From American Girl Place. And yes, it is possible to spend six hours there. We quickly ran through the play money that came with our "Day at AGP" package, and caught up in the fever of acquisition, I started saying "Well, Uncle T. usually sends $25 for your birthday" and "Okay, I know you didn't expect the hairdo to cost $20, so I'll cover that" and "I'm getting you these matching baseball caps as a souvenir, so that doesn't really count as part of what you're buying."
I must say, though, that S. proved to be a good little shopper, and as much as some of you reading this may guffaw, it was a learning experience and an exercise in choice and restraint. We got this bed, since the only bed for American Girl Today dolls (the kind S. has) costs one hundred and sixty dollars and weighs forty-five pounds. ("we usually recommend that people have it shipped" the sales associate said. Yeah.) The only purchase I would have quibbled with was the red white and blue gymnastics outfit, but you know, not my doll, not my birthday outing. Well, also the hair care kit, but I recognize that most little girls enjoy styling hair.
The show was awesome--S. and I were singing the songs (quietly) on the train coming home, and the production values were modest but ingenious. At the end they have the audience stand up and sing the American Girl Anthem ("I can be brave, I can be true/I will do the best that I can do") with the cast but unfortunately I was sobbing too hard to sing most of it. Luckily the mother next to me was similarly incapacitated.
Afternoon tea in the cafe, also awesome. We had nine things to eat, about three bites of each, which is my favorite kind of meal. The decor is perfect, black and white stripes and polka dots with hot pink accents. They had a harpist playing Beatles songs, and a little box full of questions to ask each other when conversation lags. And, of course, a special seat and dishes for your doll. Absolutely everything--the seat, the dishes, the aprons, the green glass flowerpots the chocolate mousse comes in--is for sale right outside. (We resisted).
Brilliant marketing, I recognize that. But also, truly a wonderful ready-made day's outing for a girl and her mother.