Splash into Spring Break with Foss Swim School: Water Park of America {Minnesota}

Our Gas Tank Getaways: Spring Break Edition is fueled by Foss Swim School.  Follow us all this week for splash-tastic ideas for your own Spring Break road trip. 

At Foss Swim School, they recognize that learning to swim is a life-saving skill, especially for vacationing families. The Foss program is structured to teach the fundamentals that lead to independence in the water.*  Parents of a Foss student can feel confident knowing their child has been taught the basics of water safety and are building skills towards becoming a strong, safe and confident swimmer.

* Swim instruction does not replace parental supervision. Please remain vigilant when enjoying the water with your family.

Water Park of America
Photo Courtesy of Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America

When my husband Chad mentioned he was intrigued by the Mall of America, I gently broke it to him that it’s just a giant mall…but he found a Groupon for the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America and we went anyway. Well, we were both in for a surprise because the Mall of America is actually more than just a giant mall. It was a perfect road trip getaway for our little family of four.

Besides tons of great shops and restaurants, we loved–I mean loooooooooved–Nickelodeon Universe, the amusement park in the middle of the mall. It was indoors so the weather outside didn’t matter a bit. It is all enclosed in one small space, which makes it easy to get to the rides without miles and miles of walking. And because of the limited space, the rides are quirky and adventurous. The Mall of America is also home to the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, mini-golf, movies, The Lego Store, and American Girl. But staying at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America made the trip even more amazing.

After spending time in the car to get up to Minnesota and then a few hours exploring the Mall of America, we were so ready to check into the Radisson Hotel Bloomington. The room was amazing. We stayed in a suite with a king bad, a sofa, and–wait for it–bunk beds! The kids thought that was so cool and were excited to climb in and play while Chad and I could lay down for a few minutes. But our few minutes of rest didn’t last long! Somehow, our kids are always ready to head to the pool just as soon as we get settled in. It didn’t help that we saw the slides on the outside of the hotel was we were pulling in. It looked awesome from the outside but our mouths dropped open when we saw what was inside.

Water Park of America
Photo Courtesy of Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America

The Water Park of America is Minnesota’s largest indoor water park. We started with the Lake Superior Wave Pool and then floated around in the lazy St. Croix River before the kids convinced us to head to the slides. I wish I knew how many steps we took climbing up to the top of the slides. There were so many options! Our favorite was definitely the Eagle’s Nest Family Raft Ride. The kids loved that we were able to all sit in one raft together. We were laughing all the way down every time on the mile-long ride.

There were also tube slides and body slides that were fun to race down. Our younger son wore a life jacket and was still able to go down the “big” slides. As soon as we climbed out of the pool, he wanted to go again! Besides slides, they also have Fort Snelling, a zero-depth activity pool with slides and water-splashing fun. We developed a system–our son would tell us which color slide he was going to go on, he would climb to the top, and we would walk around to the bottom and wait for him to come down. It worked out great, he could explore while we could make sure we knew where he was. Of course, older kids can have a little more free reign.

Photo Source: Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America
Photo Courtesy of Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America

Our older son discovered the Lake of the Woods activity pool and begged Chad to shoot hoops with him. Of course, he obliged and found he enjoyed the different hoops–there were quite a few of them, and they were spread out enough that lots of people could play at once. I had my eye on the Cascade Falls Flowrider® where people were trying to learn how to surf. I’ve always wanted to try to surf and this seemed like a great opportunity to try. We watched people take their turn…and wipe out. It was inevitable. Some were able to keep the board straight for a while but the transition from lying down to standing on the board seemed really hard. I had a tankini on and decided I didn’t need to risk losing my bathing suit so I decided it would have to wait until next time! Note to self: bring a one-piece next time.

Photo Source: Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America
Photo Courtesy of Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America

We have such great memories from our Mall of America trip. I hope it won’t be long before we’re back again–and I can try the Flowrider®! We only stayed for two nights and three days, but we had a blast! By staying at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America, we were able to enjoy the water park when we weren’t at the Mall of America. I wouldn’t want to stay anywhere else. It made a road trip to “just a giant mall” an epic family vacation we’ll always remember.

Radisson Hotel Bloomington by Mall of America
1700 East American Blvd, Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 854-8700| Facebook

Water Park of America
Onsite at the Radisson Hotel Bloomington
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Foss Swim SchoolFoss Swim School offers a year-round program that is session-based by season and includes Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall sessions. Each session offers Weekly Swim Lessons, 4-Week Progress-Builder Swim Camps® and/or 2-Week Progress-Builder® Swim Camps. Each option is designed to give families, instructors, and most importantly, your swimmer a definable time to focus on swimming. Seasonal sessions are more effective than continuous programs and deliver predictable, quality results. Spring session starts on March 13th, registration is now open!

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