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Crystal Mall, Waterford, Connecticut
Food court entrance
Visiting Waterford, Connecticut
If you are ever in Connecticut and are passing by a town called Waterford, there is a shopping mall there that you may want to visit.
I'm not much of a mall person myself as I tend to avoid crowds. However, I do enjoy the Crystal Mall.
There are deals to be had, clearance racks to bargain shop, food courts to taste test, conveniently placed pretzel and smoothie kiosks near newly decorated seating areas at which to take a break.
Crystal Mall, Waterford, CT
The mall is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday's hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Some of the retail stores within the mall set their own hours and open earlier.
Sears is one store that opens their doors at 9:30 a.m. Because the mall is closed, customers may enter through the food court entrance. If you need your vehicle serviced early, Sears Auto Store which opens at 8 a.m.
The food court opens doors earlier as well but don't expect Burger King's French toast sticks until 10 a.m. Subway has an earlier opening time. I was there this morning at 9:30 a.m. and purchased the breakfast value meal. By the time the other stores were open, I was off to do some shopping and have my van repaired at Sears.
Near every staircase is a handicap ramp (plus elevators are located throughout the mall and stores).
The Crystal Mall is an indoor mall, with two levels traveled to by stairs, a glass elevator near the food court, or escalators throughout the mall and individual stores.
There is room for 125 stores. Although not all store space is taken.
Food Court Restaurants
Charley's Grilled Subs
Food and Eateries
There is plenty to eat at the Crystal Mall.
Starting in the Food Court, in order from the left is Subway and Burger King. Lines tend to get pretty long around lunch at Burger King. I think it's the smell of the onion rings awaiting to be ordered.
To the right is Wok Express, Sbarro (an Italian pizza take-out restaurant), Sarku Japan (Japanese meals to go), Charley's Grilled Subs (famous for philly cheesesteak sub), DQ and Orange Julius (specializing in ice cream and smoothies, but lunch meals are also available).
Past these restaurants heading out of the food court is a new Ms. Potato which I just saw today for the first time.
Heading out in to the main part of the mall, there are fruit smoothie places, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, and Pretzel time. From what I can tell, both pretzel places serve a variety of pretzels, even pretzel covered hot dogs, as well as fruit smoothie and other refreshing beverages.
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar is found on the second floor of the mall. It's a full-service restaurant.
And speaking of full-service eateries, on the way out of the mall parking lot (or in), there are two restaurants you might enjoy to your liking. Longhorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden are located at either mall parking lot entrance.
This is the old toddler play scape. There is a new one on the other side of the mall.
Besides the great food and relaxing shopping atmosphere, the mall provides a few perks for visitors.
- Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi)
- ATM machines
- Baby changing stations
- Children's play area
- Mall walking
- Nursing mothers lounge
- Stroller and wheelchair ramp accessibility (plus elevators, one located in Sears)
- Conveniently placed vending machines throughout the mall (which accept credit cards)
- Comfortable seating areas
Mall walking is a really neat concept. Before the mall opens, early risers head out and walk the long polished corridors, up and down the stairs, and back to do it again the next day. This is a really neat feature of this mall. Too bad I live too far to travel to it daily (at the price of gas), or I would definitely be walking the mall before ordering a pretzel and frozen coffee!
The mall is newly renovated.
The Crystal Mall has a kids club. For a small fee, parents can enroll their child for a night of fun.
What I love about the Crystal Mall
I personally love the Crystal Mall.
Now having said that, I will explain.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a mall person. I do not like crowds. But compared to other malls I've been to, the Crystal Mall is relatively quiet and relaxing.
I do not go to the mall often. I normally go when my vehicle needs service. Sears Auto Center has never let me down. I'm always guaranteed service within a couple of hours. I make a trip out of it. I go there, drop the car off, and browse the mall. It's actually quite fun. It's relaxing. If I get too tired out, there are comfortable seating areas throughout the mall.
The mall is newly renovated. Before, when my children were much younger, there was a huge toddler play scape by the food court. That has now been moved all the way to the other side of the mall near Sears. We don't go in there any more because my children are too big. For moms, this is great news! It's a wonderful place to bring your children, and rest. Sit down, watch them play, grab a fruit smoothie. How often do moms actually get a chance in a public shopping place to sit down and relax? (The baby changing station and nursing mother's lounge are enticing! I can recall trying to change my baby at a retail store once with no changing area and I complained to the manager. I even showed him online for $200 he could install one himself!) Mom's needs are often overlooked, but this mall has it all!
At the Crystal Mall, there is something for everyone.
It never fails, every time I go out with my children on a shopping spree, I never have quarters or change. Good thing the Crystal Mall has Coca-Cola vending machines placed throughout each level. (They take credit and debit cards.) It's convenience that matters.
Back to School Shopping
The reason I was at the mall today was back-to-school shopping for my daughter. Like I said, I do not like crowds. I avoid them at all costs.
The perks of shopping at the Crystal Mall during back-to school season include stores that offer their own credit card. I'm not trying to get anyone in debt or create financial disaster for parents. But what I am saying is this...when you sign up for credit cards at these mall stores, they give you so much percent off on your purchase!
If you are a bargain shopper like me, those little discounts add up.
The Crystal Mall also offers gift cards.
The designers at the Crystal Mall are genius. I say this because as we left school clothes shopping from one store, shoe stores are strategically placed where you have no choice but to walk right by them. Of course my daughter suddenly decided her American Eagle flats her dad bought her were no longer comfortable and she just had to have the new leather boots displayed at Payless. I couldn't pass on them. The price was right. The store was having an amazing sale.
I talk about Sears a lot because I love one-stop shopping. This kind of shopping thrills me. If I can get a garden gazebo, a pink cordless grill to screw it together, a back-to-school wardrobe for my children, all while I wait for an oil change, that's my kind of shopping!
There are many stores, luxury and name-brand, that appeal to all.
In addition to Sears, there are obviously other stores that offer the convenience of an all-inclusive shopping experience.
At the Crystal Mall, JcPenney offers a portrait studio and hair salon.
Glass elevator travels between two floors from the lower-level food court.
What makes the Crystal Mall different?
Having been to many malls in my lifetime, I can honestly say that I think the Crystal Mall is more peaceful. I don't know if it is because the crowds are lighter at the times I go. Having been in malls that harbor more crime and security, I like walking the corridors of the Crystal Mall not feeling like I'm going to need security (if you know what I mean)!
There are several "strip" or "outdoor" malls in the area. A strip mall is an outdoor mall sectioned in two strips of sidewalk. For example, one outdoor mall close by has two strips with a grocery store and pet store on one sidewalk strip. The other sidewalk has a department store, craft store, guitar store, and home goods store, plus a buffet-style restaurant. It's outdoors, meaning each store front faces the parking lot and you walk out of the door on to the sidewalk and then on to where ever you are going after that. The stores are not adjoining, meaning you cannot enter one from another.
An indoor mall is contained indoors.
While I like the strip malls in my area, sometimes, especially on hot days, I want to feel enclosed. Plus there is air conditioning in the indoor malls.
Christmas at the mall.
Christmas at the Crystal Mall.
Whether or not you believe in Santa, he joins shoppers at the Crystal Mall every year along with temporary sausage, cheese and calendar kiosks that open up shop for the holiday season.
The Crystal Mall during the busiest holiday shopping time of the year is decorated as a winter wonderland with magnificently large decorations to please your inner child's imagination. All the children want to be next in line to relay their wish list to Santa.