American Girl Pop Up Grand Opening

Last Saturday marked the grand opening of the Philadelphia area American Girl temporary store.  Located in King of Prussia mall, the store is just a short drive away from Center City.  This is the first American Girl store in the area with American Girl Place in New York City previously being the closest.  The King of Prussia American Girl store is slated to close on January 28th of next year, which gives you plenty of time to handle Christmas purchases and exchanges at a retail location.

We arrived at 9:00 am knowing that they were handing out tickets, but not exactly sure how that process would work.  I later found out that the tickets each had a group number on them and there were 50 tickets in each group.  They ran out of tickets after 26 groups, so they handed out 1,300 in total!  We ended up being in group 15, so there were approximately 750 people in front of us in line.  The first two groups were granted immediate access, while the others were encouraged to shop the rest of the mall.  We got our tickets at around 11:00 am, so we decided to walk around and then grab something to eat.  We were excited to see that our number was on the board when we returned.  We lined up in the standby area and anticipated a quick entry.  Here’s where things got a little tricky.  If your number was lower than what was on the board, you were to get into a different section to gain entry before the group that was in standby.  Based on the timing of everything and the size of the other section, it seems like the earlier numbers flew by because many people were at lunch or elsewhere.  We ended up spending an additional two hours in the standby line since they allowed the earlier numbers to go in first.  I feel as though it wouldn’t have been so bad if they had alternated the earlier numbers with the current standby.American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia American Girl Philadelphia  Check back in a couple days to see more pictures from inside the store and see what the freebies were at the grand opening.

Maeby’s First American Girl Doll

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Maeby has been asking for an American Girl doll for over a year.  Santa brought her an Our Generation doll for Christmas last year so she could practice taking care of an 18 inch doll.  Months passed and she became even more interested in American Girl.  We watched the movies for McKenna, Kit, and Chrissa.  She would flip through old catalogs and make lists of everything she liked.  Initially we were planning on making a trip to the American Girl store in New York City, but our recent travels landed us right near the store in Natick, Massachusetts.

ag1When we arrived, Maeby insisted on admiring the display windows.  Little did she know that the store was filled with displays she could play with.  We were greeted by the Girl of the Year and her accessories as soon as we walked in the door.  Maeby loved playing with Grace’s mixer that comes with her baking set.  Eventually we made it to the displays for the newest BeForever doll, Maryellen.ag3 ag4I was starting to suspect that Maeby had changed her mind about what doll she wanted.  Maryellen had such cool accessories and furniture, so I wasn’t surprised by the magnetism.  ag5 ag6We went upstairs to check out the Truly Me dolls and the Bistro.  We knew that we weren’t going to partake in the dining experience because of the limited amount of vegan options, but it was fun to check out the restaurant and decor.  I like that they will allow girls to borrow a doll for their meal, so that girls that don’t have dolls or forgot their dolls can still join in on the experience.  ag7Eventually we made our way back downstairs and Maeby informed us that her choice of doll was still the same.  She chose Girl of the Year: Grace Thomas.  Maeby loves helping out in the kitchen, especially when baked goods are involved.  I guess it was an easy choice for her.  Since Grace has come home with us, we have watched An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success a few times.  Maeby brings Grace with her practically everywhere, and she keeps talking about Paris and the Eiffel Tower.  I know that she won’t soon forget about her first visit to the American Girl store, and that the American Girl characters will be part of our conversations for many years to come.  ag8

Thrift Haul 2

Maeby had recently discovered the collection of tiny toys I have been hiding from her.  If you have a daughter, you probably know the toys I am talking about.  Barbie shoes, Lalaloopsy mini accessories, and basically any doll house miniature that could pose a choking hazard (and there are a ton of them).  She had gotten past her I wonder what this toy tastes like phase, but I was hesitant to give her the tiny toys since Abram might think putting them in his mouth was a good idea.  She climbed to the top of her wardrobe and spotted the floral bin they were stored in.  She pulled them down and asked if she could pretty please play with them.  I allowed her, despite still being skeptical of the small objects.  Since then she has played with them almost every day, and sometimes for hours on end.  It is so inspiring to catch her playing with toys in unique ways.  No toy in the house has been safe.  I recently rescued a basketful of her brothers’ toys that she had squirreled away in her room.  (Note: I encourage my kids to play with all toys despite the gender they are usually marketed to, but to keep my sanity I aim to store the boys’ toys in their room and her toys in her room.)  For Christmas, I know that I want to gift maeby a curated collection of tiny toys and that I need to start gathering them now.  That was my main objective in our thrift stop last week.

second thrift haul 1I found a Batman Imaginext playset that I knew Micah would love.  He has recently been getting into superheroes, thanks to the release of Disney Infinity 2.0.  I will pair this with some of the newer DC Imaginext figures.  The great thing about Imaginext toys is that the figures’ feet are all the same so he could also use his Toy Story and castle set figures with this.  The rest of the picture is pretty self-explanatory, except for the Mr Potato Head arm and nose.  We have six Mr Potato Head bases, and are constantly losing limbs and pieces, so I jumped at the opportunity to pick up extras.

second thrift haul 2The Gap sweater is a size medium, so it is still a little big for Maeby.  She does like wearing it with the sleeves rolled up, so it may make an appearance into her wardrobe before winter is over.  The Motherhood top is for me, but I am not pregnant.  I am still nursing Abram, though, so it makes a nice pajama shirt (and I don’t mind stretching the neck out since it was so cheap).second thrift haul 3The baby doll is from Pottery Barn.  I was excited to find it since their dolls are made really well.  Please imagine the Barbies are wearing clothes.  For some reason, clothed Barbies rarely make into thrift stores.  As you can see, I was able to find some tiny toys on my trip.  I found a couple tea pots, a mug, some cakes, a few skirts, and some tiny friends.

Total spent on this trip…