), but it’s packed to the brim with entertainment. There are endless activities for families to enjoy, all within a few square miles, which means you and the kids don’t have to spend half your vacation driving around in a car! The Mall of America lies at the core of Bloomington’s tourist draw—and for good reason. The largest retail shopping mall in the nation has over 500 stores and more than 50 restaurants. It’s also home to Nickelodeon Universe, with more than 24 amusement park rides, and a 1.2-million gallon aquarium. Bloomington lies 10 miles south of the Twin Cities and right next door to the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport, so getting there is a cinch. And because the Mall of America is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the entire world, Bloomington offers a bevy of fantastic hotels to choose from. Here are our picks for the best kid-friendly places to stay in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Radisson Blu Mall of America has direct access via skyway to the Mall of America. You just take the elevator to the second floor of the hotel and walk right over to the mall—no lugging the kids in and out of the car! Beyond the convenience factor, the hotel offers a cool blue-lit lobby with lots of fun nooks and crannies for the kids to explore and an indoor saltwater pool that can be used year round.
While the nightly rates are a little on the higher side for hotels in Bloomington, the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America experience is worth the splurge. The kids can enjoy direct access to the mall and easy access to Nickelodeon Universe, and parents will be pretty thrilled with the deluxe bedding, not to mention craft cocktails at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Craft + Stone. Yes, there’s a pool.
There’s a reason Element Bloomington Mall of America is one of the highest rated in the area. This modern boutique hotel is clean, eco-friendly, and has the friendliest staff around. Families can enjoy free breakfast in the mornings and Netflix at night. The guestrooms have a chic apartment-style feel, complete with refrigerators and microwaves, making it easy to keep leftovers or have snacks on hand.
Once you check into the Great Wolf Lodge, the kids may not even want to go out and explore all the great activities Bloomington has to offer. This family-centered resort has an entire indoor waterpark onsite. In fact it’s the largest indoor waterpark in the state. Big kids will be enamored with Fort Mackenzie, the resort’s four story, splash-filled tree house, little ones will love the Cub Paw Pool with shallow waters and fun spray feature, and the whole family will enjoy a few trips around Crooked Creek lazy river. Back on land, the resort continues to amaze with elaborate log cabin-themed guest suites complete with bunk beds, camping murals, and lanterns on the wall. Great Wolf Lodge goes all out for families, so you’re sure to finish up your vacation with tired but very happy kids.
When you’re so close to one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in the country, you might want to keep your accommodations simple with a family-friendly, affordable hotel. TownPlace Suites is situated right across the street from the Mall of America and mere minutes from the airport. It’s an extended-stay hotel, so all suites are outfitted with full kitchens, allowing for easy and cheap at-home meals. If you do want to eat out, friendly staff will help point you in the right direction to one of the many great Bloomington restaurants withiin walking distance.
This new all-suite hotel in Bloomington offers free WiFi, free parking, and free breakfast—oh, and pets are allowed, too! With a fresh and modern interior, Home2 Suite will leave you happy to come home to a clean suite after a day exploring the Mall of America or Minnesota Zoo. Each suite includes a work space, living room area, and full kitchenette complete with a dishwasher. That’s right, a dishwasher! No need to hunch over the bathroom sink scrubbing kids’ dishes and bottles. Home2 Suites was designed with families in mind, and it’s central location means you can walk to most Bloomington restaurants and attractions.
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