By City Guide News Desk

Dolly World!

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Little girls will be awestruck this fall as they explore the unique world of American Girl Place New York, opening on Fifth Avenue, Saturday, November 8. The 43,000-square-foot retail and entertainment site is designed to reflect American girls both past and present. Some of its highlights will include boutiques filled with American Girl products, a café, and a theater. American Girl products are geared toward girls ages 3-12, and feature age-appropriate books, dolls, plush toys, accessories and clothing designed to foster individuality, intellectual curiosity, and imagination. Says public relations coordinator Stephanie Spanos, of Pleasant Company: “Everything created at American Girl is meant to celebrate girlhood, boost girls' self-esteem, and create a sense of community for today's girls. The company works hard to produce books, products, and programs that protect and prolong childhood for an audience of girls who are constantly pressured to grow up too quickly.” The main floor will feature the contemporary American Girl Today dolls and accessories, including Coconut the puppy and her large-scale doghouse. Other exciting items will include Dress Like Your Doll clothing, the Girls of Many Lands line, a bookstore, and a ‘50s-style Doll Hair Salon. A working Doll Hospital will be located on the mezzanine level. The second floor will contain the American Girls Collection, the flagship product line featuring 9-year-old fictional heroines from different periods in American history, along with their clothing, furniture, and accessories. Exhibits will authentically recreate the historical times in which the heroines lived. Nearby, a 130-seat theater will feature The American Girls Revue. The live, one-hour musical review, written by award-winning Broadway playwrights, is based on stories from the American Girls Collection and the values they represent. On the top floor, the 140-seat café will serve brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The dining experience will be fancy yet child-friendly, and dolls will be invited to sit in their own doll-sized “treat seats”. All meals will include two or three courses and beverages. To encourage storytelling and the sharing of special memories between generations at each table, “conversation starters” will ask questions like: "What was the most fun you had when you were 10 years old?" American Girl birthday parties will also be held in the café. Finally, after dining, girls can find more enchantment in the Bitty Baby nursery and Angelina Ballerina Boutique. To date, more than 90 million American Girl books and 8 million dolls have been sold. Pleasant Company opened American Girl Place in Chicago in November 1998, and over 5 million people have visited to date. The Chicago venue has received numerous awards, including the Themed Entertainment Award (THEA) for best overall themed retail entertainment destination in the world. Pleasant Company was founded in 1986 by Pleasant T. Rowland. In 1998, the company was acquired by Mattel, Inc. “A day at American Girl Place is the perfect opportunity for a girl to share something very special with her mother, grandmother, or other family members and friends, and to create memories that will last forever,” Spanos says.

Info: Where: 609 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street (across from Rockefeller Center). When: Monday-Thursday, 10am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-9pm; and Sunday, 9am-7pm. Notes: Reservations are accepted for meals ($18 to $23 per person) and are required for shows (ages 6 and up, $30 per person). Birthday parties cost $30 per person. Personal shopping service is available. More info: 1-877-AG PLACE or — Melissa B. Stoller