My family recently met up in Minneapolis for Thanksgiving at my sister's...how could we NOT check out the MOA while there?! I'm not a big shopper but this place has enough non-shopping stuff to keep the entire family occupied while waiting for those who do shop a lot. 1st off, we went on Black Friday, surely a sign of madness on our part if we wanted to avoid crowds, right? Wrong! Despite the packed parking garages, this place didn't get maddeningly cramped w/ people because it is H.U.G.E. So even when packed, the crowds aren't so bad (I'm from NYC, I know crowds). The amusement park and aquarium are great fun for those who don't want to shop, plus the park's point system (as opposed to paying 1 flat fee for the whole thing) lets people ride a few rides & go on; you don't feel like you have to spend your whole day there because you spent so much money for admission. Don't expect a 6 Flags or something, there are a few coasters that satisfy that urge, but it's more like a sampling of different attractions rather than a nonstop journey of big thrill rides. The aquarium is very cool. The store selection is vast for those who DO want to shop, there were definitely a few specialty stores that we don't have around here. Food/snack selection good throughout the mall. It's a bit tough getting a table in the food court but oh well, that's life. Because it was the holidays, they had some great musical performances going on throughout the mall; I don't know if they normally do that, but it was cool to see/hear. Not just a mall, a great destination for families if only a few people wanna shop!
Pros: Amusement park, aquarium, selection of stores, musical performances
Cons: Crowded parking, tough to get food court tables