JouJou at the Grand America

It had been far too long since Claire and I spent a Saturday afternoon together, so we remedied that on Saturday. Over the holidays, I kept seeing commercials for a posh toy store called JouJou at Utah’s only 5-star hotel. I was planning to take Claire to a museum downtown and thought we could stop by the toy store afterward. I looked up their website and discovered a workshop series with local children’s book illustrators. That sounded right up Claire’s alley, so I put off the museum for another day and we went to the workshop. I’m glad we did, too, because the series is new and didn’t get a lot of publicity, so Claire was basically the only child there. She loved it, though! A chance to draw for an hour with another artist? That is her idea of a perfect afternoon. The artist in question was Jed Henry. And I actually recognized one of his books from my stay at Amanda’s over Thanksgiving. It was one of Penny Lane’s and Lucy’s favorites.

While Claire drew, I looked around the store. Um… this store is aMAZing! It is the kind of place where you discover something new at every turn. I talked quite a bit with the clerk and the manager, too, and they were so nice. I was a little worried that I would feel uncomfortable because it’s in such a posh environment (and I’m not so posh), so I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming it is. They really encouraged us to look around and enjoy the store. They even brought us a complimentary cup of hot vanilla, and they let me take pictures of all the amazing things I saw. Take a look.

They have this wall with animated monsters.

And there is a tree full of different fairies, each with their own name and unique personalities.

And a wall full of colorful candies set atop a floor that changes color when you step on it.

And robots!

But my personal favorites were the hot air balloons floating in the ceiling.

After the workshop, Claire and I took the opportunity to explore the Grand America. It was so fancy! There are chandeliers everywhere.

There’s an enclosed garden.

But you know a place is really high class based on its bathrooms. When Claire walked in and saw the toilet stalls, she exclaimed, “They each have their own chandeliers!!”

And real linen towels instead of paper ones.

And mirrors that go on for eternity.

Claire and I had so much fun peeking in doors and testing out settees and planning her future wedding. We decided to definitely go back again. Next time, we’re going to try the patisserie.



  1. krisgal · January 31, 2012

    Oh gasp! What a magical place (the toy store & the hotel). I love all those sparkly chandeliers. Friend, as ever, gorgeous photos.
    (p.s. my January Photography Club linkup is up on my blog – it wouldn’t be completely without one of your photos friend!)

  2. Jenny · January 31, 2012

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I came back to see what you’d been up to and – wow! what a place. It really looks incredible. What an idea, to have a toyshop in a hotel. I know Disney does it all the time, but…

    I’m half sorry for the illustrator, having so few people turn up, but he must also have been delighted to have someone who was so keen, (which is worth more than 10 fidgety kids)

    Extraordinary place. And I’m glad they were so nice and friendly, too.

  3. Sara · February 5, 2012

    Reading your blog always inspires me to get out and experience more of our local happenings. And can I just say, yet again, best aunt ever? Is it weird that I’m a little jealous of Claire?

    Since it opened, I’ve been meaning to check out JouJou. I even drove there once in December but decided against going in because I couldn’t find a practical parking spot. But now I’m regretting that decision and will be visiting JouJou this week, for sure! Love your pictures and review.

    Oh, and the patisserie looks lovely. Going to have to give it a try this week, too.

  4. kimmie · February 7, 2012

    Wow! I want to go there!

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