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Visit American Girl Doll Store Tips

Make the Most of Your Visit to an American Girl Store

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If you have a young girl in your life, at some point you will be introduced to the American Girl® brand of dolls and accessories, and you may even find yourself visiting one of their stores. Before you go be sure to read my 7 tips to make the most of your visit to an American Girl store!

What to Do in Advance

1. Choose Your Store and Timing

Check out the American Girl website for the most up-to-date list of stores and see if there is one in your area or close to a location you are visiting. Once you have chosen your store and you know your schedule, you will want to think about what time of day to visit. Allow yourself a few hours to browse, eat and check out.

2. Make Cafe Reservations

Part of the experience of visiting an American Girl store is eating at the in-store cafe. The hours vary by location, but most restaurants are open for brunch, lunch, tea, and dinner. I recommend making reservations as soon as you know you will be going. If you are celebrating a birthday or special occasion, make sure to let them know as they can prepare a birthday cake. The American Girl Cafes provide special seating so your doll can join you for your meal, and if you don’t have an American Girl doll they are happy to lend you one for the meal.

Eating at the American Girl Cafe

Eating at the American Girl Cafe is part of the experience of visiting an American Girl doll store.

3. Check on Special Events

Check the website to see if any special events, readings or craft sessions are taking place during your visit. For example, you can watch a movie starring the Girl of the Year with a photo opp, goody bag and concessions or make holiday crafts around Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Call in advance if necessary to make sure you don’t miss out on the special events.

4. Discuss Budget and Purchases with Your Child

It is easy for a young girl to be overwhelmed at a store like this and want everything she sees. It’s best to discuss in advance and to be clear about what you are purchasing. Items range from furniture for over $300 to books for less than $10 so there is something for everyone.

What to Do When you Arrive

1. Make a Same-Day Appointment at Salon

All of the stores include a Doll Hair Salon that is open during regular hours. The Doll Salon offers services such as doll cleaning, hair styling, and even ear piercing for the American Girl dolls. You cannot make appointments for this in advance; so if you are interested, this should be your first stop in the store when you arrive. You can make a same-day appointment and hopefully they can work on your doll while you browse or eat.

2. Take Pictures

This visit will be a great memory for you and your daughter so don’t forget to take pictures! Each year a special “photo opportunity” is set up at American Girl Stores including a life-sized cutout with the current Girl of the Year so be on the look out so you can take your personalized picture.

3. Make Your Purchases and Go Home and Play

Whatever you choose to buy, you will have fun picking out something special and playing or reading once you get home!

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American Girl doll photo by Smart Destinations / CC BY-SA 2.0

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Susan is an enthusiastic traveler and mom to a 11 year-old boy and eight year-old girl. Originally from North Carolina, Susan is a Southerner at heart, although…

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