Museum of Illusions opens at MOA for May


Jesse Belen

A roomful of disco balls in an exhibit at the Museum of Illusions at Mall of America. A great room to take photos with friends.

Jesse Belen

Do you have nothing better to do than sitting around doing nothing on a lonesome Saturday? Then look no further than the new Museum of Illusions at Mall of America, open only for the month of May. Invite your friends, have a relaxing time and treat yourself to something at Shake Shack afterwards. 

I went to the Museum of Illusions with two of my friends to keep me company and it was a pretty low-key day. After buying tickets online for $24 (around $28 including tax), I was expecting something spectacular that would blow my mind, and at first glance it did not disappoint. However, when exploring deeper, it felt boring and repetitive. 

Upon entering, you’re greeted with a minimalist-style reception to your right and a gift shop to your left. Naturally, I was drawn to the gift shop at first and it contained a few cool things. I wasn’t interested in buying anything myself, but it all looked nice enough. 

After my friends and I checked in, the staff informed us about the rules — nothing too strict, just basically no food in the museums. They offered lockers for us to put any stuff we might not want to have on us inside. They also encouraged us to take photos — which I did not hesitate to do. 

It was a self-guided walkthrough. There were some staff hanging around each area just in case we had any questions. The staff were super helpful and informative, multiple were eager to take photos for me and my friends while we posed together. But if you wanted to take photos yourself, in numerous stations there were stickers on the floor suggesting great spots for pictures. There were also stickers instructing you on the best spots to pose to get an optimal illusion result.

My friends and I spent a good 20 or 30 minutes in the museum before getting bored and wandering the rest of the mall for food. Everything just got a bit repetitive the farther I got and I felt like I’d already seen most of the illusions on my own on the internet or somewhere else. I probably would have had a blast if I was five years old. 

There were still some good qualities about the museum. There were a couple memorable stations, like a separate room where we were able to walk on a bridge (of sorts) and the illusion made us feel woozy. Some of the stations also allowed us to take great photos. We were able to take silly pictures of each other, or we could take astonishing pictures of a crazy-looking illusion. 

Another illusion I enjoyed was where one person could go inside a hidden box and poke their head out through a hole. Then, another person could stand next to the illusion of their friend’s head on a platter and pretend to eat them with giant utensils. There was also an illusion that made it look like you were hanging off of a building, which turned out to produce really cool pictures. 

Overall, I wouldn’t suggest going to the Museum of Illusions unless you’re bored and want something fun to experience with a couple of friends. Take a few pictures, buy something at the gift shop and continue your day. 

Museum of Illusions at MOA: ★★☆☆☆