If your girls love the American Girl brand, they’ll also likely love visiting one of the American Girl retail stores. Even better than the catalog, the AG store is overflowing with darling displays showing the different American Girl characters with their outfits and latest accessories. I’ve taken my two girls to several American Girl stores and they always have a fun experience. Here are some tips to maximize your visit to the American Girl store!
Surprise Your Daughter with an American Girl Store Visit
Make it a surprise when you stop by the American Girl store! We visited the Seattle area American Girl store (now closed) when my oldest daughter Kiera was 4 years old. She’d never been to an American Girl retail store before. She loved seeing the WellieWishers dolls in person and playing in the life-size WellieWishers playhouse. Kiera also thought the colorful American Girl doll displays were glorious. Because it was her first time at an AG store, she was mostly excited to see all the cute dolls up close. It was like visiting an American Girl doll museum, after only looking through the catalog.
The American Girl store is divided into sections. One part of the store shows the BeForever doll characters, outfits, and collection add-ons. American Girl “BeForever” or historical characters include dolls such as Nanea Mitchell, Maryellen Larkin, Julie Albright and Kit Kittredge. Each of these characters have their own stories and book collections.
Another section highlights the Truly Me dolls and modern outfits and accessories. Girls can choose a doll design that matches their own features. American Girl’s Truly Me collection includes a variety of skin tones, head molds, eye color, hair color and hair styles. You can also customize your look-alike doll with pierced ears, glasses, or even a hearing aid.
The Bitty Baby collection takes up another part of the American Girl store. This classic doll collection for younger children includes a variety of baby doll styles, outfits, and feeding and diapering accessories. Other Bitty Baby sets include a baby carrier, crib, changing table, high chair and stroller. Little girls can play act being a mommy with these high quality dolls and baby accessories.
Last but not least, the WellieWishers are American Girl’s newest doll collection. These 14 inch dolls include 5 different friends; Willa, Camille, Ashlyn, Kendall, and Emerson. Girls can play with the WellieWishers dolls separately or collect them all! American Girl often releases seasonal play sets and new books to go with the WellieWishers collection.
Give Your Child a Spending Limit
When we visit the American Girl store, I find it helpful to give my kids a spending limit. Sometimes they have Christmas or birthday money to spend. Other times I allow them to pick one small set to add to their doll collection. The first time we visited the American Girl store when Kiera was 4 years old, she picked out a outfit for herself that matches the WellieWishers character Camille. This American Girl outfit came with a skirt and a top that cost $50 total. Kiera was so excited to be able to match her doll.
Another time we visited the American Girl store close to the holidays. We let our girls pick out a few of their own Christmas presents and gave them a spending limit. They enjoyed choosing a few American Girl play sets to go with their existing collection.
Do some Gift Shopping at the American Girl Store
Often when we visit the American Girl store, I secretly buy a few gifts for my girls’ upcoming birthdays or special occasions. This allows me to plan ahead and save on shipping. Once I had my daughter try on Blaire Wilson’s whimsical sun dress, without telling her that I was going to buy it for Christmas. She enjoyed the impromptu fashion show and was delighted to unwrap it on Christmas morning a month later.
American Girl has lots of doll outfit sets for around $30-$40. One of my favorite things about the American Girl collection is that everything is great quality and girls can add to their sets over time. My two girls, Kiera and Sylvie, each have their favorite dolls but also share a lot of their American Girl outfits and accessories.
Bring a Doll to the American Girl Store
Another fun thing to do when you visit an American Girl store is to bring a doll! Some of the stores have bistros where you can have lunch. The store has tiny chairs for dolls, which clip onto the table. A mommy and daughter lunch at the AG store sounds like so much fun!
It’s also fun to take photos of your child with their doll at the American Girl store. And last but not least, you can stop by the doll hair salon and your daughter can pick out a new hairstyle for her doll, or get her doll’s ears pierced.
Visit the American Girl Doll Hair Salon
My girls loved taking their dolls to the American Girl store salon. They each requested a different hair style after browsing the menu of available hair styles. A staff member put my daughter Sylvie’s American Girl doll Luciana in a miniature salon chair and styled her hair with pig tails and purple ribbons. It was a fun experience for my daughter to watch too! Kiera had her doll Blaire Wilson’s ears pierced at the American Girl store. She also picked out a multi-pair set of doll earrings.
Our visits to the American Girl store have been memorable and fun for our kids. The stores are especially magical around the holidays. However, you can visit one of American Girl’s 13 retail locations any time of year.
American Girl store visit in Denver, 2018
American Girl Store Locations
Charlotte (SouthPark Mall) • Chicago (Water Tower Place) • Columbus (Easton Town Center) • Dallas (Galleria Dallas) • Hershey (Tanger Outlet) • Houston (Memorial City Mall) • Los Angeles (The Grove) • Miami (The Falls) • Nashville (Coolsprings Galleria) • New York (Rockefeller Plaza) • Orlando (The Florida Mall) • San Francisco (Stanford Shopping Center) • Washington, D.C. (Tysons Corner Center)
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!