Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Our American Girl Doll Train Ride Adventure

by Shel Tscherne/New England Fall Events 

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The Woonsocket Train Depot
In mid-September, with our two daughters in tow, we made a beeline for Woonsocket, RI where there was a weekend-long American Girl Doll celebration in honor of their 2015 Girl of the Year doll--Grace Thomas.
Save the Date: The American Girl Train Ride in the Blackstone Valley will take place Saturday, September 17th, 2016. Details.
Our family was thrilled to have the opportunity to cover this once-in-a-lifetime event first-hand on behalf of New England Fall Events. It was an especially fun event for us since my own daughter's name is Grace and she has a Grace Thomas doll. To top it off, the Grace Thomas character hails from from Massachusetts too so the event fit our family like a glove.

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Posing with the dolls on the "red carpet"
Saturday was a gorgeous September day for our adventure. We arrived at the Woonsocket, RI Train Depot at 1:00pm for our 2:00pm departure. We planned to show up early because we had heard that there would be lots of extra fun activities to enjoy before the train left and we were not disappointed at all! 

When we arrived, we shared a glamorous moment on the American Girl Doll red carpet before heading inside the train depot to see what else we could discover. 
Imagine our surprise to find that the interior of the train station was decorated as if it we'd stepped into a place in Paris--lovely!

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Treats by RI's own Sweet Indulgence
For those who are unfamiliar with Grace Thomas' story, though the Grace character is from Massachusetts, a good portion of her journey takes place in Paris where she travels to help her uncle in his Patissierie and learn from a French pastry chef. 

On this day, the train depot was decorated to the nines and there were endless pictures to capture! We took photos at Le Patisserie and another sweet photo with each girl inside a life-sized American Girl of the Year box.

There were cookies to decorate, sweet treats by Sweet Indulgence to purchase, a visit with Miss Rhode Island, as well as a raffle!

Parisian music added to the atmosphere giving everything an authentic feel. There were so many people in attendance that at times it could be challenging to know where each line began and ended but everyone was super nice, patient, and having so much fun that it made the whole experience that much sweeter.

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At last, it was time to board our train! The musical trio had moved outside and we made our way down to our designated train car. Each adult was given a gift bag, and each girl in attendance was given one as well. The adult gift bag had everything in it that the children's gift bags did but the children's bags also included an extra treat for the dolls!

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Blackstone Valley view from our train

Our train car was decorated to celebrate Grace Thomas’ birthday. The map inside our bags further explained that Grace Thomas lived in the historic Blackstone Valley and so we’d pass many of the types of places she would see in her travels.

Our train had a welcoming hostess who led us in songs, games, and even dancing! We each were given a cupcake (after all, what’s a birthday without cupcakes?!) made by Rhode Island's own Sweet Indulgence plus we received a souvenir travel mug of lemonade.

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Playing "Bingo in Paris" on the train 
After a rousing game of "Bingo in Paris" each girl and mama was given a chocolate Eiffel Tower as the game prize (of course, everyone won!) and each doll was gifted a balloon and even some cookie cutters!
An hour later our train returned to the station. The hour had simply flown by and we were sad it see the adventure come to a close. 

While the American Girl Doll events can come with a hefty price tag, the organizers truly know how to put on a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience and you will absolutely get your money's worth for a special occasion. We had a fantastic time and our train ride is an adventure we will talk about for years to come!

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