MALL OF AMERICA HOLIDAY MERRIMENT

Mall of America's free, family friendly events spread holiday cheer and the spirit of giving

Photo by Tierney/Fotolia

By Lianna Matt

Mall of America is an expert at hosting events—hosting more than 400 free events every year—so naturally they know how to infuse the holiday season with magic and merriment.

Santa Claus is arriving at Mall of America with proper fanfare Nov. 9 in the Rotunda. Rosemount High School Marching Band, who will be featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, will be there to mark the occasion, and at the end of Santa’s greeting, he will be turning on the holiday lights in Nickelodeon Universe. Families can help prepare the Mall for Santa’s arrival from 5:30-6:30 p.m. by participating in holiday activities with face painting, balloon sculptors and treats. Although he might not stay the whole night at the Mall, he’ll be back; after all, it’s the right time of the year for Santa Land to make its magical appearance again.

Toddler Tuesdays are also embracing the season. Show your little one the magic of Christmas during “The Polar Express” story time Dec. 9. After munching on popcorn and sipping hot chocolate, your tots can even take home their own bell to remind themselves of the spirit of Christmas. Then on Dec. 19, they can meet the famous Grinch who (almost) stole Christmas, listen to the Dr. Seuss story and make a holiday craft.

Other holiday events at Mall of America highlight the spirit of giving and love, such as the WCCO Union Gospel Mission Radiothon (Nov. 14); Pinky Swear All-Star Letter Writing Lounge (Nov. 24-Dec. 8), where you can write holiday greetings to children with cancer and their families; and the “KS95 for Kids” Radiothon and the fifth annual “Clouds” Choir for a Cause (Dec. 15). As always, the Salvation Army bell ringers will be outside the Mall from Nov. 19-Dec. 23, and on Nov. 17 you can be part of their massive kick off in the Rotunda with the Salvation Army Big Brass Blast and hundreds of local brass players.

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