We’re Going To The Mall

Family vacation.  I don’t think I have ever.  EVER… been on a real family vacation (going to the Feast of Tabernacles as a kid, doesn’t count since we had to attend church every day).  So I’ve made it a point to plan one this year.  We went back and forth between Disney, Vegas, New York and believe it or not Minnesota.  We finally agreed on Minnesota.  What the hell is in Minnesota?  Only the biggest mall in the US – Mall of America.

I never would’ve thought that I’d be planning a family vacation around a mall, yet here I am.   The more I plan activities (and surprisingly enough, there’s actually a lot to do in and around the Mall), the happier I am with the decision.  So what on earth made us choose going to the mall for vacation?

Four factors played a part in our decision.  Maybe some of this stuff will help you when planning your next family vacation.  Or maybe you’ve got some tips you’d like to share.  I’d love to hear them. 🙂

  • When.  Kim and I have a few little road trips planned this summer and then there’s always summer camp for Jacob.  and June was the best time for all of us.  We decided on June, but that also means heat and lots of it.  We also had to figure out how much time we had for this vacation.  Since Kim and I do have other plans this summer separately, we couldn’t take off a lot of time – someone has to work.  Our trip this year – ten days – that includes four days of traveling at a very leisurely pace.
  • Something for everyone.

Kim – total geek, doesn’t like to ride the rides, an old fart who thinks he’s funny (I think so too.  Maybe), definitely not the outdoorsy type.

Lauren – full of energy, and as long as she’s got money in her pocket, she’ll have fun anywhere.

Jacob – scared half to death when trying new things, but always ends up having fun when he’s pushed into something new.

Me – well, I love it all.  If I had it completely my way, we’d all just go camping and plan a lot of outdoor activities.  But I just can’t see Kim in a kayak.  It’s okay.  This is supposed to be fun for the entire family.  I’ve got my own stuff planned later this summer.

  • Location.  Wherever we went was going to have to be drivable.  No way on earth you’re going to get me to step foot in an airport only to wait and be scanned and searched and deal with poopy-heads (family included).  Besides, why spend the money on plane tickets when we can drive for a fraction of the cost?  Anyway, it had to be within a couple days drive.  We might have been able to go with Vegas, only the traveling time was longer than the actual time we would’ve spent there.
  • Money.  What can I say?  We’re cheap.  Our budget for this whole thing is $2000 – $2500.  That’s it.  I mean for everything, hotel, food, activities, and of course some shopping.  Ten days and four people.  Which is why Disney got knocked off our list, as was New York.

There ya have it.  That’s how we chose our vacation destination this year.  But now, what are we going to do?  I hate the thought of getting there and then all of us sitting around for an hour or two each day, trying to decide or arguing about what we’re going to do for the day.  So I plan.  And what kind of activities do we have planned for our vacation this year?  Well, I figured we’d focus on one or two major activities.  Nothing is really set in stone.  Although I have purchased advanced tickets for a couple of things, but no set times.  I think this all makes for a good guideline.

What do you think?  This is my first time doing this so I can use all the tips I can get.  Next year it will only be three of us since Lauren will probably be out of the house.  Ya think we can pull this off and still have a pretty good vacation?  Oh and if you haven’t taken a look at Mall of America, check it out.  There really is quite a bit to do.

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8 thoughts on “We’re Going To The Mall

    • Don’t forget there’s that interactive D&D like game that you can and Jacob can play, and of course the House of Comedy, and that flight simulator thingie. You’ll have a good time.

  1. that sounds really fun Marianne! I hope you guys enjoy it you definitely deserve it! I can’t wait to see all the pictures and here about the “road trip”! You guys are all great and I have no doubt youd make fun wherever you ended up 🙂

    • Shoot! I am awful with pictures. I think we all know this already. But I will give it a try this year, to actually take a camera with us and remember to take lots of pictures.

  2. I went there about 13 years ago, I dont remember for sure when. Now it was just my late wife and I and she was a shopaholic. Since we flew there and did not want to spend money on car rental we staryed at a hotel that provided free shuttle every 15 min to and from the mall. Then in the evening one day we too a free bus ride from the hotel to a casino that was on an indian reservation. We were only there 3 days so we didnt have alot of time and it took most of that time just to see all the stores.

    • I love the thought of having the car so we can just get up and go whenever we feel like it. I also forgot to mention that we don’t have to pay for any of the gas, which is always a very cool thing. I definitely went cheap with choosing a hotel 3mi. away from the Mall and it cut the cost more than half – unbelievable! I was thinking about the casino too, but Kim just found out about a casino on an Indian reservation located about an hour or so away. We might check that out for my birthday.

  3. Sounds like you have all the bases covered. Just remember there will be things there that you didn’t know were there and you will want to see them! I’ve never been there, but I have a friend who has and she said it was fascinating! Be sure to get each person to get a souvenir they will treasure for the rest of their life. It can be something you buy, but doesn’t have to be. It can also be a pretty rock you find on a pathway somewhere. Just something that will remind them of the trip forever. You are wise to decide to drive and not fly because you will see more and have more fun driving — at least I always do. For me, the drive is half the fun. Just have a good time and then come back and tell us all about it. I’m excited for all of you! Be sure to stop and take in some of the sights along the way.

    • We won’t forget the souvenirs. 🙂 Our halfway point in around St. Louis. I was thinking about going on a cruise tour around the arch and spending the night there.

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