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5 Tips for Visiting an American Girl Doll Store

I'm Kelly Dixon from Smart School House, a place to find pretty inspirations for your home, your sweet tooth, and your crafty side!

My daughter, Stella, and I are planning our fifth trip to American Girl Place in Los Angeles. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my top five tips for planning a trip to an American Girl Doll Store.

First things first, American Girl is a fabulous experience for the family. Your daughter will be amazed at the entertainment and shopping options. Well, moms will be taken back with the girly fun that the American Girl Doll Store offers. The experience is unbeatable and that's why Stella and I visit the store regularly.

Tip #1: Bring your doll

This might be something that you overlook the first time you go. But the entire store caters to your daughter's American Girl Doll. Whether you have a Bitty Baby or a full-sized American Girl doll, bring it. In fact, this time around we are bringing our Bitty Twins and the Bitty Twins' double jogger stroller to push around the store. If you don't have a doll yet but you want to purchase one while you're there, they will open the doll at the store so you can carry her with you the whole time.

Tip #2: Bring a camera

Again, this is something that you might forget. However, if you've never been there before, visualize what it would be like to step into an American Girl world. It's breathtaking, it's beautiful and it's filled with stunning photo opportunities. You will feel like a kid again, and you'll want to cherish the look on your daughter's face while she's experiencing everything the store has to offer.

Tip #3: Consider doll-friendly dining

The American Girl Place in Los Angeles has a restaurant. It is, hands down, one of our favorite places to eat. The cafe can be very, very busy though so I highly recommend making a reservation well in advance. When you get to the cafe, check in to your cafe reservation about 10 minutes early. The anticipation of the cafe opening their life-sized dollhouse-looking doors for you is super fun. They will have high chairs for your doll and they will also serve your doll some tiny-sized treats (so cute).

Tip #4: Set aside spa time

No girly outing is complete without some spa time (am I right, moms?). The American Girl Place in Los Angeles offers a spa service that is tailored to your American Girl Doll. So, be sure to set aside some time for pampering. You can arrange for your doll to get her hair done in the salon and you can even get your doll's ears pierced at some locations. Does your doll need a facial? Well, you're in luck because they can do that for you there.

Tip #5: Do some pre-shopping before you go

Imagine stepping into a doll shopping paradise. That's what you're going to do when you arrive at the American Girl Doll store. This can actually be pretty overwhelming if you're not prepared. Overwhelming in a fabulous way of course. You wouldn't want to leave the store and forget to purchase something that you really wanted. There are hundreds and hundreds of things to buy when you're at the store. From infant dolls to full-sized dolls, they have them in all varieties. From tiny cats to horses, they have several animal friends to choose from. Want a doll stroller or doll bed? They have all of those too. So, instead of feeling overwhelmed while you're there, I highly recommend doing some pre-shopping in the American Girl Doll catalog or online at the American Girl Doll online store.

I can't wait to check back in and show you what we did while on our trip to American Girl Place. I have a feeling it is going to be perfect. Stella has her eye on a couple of beautiful doll accessories so I'll show you what she chooses.

While all of the content on SheKnows.com reflects the honest opinions of our Experts, American Girl did sponsor this post.

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