One thing to think about... The IKEA Store is right next to Mall of America. There are some pretty amazing things about it.
Also...Water Park of America pretty much across from there. I've never been inside, but I hear it's a great time! The have a FlowRider surf simulator that is a pretty hot attraction from what I'm told. If you come from afar and have family, I would say it's a great place to stay and have fun/relax.
Parking isn't too bad once you figure out the lanes and roads getting in and out from 494. I haven't been to the mall for some time, but it is definately worth the trip. I've taken relatives from all over the US to it when they are in town. The people watching is awesome
Since everyone has given good reviews. I'm going to point out some bad things. If you go on a weekend expect to see a lot of people. The mall does about a hundred thousand people on a peak day. The cleaning crew is less than energetic. So expect to see spots that are just plain dirty. The stores are not all that impressive as of late. The economy has caused some to leave. There are quite a few repeat stores that I would never go into. Since Camp Snoopy left I haven't set foot into the theme park.
If you were to graph the appeal of the mall from year to year. I would say that right now it's at the bottom of the graph. There just isn't a wow factor with the mall anymore.
The attractions are pretty fun - Amusement Park, Lego Land etc.
They have some nice restaurants.
The stores. . .it's a giant American mall. Don't expect an international Bazaar of the exotic and the macabre. Expect a Limited. And an A&F. And another Limited. And a knickknack store. And a Limited Men's. And another Limited. Just kidding, but they do have many repeat stores, especially clothing stores. They have enough random stores to keep in interesting, I suppose, just don't expect it to be something it's not.
Regardless of what you do, if you go there to have fun it will cost you, so be mentally prepared to part with some of your green.
There is one new ride that lasts about 20 seconds that will blow your mind. Many others give your moneys worth if you like roller coasters. I belong to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and have ridden lots of them.
A visit to MOA without trying the choclolate cake at TucciBenucch is a wasted trip. Without a doubt the best cake in the WORLD!!!