Mall of America is taking Thanksgiving and Black Friday off, kinda

A rainbow of possibilities!

A rainbow of possibilities!

Last year, the Mall of America gave many of its 15,000-plus employees time off on Thanksgiving. This year, they're expanding plans into Black Friday.

This morning, MOA announced that it will continue to give many of its employees the day off during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and those that do work on the biggest shopping day of the year will be paid holiday rates.

“After much consideration, we are happy to share that Black Friday will be treated as a ‘seventh holiday’ in our calendar year," states the release and an employee email from executive vice president Rich Hoge and senior vice president Jill Renslow. "As the busiest day in the retail industry, we believe Mall of America employees dedicating their time on Black Friday should be rewarded with holiday pay.”

This doesn't mean more holiday time or pay for the thousands of employees working at the hundreds of shops inside the building, however. Stores, restaurants, and other attractions will stay open or close at management's discretion.

There's still going to be things happening inside the mall, too. On Thanksgiving, feel-good event Walk to End Hunger will see crowds making their way through the mall for a good cause: getting millions of meals to those in need. Then, another form of consumption will begin, as Black Friday will kick off at the hardcore runner/medical staff/still up and drunk hour of 5 a.m. The first 200 shoppers will be handed gift cards ranging from $10 to $500.

The Mall has also teased other treats for employees to be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tunes, and check in on which stores will be open at