By Kristin McCann

Every little girl (whether she’s 6 or 46) likes to be treated like a princess. A little bit of sparkle, a little bit of pampering and a whole lot of pink can sure take a girl far. Chicago has many options to make each girls feel special on her birthday or any day. From dress up-parties to interactive experiences, each shop has a different way to create an unforgettable celebration.

(credit: Fantasy Kingdom)

Ranked as one of the best children’s indoor play centers and birthday party facilities in Chicago, Fantasy Kingdom guarantees a fun-filled day for children and parents alike! Cognitively designed for children ages 6 years and under, your child’s imagination comes to life with real settings to dream and play! Come and explore with your children all the dress-up costumes and Lilliputian-sized buildings Fantasy Kingdom has to offer! Your child and their guests can look forward to singing, castle playtime, games with prizes, and posing for pictures with a Premier Princess Character. The caring, specially trained team pays special attention to all the fine details for each and every event.

Sweet & Sassy is the ultimate salon, spa and party place specializing in girls’ celebrations. Your divas will love the child-friendly fashion runway, pink party limo, pop-star and princess parties and other spa offerings tailor-made for the toddler to tween crowd. Unique features include a multi-colored, plush, purple pedicure pit, a unique awe-inspiring ear-piercing throne, and girl-wowing celebration area complete with globe lights, runway and a reflective disco ball. Girls can choose from a variety of party packages. The latest must-have products for “tweens” are also available in the Sassy Shoppe retail store.

(credit: Royal Party Place)

Located on the second floor in a charming building in downtown Naperville, Royal Tea Parties provides an enchanting space to host the princess party of your daughter’s dreams. Offering a wide range of birthday party options from dress-up and tea parties, to themed parties for the older princess, Royal Tea Parties takes care of every detail to ensure a magical princess memory for the birthday girl and her parents. From the time the party begins to the time the last guest leaves, you will receive the royal treatment! Don’t forget to check out the mother/daughter tea parties and creative special events!

Your budding diva can choose from one of five parties: Glam, Scrapbook, Spa, Crafting, or Dress-up. She and her friend can also design either bracelets or a foam tiara. Crafting parties will be given additional crafting options. Ooo La La provides the invitations, thank you notes and favor bags and will set up, host and clean up. You bring the dessert and camera and get to enjoy the party.

(credit: American Girl)

The American Girl store has it all – shopping, theatre, dining, a hair salon, a photo studio and more. Whether you’re looking to have a mommy/daughter day or a girls’ birthday celebration, the American Girl store is the perfect destination to celebrate everything girly. Find shops featuring all of the characters, plus Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins. Then browse the bookstore with titles that open up girls’ imaginations. And don’t miss Avenue AG, featuring specialty shops like Creativi-Tees for designing matching doll and girl T-shirts, plus more fun stops filled with adorable accessories, inspirational posters, treats to eat, and other surprises. Chicago’s American Girl Cafe is a premier destination for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and parties. Your favorite girl can pose for a picture at the Photo Studio and take home a souvenir issue of American Girl magazine with her face on the cover. Check out the website for a planning guide.

Kristin McCann is working mom with two young girls. She strives to have fun, quality time with her family and a fulfilling professional career – even though many believe the two to be mutually exclusive.