This year, our family is keeping birthday parties as simple as possible. We’re celebrating, but with immediate family because we can spend more time enjoying the day instead of planning it. When my older daughter turned eight, we wanted to celebrate our memory of when she came into the world. Since she is a Floridian at heart, she was very excited to receive the Maryellen doll from American Girl since this 1950’s doll is from Daytona Beach, Florida. To make the day extra special, we took a trip to the Tyson’s Corner American Girl store for a small birthday celebration. Check out what we did, and enter to win a Maryellen doll!

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

American Girl Themed 8th Birthday

This was our first time to check out the American Girl store, which was very exciting! From the hair salon to the cafe, we reserved everything in advance for our small party. The reservations helped everything go as planned.

American Girl Store in Tyson's Corner, Virginia - Theresa's Reviews

My daughter immediately spotted the section in the store for her brand new Maryellen doll. We gave ourselves plenty of time for shopping to pick out just the right items. In all, we spent about four hours at the store!

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Our first stop was the doll salon. You can pick out whatever hair style you like for your doll, and you can watch as the stylists work on your doll. My daughter treated her oldest doll, Samantha, to a hair do and manicure. Her sister did the same with the Nanea doll.

American Girl Doll Salon - Theresa's Reviews

The stylists did a wonderful jobs with the dolls’ hair! I liked that the stylists not only made the dolls’ hair look nicer, but they also taught my daughters how to care for the hair. Since the Samantha doll is a few years old and was the first doll my daughter got, the hair has gotten tangled, frizzy, and uneven over the years. It looked so much nicer when we left.

American Girl Doll Salon - Theresa's Reviews

Our next stop was the American Girl Cafe. With pink, flowery decorations, this was the perfect place for a special celebration. Not only did the cafe work well for children, but the food was also appealing for adults.

American Girl Cafe Tyson's Corner Virginia - Theresa's Reviews

Both of my daughters had the best time ever. For the celebration, each daughter and each doll received a tiara to wear. The dolls also had their own cup and plate so they could enjoy the meal too!

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Even though we didn’t sign up for a birthday celebration package, the bistro surprised both of my daughters with a goody bag. Inside was a Celebrate tee for the doll, a wand, a birthday box for the doll, and an activity book. This was very special since we were media guests, but the party package looks well worth signing up for when you’re celebrating a birthday.

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

While dining, we all enjoyed taking part in the game questions that came in a box on the table. Since we don’t always find time to sit down as a family, the game questions were a nice way for us to re-connect.

Not only did the birthday girl enjoy the experience with her dolls, but she also liked the meal and ate all of her salmon.
American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

After the meal, we indulged in some of the fantastic desserts. The waiters came out with a cupcake and candle so we could all sing happy birthday! It was a very memorable experience. American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Afterwards, the birthday girl and her sister made their final decisions about what items they wanted to buy. Of course the new Maryellen doll received some very special items from the 1950’s, the jukebox and the poodle skirt outfit!American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Although the trip to the American Girl store was a longer drive than we would usually take for a birthday celebration, the experience was perfect for an 8th birthday. With fun in-store photo shoot opportunities, play areas, fun displays, and more, the store was a memorable place for my children to go. While this might have been our first visit, we’ll certainly return in the future!

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Maryellen Doll Giveaway

Enter to win the Maryellen doll! Make sure you stop by The Sammie and Georgie Show‘s video below to let them know in a comment that you’re entering, and follow them on YouTube!

Follow the entry requirements in the Rafflecopter widget below. Entry requirements include following Theresa’s Reviews via email and social media, following The Sammie and Georgie Show, and following American Girl.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more American Girl ideas and party tips, follow Theresa’s Reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

You also might enjoy reading more about Luciana Vega, the 2018 Doll of the Year and check out American Girl Cafe & Hair Salon Experience!

American Girl 8th Birthday Celebration & Maryellen Doll Giveaway - Theresa's Reviews

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite thing about the Maryellen doll? Share in the comments below!

Disclosure: I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.

67 Responses

  1. mami2jcn

    What I love most about Maryellen is her 50s style. My daughter is 8 as well and she’s been asking to get Maryellen Larkin for a long time! Happy birthday to your daughter.

    Reply
  2. Julie Waldron

    I commented on the Popcorn Bird Nest Easter Treats post for an extra entry.

    Reply
  3. Rachelle

    My daughter is desperate for Maryellen! Her 50s outfits are just adorable!

    Reply
  4. Pink

    I love Mary Ellen because she is very indepndant! She is very determined and dreams big!

    Reply
  5. Amy Drazen

    I would love to win this for my daughter’s birthday next month! She kind of looks like the Maryellen doll, so that’s why I love this doll for her. I also love the 50’s attire. We also live about 30 – 40 minutes from Daytona Beach.

    Reply
  6. Amy Drazen

    Hi! I left a blog post comment on the post, “Popcorn Bird Nest Easter Treats!” Yum! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Crystal

    I love Maryellen’s style! She’s so cute and classic and her accessories are some of my favorites!

    Reply
  8. marlene a harris

    THE MARYELLEN DOLL IS WHAT I AM GETTING FOR MY GRANDDAUGHTERS BIRTHDAY TOO

    Reply
  9. Sarah B

    My daughter and I love Maryellen’s time period best. The fifties style is so fun. She has the best collection. Would love to get her Airstream camper one day.

    Reply
  10. Sarah B

    I commented on “Simple Fresh Spring Recipes With Seasonal Produce” for an additional entry.

    Reply
  11. Cheryl B

    I like the 50’s Fashions and the doll reminds me of my Granddaughter.

    Reply
  12. Julie Bickham

    I love Maryellen’s style, very cute. My daughter would love her.

    Reply
  13. Margaret Smith

    I love the color of hair on the Maryellen doll. Thanks for this chance.

    Reply
  14. Cynthia C

    Being old enough to remember the 50’s, Maryellen reminds me of my childhood.

    Reply
  15. Crystal

    I commented on How to Simplify Your Life in 3 Easy Steps! We love All Free and Clear!

    Reply
  16. Tina Aubry

    My daughter and I love American Girl. Maryellen is absolutely adorable with her beautiful hair. I love the 50’s era.

    Reply
  17. Ashley C

    I like her because I love the 50s time period! It’s one of my favorites

    Reply
  18. Bekah Decker

    What I love about Maryellen is that she looks just like my daughter whose birthday is just a few weeks away. I hope we win <3<3<3

    Reply
  19. Helen

    She is so cute, and I like that she is from Florida- my husband and I both have family from there. I am sure my little girl would love her.

    Reply
  20. Dandi D

    I really like the era that Mary Ellen is from and her clothes are so cute!

    Reply
  21. Rosanne

    I like that she is from Daytona Beach Florida where I met my husband on Spring Break when we were in college

    Reply
    • Theresa

      We love her hometown too! The Daytona Beach area is really pretty, especially the motorcycle trail / loop near there.

      Reply
  22. Samantha W

    OMG! I’ve been wanting Maryellen ever since she came out!!! You’re so lucky! I’m TOTALLY entering!!! ❤💛💚💙💜 (See it’s a rainbow of hearts! 😂)

    Reply
  23. ellen beck

    I really like how lovely she is. We love all the AG ‘girls’ they are so well made and so cherished. I like the style of this doll and the way she would have a story to go with it.

    Reply
  24. Lindsey

    How fun! These photos are all so cute! I loved American Girl dolls growing up. And that’s so nice they surprised your daughter with a goodie bag!

    Reply
  25. Kaylee

    I like Maryellen’s strawberry blond hair and hazel eyes! She has adorable outfits and she looks so sweet in every picture I’ve seen of her!

    Reply
    • Theresa

      Her hair is a unique color! The poodle skirt is one of the most adorable outfits, but we’ve got to collect more.

      Reply
  26. Priscilla P.

    I think Maryellen is just a cute doll. To be honest, I have never seen an American girl doll that I didn’t love. The tiny details of these dolls are just amazing. I’m a huge fan.

    Reply
  27. elizabeth miller

    I love Maryellen because she is all about believing in doing anything you want no matter what the limitations are. I love that her character is a great rold model for young girls.

    Reply
  28. Hesper Fry

    I like that she follows her heart instead of the crowd and that she is so cute. My daughter would love it!

    Reply
  29. Karen Propes

    I love how she shows girls what it was like in the 50’s. It’s great our kids can learn from playing.

    Reply
  30. Leah Shumack

    I love her hair color and her style!! I’m sure that my daughter would love her!

    Reply
  31. ellen beck

    Can wait to see he winner on this one- such a wonderful contest hoping you post it!

    Reply

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