It started online. I went to the American Girl Place website to make a reservation for tea at their flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. Just for fun, my daughter sat on my lap and we built a doll for her together. When it was time to checkout, the grand total was $357, due to some $107 bathrobe and a few other upgrades she had declared necessary. That doll will never be purchased. I made the reservation for tea anyway.
American Girl Place NYC is enormous and quite a scene. My daughter was literally shivering with joy. Expensive dolls, clothing, furniture and more is for sale everywhere you turn. We walked over to the build-your-own doll section where almost every color of hair, skin and eye combination is available. Online, La Jolla Girl decided she wanted a little strawberry blonde, blue-eyed girl just like her. Instead, $108 later and after serious negotiations, we walked out with the doll below…
…a doll that looks like her mother. We have the same skin tone and everything. Needless to say my cousins and sister-in-law, who were joining us in the cafe for tea, also found this funny. I’m just hoping she doesn’t have buyers remorse somewhere down the line. We did not have time to have the doll’s hair done, but this blows me away every time I see it.
Yep, it’s a doll salon.
New York’s American Girl Cafe on the 3rd floor is decorated entirely in black and white with hot pink highlights. Tea is from 4:00-5:00pm, though you may book for lunch or dinner too. When we were seated at our table, the new doll, Dora, was given her own high chair and tea set. They have loaners available at the cafe for those girls who forget or don’t have dolls.
But here’s the thing, almost every little girl in the cafe already had a doll that looked exactly like them and a lot were even wearing matching outfits.
We had a proper tea set with peanut-free, kid-oriented sandwiches and desserts. They were also very careful to ask about food allergies when I made the reservation, which I appreciated. Adults can even order a mimosa or a glass of wine, if need be. The price of the tea, excluding alcohol and some specialty coffee drinks, was $20 per person and well worth it for the experience. We kept the flower in the dessert pot as well as the hair ties that served as napkin rings.
All in all, it was a nice experience to share with family members we don’t see very often and I’m pretty sure that La Jolla Girl will remember it. She was in a quiet awe the entire time.
But, seriously, if your daughter is into American Girl, how do you manage the cost? Yikes. And you’ll love that this is the first question we pulled out of the conversation starter box on the table.
Read about our experience with the birthday package at American Girl Place Los Angeles.