Maryellen’s Fabulous 50’s Diner Play Date

This post is spon­sored by American Girl, but as always, all ideas and opin­ions are my own!

Maryellen Larkin Doll ~ Lynlee's

My daughter, Anabelle, is a huge fan of the adorable American Girl dolls, as are many kids her age… and, let’s face it, so am I! As you may recall we were inspired by the 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace, for her 8th birthday, so we celebrated with An American Girl in Paris Patisserie Party. So at the end of August when American Girl debuted BeForever™ Maryellen Larkin, a fabulous 50’s girl growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, we knew she was a must on our wish list!

The One and Only Maryellen book ~ Lynlee's

American Girl describes Maryellen as optimistic and energetic girl, living on the Florida seaside. In her own words:

I have a heart full of high-flying hopes and a head full of pie-in-the-sky ideas, even though they don’t all get off the ground. But I know that if I stay true to who I am and what I believe, the sky’s the limit.

Anabelle and I just loved the premise of her story {we can’t wait to read her book, The One and Only, together!}, as well as her outlook on life, so we decided to plan a play date inspired by Maryellen and her 1950’s diner!

American Girl Maryellen Diner's Party ~ Lynlee's

Anabelle really liked the idea of a diner theme to resemble that of Maryellen’s, so I decided to style a tablescape to match. First, I settled on a color palette that would pair perfectly with Maryellen’s striped sweetheart dress: aqua and pink! I made sure she was used as the centerpiece of the table and created a simple backdrop with metal corrugated letters spelling out DINER. To soften the letters a bit, I tied some twine and added little cabochon flowers in coordinating colors.

Maryellen Larkin Diner Tablescape ~ Lynlee's

Maryellen American Girl doll ~ Lynlee's

How cute are Maryellen’s accessories?! She has a pearl necklace and bracelet, along with a cable knit purse to patch her sweater! So sweet!

Maryellen jukebox ~ Lynlee's

For additional table decor, I used what is my absolute favorite item from the Maryellen collection: her jukebox! Not only does it light up and play six pre-recorded mini 50’s-inspired songs, but {now here’s the over-the top amazing part!}, you can plug it into an electronic player to play your own songs! So, we were able to connect it my phone to play music throughout the play date!

Maryellen's Diner Menu ~ Lynlee's

Maryellen Diner Table ~ Lynlee's

We kept the menu fairly simple and true to a classic diner from the 1950’s, offering cheeseburgers, french fries, chocolate milkshakes and soda pop, which was actually a blue punch mixed with a lemon-lime carbonated soda!

Burgers & Fries served 50's Chevy food box ~ Lynlee's

The burgers and fries were served in THE most adorable pink 50’s Chevy food boxes from Via Blossom! Aren’t they just perfect?! Not only did they wonderfully fit the theme and match with the color palette, but they also come with food safe inserts so you don’t have to worry! I also put some ketchup in metal canisters so each girl could have their own and it wouldn’t mess up the cars.

Condiment Canisters ~ Lynlee's

50's Chevy food boxes ~ Lynlee's

Soda Pop ~ Lynlee's

The drinks consisted of the juice blend served in glass soda bottles, along with homemade chocolate shakes in traditional milkshake glasses! I added paper straws in the coordinating colors, along with some additional twine and cabochon flowers for added details. By doing so, you can easily match basic items back to your theme at a minimal cost and be able to save them for future use!

Chocolate Shakes ~ Lynlee's

Salt Water Taffy ~ Lynlee's

I also found some taffy that came in these cute and charming boxes that resemble the candies themselves! They were ideal as party favors, especially since taffy is essential for a seaside diner!

50s Photo Props ~ Lynlee's

And I can’t have a party without photo props from the incomparable paper & cake! I just love utilizing photo props because, not only are they a great activity for guests and provide fun memories, but they also serve as great party decorations! These 50’s themed printable props fit perfectly! I set them up in foam inside a milkshake glass, then added pink cotton candy to look like a strawberry shake.

Seaside Diner Food ~ Lynlee's

Seaside Diner Shakes ~ Lynlee's

Diner Waitress ~ Lynlee's

Diner Food ~ Lynlee's

Diner Shake ~ Lynlee's

Diner Hat Photo Prop ~ Lynlee's

BeForever Maryellen doll ~ Lynlee's

American Girl Maryellen Larkin ~ Lynlee's

As you can clearly see, Anabelle just adores Maryellen! The 50’s motif is simply adorable and we just can’t get over her amazing wardrobe from the era. But a 1950’s theme is not complete without a poodle skirt and some classic saddle shoes!

Maryellen Poodle Skirt Outfit ~ Lynlee's

Maryellen Poodle Outfit ~ Lynlee's

The premise of Maryellen’s diner lends itself perfectly for a get-together! It allows for plenty imaginative play, from taking orders and serving food to dressing up and dancing to iconic music from the decade! Maryellen has fit in perfectly with Anabelle’s existing American Girl collection! And did I mention she asked Santa for Kit Kittredge?! Now we’re just eagerly waiting the announcement of the Girl of the Year for 2016! Any guesses what she might be like?


Doll and Accessories: American Girl

50’s Chevy Food Box: Via Blossom

Photo Props: paper & cake

Fabulous 50's Maryellen Diner Play Date with American Girl ~ Lynlee's


Merci Beaucoup!

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  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    How fun! I have all boys, so I don’t get to do fun things like this :)

  2. This is so cute it makes me want to squeal!! My daughters are a huge fan of American Dolls and this would be so much fun!

  3. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    That is just the cutest idea ever! My girls were so into American Dolls.

  4. That skirt is just the cutest! Reminds me of the sockhop party we threw as kids. Only thing missing is a recipe for malted milk!

  5. What a cute theme! I love American Girl Dolls, they are so well made and unique. My daughter would love this!

    • Thank you so very much! We completely agree… we love the quality and story behind each one! ♥

  6. What an amazing party. I hope your daughter was just amazed by this.

  7. This is timely! We got the American Girl catalog in the mail and my six-year-old fell in love with Maryellen. I’m not sure we can make it happen for Christmas but we’re dreaming about it for her birthday next year.

    • Isn’t Maryellen the cutest?! We just love all her 50’s-inspired clothes and accessories! And my daughter is always pouring through the catalog, too! ♥

  8. Oh how sweet! I’m loving this throwback theme! You totally hit the mark with the 50s diner aesthetic!

  9. I am pretty sure I would have DIED if I had had a party like this when I was a girl. So adorable! Saving for ideas for my twin girls someday soon.

  10. This is very cute!
    You took some wonderful pictures here also!

  11. I love Maryellen she is precious! Her outfits are the best!

  12. My daughter is totally into American Girl and loves the fact that she can buy new outfits because she loves dressing them up. Maybe we can next Mary Ellen the next time we go back.

    • My daughter also loves buying the outfits and switching them out with her dolls, too! Maryellen is super sweet! ♥

  13. I love how they have different themed American Girl dolls. They are so pretty and come with such pretty clothes.

  14. I LOVE IT!!! It just makes me want to go watch the grease movies and make an old fashioned dinner to go with it. The American girl dolls are all so different, I love how they all have their own style. Great photoshoot you did!

    • Awww, thanks so much, friend! Totally reminds me of the Grease movies, too! I love all their different stories and personalities, too! :)

  15. I’m just loving the whole post! What a fun theme, and a great way to really get into it too!! There’s just something about that whole 50s era that is nice. :)

  16. This is just too cute. I love this time in history and think the doll and her accessories are adorable.

  17. This was a cute set up. All the little accessories and special touches go a long way to setting the mood.

  18. I love this play date. How adorable. The decor is perfection and y our daughter looks so happy

  19. This looks like so much fun! lol I love the theme and playset. My middle daughter has asked for an American Girl doll for Christmas this year. Wink, wink! :)

    • Oh, thanks so much, Jessica! Maryellen is super cute! My daughter also asked Santa for an American Girl this year! :)

  20. That is all so cute! My daughter would go crazy over this!

  21. We don’t have any American Girl dolls and I’ve never been to the cafe. What an adorable theme from the diner! I love this!


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