BLACK is Back!

Ready. Set. Shop.

Most people have strong feelings on the craziest shopping day of the year – the ominously-titled, Black Friday. It’s almost always a love or hate thing. If you stand on the side of the lovers, make this the year that you make Burnsville and the surrounding area your holiday shopping haven. Read on to find out more about everything from quaint little shops to a luxury brand oasis.

(For the haters – plan to hit these hot spots on a calmer day. We think you deserve great shopping too.)


A true Black Fridian knows that a successful shopping day starts with great coffee and a killer breakfast. Luckily, both of these can be found in our fair City. Not only do we have 90+ fantastic dining spots – we are filled with interesting and unique shops. So, fuel up and start your shopping marathon at the following:

Abdallah Candies has been making amazing confections right here in Minnesota since 1909. This isn’t your normal candy store, with over 200 varieties of chocolates made on-site plus other homemade items like truffles, toffee, caramels, nut clusters, novelties gummies, gels and hard candy, you can pick and pack your own box to create the perfect gift. It’s giving made easy, and delicious!

Ficus & Fig is 3,000 square feet of unique home decor items, indulgent bath & body products and tons of perfect gifts for the toughest customers on your holiday shopping list.

Stop in to peruse an eclectic assortment of antiques at AntiQues Minnesota. You never know what treasures you might find!

Touch of Home Furnishings is a unique consignment store selling quality pre-owned items in a upscale retail environment. With a passion for recycling, reusing, and re-purposing merchandise, Touch of Home sells items like new salesman’s samples, Parade of Home furniture, estate items, gently-used furniture and decorative accessories. Looking for a unique gift that no one else carries? Find it here.

Burnsville Center boasts over 140 stores, including three department stores, 20+ delicious eateries, and four restaurants. With an array of retailers ranging from apparel for men, women and children, several novelty, candy and gift boutiques, furnishings and home décor, electronics, jewelry, antiques, shoes and much more; you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list.

Mall of America® is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, featuring 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore. IKEA is located across from Nordstrom at Mall of America®, offering more retail selections. If you cannot find the perfect gift here. Give up. Once your list is complete, relax and enjoy the numerous attractions, including:

Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest indoor amusement park with 24 spine-tingling rides, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway, A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation, LEGO®, Moose Mountain Adventure Golf and AMC Theatres 14 screens.

The new kid on the block, the Twin Cities Premium Outlets are located just five minutes from Burnsville. With more than 100 stores, including several that are new to Minnesota, you are bound to find what you’re searching for.

The complex’s unique and convenient racetrack design provides easy access to all stores, which include designer brands such as Cole Haan, Coach, Lucky Brand and Vera Bradley. Twin Cities Premium Outlets® is located near the intersection of Highway 13 and Highway 77 (Cedar Avenue) in Eagan.

Shoppers will enjoy savings of up to 65 percent at a variety of leading manufacturers of apparel, shoes, home goods, and more! Other amenities include covered walkways for enjoyable year-round outdoor shopping, a centrally located dining pavilion with indoor and outdoor seating available, and a cozy two-sided fireplace. The outlet mall offers stroller and wheelchair rentals, complimentary wifi and a full-service information desk where you can purchase a gift card, learn about the VIP Shopper Club or ask any questions you may have.

Meet the Shop Girls from Wisconsin

50 ladies. 40 years. Countless shops.

Marie Smith from LaCrosse, WI has been leading a fun-filled holiday shopping expedition for over 40 years. Year after year, this enthusiastic and focused group of ladies make Burnsville their home base to reach all their desired shopping destinations.

We spent a few minutes chatting with Marie regarding this annual event. Here’s what she had to say:

1) Tell me a little about your group and why you travel to Burnsville every November. How many ladies typically travel each year?

We’re a group of 45-55 women who travel to Burnsville every November to shop in the Twin Cities area. We usually take two charter buses but only one stays overnight. We typically visit Mall of America, Burnsville Center and the Albertville Outlet Mall while here and stay at the Prime Rate Inn in Burnsville.

2) How did your annual shopping trip get started? How many years have you been traveling?

About 40 years ago, I decided to get a group of gals together from the Franciscan-Skemp Medical Center where I worked and charter a bus to the Twin Cities area to do some holiday shopping in the BIG City! Shopping in LaCrosse at the time was not all that great.

3) Tell me about your inaugural shopping trip. Where did you go, what did you do or visit?

Our first trip was to downtown Minneapolis (Dayton’s & Southdale, etc.) I remember it cost $6.50 per seat on the bus. When the Burnsville Center opened we went downtown, Southdale and the Burnsville Center. One year after Mall of America opened we had seven busloads!

4) Tell me a little about what goes into planning a trip like this for a group your size?

It involves collecting the money from the group, calling the hotel for rooms, calling bus companies for the best price. For the last several years we have gone with Lamers Bus Co. of La Crosse. They are great to work with and have super drivers! They will drive us anywhere I tell them!

5) How many nights do you stay and what do you do each year?

We typically shop two days and stay one night. Day 1: Mall of America (some stay all day here), then downtown Minneapolis for a couple of hours then Southdale for a few hours. After Southdale, we head back to MOA until 9 p.m. After that, one bus heads back to La Crosse (the day shoppers) and the other bus heads to the Prime Rate Inn. Day 2: We head out to the Albertville Outlet Mall and for the second half of the day is spent at the Burnsville Center until 8:30 p.m. We all gather at Applebee’s in Burnsville and from there we head home.

6) Why do you choose to stay at the Prime Rate Inn in Burnsville?

We choose to stay at the Prime Rate Inn in Burnsville because of the friendliness of the staff. The first person I met there was a great gal named Kathy. The p.m. desk gal, Kim I think, is also super. The manager always welcomes us and is always very welcoming and friendly.

7) Are there any special activities/places/restaurants that you don’t miss from year to year?

Abdallah Candies in Burnsville, Kirklands, Applebee’s in Burnsville, Macy’s, Gordman’s, T.J. Maxx and, of course we always love the outlets! Many of the gals are bargain shoppers! We also always gather in the pool area at the hotel when we arrive at 9:30p.m. for cocktails. The staff keep the area open late for us which we appreciate!

8) Can you share a few highlights from past trips that you’d like to share.

Many of the gals that join us are well into their 80’s. The oldest was 91! A lot of the shoppers will bring their children. The youngest traveler we had was 15 months old – the baby was a trooper. She survived two days of shopping with mothers and grandmothers!

Sounds like a fun and productive two days of power shopping. All we can say is – shop on, ladies, shop on!