Friday, August 26, 2016

Is An American Girl Party Worth It?

Each year, I try to think of a party for my daughter that suits her current favorites -- a flavor of the year, if you will. And each year, after thinking of a particular theme, I can’t help but think ahead about what we will do the year after.  Surprisingly, we don’t run out of inspirations when it comes to Mary’s birthday party because there are always new things that she fancies.

My daughter just turned 7 and at the age of 6,  she started to get interested in American Girl dolls. Thankfully, she got her doll when she turned one as a gift from her grandparents. But already having witnessed Mary give her other dolls bad haircuts, my husband and I decided to keep it until we know that she’s ready to play with it.  I mean, let’s be honest these dolls are not cheap, and the last thing we want is for their beautiful hair to end up on the floor.

American Girl Dolls | Chichi Mary | Blog

We decided to celebrate Mary’s 7th birthday at American Girl Boston. We were initially on the fence, but made the decision after learning that guests can borrow an American Girl doll from the store if they don’t have one or they can also bring their favorite stuffed toy or doll.  It was a relief for us because we didn’t want anyone being left out of the fun.

American Girl offers two packages when it comes to birthday celebrations. One is the birthday celebration package where the party will be held at the common Bistro with a designated table for the party inside the restaurant. The other package is the deluxe birthday celebration package where a private party room is reserved for a party for one and a half hours.  The main difference that I can remember is that the birthday celebrant will have a bigger cake and have her name on the cake if you have your own party room. Of course, the price difference is significant because the birthday celebration package goes for  $31/girl and $21/adult while the deluxe birthday package goes for $47/girl and $37/adult.  Tax is not yet included plus gratuity of at least 15%.

In our case, we chose to have a private party room to make it more special and ensure a place where the girls can laugh and shout without fear of bothering anyone.

American Girl Birthday Party | Table Set-Up | Boston
We were able to have a sneak peek of the private party room the day before the party.  Mary and I got so excited when we saw the table set-up.  The mini cup and saucer for the dolls are exceptionally cute! :)

I was doubtful at first whether my daughter and her friends will have a great time during the party. I initially thought they didn't have much to do -- just some table arts & crafts, a three course menu, and pinwheel games in a small party room. It was just basically dining out with girlfriends and their dolls. For the past years, Mary has had very active birthday parties involving bouncy houses, museum treasure hunts, and the like. But my daughter insisted that she would really like to have a birthday party at the American Girl this year. 

On the day of the party when I saw my daughter’s friends come with their dolls and saw their excitement, my doubt slowly vanished away.

Pink outfit for an American Girl birthday party! Mary in her favorite pink Tartaleta dress.

The party began with menu handed to the girls so that they could choose their desired appetizer and entree. 

American Girl | Menu & Pink Bow | Chichi Mary Blog
The table napkin holder was a hair elastic with a pink bow that girls could take home with them.

American Girl | Menu & Party Favors | Chichi Mary Blog
Menu handed to the girls at the start of the party and the goody bags with take home arts & crafts were given to them after the party.  The doll's tiaras were given at the start of the party.

American Girl | Deluxe Birthday Party Package | Chichi Mary Blog
While waiting for the appetizer and other guests, the girls started decorating their doll's tulle skirt, which was also part of the freebies.

We had a party of 12 ranging from 4 to 10 years old.  We had one party server for the entire party, who also acted as the party host. I think I was quite impressed that the server knew the names of the dolls and even surprised that he had a question and answer portion about American Girl characters, which could be learned when girls read AG books. I was even more surprised at how well versed a lot of the girls were, showing that they actually read the books!

American Girl | Party Games | Chichi Mary Blog

American Girl | Pinwheel | Chichi Mary Blog

Girls got even more excited when the food was served. Everything was beautifully presented like their fancy fruit kabobs. and they would always ask if they could take home some of the food accessories  :)

American Girl Birthday Party | Appetizers | Chichi Mary Blog

American Girl Birthday Party | Entree | Chichi Mary Blog

American Girl Birthday Party | Entree | Pasta | Chichi Mary Blog

For dessert, the girls had a slice of the birthday cake and an ice-cream presented in a cute flower pot.

American Girl Birthday Party | Dessert | Chichi Mary Blog
A slice of the birthday cake and ice-cream in a flower pot were just so entertaining for the girls.
American Girl Birthday Party | Birthday Cake | Chichi Mary Blog

At first, I was quite disappointed that American Girl didn’t allow us to have an afternoon tea inside the party room for the moms. I would have loved it if we can have an afternoon tea theme. But according to them, afternoon tea is only available during the weekdays and could only be held at the Bistro. They also didn’t allow parents to be in the room just to watch the girls unless of course, you’ll pay the charge per person. I felt that they weren't flexible enough to accommodate some requests even though you already availed of your own party room. I think it’s mainly because there is only one server assigned for a party of 12 girls including us parents of the birthday celebrant and there was only one person in charge of serving the food and hosting the party.

But back to the question, is an American Girl worth it?  I can say yes if you’re after the experience. The cost might be a bit on the high side, but it was a great experience for the girls and hearing their "oohhs" and "ahhs" during the party because of the fancy presentation of food, freebies and party favors that were all American Girl themed was just worth it. It was very heartwarming when parents told me afterwards that their girls had so much fun and they were so happy that their kids were invited. And most importantly, our very own Mary had another memorable birthday experience that gave her a big grin on her face for almost a week because she kept thinking about her party. Hopefully, the party provided Mary and all the other girls with a piece of memory that will last their entire lifetime. 

American Girl Birthday Party | Chichi Mary Blog

Yes, it was not the typical birthday party!  But I could say, girls were treated like little ladies with their favorite dolls of course…something unique and special to add in their memory file.



  1. This is a fun approach to give the youthful party visitors a chance to investigate their innovative side.American Themed Parties

  2. If you think that it’ll make your daughter happy, you should by all means do it. I recently celebrated my daughter’s birthday in one of the NYC venues and we had a similar theme for her. She seemed to be having fun with her friends and in the end; her happiness is all that matters.