Families visiting a city with little kids can balance a day of sightseeing -- and create a souvenir-- by visiting a Build-A-Bear Workshop ®.
Build-A-Bear Workshop - Background
Build-A-Bear Workshop ® is at once an innovative retail company and a family-friendly entertainment venue: the stores are places where kids have fun creating customized furry friends.
What's it all about?
The company has won awards for its innovative concept in retailing, and -- in its own words-- is "beary committed to supporting charitable causes that improve the lives of children, families and animals."
To make their stuffed teddy bear or flamingo, or monkey - there are dozens of choices-- "guests" (i.e. kids of any age including anyone feeling young-at-heart) do a circuit of eight bear-making stations.
- Choose Me: guests choose the furry friend they're going to make.
- Hear Me: guests choose a pre-recorded sound that will be inserted in the stuffed animal; or they can make their own message (for about $8).
- Stuff Me and Heart Stuff: "master Bear Builders associates" (aka store staff) fill the teddy with stuffing. "Heart Stuff™" is a special step: each Guest chooses a satin heart, makes a wish, and puts it inside the stuffie.
- Stitch Me: before the stuffed animal gets its final stitch, the "master Bear Builder associate" inserts a barcode, so that if the stuffed animal gets lost, it can be returned to Build-A-Bear Workshop and its owner can be identified.
- Fluff Me: the guest brushes the animal at the bear spa
- Name Me: the Name Me computer asks guests questions about their new stuffed animal, and this info goes on a personalized birth certificate (English or Spanish).
- Dress Me: of course, there are fashions for all occasions. Pawsonal Shoppers assist.
- Take Me Home: guests get the customized birth certificate, and a Buy Stuff Club® card. The stuffed animal travels in a Cub Condo® carrying case.
Where to visit Build-a-Bear Workshops:
Most any major city has a Build-A-Bear Workshop ®, but some stores are specially positioned for tourist visits.
NYC has a flagship location on 5th Ave at 46th, with on-site "Eat With Your Bear Hands Cafe". Chicago has a location at Navy Pier; in San Francisco, young baseball fans can make a Lou Seal (mascot) at AT&T Park.
Creating a stuffed animal friend on a trip can make a nice souvenir, plus there's the trade-off benefit: "first we go to The Louvre, then to Build-A-Bear Workshop"®. Yes, there's one in Paris: also, London (in famous Hamley's toy store), and elsewhere in Europe, Australia, and round the world.
More For Family Travelers:
A visit to a Build-a-Bear Workshop ® can be a special treat for a child during a day of sightseeing, and a way to create a unique souvenir.
In addition, certain hotels offer Build-A-Bear packages: for ex., kids might find that the room has a Bear Bunk Trunk, that folds out into a bed for tired stuff animals, with Blanket and Pillow Set, etc.; or a bear-sized sleeping bag...
More about Build-a-Bear Workshop:
*photo (c) Teresa Plowright