Sigh....we took our last pilgrimage to the American Girl doll store in Natick yesterday. I'm sad to see our "local" AG go. It was always a memorable place to visit with the girls and provided a fun rest stop during road trips East. If you're a fan of the retailer, you have a few days left to visit the New England location -- our next closest shop is in NYC.
I'm lucky my girls are not big spenders -- they've always been happy with a small outfit or accessory purchase here. Our visits were always more about checking out the displays, playing with the interactive exhibits and soaking in the atmosphere. All of which you can still do at the Natick location for a few more days.
To be honest, the store does have that "going out of business" pallor. The employees seemed a bit chagrined -- as my astute 12-year-old observed "you'd be sad too if you were losing your job." (According to The Boston Globe, the store is closing due to its lease expiring and the closure affects 73 employees.) We noticed several signs around the store letting customers know that a particular item is out of stock and that it would need to be ordered online. If you're planning to bring your little one to the store for a "must-have" item, you might want to call ahead and make sure they have stock on hand. The usual variety of hands on exhibits were also missing -- there wasn't much to do besides check out the club house and peek in the silly mirrors. There is no "going out of business" sale here, either -- all prices are standard AG prices. The store just doesn't have it's happy, shiny, make-all-your-doll-dreams-come-true atmosphere anymore (again - to be expected).
The store was still busy (when is American Girl ever not busy?!) and your kids probably won't notice anything different. It will still be a magical trip for them. The location is still accepting party and bistro reservations through it's last day. So if you're looking for one more New England AG retail fix -- make the drive to Natick soon. I've never figured out the parking magic mojo at The Natick Mall so I suggest you just park in one of the garages and walk through the mall even though the American Girl store is only accessible from the parking lot. Don't plan on parking in the first lot after the AG entrance -- the "C" lot -- which usually enters into the Sears store. The Sears here is also closed (malls are sad today) and you'll have to hike it outside to an available mall entrance.
The Natick Mall store will remain open for regular hours through March 20. Going forward we'll just have to look forward to visiting one of our favorite destination stores at the next closest location in Times Square. I mean, any excuse to NYC, right?#americangirl #neverstopplaying