Going to the mall when we were kids was both a privilege and a requirement. Your mom always called it a treat to go, but you knew better. That's where you had to go if you wanted to keep up with all the trends and latest fashions.
Malls were where everything happened. That's where the cool hangouts were, it's where all the good food was, and obviously it was where you could learn about all the newest and coolest trends.
Sure, looking because it's easy to say that you shouldn't worry about being cool, but when you're young and impressionable all you really want is to fit in. Even if you weren't in the "popular kids" group, basically every group of friends hung out at the mall.
There were obviously certain places that we had to hit every time we went to the mall (even though 80% of them were food) and it's time to revisit some of those stores you have forgotten.
These stores, kiosks, and food court essentials were the reason why we all spent so much time wandering the halls of the mall.
Dippin' Dots first came out in 1992, and ever since the "ice cream of the future" was invented, people couldn't get enough.
The little flavorful balls of ice cream came in so many flavors, everything from "Rockin' Cherry Ice with Popping Candy" to "Rainbow Ice".
Even though we all loved it so much in the 90s, I guess times got a little bit rougher in the 2000s, because they had to file for bankruptcy protection and were later bought out by Doc Popcorn.
At least you can still get these flavorful treats anytime you head out to your local mall!
The iconic pretzel store seems simple in concept, but it took a lot of work by one woman to make it all happen.
Anne Beiler started the company in 1988. She actually wrote a memoir in 2008 that revealed why she got the idea to start the company and it's a little bit more dramatic than you'd expect.
Beiler was married with a 19-month-old daughter, but her young child was fatally hit by a tractor.
She began counselling to deal with the trauma, but the pastor she met with ended up initiating an affair with her that lasted several years.
When she told her husband she assumed he would leave her, but he stayed and they went into counselling.
Eventually he wanted to open a counselling center of his own, but they needed money to do that. Beiler wanted to become the breadwinner of the family.
She decided to start working at a farmers market and over time she ended up getting her own stand.
She sold a few different items including pretzels, but she originally hated the pretzel recipe she had. It didn't sell well and it didn't taste as good as she wanted.
But then her husband helped her out and added the "secret ingredient" to her recipe and suddenly the stand's popularity exploded.
Since then it has become the largest soft-pretzel franchise in the world.
And we all absolutely love it.
Where else was a preteen supposed to shop? You could get the coolest clothes there and it was where so many people dumped their entire month's worth of allowance just to buy a feather tipped pen.
The clothes of Limited Too were pretty trendy. There was a lot of denim, a lot of spaghetti straps, floral prints, and yes of course there was plaid.
The store eventually was changed quite a bit, but it's still nice to remember what once was.
If you loved music then Tower Records was where you could be found.
We all spent countless hours wandering around the aisles, trying to judge music by the covers of the records and CDs to see if we could discover something cool and new.
Some of the Tower Records had those headphones though, so you could preview some new music before buying it.
But still, there was a bit of thrill when it came to buying something without knowing what the songs were going to be.
It's not like it is now where you can pick and choose which songs you buy, you either bought the whole album or nothing.
But here's the thing, a lot of the times you would find a song that didn't become a single but was your absolute favorite. So obviously it was always worth it.
If you needed a drink to carry around with you in the mall, then Orange Julius was your go-to option.
The orange juice mix obviously still exists at Dairy Queen, but it doesn't taste the same as it used to.
Some people claim they know the recipe, but I haven't tried it myself.
Redditors discussed it and they said it is "1/2 cup frozen orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of ice, blended and served immediately."
Let me know if that works and tastes as good as it used to because if so, please make me one and I'll be right over.
Hot Dog On A Stick
The perfect place to get a corn dog, Hot Do On A Stick had the added bonus of the most ridiculous employee uniforms ever.
I don't know why they thought that humiliation was an incentive to work there, but I guess do what you have to do right?
The first location opened in 1946 on the Santa Monica Pier, but by the time we were all growing up there were locations in basically every mall.
The best toy store ever, or at least it was a very tight race between K-B Toys and Toys 'R' Us, but either way, this one was right in the malls so we could go more often.
Honestly, it didn't matter how old you were, going to the toy store was always a good time.
Sure, even though you were a teenager and you didn't need toys like you used to, it was still fun to check it out.
At least now they have revealed that they are relaunching the stores! K-B Toys will be back in a mall near you hopefully soon enough, because with Toys 'R' Us closed now, they will have quite the advantage!
Hickory Farms stores popped up all over the country and all we ever wanted was to eat all of the cheese samples possible and escape before they tried to sell us pounds and pounds of sausages.
Obviously that's not the nicest thing to do, but what were a bunch of preteens going to do with a bunch of sausages and hams?
Did you know that Spencer Gift's actually started as a mail order catalog?
They sold novelty gifts all the way back in 1947, but in 1963 they decided to move their sales into a physical store.
Ever since then the store has continued to grow and grow, selling more fun gifts and toys for people of all ages.
If you needed a giant, greasy, and mostly decent piece of pizza, Sbarro was the place for you.
Was it the best pizza in the world, probably not. Did it refuel you enough so you could go head back out and do another 14 laps around the same stores you already saw? Heck yes.
The restaurant was established in 1956, and you can still find it in over 800 malls.
Which of these malls stores was your first stop when you arrived?
If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out all the details on how KB Toys announced their comeback following the Toys 'R' Us bankruptcy.
If it's more nostalgic mall photos you want, don't worry, we got you covered. These totally rad pictures of malls in the 80s will give you serious flashbacks.