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!)
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.
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.
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 :
- Drink, appetizer, & meal for each person
- Mini cup with mini saucer for each doll
- Crowns for all the dolls
- Birthday crown for the birthday girl
- Goodie bags for each kid that included a book, doll t-shirt, a mini toy cupcake for the doll, & a few other things
- 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.
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!