Places to Go - Tea at the American Girl Cafe (McLean, VA)


As a kick-off for spring break I promised the kids "hot chocolate tea" at the American Girl Store, a culinary experience I approached with a mixture of dread, excitement and curiosity. The American Girl brand operates as a celebration of our national history presented through an incredible expensive consumer lens. And, as a parent, a large part of me applauds their efforts, it feels wonderful to walk into a store for girls where the dolls wear clothes that cover key body parts. Their "just like me" dolls play sports and carry book bags. Braces and glasses are available (for an additional cost, of course). Yay role models!! The historical dolls have such fascinating stories to tell - P's doll Nellie lived in a turn of the century orphanage. Her book teaches kids about orphan trains and settlement houses.

Then you see the price tags. Kit Kittredge, F's doll, grew up during the Great Depression. F loves learning about her. F also craves the HUNDREDS of dollars worth of stuff offered for Kit (I find it somewhat ironic that it costs so much money to teach your kids about the poverty of the Great Depression). The $90 "authentic 1930s-design" table and chairs. The $28 reporter "set". Kit's $28 school lunch? (seriously? $28 for lunch? during the Depression?) Where does a parent draw the line? Where? (I'm asking a serious question here. Can someone help? WHERE??)

Anyways, the American Girl cafe's afternoon tea defined childhood luxury. The dolls have individual seats that clip onto the table. The waiter gives them hats (the dolls, not the kids) for the "party", along with miniature teacups and plates. For $11 a person the food tasted quite good, perhaps a little too sweet for my adult palate, but I'm not their core audience, and the girls loved it. Even T keeps asking "when we go to tea again? when?"

If you're up for trying it the the cafe serves tea from 2 to 4:30, call for reservations FAR in advance as it books up weeks ahead of time. Click here for more info.


*Have you seen the Caine's arcade video? A 9 year old built a whole arcade out of cardboard boxes, with fun passes and everything. Pretty creative.

*10 great photos, especially the teddy bear.

*The commute.


1 comment:

  1. As the mother of two little boys, I am bummed that I probably won't ever get to have the tea at the American Girl Cafe! If I had a girl, I would probably feel like buying one doll and a few key accessories would be within the budget, but it would be hard to know exactly where to draw the line (because as a little girl, I loved dolls and I would probably be just as excited about the accessories as my girl!).
    And I would totally take my boys to the tea if they wanted to go! Thanks for the post!



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