2023 Guide: Unforgettable Visit To Chicago’s American Girl Doll Store

The American Girl Doll Store in Chicago is more than just a store; it’s an experience. Nestled in the heart of the Windy City, this iconic destination has been a haven for doll enthusiasts, young girls, and families for years.

Whether you’re a collector or just looking for a unique day out with your child, the American Girl Doll Store promises memories that will last a lifetime.

Key Takeaways:

  • The store offers a unique personalized doll experience.
  • Dining at the American Girl Café is a must-do.
  • Special events and workshops enhance the overall experience.

History and Background

The American Girl brand, known for its rich history and diverse doll collection, has been a staple in many households.

The Chicago store, in particular, stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing an immersive experience for its patrons.

The Store Experience

Walking into the store, visitors are greeted with a vast array of dolls, each with its own story and background. From historical dolls that teach children about different eras to the Truly Me dolls that can be customized to look just like your child, the options are endless.

  • Doll Personalization: One of the highlights of the store is the opportunity to personalize a doll. From choosing the hair, eyes, and skin tone to selecting outfits and accessories, the store offers a truly unique experience.
  • Doll Hospital: For those dolls that have seen better days, the store offers a doll hospital where they can be repaired and rejuvenated.
  • Books and More: Beyond dolls, the store also offers a range of books that delve into the stories of each doll, providing an educational aspect to the experience.

Planning Your Visit

Preparation is key to making the most of your visit to this doll haven. The store is a bustling hub of activity, especially during weekends and holidays. Planning ahead ensures a smooth, enjoyable experience.

  1. Research: Before your visit, familiarize yourself with the American Girl brand and the various offerings at the Chicago store. There are buy/sell/trade Facebook pages and forums where enthusiasts share their experiences and tips​​.
  2. Booking Appointments: While walk-ins are welcome, booking appointments for special services like the Doll Salon or Doll Hospital ensures you don’t miss out. It’s advisable to book up to 90 days in advance to secure your spot, especially during peak times​​.
  3. Itinerary Planning: The American Girl Store is nestled in a vibrant part of Chicago with other attractions nearby. Consider making a day of it by visiting nearby places like Navy Pier, especially if you’re traveling with family​​.

Dining at the American Girl Café

No trip to the store would be complete without a visit to the American Girl Café. With a menu designed keeping kids in mind, the café offers a delightful dining experience. What’s unique is the special seating for dolls, ensuring they are a part of the experience.

  • Menu Highlights: From mini burgers to delightful desserts, the café offers a range of options that are both delicious and kid-friendly.
  • Dining with Your Doll: Each table is equipped with a special seat for dolls, ensuring they are a part of the dining experience.

Special Events and Workshops

Beyond shopping, the store hosts a range of events and workshops designed to enhance the overall experience. From doll hair styling workshops to seasonal events, there’s always something happening at the store.

  • Seasonal Events: The store often hosts special events during holidays, providing a festive experience for visitors.
  • Workshops for Kids: From learning how to care for their doll to crafting, the workshops are designed to be both educational and fun.

Shopping Tips and Recommendations

For those planning a visit, here are some tips to ensure a smooth experience:

  • Best Times to Visit: Weekdays, especially during school hours, tend to be less crowded.
  • First-time Visitors: Consider booking a personal shopper experience.
  • Budgeting: The store can be pricey, so setting a budget beforehand can be helpful.

Visitor Testimonials

Many visitors have shared their delightful experiences at the store. From the joy of personalizing a doll to the unique dining experience at the café, the store promises memories that last a lifetime.

  • “My daughter loved the experience of creating a doll that looked just like her. It’s a day we’ll always remember.” – Jane D.
  • “The café was a highlight for us. The food was delicious, and my daughter loved that her doll could dine with us.” – Mike L.

Doll Hospital and Repairs

Dolls are cherished possessions, and over time, they might need some TLC. The store’s doll hospital ensures that every doll is given the care it deserves.

  • Services Offered: From hair detangling to limb replacements, the doll hospital offers a range of services.
  • Care Tips: The hospital also provides tips on how to care for dolls, ensuring they last for years.

Tips for Parents

A trip to the store is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Here are some tips for parents:

  • Managing Expectations: It’s easy to get carried away, so setting expectations beforehand can be helpful.
  • Plan Ahead: Consider booking experiences like dining at the café or personal shopping in advance.

Personal Stories and Experiences

Every trip to the American Girl Doll Store in Chicago is unique, and visitors often leave with cherished memories. Here are some personal stories and experiences shared by visitors:

  • A Day to Remember: “I took my daughter to the store for her 10th birthday. The joy in her eyes as she personalized her doll and dined with it at the café is something I’ll never forget.” – Sarah M.
  • Collector’s Paradise: “As a long-time collector of American Girl dolls, visiting the Chicago store was a dream come true. The vast collection and exclusive items made it a memorable experience.” – Rebecca L.
  • A Trip Down Memory Lane: “I had an American Girl doll when I was younger. Visiting the store with my niece brought back so many memories. We both left with new dolls and matching outfits.” – Danielle P.

Doll Hospital and Repairs

The doll hospital at the store is a testament to the brand’s commitment to ensuring every doll is cherished for years. Whether it’s a minor repair or a major one, the skilled staff at the hospital ensures every doll is given the care it deserves.

Services Offered:

  • Hair detangling and styling
  • Limb replacements
  • Eye replacements
  • Ear piercing

Table: Doll Hospital Services and Prices

Hair Detangling$15
Limb Replacement$20
Eye Replacement$25
Ear Piercing$10

Tips for Parents

A trip to the store is a delightful experience, but it can also be overwhelming. Here are some tips for parents to ensure a smooth visit:

  • Set a Budget: The store offers a range of items at different price points. Setting a budget can help manage expenses.
  • Book in Advance: Popular services like the doll hospital and café can get busy. Consider booking in advance.
  • Plan Your Visit: Check the store’s calendar for special events and workshops. Planning your visit around these can enhance the overall experience.

Exploring the Surroundings

The American Girl Doll Store is located in a prime area in Chicago, surrounded by other attractions. If you’re planning a trip to the store, consider exploring the nearby attractions:

  • Magnificent Mile: Just a short walk from the store, the Magnificent Mile offers a range of shopping and dining options.
  • Navy Pier: A popular attraction, Navy Pier offers entertainment, dining, and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
  • Millennium Park: Known for the iconic “Bean” sculpture, Millennium Park is a great place to relax and take in the city’s architecture.

Table: Nearby Attractions and Distance from the Store

Magnificent Mile0.5 miles
Navy Pier1.5 miles
Millennium Park1 mile


A journey to the American Girl Doll Store in Chicago transcends a typical retail experience. It’s a celebration of childhood, a tribute to history, and an invitation to imagination.

The meticulously crafted dolls, the heartwarming stories they tell, and the myriad of interactive experiences offer not just a day of retail therapy, but a cherished journey into a world of imagination.

Every corner of the store unfolds a narrative, every doll has a tale to tell, and every visit leaves a lasting imprint on the heart.

So as you step into this realm of endless imagination, let the child within soar, explore, and relish the simple joy of discovering a world where dolls and dreams come to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I book a personal shopper experience?

A: Yes, the store offers a personal shopper experience. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak times.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for workshops?

A: Most workshops are designed for children aged 8 and above. However, it’s best to check with the store for specific age requirements.

Q: Can I dine at the café without making a purchase at the store?

A: Yes, the café is open to all visitors, regardless of whether you make a purchase at the store.

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