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momma of 2
09-15-2008, 08:31 PM
Anyone ever been to the american girl store in Chicago? My dbf and I are planning on taking my dd4, my dn6, dn7, dn12 in February. This is our first trip and are already very excited. I am getting my dd a jyl girl doll for christmas. She already has a bitty baby. Which doll should I take? Where is a good place to stay? Anything fun in the ag store that we should do with 4 girls that age?

vanreg
09-15-2008, 08:43 PM
I've been there many times....but they are moving to a new location in October of this year. It's not far from the current location and is larger. Assuming they still have the same options at the new location, I would recommend eating there. Just did that for the first time this past spring when I went with 2 friends and all of our daughters (ages 5-11). They really enjoyed it....there are "chairs" for the dolls and both the bitty babies and AG girls fit in them. They will also be offering "ear piercing" for dolls at the hair salon. Currently, there is a play...haven't ever gone to it...they say the kids have to be 6 and up for it and my youngest just turned 6. While we were there, they were giving the girls AG paperdolls and patterns and they could make clothes for the dolls (no charge on this!) Check the website for different things that may be going on while you are there.

Also, they have a coat check for any bags or coats that you don't want to carry around while you are there. Let me know if you have any other questions....have fun!

carrie1626
09-15-2008, 08:48 PM
The girls will LOVE this place!!!
And the new store is opening on Michigan Av in just a few weeks:thumbsup2 It's just around the corner from where it is now. I'm sure it will be BIGGER and better!. Definetely do the TEA Luncheon, You must make reservations for this months(weeks) in advance so get on the ball. Almost all the girls in attendance ( or just shopping) in the store will be hanging on to their own AG Doll. You will see almost all the girls at the Luncheon with their dolls. Years ago, I didn't have a reservation and on a whim decided to ask the Maitre'D if there were any cancellations, there were!!... but my daughter didn't have her doll with. We had a great time besides!! This is the #1( maybe #2) shopping bag you'll see on the streets.
Have a BLAST:)

momma of 2
09-15-2008, 08:51 PM
What part of MI are you from? We are from Holly (outside of flint). We were thinking we would take the amtrak train either from flint or pontiac. Not sure yet.

vanreg
09-15-2008, 08:58 PM
I am near Grand Rapids...we took the train from Holland when we went in the spring. We brought a backpack with some snacks and activities for the train and checked it at the coat check when we arrived. Cab fare from the train station to AG was about $10 each way (I can't imagine that will change much with the new location....they're quite close). If you are thinking of eating there....call early and make a reservation. We called a couple months ahead of time and ended up with a 2pm lunch....it worked out ok, but we definately need snacks on the train (it was a one day trip).

Sorry I can't help with any hotels....whenever we have stayed overnight, we drove and stayed out of the downtown area.

momma of 2
09-15-2008, 09:10 PM
Thank you for all of your help. I found out a embassy suites on the magnificent mile that all 6 of us can stay in. I don't know how close it will be to the ag store but if it accomdates all of us that is what we need.

Mary.Poppins
09-16-2008, 03:57 PM
They are opening an American Girl Store at the Mall of America in a couple of months. I can't wait. I live just minutes away!!!

I have been to the one in Chicago a couple of times. Did the Brunch once and the lunch once. Had a GREAT time both times.
Not sure who enjoyed it more. We took my DD there on her 7th B-day.
She got an American Girl doll...She got a "Just Like You" doll. And...it really did look just like her. That's what she wanted. She bought it first and then brought it to lunch with her just moments later....It was SO fun!!!
It's amazing to see all of the girls walking around with their dolls. Even older
girls!!! I saw lots of jr high aged girls and even some high school aged girls with their dolls. It was great to see!!!

My girls love to go and are very exctied for the new one to open here!!!
Of course, it won't have the same feel as being in downtown Chicago but will still be fun!!

Tam1067
09-16-2008, 06:12 PM
Hi. You will love this place.

The new store will open October 4, and it's right on Michigan Ave. I'm not sure which Embassy Suites you mean, as there is not one on Michigan itself; usually, Michigan Avenue is the "magnificant mile" but the hotel is not on that street. There are two different Embassy Suites in the area, though. One is at 600 North State, and the other is near Navy Pier. The State Street one is certainly closer to where the store is, so if you have a choice, go with that one. It's just a couple of blocks from State to Michigan and then about a block north to Watertower Place, where the new AG store is. The other Embassy Suites is technically within walking distance, but it's not a convenient walk.

You should have a meal there. Choices include brunch, lunch (two seatings), afternoon tea, and dinner. Saturdays book up much sooner than Sundays. Bring your doll. And during the meal, you can even "borrow" a doll to join you if you want.

momma of 2
09-16-2008, 06:21 PM
Ok the one I was looking at was the one on state street but it is like 250 a night. So then I thought about looking at the other one because we do not want to have to get 2 rooms. I think I am more excited than anyone and we still have 5 months until we can go. That is another thing we are going in February/march and if Chicago winters are anything like Michigan winters I will not feel like walking far.

momma of 2
09-16-2008, 06:40 PM
So I found a embassy suites that says that it is near navy pier and magnificent mile. It says EMbassy suites downtown-lakefront. Will this hotel be close enough to ag store and other shopping. address is 511 n. columbus drive. This hotel is only 350 for 2 nights where the other one was 650.

mom2princessj
09-16-2008, 10:02 PM
You won't be able to walk from that one but driving from Navy Pier to Michigan Ave won't take you that long.

I LOVE the AG store. We are taking our daughter this weekend. It will be her second trip. We aren't doing brunch or tea but I highly recommend you do. We live in the south burbs so we can go anytime but if I was coming in from MI I'd make that a priority. The girls will have a ball and DEFINITELY bring your doll. You don't see many girls on Michigan ave without them. And I agree...it's the most if not the second most popular bag walking around the mile. The new store is suppose to be HUGE. My dh and I plan to go back in October after it opens but I know it will be a mob scene until Christmas so we'll just wait to take her back. My advice is if you are going on a Saturday make your reservation for an early lunch BUT get there when the store opens. I've been told by the AG employees that getting there early or going late (like an hour before closing we did this one night and it was DEAD) is the best times on the weekend to go and be able to walk around without crowds.
Have a great time...I can see why you are so excited. It's fantastic!

Tam1067
09-16-2008, 10:36 PM
So I found a embassy suites that says that it is near navy pier and magnificent mile. It says EMbassy suites downtown-lakefront. Will this hotel be close enough to ag store and other shopping. address is 511 n. columbus drive. This hotel is only 350 for 2 nights where the other one was 650.


This is not convenient at all which is why it's so cheap. When you're downtown, you want to walk not drive, and the nearest Embassy Suites to AG Place is the one at 600 North State. The Navy Pier one (at Columbus) is not convenient to where you want to go. In terms of cost to park, you'll pay about $40-45 a night at most downtown hotels. If you take the car from the hotel and drive to Watertower Place, you'll spend another $25-30 to park for a few hours at the mall. Of course, you could cab it, but that's not the most convenient thing to do if you have a few kids. Really walking is the way to go, so it'll be worth it for you to get a hotel near enough to walk easily.

If Embassy Suites on State St. is too expensive, try the Homewood Suites which I believe is on Grand Ave. It's a fairly easy walk to AG Place, and if you want to cut through Nordstrom and the shopping mall to which it's connected, you can avoid some outside walking; we've stayed there twice and liked it. There's also a newly redone Hampton Inn and Suites in that same area; it's on Illinois Street, and it does have suites that are similar to those at Homewood or Embassy but at a cheaper price. I've never stayed at this one, but we've stayed at others in other ciites and liked them.

If you're looking at a map of where AG Place is (Watertower Place is the name of the mall), you want to stay to the west of that location. The neighborhood all around there is fine in either direction, but the hotels, restaurants, and all the stuff you'll want is on Michigan or just west of it. East is the lake and some residential buildings, and some blocks, the streets are at different levels, so to get across them, you need to use stairs. That's not the easiest thing to do.

princess stich
09-17-2008, 07:04 AM
This is not convenient at all which is why it's so cheap. When you're downtown, you want to walk not drive, and the nearest Embassy Suites to AG Place is the one at 600 North State. The Navy Pier one (at Columbus) is not convenient to where you want to go. In terms of cost to park, you'll pay about $40-45 a night at most downtown hotels. If you take the car from the hotel and drive to Watertower Place, you'll spend another $25-30 to park for a few hours at the mall. Of course, you could cab it, but that's not the most convenient thing to do if you have a few kids. Really walking is the way to go, so it'll be worth it for you to get a hotel near enough to walk easily.

If Embassy Suites on State St. is too expensive, try the Homewood Suites which I believe is on Grand Ave. It's a fairly easy walk to AG Place, and if you want to cut through Nordstrom and the shopping mall to which it's connected, you can avoid some outside walking; we've stayed there twice and liked it. There's also a newly redone Hampton Inn and Suites in that same area; it's on Illinois Street, and it does have suites that are similar to those at Homewood or Embassy but at a cheaper price. I've never stayed at this one, but we've stayed at others in other ciites and liked them.

If you're looking at a map of where AG Place is (Watertower Place is the name of the mall), you want to stay to the west of that location. The neighborhood all around there is fine in either direction, but the hotels, restaurants, and all the stuff you'll want is on Michigan or just west of it. East is the lake and some residential buildings, and some blocks, the streets are at different levels, so to get across them, you need to use stairs. That's not the easiest thing to do.

I totally disagree on this! We were just in Chicago Labor Day weekend and stayed at the Embassy Suites Lakefront. This was our 2nd time staying there. We stay here because we can easily walk to both Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue. My kids are 7 and 4 and had no problem walking. We even walked to the Giordano's on Rush which is one street west of Michigan Ave.

bear_mom
09-17-2008, 08:42 AM
What part of MI are you from? We are from Holly (outside of flint). We were thinking we would take the amtrak train either from flint or pontiac. Not sure yet.


Another option, espically for those in Western Michigan is the Northern Indiana Commuter Line. If you are in Holly you would have to drive some, it leaves from South Bend or you could leave from Michigan City. It is much cheaper than Amtrak ($8/one way from MI City, kids are 1/2 price). It stops in three places in Chicago, we have gotten off by the Museum of Science and Industry but it ends under Millineum Park, which is where we catch it when we leave. It also stops by Shedd and Field Museum. It also gives more time options than Amtrak, which usually only leaves one or two times a day.

I have taken both Amtrak (from St. Joseph) and the commuter train. I much prefer the commuter train. Both times we have decided to stay a few more hours to do one more thing - which wouldn't have been an option with Amtrak.

Another option instead of taxis, especially if you plan on taking more than one is the vistors pass. You can ride unlimited rides on the buses/El for $5/24 hours, $9/48 hours, etc. (kids under 7 are free). The Chicago transporation website has maps and planners you can use to figure out the system before you get there, but it is pretty easy to figure out. You can order the vistors pass from the webstie also. It is activated the first time you use it.

Emily

mom2my2gr8kids
09-17-2008, 08:46 AM
We LOVE the AG store!! We take the train everytime we go! We take it from Ann Arbor or Dearborn (same one as the one from Pontiac). We have done it in just a day trip a few times (take the train in the morning and home in the evening).

We we have stayed overnight we stayed at the Holiday Inn City Centre and took the taxi to AG. Make sure you eat there, unfortunately they will not have the theatre at the new store, but I am sure there will new things to explore! Ohhhh and do the photo shoot .. my dd does it everytime we go (and we go at least once a year). I am thinking of surprising her with a trip for her birthday to the new store in a couple weeks :)

hunterfaimly
09-17-2008, 03:53 PM
This summer we stayed at Club Quarters on Wacker and Michigan Ave. It was great and very affordable. Great location.

Noelle

mom2princessj
09-18-2008, 01:00 AM
We LOVE the AG store!! We take the train everytime we go! We take it from Ann Arbor or Dearborn (same one as the one from Pontiac). We have done it in just a day trip a few times (take the train in the morning and home in the evening).

We we have stayed overnight we stayed at the Holiday Inn City Centre and took the taxi to AG. Make sure you eat there, unfortunately they will not have the theatre at the new store, but I am sure there will new things to explore! Ohhhh and do the photo shoot .. my dd does it everytime we go (and we go at least once a year). I am thinking of surprising her with a trip for her birthday to the new store in a couple weeks :)

WOW...no theatre really? I'm sure I'll find out some things on Saturday about the new store...I'm going to ask the associates while we are there. I was looking forward to taking my dd to the theatre sometime too :(