Normally I don't announce big store openings, but these are family favorites.
American Girl Store
The San Francisco Bay Area gets its first American Girl store on November 16, opening at Palo Alto's Stanford Shopping Center. The only other California location is Los Angeles.
If you're familiar with these stores, you'll know they're much more than just a place to buy dolls, clothing and accessories. They're enormous, sensory overload places where you can also dine (lunch, dinner, tea or dessert in their bistro), treat the doll to a new hair-do in the salon, or host a birthday party or special event. The kids can design their own t-shirts for themselves and their dolls at the "Creativi-tees" boutique. And they have anything American Girl you could ever want.
This store will be two level and 15,000 square feet. I've been in the New York City store - take my advice and don't go there on a Saturday afternoon in December!
My daughter had a good collection of American Girl things. She's no longer a doll kid, and we managed to sell everything on eBay last winter. Advice: keep the doll boxes and any boxes - and if you want to sell, do it around Christmas. We did quite well. The stuff holds its value, especially if the hair and doll are in good shape. And especially if the items you're selling are on back-order from American Girl!
The Container Store
You'll need somewhere to store all the American Girl things that will take over your house. Fortunately for you, the Container Store is opening up, also at Stanford Shopping Center. Kaching for the mall! Opening weekend is October 26-27. They'll be donating 10% of sales that weekend to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. The store does have a lot of great organizing solutions. I got a closet system there for my son's room years ago, and they have some great products you didn't know you needed until you saw them.