Venue Review: American Girl Place

Ruby’s dream finally came true!

This past weekend we visited the the flagship and very first American Girl Doll store in Chicago called “American Girl Place” inside the Water Tower Place.IMG_8414

Many of you in Dubai may not know just what an “American Girl Doll” is. It is a line of 18-inch (46 cm) dolls that were released back in 1986 in USA. The brands carries a variety of dolls of different ethnicity/hair color/eye color etc. The dolls are split into different categories:

  1. Beforever: “even though times change, girls are forever”. These are classic historical type dolls dating back from 1764-1974 ($115 USD)
  2. Truly Me‘: These dolls give you the option to purchase a doll that looks like you as they range in eye color, skin color, hair length/color/texture ($115 USD)
  3. Bitty Baby‘: Similar idea to the Truly Me range. 6 different babies varying in ethnicity ($60 USD)
  4. WellieWishers‘: A sweet, silly group of girls who all have the same bright wish, to be a good friend! ($60 USD)

Ruby is rather taken by the “Beforever” collection. She loves anything old fashioned! Presently she has “Marryellen” and she was allowed to chose a new doll for her birthday (which has been put away until October). When you purchase a doll, it comes with an outfit and you get an accompanying book. Once you have your doll you then have the option to buy additional clothes and accessories (which could run any parent bankrupt!).

Upon arriving at the grand store, we took an escalator upstairs to the cafe where we had a reservation for brunch. Just Ruby & I! It was wonderful! The cafe is very “girly” and pretty. A very decent selection of food and kind staff working.

Our server greeted us at reception, grabbed a ‘treat seat’ chair for Ruby’s doll and brought us over to our reserved table. She comfortably sat Ruby’s doll at our table and gave “Marryellen” a cup and saucer (which becomes a take-home souvenir). Ruby was brimming from ear to ear with a massive smile. The napkins were tied together with hair ties which we were able to keep and take home. We started brunch by ordering a beverage from the menu. Coffee for me and pink lemonade for Ruby. We then waited for breakfast to arrive and played a game they had at our table. It was a small round box with little questions inside. The questions were intelligent and created some nice conversations between us. One of the questions was “should boys be allowed to play girls’ games”. And “what is your dream for the future”.

Oh and if your child does not happen to have a doll, they can borrow one from the display of dolls pictured below!

Prior to our big breakfast they served us the famous cinnamon buns. I have never seen Ruby gobble up a warm breakfast roll the way she did! Our dishes were cleared and out came the “perfect pancakes” and “fruit & granola parfait”.

I was really impressed with the quality of food & service. Several times our waitress came around asking if everything was okay and if we needed anything else.

To finish off our magical brunch, dessert was served. Cupcakes and pudding! Ruby and I were so excited to start shopping that our appetite was totally gone! Yes, I was just as excited to explore the American Girl Doll store as my 5 year old!

Brunch cost $19 per person and was very filling. I highly recommend it!

As a child (roughly 8 years of age) I dreamed of owning an American Girl Doll. The problem was shipping to Canada! I used to receive the catalogue in the mail when we lived in Vancouver and would circle and make wishlists which never came to life. But now these dreams are being lived through Ruby which is just so fun!

After brunch we went back downstairs inside a private room to meet with Ruby’s personal shopper (a complimentary service you can pre-book online).

Ana was Ruby’s personal shopper and a lovely lady she was indeed! First she helped Ruby figure out what her second doll would be. She took her through the ‘Beforever’ collection. She had it down to Julie (a blonde haired doll from 1974 who enjoys school, friendships and playing basketball) & Samantha (a brunette from 1904 with a positive attitude and helping hand). The decision quickly came down to Samantha. Until…we went upstairs and Ruby locked eyes with the “Girl of the Year” Lea! Leah loves to travel and explore and Ruby really liked that about her as she also likes to travel.

Another wish on Ruby’s list was to have Marryellen’s ear’s pierced. Yes! You can do this at the store! It cost $16 for a packet of earrings + the piercing service.

Last but not least it was time for her to choose some outfits and accessories. She didn’t really care to pick anything from the “Beforever” collection and opted to mix and match clothing from the “Truly Me” line. She chose the ombre ballet outfit, a music set and popcorn machine. Ruby has to be very patient…she has to wait to open her gifts until October! That’s 12 weeks of waiting! Boy oh boy can October not get here sooner?

You could spend HOURS going up and down between the two levels at American Girl Place! Here are some other services that can be found inside the store:

  • American Girl Hospital: You can bring your doll in for repairs
  • Doll Salon: Just as it sounds, there is a doll hair salon located upstairs! Prices range from $10-20. Don’t laugh, because the lineup was a good 20 minute wait!
  • Ear piercing & hearing aid service
  • Creativi-tees: Your child can customise her very own t-shirt. The tee’s come in both doll and girl sizes.

If you are in the Chicago area you must go and visit the flagship store! It is a visit you will never forget!

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