Yesterday I joined my cousin for an afternoon tea party at the American Girl Place cafe. We were there to celebrate her daughter's ninth birthday. Have you been to American Girl Place? It seems that while I was busy wallowing in the life of 30-something adult, the most amazing doll store in the world sprouted up on the corner of 49th St. and Fifth Avenue.
The concept is similar to Cabbage Patch dolls. Each doll has her own name, hobbies, activities, characteristics, furniture, toys, etc. The store three floors of doll heaven. On the first floor you have your regular dolls - Marisol, Becky, Helen what have you. They ice skate, do rhythmic gymnastics, play flute, go to the beach, etc. and the races of the dolls vary widely enough that everyone can find a doll to represent themselves if need be. Even better, on the first floor you can find clothes to match your daughters' doll(s). So if you like that little teal sparkly top that Becky was wearing in the guitar playing display, you can pick one up for your little girl.
Here is a picture of the main showcase on the first floor. An army of dolls awaits adoption by the happiest 8 and 9 year old girls I've ever seen.
The second floor has period dolls. For example, Felicity. Felicity "lives" in Colonial America. And she has the clothing and the accoutrements to prove it.
Here she is modeling her tea set. Note the clothing, furniture and tea set are all for sale.
Here is Felicity posing with her canopy bed. Note that her night shiftand sleeping bonnet are for sale in real child sizes just around the corner from this display.
Here is the Samantha display. She's a plucky girl from Victorian times. In addition to clothing, furniture and accessories, each doll also has a series of books based on her life.
You can even buy your American Girl Doll her own doll. This display case had little tiny American Girl Dolls for that purpose. And each little tiny doll has her own book too, in case you were wondering.
The combination afternoon tea/birthday party was a lot of fun. The wait staff use special chairs to seat the American Girl dolls at the table. All the little girls in the place were dressed in frilly little dressed and displayed the most gentile table manners.
In a cynical world where people losing more and more faith in today's children it was nice to see 8, 9 and 10 year olds getting exciting over the simple pleasure of doll ownership. Granted it's doll ownership on steroids and crystal meth but still. It was nice.