Our Visit to the American Girl Store

by | Oct 15, 2014 | American Girl, Field Trips, Teatime | 21 comments

Ever since our girls received their very first American Girl dolls on Christmas morning in 2010, they have been requesting American Girl birthday parties, collecting additional Historical dolls (and accessories, clothing and furniture) received as gifts on their birthdays and Christmas (you can see how we organize it all here), dressing their dolls up as saints, completing unit studies and lap books based on the Historical dolls, and dreaming about someday visiting an actual American Girl store…

That dream finally came true during our recent visit to Seattle a couple weeks ago!

“Mom! Stop taking pictures so we can go explore!”

I was disappointed that we didn’t have an opportunity to visit before all the recent new “Beforever” changes to the Historical doll line, but the girls loved seeing all the new outfits including Kit and Addy’s new “rich clothes!” See, even a 9 year old can tell that the new “Meet” outfits look way too expensive for the cooresponding time periods! 😉

However, even I couldn’t argue that Samantha does look so much prettier in pink… and just look at that darling Lacy Parasol! ♥

Next Twinkle Toes went searching for Caroline…

… and Chiquita headed straight for the Josefina display.

Being a weekday during the school year we pretty much had the whole store to ourself!

We had a little time before our reservations at the Bistro so we visited the Doll Salon to make an appointment for Josefina.

Caroline and Emily just needed a new brush, but the kind hair stylist offered to “show us how to use the brush” on their hair as well and soon everyone was looking their best for our Afternoon Tea and Craft!

I had never told the girls much about the American Girl stores and the “oohs” and “aahs” when we walked into the PINK Bistro, and when they realized that even their dolls would get there own seats, were so cute!

The girls all opted for Pink Lemonade instead of Tea and started working on the Beforever Bracelets.

Tea arrived on three tier trays and looked pretty, but it really wasn’t anything special and didn’t taste that great. The girls all agreed that their mom’s teas are more creative and taste SO. MUCH. BETTER! 🙂  (That made me so happy!) If we ever visit again we’d probably just skip the meal and order a dessert to share.

After we had finished our tea it was time to shop! The girls had been saving their sticker charts for months. (Last spring I started a new sticker reward system for extra chores, summer schoolwork, etc and each completed sticker chart equals a certain amount of money for them to put towards activities or things they would like to purchase.) The sticker charts combined with some birthday gift money from their grandparents and a little extra spending money I gave them for our trip allowed them each to pick out some things from their wish lists! 

Twinkle Toes purchased some of Caroline’s clothes and accessories as well as the new Lacy Parasol from the Samantha line. Chiquita purchased the food from the Josefina and Kaya collections as well as Kaya’s Winter Accessories.

Rose kept pulling me back to all the beautiful ROSE COVERED (It was during my novena to St. Therese and roses were turning up in random places each and every day!) furniture and accessories in Samantha’s collection and we ended up choosing Samantha’s Holiday Set to take home.  Isn’t it precious?!

We had such a fun filled afternoon creating special memories that will Beforever! 😉


  1. Carrie McDowell

    JMJ This looks like SO. MUCH. FUN! You've got me excited and thinking of planning a trip for our girls and I. I think there's a store in Los Angeles for us to visit. Okay, I'm going to look into it and start saving! So glad all of you had such a good time!

    2014-10-15 04:26:46

  2. Marie G.

    This looks like it was so much fun! Loved the American Girls growing up. Can't wait till my oldest is just a little bigger to start reading them to her.

    2014-10-15 05:02:27

  3. Wendy

    We are from Scotland so clearly we don't have an American Girl store! However I love the dolls (especially the historical ones). I was delighted to find a British based supplier and plan next year to get one for my daughter's Christmas. The following year (God willing) we are going to Disney and of course with a new American Girl store opening in Orlando we will just have to go! Thanks for the photos and (not only) the American Girl resources! As a new Catholic, you have have been such an inspiration to me and probably, no definitely the most influential blogger in my decision to convert. I could never thank you enough. Wendy x

    2014-10-15 07:49:52

  4. Christine

    I would love to hear about your sticker reward system. I need some help with motivation.

    2014-10-15 10:19:12

  5. Kathy@9Peas

    Faith and I are just loving these photos, it looks like such a fun trip!

    2014-10-15 12:07:17

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Aw, thank you Wendy! Welcome to the Catholic family!!! Deo Gratias! The historical dolls are great, I'm sure your daughter will love a doll as much as mine do! And your trip sounds like a blast! I have been to Disney (in CA as a child and in Orlando during college spring break) but we have never taken our children. Maybe someday! God bless you and your family!

    2014-10-17 04:33:13

  7. Jessica Gordon

    It's nothing fancy, but I'll try and post a picture or two and a few more details sometime. I have so much I'd love to blog about and not nearly enough time! 🙂

    2014-10-17 04:34:13

  8. scmom4

    I had not heard about "beforever"! You mean they brought dolls out of retirement? Faith asked me recently if Samantha was out of retirement because clearly she saw something about it, but I told her once a doll retires, that's it. What do I know? 😉

    2014-10-15 12:10:07

  9. Jamie

    Beautiful pictures and what a wonderful trip!!! We haven't gotten into American Girl dolls here yet. My oldest is 5 and 1. not "careful" with her toys and 2. not into dolls, lovies, stuffed animals (which i find SO weird!!!!). We just got the catalog and I quickly put it in the recycling 🙂 Your daughter's are beautiful. Wish you all lived closer.

    2014-10-15 12:23:24

  10. Marie

    What is beforever Jessica? Did they ruin the historical part of American girl? 🙁 I hope not! Looks like you had such a blessed time! Can't wait to go to Chicago and do the same. God bless!

    2014-10-15 15:44:47

  11. Christine M.

    Looks like so much fun! My daughter would love all of it, I am sure…dolls, tea party, day out with Mom..:). God bless! Hope everything is going well.

    2014-10-15 21:41:55

  12. Karen

    It must be great to wander through an American Girl store that isn't packed. I took my eldest daughter to the store in NYC when she was four in December and not only did we spend an hour waiting in line to get into the store, but it was so crowded in there that we couldn't even enjoy browsing the store. I'd love to take my girls up there and be able to enjoy browsing the store. I just reviewed a BeForever book for Amazon yesterday. They seem like they're a nice addition to the American Girl books, but I think the historical books and the mystery series are the better books.

    2014-10-16 01:17:09

  13. Sarah

    Wow! So cool! I remember when my mom ad dad took my sister and I there in Los Angeles years ago! They surprised us and told us to "…just bring your dolls…" It looks like you had an awesome time. It's funny, they still have the same flower-pot pudding, but they changed it from Molly's to Addy's (probably because the retired Molly. 🙁 ) God bless you!

    2014-10-16 14:30:16

  14. Grace

    I had the American Girl dolls and read their stories growing up but haven't purchased them for my little girl because I heard that they donated money to Girls Inc.
    http://www.girlsinc.org/ which teaches the right to abortion and promotes acceptance of homosexuality.
    This article is from 2005, I'd like to know if they are still associated. You may want to look into it especially if you're promoting it publicly. Because even if you make the decision to continue purchasing them yourself, I know you wouldn't want to promote them on your blog.

    I hate to be a wet blanket because I love how much fun you and your girls had. What a great trip! Hope it's not true! Maybe you could post so information on what you find.

    2014-10-16 17:43:24

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for your concern, Grace. That issue seems to come up nearly every time I mention the dolls, either in the comment box or through emails! 🙂 I was under the same impression for awhile, before we purchased any of the dolls, and I did some research at the time. American Girl was on the pro-life boycott list for a very short time, and the boycott was effective. Here is an interesting article on the topic from Life News (also from 2005) if you are interested: http://www.lifenews.com/2005/12/14/nat-1906/

    2014-10-16 18:27:50

  16. Grace

    Good to know!!!! Thank you for the reply. Glad to know that is outdated information.

    2014-10-16 20:33:03

  17. fancyrock

    As you can imagine, Mariposa and Gemma especially loved this post!! I'm seeing a trip to Seattle in our future…. :o) Becky

    2014-10-17 13:13:13

  18. Maria

    Aww, your girls are so adorable, and it looks like they had a really fun time! I would have loved to do something like that when I was their age. 🙂

    2014-10-21 04:22:54

  19. Beth

    I'll show your post to my dd… who spent a few hours today devouring the catalogue we just got in the mail :). Window shopping is fun! We had a similar experience for her last Birthday – the store was empty and delightful. We started Kaya today because that's where we are in history but we're reading it together to discuss the animism as we come across it. I know she'll enjoy your post – as did I!

    2014-10-23 03:26:15

  20. Maureen

    So fun! How old were your girls when they received their first AG doll? My daughters will be 4 and 6 soon and I've been thinking about getting my older one (and maybe the younger one too!) a doll. She really likes Caroline but is her beautiful hair difficult to manage? I never had AG dolls growing up so this is like a big treat for me too! 😉

    2014-10-24 17:28:27

  21. barber supply

    I admit it but this is every girls dream, to own and hold the cutest dolls ever and my daughter just had her chance.

    2014-12-20 00:46:38


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