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Juliee8
04-13-2010, 10:06 AM
I am planning a trip to the Chicago American Girl store to suprise dd for her 5th birthday in May.:banana: This will be our first trip, and I would love any advice or tips that you could give me on things we should or should'nt do. We are planning on taking the train up there and spending the night. I also am planning to eat a meal at the American girl cafe.

Astro Orbiter
04-13-2010, 10:10 AM
AG's not really budget - more of a budget buster!!!

Anyways, for the most help, seek out an AG website - I've gotten good help at AGplaythings.com . Those ladies are obsessed, and post TRs on their trips to the stores like Dissers here.

Have fun!

Donaldswife
04-13-2010, 10:19 AM
I am planning a trip to the Chicago American Girl store to suprise dd for her 5th birthday in May.:banana: This will be our first trip, and I would love any advice or tips that you could give me on things we should or should'nt do. We are planning on taking the train up there and spending the night. I also am planning to eat a meal at the American girl cafe.

We just went at the beginning of April and had a great day! :thumbsup2 Make your reservations for the cafe NOW if you haven't yet. They book up pretty early. We had lunch and food was good. It is pricey, but the atmosphere is darling and my daughter had a great time.

If you want to get your doll's hair done at the salon get there right when they open and go straight to the salon. By noon if you checked in it would be 2:30 before they got to your doll, but right when they open you can get in pretty quickly. They have design a tshirt for the dolls for $10, ear piercing for $14 if your doll does not have hers pierced yet, the hair salon was @$20, and they have a portrait studio that your girl and her doll can have a picture done (I don't know the prices there, we did this a couple of years ago so we skipped it.) It is very east to spend money there. Lunch for the two of you will be @$50, then everything else there is to do, along with anything you buy. I spent $200 when we were there last week, so make sure you budget enough money for what you want to do. It was a great day, and my DD8 was in heaven. :goodvibes

wtpntigger2
04-13-2010, 10:19 AM
Book now if you're planning to eat in the cafe. The reservations can fill up fast. And be prepared for the "I wants" - lol.

Jesussavedme
04-13-2010, 10:28 AM
Well, I don't know if she is still working there, but if she is, I would request RITA when you go into the store, to be your personal shopper.
She shopped with us, took care of our bags, was so friendly and caring, even brought out my daughter a birthday present from the back. She is the sweetest lady! Genuinely kind.


Definitely do lunch or dinner in the cafe'. So memorable, we still talk about it to this day, 5 years later. We can't wait to go back! Food was superb.

We went to the AG theatre there too, the show was magnificent.

My daughter did the magazine photo and that was a lot of fun too!

Take lots of pics!
Have fun!:cloud9:

ceecee
04-13-2010, 11:52 AM
Plan on spending the day!!! We loved it, ate at the Cafe and got the birthday package for DD, it was a little extra but that's why we went! Also start saving now!!!

mom2travel
04-13-2010, 12:29 PM
My DD and I went when she was 8 - right before the store moved to its current location. We had a wonderful day! I still remember when she looked at me across the lunch table and said "this is the best day ever!" :love:

We shopped and had lunch in the cafe'. DD did not want to do the salon or photo session. She preferred to use her money for shopping! I gave her a set amount and told her she could get whatever she chose with it (like we do at WDW)

Did you book a hotel? We stayed at Four Points by Sheraton on N Rush. It was one of the hotels at the time that you could book the American Girl package through. We got a free breakfast one morning. A doll bed with blanket and pillow was waiting for DD in our room. and she got an afteroon treat of milk and cookies. DD was so surprised by the extras

Have a wonderful time!

Donaldswife
04-13-2010, 01:25 PM
Well, I don't know if she is still working there, but if she is, I would request RITA when you go into the store, to be your personal shopper.
She shopped with us, took care of our bags, was so friendly and caring, even brought out my daughter a birthday present from the back. She is the sweetest lady! Genuinely kind.


Definitely do lunch or dinner in the cafe'. So memorable, we still talk about it to this day, 5 years later. We can't wait to go back! Food was superb.

We went to the AG theatre there too, the show was magnificent.

My daughter did the magazine photo and that was a lot of fun too!

Take lots of pics!
Have fun!:cloud9:

Just to let everyone know, the new location does not have the theater, and there is no longer a show. I wish they would have kept it, it was a nice show.

mom of princessx2
04-13-2010, 03:49 PM
I am planning a trip to the Chicago American Girl store to suprise dd for her 5th birthday in May.:banana: This will be our first trip, and I would love any advice or tips that you could give me on things we should or should'nt do. We are planning on taking the train up there and spending the night. I also am planning to eat a meal at the American girl cafe.

We are thinking of doing the same thing this fall and if I was going I would do the $255 package. You both get lunch, go to doll salon, magazine photo shoot, dd and doll get matching t-shirts and $130 to spend in the store. There is more info on the AG site but to me that would be the best deal.

Amandaj0831
04-13-2010, 03:55 PM
We went last year for my daughters 4th and 6th bdays (together they are both in Aug) and def. make reservations we booked late so we were able to get in around 2:00 and did the banana split for everyone instead of the meal. We planned ahead and told the girls what they were allowed to get. That helped everyone stay on budget. It was still way cheaper than bday parties around here. We gave them each 100 ( a doll) and thier grandparents gave them each 25 (an outfit or accessory) and everyone was happy.

tinkercat
04-13-2010, 03:55 PM
We did the "Day at AG Place" package that the PP mentioned above and it was great! DD loved it and it was worth every penny. We went for her 6th birthday and everyone made her feel so special. It was an experience we'll both remember for years. Have fun!

WeLoveLilo05
04-13-2010, 04:04 PM
We took DD for her 5th birthday, but to the one in NYC. I think that is the most money we have ever spent in one store on toys :headache: but I keep reminding myself, she's only young once and ALL of our relatives gave her money for her birthday instead of a gift b/c they knew we were taking her there.
Bring your dolls, they sit with you and give you a chair for them, they give you a cup and dish for them too.
The cafe was wonderful, the food was good too, the appetizer platter was yum! :thumbsup2
I think there is a small fee for a cake, we went during the week since DD isn't in school yet and EVERYONE's birthday was that day who was dining at the cafe, they sang happy birthday about 10xs :rotfl:
You'll have fun, it really is a nice experience. DD is begging for us to take her back.

victorandbellasmom
04-14-2010, 08:52 PM
We're planning our 1st trip to the Los Angeles store next month and are also thinking of doing the Day at American Girl Place plackage for $250. This may a stupid question but I have to ask. Is the $250, the out the door price or do you pay sales tax on top of it. The reason I ask is I notice that you also get $130 in spending money, but I wasn't sure if that $130 is pre tax or post tax $130. Does that even make sense?

MaidMarian
04-14-2010, 10:40 PM
We just took my daughter for her 5th birthday. I highly recommend the personal shopper service, it doesnt cost anything and just made everything so much easier. Plus my daughter thought she was so cool to have her own assistant. Eating at the cafe is a must. Its always a wonderful experience. The one thing I would do differently, we didnt get the birthday package and my daughter didnt understand why she wasnt sung happy birthday to (there must have been 8 birthdays)

tinkercat
04-14-2010, 11:11 PM
We're planning our 1st trip to the Los Angeles store next month and are also thinking of doing the Day at American Girl Place plackage for $250. This may a stupid question but I have to ask. Is the $250, the out the door price or do you pay sales tax on top of it. The reason I ask is I notice that you also get $130 in spending money, but I wasn't sure if that $130 is pre tax or post tax $130. Does that even make sense?

If I remember correctly, it was pre-tax on the merchandise. I recall having to chip in a few bucks to cover tax for DD when she went close to her $130 amount because tax in Chicago is so high. For the salon stuff and photo shoot with magazine cover, etc. it was totally covered with the voucher that you get though, no extra tax added on.

victorandbellasmom
04-14-2010, 11:23 PM
We just took my daughter for her 5th birthday. I highly recommend the personal shopper service, it doesnt cost anything and just made everything so much easier. Plus my daughter thought she was so cool to have her own assistant. Eating at the cafe is a must. Its always a wonderful experience. The one thing I would do differently, we didnt get the birthday package and my daughter didnt understand why she wasnt sung happy birthday to (there must have been 8 birthdays)
I'm glad you had a great time. I'll look into a personal shopper. By birthday package, do you mean the all inclusive birthday parties that's $32/person or is there something you can just pay to add on to your meal. Dd's birthday was last Sunday, but part of her birthday present is going shopping at AGP. So I'm totally down for celebrating her birthday during lunch, just not willing to pay $32/person for dh, dd, ds, and I for a total of $128.

If I remember correctly, it was pre-tax on the merchandise. I recall having to chip in a few bucks to cover tax for DD when she went close to her $130 amount because tax in Chicago is so high. For the salon stuff and photo shoot with magazine cover, etc. it was totally covered with the voucher that you get though, no extra tax added on.

Thanks for responding so quickly. Family knew that dd wanted to go shopping at AGP, so most gave her cash. I'm just trying to maximize her experience and her shopping budget.

jls886
04-15-2010, 07:32 AM
Not to hijack this thread, but this seemed like an appropriate place to post this. I've been helping my parents recently on an upcoming garage sale, going through all kinds of things in their house, many of which are my old things.

I ran across two American Girl Library books, Oops! A Manners Guideand Groom Your Room. We are just going to put them in the garage sale, but I thought one (or two) of you might appreciate the books more than whoever happens to show up at our garage sale. They are my old books, I think from 1997? They're in perfect condition, no marks or tearing, they look virtually brand new.

If any of you might want one or both of the books, just send me a PM and I'll be happy to send them off to you. If not, we'll just put them in the garage sale as planned.

OP - Hope you enjoy your trip to Chicago!! I got into the books, but never really got into the dolls...but it sounds like quite the experience!