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More than just one of the biggest malls in America, the American Dream Mall is an entertainment destination. Its combination of theme parks, rides, and attractions make it one of the most fun places to stop by – no matter what time of year it is.
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Located at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey – which is a quick bus ride from Manhattan – the American Dream Mall is one of the area’s must-visit attractions. From surfing to snowboarding, and water parks to roller coasters, there’s fun to be had for the whole family.
To help you get started planning your next trip to the American Dream Mall, we’re sharing an overview of the parks and attractions you’ve got to see, the best stores, as well as all our top recommendations for visitors.
The American Dream Mall is waiting, so let’s get right to it!
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Parks at the American Dream Mall
More than half of the giant complex is dedicated to entertainment. So even if you don’t care for shopping, there’s plenty for you to do here. The American Dream Mall has a number of indoor theme parks that are sure to provide a full day of fun!
1. DreamWorks Water Park
Prepare to enter the splash zone at the DreamWorks Water Park. With one of the largest selection of water slides in the world, including faithful recreations of your DreamWorks favorites like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek, DreamWorks Water Park is a day of fun for the whole family. And thanks to its 81°F climate all year long, it’s always a pleasant place to stop by!
Click here to get your American Dream Mall Water Park tickets.
My tip: Here you find everything you need to know about the American Dream Mall Water Park (including the best ticket options!).
2. Nickelodeon Indoor Theme Park
Get your tickets now to enjoy one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks at Nickelodeon Universe. With rollercoasters, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, a slime zone, and more, this park is filled with fun and funky adventures.
Plus, kids will love the live character entertainment with their favorites like SpongeBob, Blue, Dora, and more.
My tip: Here you find everything you need to know about the American Dream Mall Nickelodeon Universe (including the best ticket options!).
3. Big Snow Park
Make today a snow day at Big Snow, North America’s only indoor year-round ski and snow resort. Whether you’re into snowboarding, skiing, or snowballs, there’s wintery fun to be had without making the long trek to the mountains.
Big Snow is the place to be for an accessible, fun snow park for everyone, whether you’re a beginner who is just getting hang of the bunny hills or an expert looking to hit the slopes and show off their newest tricks.
Attractions at the American Dream Mall
If you’re looking for the best attractions at the American Dream Mall, take a look at this list. Combine a few of your favorites for a fun-filled afternoon and evening!
1. Angry Birds Mini Golf
Take part in the age-old struggle of birds versus pigs in this miniature golf version of the all-time classic app, Angry Birds. Over this 18-hole indoor miniature golf course, you’ll get to experience the greens like you never have before with tons of inventive fun, creative challenges, and cute photo opportunities.
You can get your tickets for Angry Birds Mini Golf here.
2. Blacklight Mini Golf
This isn’t your grandfather’s golf course! Head over to Blacklight Mini Golf for an out-of-this world mini golf adventure. Leave behind the greens and head to a new galaxy of blacklight-infused alien worlds.
Over 18 holes of glowing fun, you’ll putt alongside cool sculptures, instagrammable backdrops, and perfectly themed music.
Buy tickets for your own Blacklight Mini Golf adventure here!
3. Dream Wheel
If you’re looking for one of the coolest places to see the Manhattan skyline, head straight for the Dream Wheel. Take your seat in one of 27 climate-controlled gondolas and enjoy expansive views of the Hudson river, New York, and more. The ride lasts up to 30 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to snap the perfect photo.
Book your ticket for the Dream Wheel here.
4. LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. The ideal playspot for kids ages 3-10, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center has an interactive ride, play zones, and even a 4D cinema.
From Miniland, the LEGO recreation of NYC and NJ made with 1.5 million bricks to the lifesize Ninjago characters, this LEGO playground is sure to be a highlight.
Get your ticket to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center here!
5. Mirror Maze
Think you know which way to go? The Mirror Maze will have you looking left, right, and straight back at yourself as you navigate a twisting, turning labyrinth filled with neon lights and confusing corridors.
The perfect adventure for friends and family, you’ll have tons of chances to pose for a group selfie along the way!
6. SEA LIFE Aquarium
Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle and dive into the underwater world with the SEA LIFE Aquarium. This aquarium features 10 large exhibits with more than 1,000 swimming creatures, including an ocean tunnel.
To make it even more fun, all of these crustaceans, fish, sharks, and more are swimming around NYC-themed exhibits. You’ll have to “sea” it to believe it!
Get your tickets for the SEA LIFE Aquarium now!
7. TILT Museum
There’s no filter needed at the inventive, photo-friendly TiLT A Tracy Lee Stum Museum. Designed by world-renowned urban artist Tracy Stum, this adventure is filled with immersive art that will change your perspective, engage your senses, and set you and the family up for some of your all-time favorite photos.
Get your tickets to the TILT Museum here!
8. The Rink
Slip, slide, and glide across The Rink, American Dream’s NHL regulation size ice rink. From daily ice skating to learn-to-play programs for budding hockey fans, The Rink is the area’s go-to spot for icy fun. You can even host your own hockey game or league! While you’re in town, don’t forget to check out a Metropolitan Riveters’ game!
9. Skudin Surf
Hang 10 at the world’s only indoor surfing wave pool! Skudin Surf is the perfect wave experience for beginners and seasoned pros alike.
Enjoy a range of wave types – from beginner-friendly to advanced, high-performance waves – as well as your choice of more than 50 different surfboards, including shortboards, longboards, bodyboards and more.
10. The Escape Game
With only an hour on the clock, can you keep your wits about you and find your way out? As New Jersey’s #1 escape room, the Escape Game is an immersive adventure that’ll put you and your friends smack-dab in the middle of an epic story and real-life mystery. You’ll have to work together as a team to find the clues, solve the puzzle, and escape!
To book your tickets for The Escape Game you can click here!
11. Legends of the Hidden Temple Ropes Course Challenge
Do you think you have what it takes to take on the world’s tallest rope course? The gauntlet is thrown, and the challenge awaits at the American Dream Mall.
With nine limit-pushing levels, the Legends of the Hidden Temple Ropes Course Challenge is an adventure that the whole family will be excited to try – and to triumph!
12. Blast 7D
Leave three dimensions behind and immerse yourself in BLAST 7D, a virtual reality roller coaster experience unlike anything you’ve gone on before. This fun, competitive ride will put you in a number of different worlds, including the Wild West, a zombie apocalypse, werewolf-infested London, and New York during a monster attack.
Pick the ride of your choice, and go have a blast!
13. Metropolitan Riveters
Come to the rink at the American Dream to support our hometown heroines, the Metropolitan Riveters. The Metropolitan Riveters are the local professional women’s ice hockey team, and a visit to cheer them on means more than just watching a great game.
The team also hangs out after each game to meet fans, sign autographs, and take photos!
14. Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
See one of the art world’s most famous painters in a whole new light with Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.
Take in the iconic “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” “Café Terrace at Night,” and more than 300 other pieces in this impressive artistic show that uses cutting-edge projection technology and over 30,000 square feet to show you these masterpieces like never before.
15. Geoffrey’s Express
All aboard! The next train for fun departs from the American Dream Mall… now! With Geoffrey’s Express, the whole family will be feeling like a kid again with this charming train ride around Level 2.
You’ll start from Toys “R” Us and IT’SUGAR, head toward the Angry Birds Mini Golf overlook, then past American Dream stores and restaurants before heading back to the starting point. Book your ticket today!
Our Top Recommendations for Visitors
Best attractions for children
Best attractions for teens
Best attractions for adults
Of course these are only recommendations! You can enjoy the attractions and parks with the whole family. The roller coasters at Nickelodeon Indoor Theme Park or the water slides at Dreamworks Water Park are great fun for adults, teens and kids alike!
Shops at American Dream
The American Dream Mall hosts over 450 stores, from popular stores to high-end brands. No matter what you are looking for, you are most likely to find it here. Naturally, there is a proportional number of dining options for you to refuel during your exhausting shopping spree. Here is a list of just a few stores you’re able to shop at in the American Dream Mall.
- Dolce & Gabbana
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Tiffany & Co.
Do not come here to shop on a Sunday!
The American Dream Mall is located in Bergen County, one of the few remaining counties with the so-called blue law. The blue law limit shopping on Sundays, meaning that retail stores will remain closed that day of the week. Everything else inside the entertainment complex will be open as usual.
My tip: check out my complete guide to American Dream Mall stores.
Getting to the American Dream in East Rutherford
There certainly isn’t enough space in New York City for a mall this size. That’s why you can find it about 5 miles outside the city, on the other side of the Hudson in New Jersey. The mall is located in East Rutherford not far from Metlife Stadium. If you’ve been to Metlife Stadium or the closeby Garden State Plaza Mall you will know that the area isn’t too difficult to get to from Manhattan. Due to the vast amount of expected visitors, however, the American Dream Mall will organize additional shuttle transportation for its visitors.
By public transportation
American Dream has an NJ Transit bus hub and station on-site, making it easy for you to get there by bus or by train. There is also a shuttle operating from the NY Waterway ferry in Weehawken to get you to the mall. A combo ticket for the ferry and shuttle from Manhattan to American Dream costs $16. You can purchase your tickets in advance.
- free connecting shuttles in Manhattan to St. Ferry Terminal
- ferry from Midtown Manhattan to Port Imperial in Weehawken (8 minutes)
- shuttle service from Port Imperial to American Dream (20 minutes)
The American Dream Mall is located off Route 3, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Route 120. With 150,000 expected visitors on busy days, the mall is predicted to add major traffic jams to the area that already experiences heavy traffic during rush hours and on days with sports events in Metlife Stadium. With these concerns in mind, getting there by car may be the least favored option to get there if the expected visitor number will be realized.
If you do decide to take a car, know that the American Dream Mall offers various parking options for all guests. The first 30 minutes are free, after that parking is $5 per vehicle.
We strongly recommend that you use public transport!
Hotels near American Dream Mall
You want to stay in a hotel close to the American Dream Mall? We made a list with some of the best hotels in this area. Here are just some examples:
1. The Best Western Premier NYC Gateway Hotel
This is by far the most highly rated hotel near the American Dream Mall and MetLife Stadium. The rooms are spacious, modern, and beautifully decorated and it’s easy to get to Manhattan from here.
2. The Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel
This hotel is in a great location and the nice and stylish rooms will make you feel like home.
3. SpringHill Suites by Marriot East Rutherford
This hotel is perfect for families since the modern rooms can accommodate up to six people. Also, the MetLife Stadium is within walking distance.
4. W Hoboken
This hotel is located directly at the Hudson River. In this stylish hotel you’re not only close to the American Dream Mall but you can also enjoy an amazing view of Manhattan.
5. Fairfield Inn by Marriot East Rutherford Meadowlands
This is a good yet affordable hotel close to the American Dream Mall. The relatively low prices even include breakfast, so you will be able to go shopping refreshed!
For the complete list of the best hotels near American Dream Mall click here!
Is it free to get into the American Dream Mall?
Yes, it is free to get into the American Dream Mall if you go there for shopping. If you want to visit the Water Park, the Snow Park or the Nickelodeon Indoor Theme Park you have to buy a ticket for enjoying the rides and attractions.
What is special about American Dream Mall?
The American Dream Mall is one of the most entertaining indoor locations in New Jersey or New York. Occupying over 3 million square feet and five floors, the American Dream Mall is more than just a great place to go shopping. It also has an indoor amusement park, water park, ski slope, and a wide range dining options.
Why is American Dream Mall closed on Sundays?
Though the attractions and rides at the American Dream Mall are open seven days a week, the stores at the mall are closed on Sunday. This is because of Bergen County’s Blue Laws, which restrict the sales of certain goods on Sundays, including clothing, furniture, appliances, and more.
How much does American Dream Mall cost?
Entering American Dream Mall is free. Access to Nickelodeon Universe, DreamWorks Water Park, and the Big Snow Park are all ticketed. You can buy the tickets online in advance.
What mall is bigger American Dream or Mall of America?
The Mall of America, located in Minnesota, is bigger than American Dream. At 5.6 million square feet and 520 stores, the Mall of America is the biggest shopping mall in the U.S.. American Dream is in second place at 3 million square feet and over 450 stores.
What is the most luxurious mall in USA?
The most luxurious mall in the USA may very well be The Shops At Crystals at CityCenter, Las Vegas. In addition to its fancy name, it is also the world’s largest LEED gold certified retail district, has the largest Louis Vuitton store in North America, and incredible glass sculptures.
What is the #1 mall in America?
The #1 mall in America is the Mall of America. It comes in first with regards to size (5.6 million square feet), stores (520), and overall visitors (more than 40 million visitors, which is more than Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World).
Why is the Mall of America so popular?
In addition to its sheer size and number of stores, the Mall of America is popular because of its attractions. From the 24 rides of Nickelodeon Universe to the 1.2 million gallon aquarium, the Mall of America is a must-see destination.
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!