Walk down North Michigan Avenue at this time of year and you're bound to see gaggles of girls carrying their look-a-like dolls, marching toward American Girl Place Chicago (835 N. Michigan Avenue). This over-the-top doll shop features not just dolls but also adorable, interactive displays, a bookstore, a cafe, a bakery and even a doll beauty salon.
If you're looking to create a special holiday memory with your special American girl, take her and her favorite dolly to American Girl Chicago STAT.
Here are 8 ways to celebrate the holidays at American Girl Place Chicago.
1) Enjoy a holiday-themed brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
During the holidays, the in-store cafe is not only decked out in its holiday best but goes all out to accommodate girls and their dolls (and parents!). Dolls receive their very own special chair, so they can be comfy, too, as well as doll-sized dining-ware. Expect special treats and holiday favors throughout! You'll need to make a reservation for the timed seating brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner at Chicago's American Girl Cafe.
Brunch is $19 per person, excluding tax and gratuity; seating time: 9:30 a.m. Lunch is $22 per person; seating times: 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea is $19 per person; seating time: 4 p.m. Dinner is $23 per person; with two seating times at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
2) Visit with Santa.
Santa is coming to American Girl Place Chicago on November 29 and December 4, and he can't wait to meet you and your girl. It's the perfect opportunity to share a wish list with the big man in red. This festive event includes one 5x7 keepsake photo per girl, plus a delicious meal to enjoy during your visit. Reserve a spot at americangirl.com/retailinfo/events.
3) Enjoy an excursion to see a holiday show.
Combine a visit to American Girl place with an excursion to see a show at a Chicago theater. These unforgettable experiences include teatime at the American Girl Cafe, transportation to the theatre, and tickets to a captivating show. On December 13, share the excitement, feel the familiar rhythms, and watch the amazing African adventure the Lion King come to life on stage at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. On December 18, experience the dreamlike magic of the Nutcracker ballet. To reserve, visit americangirl.com/retailinfo/events.
4) Create a custom fashion design.
American Girl Place Chicago gives girls the chance to be a doll fashion designer. Using a tablet interface, girls select a doll outfit or girl-sized backpack and then make unique designs from an ever-changing array of images and patterns, plus graphics to represent the season, too. You'll get the piece printed in-store to show off to friends that same day.
5) Shop for holiday duds for your doll.
Every year, American Girl releases special holiday clothing and accessories, for both girls and their dolls. The 2016 American Girl dress is sparkling red taffeta while this year's accessories include a velveteen shrug, a glimmering ring, and even a miniature snow globe.
6) Stock up on stocking stuffers.
American Girl has a ton of tiny-sized gifts (think winter boots and cozy PJ's), perfect for filling up a holiday stocking.
7) Make a difference.
American Girl's Get a Friend. Give a Friend campaign will match any 18-inch doll purchase made online, in-store, or via phone. Through November 30, when you buy a doll American Girl will donate a second doll (up to 1,000 dolls each day) to the Children's Hospital Association. The doll donation — worth nearly $3 million — will help bring comfort and cheer to thousands of young girls receiving care in any of the Association's 200 U.S. member hospitals in approximately 50 states.
American Girl is also asking fans to continue to "bake a difference" through the company's For Goodness, Bake! initiative in support of No Kid Hungry®, a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength®. Through December 31, American Girl will match dollar for dollar (up to $50,000) girls' holiday bake sale proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Originally launched on January 1 to celebrate the 2015 Girl of the Year Grace, For Goodness, Bake! has raised more than $450,000 — the equivalent of 4.5 million meals for hungry kids!
8) Capture the magic.
American Girl fans are encouraged to share pictures and videos of their special American Girl holiday moments: from cute #usies (a counter trend to selfies) to photos of holiday fun on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Joy2EveryGirl.
The events calendar at American Girl Place Chicago updates frequently, so check back often, and plan your visit around one of the many festive happenings. Consider spending your night at a Magnificent Mile area hotel that offers special, sweet amenities for girls and dolls. To make a reservation for the American Girl Chicago Cafe, call the reservation hotline at (877) 247-5223 or book online at americangirl.com.