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For all young girls and doll lovers, be prepared to be swept up in the American Girl Doll craze when you visit America.
Boys, you may be swept up too, as there are American Boy Dolls for you.
Parents, hold tight to your wallets, as they are about to get sucked dry!
Back in Australia, Savannah and I were given Our Generation Dolls for Christmas, which are imitation American Girl dolls.
I’m not sure Mum and Dad were ready to suddenly have four children to worry about when traveling, but they seemed to adjust quite well.
(If you’re slightly confused by this, it’s me, Kalyra taking over mum’s blog again.)
Savannah and I could not wait to come to the US and visit the American Girl Doll stores. We had it all planned and talked about it all the time.
Mum was not convinced that taking our dolls in to get a manicure and a salon treatment was a “good money spend”.
What is it with parents anyway? And what does “good money spend mean?”
My doll would be happy and so would I. Of course that is a good money spend.
Anyway, we decided we’d visit every American Girl Doll store in America.
We wrote out our list of dolls we most wanted and accessories we were going to buy and just told Mum and Dad a third of it so they didn’t freak out too much!
The first store we visited was in New York City Rockefeller Plaza on our trip to NYC at Christmas and we fell in love.
They’ve all been amazing and we’ve experienced different things (yes that manicure and hair salon).
After some persuasion from my Mum’s friend, Kimmi, I decided to write a post to help you have a magical experience when you visit the American Girl Doll Store with your Mum (or daughter, if Mum is reading this).
It’s an American cultural tradition you don’t want to miss!
What are American Girl Dolls?
If you don’t know what American Girl is, it’s an American line of dolls ( that are 18 inch/46 cm) that portray eight to eleven year old girls.
Each doll has a different story, culture, and race and there are about a million different dolls.
American Girl Dolls teach your children about history and culture
There is a line of historical dolls called BeForever with a total of 11 dolls that each have a different background in history.
For example, Nanea Mitchell, the newest BeForever doll, her story surrounds Pearl Harbour.
Another example is Kit Kittridge whose story surrounds the Great Depression.
Savannah has a Beforever doll, Julie, who wants to play on the boys basketball team. She’s also from the hippy era and so Mum’s personal favorite.
Another line of the American Girl Dolls is Truly Me.
Truly Me has hundreds of AG dolls that you can choose from, even one that looks just like you! From hair, eyes, skin color, accessories and so much more.
You can name your Truly Me Doll, too!
The Last line is Girl of The Year Dolls.
Each year American Girl creates a new doll that is only available for a year. Sometimes even two years!
They create everything for the the Doll of the Year from clothes, to accessories, beds, and anything you can imagine!
This year’s Girl of the Year is Luciana Vega.
Luciana wants to be the first girl on Mars. I think my Aunty Jenny would like her best (you know what I mean Jen!).
I have last year’s Girl Of the Year, Gabriella McBride. Gabby is a dancer, artist, and a poet. I love her sass and creative spirit.
American Girl has recently released 4 boy dolls! So I guess boys can enjoy the store too. So that is basically all you need to know about American Girl!
Note from Mum:
These American Girl Dolls are movers and shakers. I love how they are strong young ladies who live fiercely and create change.
They’re out making their dreams happen and so a wonderful inspiration and role model for young girls.
Yes, they are only dolls, but they come with stories, personalities and accessories that make them so real and relevant to young girls, and boys even!
It makes me better able to handle the hole that is burned in my purse when I walk in the door.
Where is the American Girl Doll Store?
There are tonnes of American Girl Doll stores all across America, including New York, Chicago, LA, and Mall of America (Bloomington). (Note: As of March 20, 1019 the American Girl Doll Store will be closed in Mall of America)
There is even a store close to where we live in Raleigh, NC.
All the stores are almost the same, but there might be a couple of things one American Girl Doll store has that the other one doesn’t.
So if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all basically. But Savannah and I like to see all American Doll stores in different states and cities. We try to go to them all!!
To find their locations simply search American Girls store near me in Google or check the website for all American Girl doll store locations.
Here is a list for you as well:
- Atlanta (North Point Mall)
- Boston (Natick Mall)
- Charlotte (SouthPark Mall)
- Chicago (Water Tower Place)
- Columbus (Easton Town Center)
- Dallas (Galleria Dallas)
- Denver (Park Meadows)
- Houston (Memorial City Mall)
- Kansas City (Oak Park Mall)
- Los Angeles (The Grove)
- Miami (The Falls)
- Minneapolis (Mall of America)
- Nashville (CoolSprings Galleria)
- New York City (Rockefeller Plaza)
- Orlando (The Florida Mall)
- San Francisco Bay Area (Stanford Shopping Center)
- Scottsdale (Scottsdale Quarter)
- Seattle (Alderwood Mall)
- Washington, D.C. (Tysons Corner Center)
Check out this video of the AG store in New York City:
Things to do, see and buy at the American Girl Doll stores
This is no ordinary toy store.
Not only do you have rooms of dolls, clothing and accessories, but also a salon and a cafe. You can literally spend all day in there and never get bored.
Your parents will be the ones dragging you out.
If you already have an American Girl Doll be sure to bring it with you to the store. They love to see their sisters and friends in the store AND you’ll need them for the salon and cafe.
Shop Shop Shop
Obviously, you are going to shop when you visit American Girl.
If you can’t convince your parents to give you money, or you haven’t earned any (that’s a lot of chores and one reason I write for my mum’s blog), then you can definitely just window shop.
Mum reckons that is all we are doing at the next AG store we visit.
All the different types of dolls I described above have their own sections in the store and each doll will have their own place that is creatively designed with the accessories and outfits that match their personal stories.
I love seeing all the designs and imagining life with that doll.
Be sure to take time learning about the dolls so you choose the one that is just right for you.
I wanted to get Gabby because she is so much like me. She loves to dance, sing, and write about things. Also I love her hair.
Apart from the clothes and accessories, they also have their own line of books. Each doll will have their own fictional chapter book story.
Mom has bought me a few of the American Girl Doll books of off Amazon since we’ve visited.
See I’ve pulled her over to the AG side.
One thing you can do to help with your AG doll shopping is get a personal shopper. Yes they have personal shoppers!!
We had a personal shopper in Bloomington MN, which meant Mum and Dad could relax, but it also meant we came back with a lot of stuff! Hehe.
Of course, we did not hold back in telling Mary, our personal shopper, our entire wish list.
Mary told us the stories and backgrounds of some the dolls and showed us how Maryellen’s Caravan works!
Usually, when we go to a store, we just get an outfit and something to come with it, because things can get expensive!!! So Parents hide your wallets!!
The AG Salon Experience
If you bring a doll in, or just get a doll, you can go to the doll salon. There you can get your doll’s hair and nails and a piercing for your doll!
You can choose the hairstyle, nail polish color, and earring for your doll.
Savannah and I did the salon experience, but we didn’t do the piercing. While we were waiting for Gabby and Julie to be finished, we went around the shop with Mary.
The American Girl Doll Cafe Experience
If you get hungry while shopping, you can eat at The American Girl Doll Cafe. We have eaten at the cafe twice.
Lots of children have their birthday parties in the restaurant.
If you bring a doll with you, you can get a seat for it and the doll can eat with you. But it’s OK if you don’t bring a doll as well, because you can borrow one!
Your waiter or waitress will bring out a cup for your friend, So they don’t get thirsty!
I would say the food is ok, but pricey.
Just a heads up for shopping and eating, you can’t just come in with $50 because then you will only be able to get a hairbrush and a drink.
Create Your Own American Girl Doll
American Girl has just added a new attraction. You can make and customize your own doll!
Step right up to the design center and make the doll look exactly like you, or however you want it to look like.
That’s on my wish list for my next visit, although Mum reckons she has enough AG children now.
You can choose an outfit, and accessories for it too. Another thing is you can make your own clothes for any doll of your choosing.
If you want to do this, you can do it at a store or on the American Girl website.
How much do American Girl Dolls Cost?
Oh, you’ve been waiting for it haven’t you?
There’s no other way to tell it to you then straight. American Girl Dolls cost around $115.
If you make and customize a doll, it is around $200. but it’s worth it!
The doll usually comes with their first book (you have to buy the other books separately) maybe one small accessory but that’s it. When you open the box the doll you chose will be wearing their main outfit.
If you customize a doll the doll will be wearing the item you chose and have the accessories you chose in the box with it.
You have to buy other items, clothes, accessories, and hairbrushes separately.
An outfit would usually cost between $15 to $20. Or maybe more. It depends on what outfit you are getting.
And for accessories they would be around the same from $10 to $30. Again it depends on what you are getting. For example, the Julie’s banana seat bike is $157
American Girl Doll Tips
How to prepare for your experience at the American Girl Doll Store
If you want to go to a store, and you are planning to go to one soon, here is what you should bring.
- Obviously your children! But, I have seen a lot of adults getting dolls for themselves. I mean, who can blame them? But if you have children then I would definitely think about bringing them to American Girl, because if they love barbies they would love it!
- And of course money! It does get expensive so I might bring more then $30, but it’s totally up to you! If you were getting a doll, then maybe a couple hundred dollars. (see this store can be dangerous)
- Kids, if you already have dolls, bring them. Because as I said earlier, you can eat with them, and take them to the salon. Make them feel like luxury dolls!
- Bring your best persuasive powers. You’re going to need them if you want to walk out of the AG door with your wish list checked off. They will change your life!
The amount of times I have said “doll” and “American Girl” is actually unreal.
But it is The Ultimate Guide to Experiencing the American Girl Doll Store!
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Tell me, do you love AG dolls? Who do you have? Do you visit the stores? What’s your favorite thing to do there and your best tip? How do you convince your parents to expand your AG collection?