On November 11th, the new American Girl Place location opened at 75 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Replacing the beloved but impractical and often insanely crowded location on 5th Avenue, this store provides more space to move with the same great products. Plus, the American Girl app will now give shoppers augmented reality experiences throughout the store. Margaret and Madison, two super cute and savvy 2nd graders who take their toys very seriously visited last week and pronounced the new store “awesome”.
Located on two floors on 51st Street in Rockefeller Center, the new store is as open and airy as the old location was cozy and intimate. Customers enter on the ground floor and are greeted with a display of seasonal merchandise. The ground floor also houses the Girl of the Year, Gabriela, along with the display of all former Girls of the Year. Margaret and Madison got a kick out of seeing the Girl of the Year dolls from before they were born and quizzed each other on how many girls they each have (Answer: A LOT). The girls also loved the small section with the Mega Construx for American Girl. Pro Tip: Get a pic of your very own American Girl with the life-sized girl made out of Mega Construx blocks.
There is also an expansive area for the Create Your Own dolls. Make sure to stop at the computer kiosks located around the floor so your child can create her unique doll and save it to her profile. Margaret debated about whether to add freckles to her girl but decided not to since, “they’re cute but I don’t have any”. Pro Tip: Using the kiosks for this is a little tricky and, of course, you’ll have someone who wants to be your “helper”. So if you’d rather not whisper-shout your password as the line grows longer behind you, set up your account before you leave home.
Also on the ground floor? The hair salon, now expanded to provide hairstyles, manicures and ear piercing for girls and their dolls. Our two willing volunteers were led to styling chairs and provided with a book full of photos of hairstyles with braids, twists, curls and crossovers. Margaret picked a half-up, half-down braid, twist combo and curls. Madison picked a crossover style that involved lots of ponytails. Stylists inquired about allergies and sensitivities before beginning and asked for parental consent before using product in the girls’ hair. The girls were then treated to manicures with their choice of bath bomb “flavor” (orange or lavender), a hand massage with Burt’s Bees lotion and a special seat and complementary polish for their dolls. Pro Tip: Book early for this service. The salon is adorable but not large and we suspect it will sell out fast.
Head downstairs to visit with old friends in the BeForever line. Sections are devoted to each of the girls from the historical line. Margaret and Madison made a beeline (as always) for the Julie Albright egg chair and spent a good bit of time with the working microphone in the Melody Ellison section. Also located on the lower level, the café, books and videos, the Bitty Baby collection and a terrific WellieWishers section with a replica of their playhouse and a ton of interactive games. Pro Tip: Save enough time for this section. It is super cute and lots of fun. Margaret and Madison would have spent much more time there if their party pooper mothers hadn’t made them leave.
American Girl Place, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York. 877.247.5443 Pro Tip: Use the ParkWhiz app to find and reserve a spot in one of the parking garages closest to the store.