Meeting Lea Clark – American Girl’s 2016 Girl of the Year

Meet Lea Clark The 2016 American Girl Doll Girl of the YearWe’re all friends here, right?  And I can trust you? Yeah?  OK! I’ll let you in on a little secret.

I have wanted an American Girl Doll for as long as I can remember.

Way back, sometime in the mid nineties, my cousins learned about American Girl and received dolls for their birthdays. At the time, I played it off like I was too cool, which was pretty easy since I was one of those typical angsty, brooding, nineties kid. But ohhh how I really wanted one of my own (Molly)

As time went on, and I became a mom, I started to dream of the day I could buy Avery her own American Girl doll! Today that dream came true!

I had planned on getting one for her for Christmas, but I really wanted her to be able to pick her doll out herself. I am so glad I waited!

On January 1st, American Girl released the Girl of the Year for 2016. Her name is Lea Clark.

Lea Clark American Girl of the YearLea, a talented photographer with a love for animals, discovers a wide world of possibilities on a family trip to Brazil. Her adventurous spirit and desire to live life to the fullest leads her to explore the Amazon rainforest during her visit.

When we learned about Lea, we knew she was the doll for Avery! Her love of animals and adventurous spirit remind me of my little girl and I love that Lea inspires bravery in every girl with the mantra “Behind every ‘what if’ is a new adventure!”  As soon as Avery saw the photo of Lea she said “I want that doll!! I love her!!”

So, we headed to the American Girl Store in Boston (Natick), MA. I wanted to make a fun family day out of it so I also made lunch reservations at the bistro!

When we walked into the store, Avery made a beeline for the Lea dolls! We tried to explain to her that there were MANY other dolls, and maybe she’d like to look around before making her choice, but nope! She wanted Lea and ONLY Lea!

This was our second trip to the store (Daddy’s first!) and it was such a wonderful experience! Every associate we met was so kind an helpful. I loved how they get down to Avery’s level to speak to her! It really makes a difference. We had a lovely chat with one of the personal shoppers, and the smiles never left our faces!

We checked out all the incredible outfits, accessories, and playsets available for Lea Clark.  If anyone wants to buy me Avery “Lea’s Fruit Stand” or “Lea’s Rainforest House” that would be amazing! 😉Lea Clark American Girl DOTY16This weekend was the Debut Event in the store, so there were colorful crafts, great giveaways and more! Avery made a cute woven sea turtle, wrote her wish for the wish wall and was given a poster to color and a cute sarong for Lea!Lea Clark Activities in storeAfter exploring the store a bit we headed to the checkout to purchase Lea! Avery was super excited, even though the bag was “…so…heavy…”Avery shopping at American Girl StoreThen we headed up to lunch!Daddy and Daughter American Girl StoreWe were early for our reservation, but after a short wait we were brought to our table. They have seats for your doll that slide onto the table, and if you don’t have your own doll, they have ones that you can borrow!! (They think of EVERYTHING!) Dine with your doll at American Girl Cafe NatickThe Bistro menu has some very unique offerings. They even had a few special “Lea Inspired” treats! Avery and I both ordered the Tiki Tropical Lemonade and it was delicious! I loved the Bitty Bites menu for kids 4 and under! Bitty Bites Menu for Kids Under 4For starters, I had the Caprese Salad and Dave chose the Macaroni and Cheese Bites. For entrees Avery chose the Bitty Friend’s Picnic Time Hamburger, and Dave and I both ordered the Linguini with Chicken and Winter Vegetables. Everything was really good, and Avery ate about a third of my pasta! American Girl Cafe - BostonThen, of course, we had to have dessert! A yummy sundae came with Avery’s meal, and Dave and I opted to share the Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Sundae!American Girl Cafe DessertWe also noticed some very cute, Lea themed, sweet treats available for purchase!Lea Clark Special Treats AvailableBefore we left, we took Lea to the Salon to have her ears pierced! You can also have your doll’s hair styled (They offer many different styles at all different price points) but Avery insisted that Mommy could style Lea’s hair at home. :/ Lea’s exclusive earring set came with her ear piercing service, which thrilled Avery (because she had fallen in love with the butterfly earrings!) Lea animal friends WWFAnd, if we didn’t love Lea and American girl enough…To show girls that, together, they can make a difference in helping protect animals and their habitats, American Girl has created Wild at Art, a year-long fund-raising campaign in support of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Starting January 1, American Girl is encouraging girls to use their artistic abilities to host an art sale and donate the proceeds to WWF. To launch the campaign, American Girl has made a $50,000 donation to WWF and also invites customers to contribute at American Girl retail stores and Parents can visit to learn more and register for Wild at Art, plus get animal-themed craft ideas, and be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 17 Lea prize packages.

How incredible is that?!?!American Girl Experience

We had such a wonderful and memorable day at American Girl and we will be visiting again soon! On the ride home I could hear Avery talking to Lea about all the animals they were going to rescue together! So sweet!!Lea Story BooksI can’t wait to read all of Lea’s books with Avery, and watch the full-length movie, DVD from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, later in the year.Avery and Lea #Joy2EveryGirlTo learn more about Lea and her adventures and to check out some cool games and activities click HERE

And don’t forget to follow American Girl on FACEBOOK  &  TWITTER

Does your child have an American Girl doll?  Do YOU still have yours?  What do you think about Lea?


  1. Christine says:

    I am so excited to see Avery’s upcoming adventures with Lea. I pined for an American Girl doll as a child too. I’ll have to live vicariously through Avery.

  2. Faith Daniel says:

    I got my first American Girl doll 2 years ago as an early 20th Birthday gift from my sister! My aunt got her first doll last year as a Mother’s Day gift from my mommy. (Her older sister.)My cousin still has her original Addy doll that she got in 1995! American Girl is truly loved in my family! My little sister has been asking for one every since she turned 8 last year! (My parents told her no before that because she wasn’t the recommended age.) Rumor has it she might get one this summer! I absoulutley LOVE Lea! Especially her Rain Forrest House and her PJs!

  3. Patti McAlpine says:

    I saw your blog in a shared in a Facebook post titled family fun in Rhode Island. That led me here to this particular blog and I wanted to let you know about the American Girl Doll Train Ride hosted by Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the Natick store. You cand find more information at

    There are many other family friendly programs including Environmental Saturday’s river tours.

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