It may feel a bit like Black Friday this weekend at the Mall of America.
The Bloomington megamall expects big crowds on Saturday and Sunday as Muslims around the Twin Cities celebrate the end of Ramadan, a monthlong period in which followers fast from sunrise to sunset.
Eid al-Fitr, which begins Saturday night, marks the end of the holy month.
In the day or two leading up to Eid, many families go shopping to pick up gifts for children. And when Eid arrives and the fasting is over, places like the Mall of America as well as the Original Pancake House and Chuck E. Cheese have become popular destinations for families.
As a result, the megamall, as it has in recent years, is putting its parental escort policy into place all weekend as it does on Black Friday and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The mall normally requires people under 16 to be accompanied by an adult 21 or older after 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. But this weekend, the policy is in effect all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“When we have an extended period of time like this with higher traffic we often proactively implement” the parental escort policy, a spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
MOA is a popular place for families not only because it’s the biggest mall in the U.S. with more than 500 stores and restaurants, but also because of its indoor amusement park and aquarium.
The mall, which draws more than 40 million visitors a year, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.