A Mom’s Honest Truth on What a Birthday Party at the American Girl Store is Really Like

Posted on Jul 8 2016 - 2:11pm by Kelley
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Our big girl turned five this past week – – FIVE! If you’ve followed along long enough, you may remember reading about my pregnancy journey with her, then sharing in our happiness after her birth, to celebrate her First Birthday, (It was Guess How Much We Love You themed,) & many more amazing and exciting milestones. And, whether you have followed along a while or not, you may have recently checked out our fun Lavery Says announcement, so go take a little funny look at what our girl is like now later! But, all that aside, we celebrated her fifth birthday in pure girly fashion.. at the American Girl Store.

I tried to put off this obsession as long as I could, but as frilly and girly as she is, I couldn’t escape it any longer. If she didn’t have friends with older sisters who have gotten them hooked on the dolls, I probably could’ve held her off a few more years. She got a Bitty Baby a few years ago and has been quite happy with that, but alas; it was time to venture into the wonderful world of American Girl dolls…. and this mom jumped in with both feet let me tell you. I thought I would share my totally honest opinion on what it’s like to have an American Girl bistro party, because being an “AG First Timer” myself, I had NO clue what to expect. I had read some reviews online, both good and bad, and I really just went into this with no experience whatsoever. I did go into it with mighty high expectations though. I mean, it is the American Girl Store, right? And with that name, seems high quality, class, and amazing service should come with it.. am I right? Well, here’s what we really got…. (I also want to mention, this post is in no way sponsored by American Girl. This is just my honest opinion on our experience there!)

The Best Crowe's Nest | My Honest Thoughts on an American Girl Store Birthday Party

Lavery took three friends with her to the store. Due to the price tag on this party and the limitations to how many people they can accommodate at a table, we had to keep it small. I knew four girls was about my max I could handle on my own, so she had her few very best friends join her and we had the rest of her friends over the following day for another celebration (more on that party to come later…) All of the girls, but one had their own doll already and one of her friends brought her Bitty Baby while she brought her new Julie doll she got from mommy and daddy that morning. One thing I will say AG wins at, is providing a “loaner” doll for anyone who doesn’t bring their own – – I think that’s pretty cool so all girls can get that fun experience even if they don’t have the doll themselves.

I made fun custom shirts for each of the girls and their dolls to wear prior to the party, so they all pranced through the mall with all eyes on them and they loved every minute of it. To say they were the center of the South Park Mall would be an understatement! They pranced right into the store full of excitement… for me, the excitement stalled when we got to the Bistro and this overwhelmed mom was fully expected to be greeted with huge smiles and an upbeat cheer. That wasn’t exactly the case.

An American Girl Birthday Party

We were quickly seated (at the U-shaped bar, (which wasn’t that ideal for five year olds, but it is what it is) and each doll had her own place in a doll high chair next to eat seat. Our drink orders were taken right away and each doll given a mini saucer with cup to use too – – while the girls thought this was too cute.

American Girl Bistro Birthday Party

At the Bistro party, each guest gets to choose her own drink, appetizer, and meal. Each girl went over their options and chose pretty much what the other chose, because they’re five and you can’t give them too many choices or it will just end up a nightmare.. I know you mom’s know what I’m talking about. The party included the following :

  1. Drink, appetizer, & meal for each person
  2. Mini cup with mini saucer for each doll
  3. Crowns for all the dolls
  4. Birthday crown for the birthday girl
  5. Goodie bags for each kid that included a book, doll t-shirt, a mini toy cupcake for the doll, & a few other things
  6. Cake & ice cream

I was a little disappointed in the cake. I was told over the phone when I called to make the reservation it would be a two tier cake, but it was actually a mini smash cake size cake. Which was enough cake for our group, but not at all what I was expecting. Overall, there was plenty of food and it was fun for the girls to choose their own stuff.

An American Girl Bistro Birthday Party

Overall, the girls obviously had a blast, but not sure this mom will be doing that again anytime soon. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be or what would be expected of the American Girl brand. While the overall experience was definitely amazing and there’s obviously nothing quite like going to the store with your daughter and friends, if you don’t live near an American Girl store, I definitely wouldn’t be making a long drive to make it happen. Pinterest has some adorable at-home American Girl party ideas that could be just as fun!

For now.. we’ll enjoy our time with Julie & Lea while my girl is still into all the AG fun!

 

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Bekah July 11, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I’m sure the whole experience was still magical for the girls. I adored AG growing up and I’m still a little bitter at never having a doll as a kid or even having the option of going to an AG store as it was catalog only. They’re crazy expensive but one of my fondest childhood pastimes.

  2. Brooke @ Blushing Noir July 11, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    As a mom I’d be disappointed also. What a shame… I’ve been looking forward to doing this with my daughter =\ As long as the girls had fun that’s all that matters… but I won’t be doing this for my daughter…. spend that $$$ elsewhere lol

    • Kelley July 19, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Right!!?? I think there are so many things you can do to still give them that awesome and exciting experience! It was fun, and I don’t regret it, but you live & learn, right!?

  3. Kristie Burnett July 12, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

    What a great review on the experience. I would have been right there with you expecting great customer service and quality. Definitely interesting to read your take on the experience. Happy Birthday to your little one.

    • Kelley July 19, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I think especially for us mom’s, times like this are excited for us to see that look on our girl’s faces, so at least I got that! She didn’t get any of the nit picky behind the scenes stuff that I didn’t care for! 😉

  4. Jessica Holoka July 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    This definitely seems to be a bit disappointing for a franchise that racks in a whole lot of dough each year. But at long as the kids had a blast, that’s all that matters!

    • Kelley July 19, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      Exactly! It wasn’t that they or (we) had a bad experience, but it was definitely lacking from what I expected from the brand.

  5. ashley July 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    My daughter wants to go so badly but the money is so hard to swallow for us!

    • Kelley July 19, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      It definitely hurt to venture into that world! She wanted Lea so badly, but I already had Julie for her from several years ago so she got Julie and we told her if she wanted Lea she could save her birthday money for it. She got enough money and gift card’s to buy it. That’s how we’ll be doing AG from now on! They can save for what they want!

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