Build A Bear: Tips & Tricks

You might remember the craziness last summer when Build A Bear did a Pay Your Age day and the lines across the country stretched out and around malls. Thousands of parents with screaming toddlers waited for hours to stuff their bear. Let's face it- these bears are insanely expensive once you add in the clothes, shoes, heart beats, and even now scents. But, kids seem to love the bears and lots of adults collect them, so there the parents dutifully stood waiting with their kids in tow.
Build A Bear got smarter this year, and offered parents the chance to sign up for a voucher for a day to come in and take advantage of the pay your age day. Originally we planned to go in and build a bear for baby brother, but walking in and seeing that they had a Thomas the Train bear changed all of that.  (I was literally having contractions in the store, we cut it close!)
In Tidewater, our locations are Lynnhaven Mall, Williamsburg Outlets, and soon to be in Hampton Walmart Supercenter.

Tips to save a little money:

  • Sign up for an account before you go. You'll start to get emails with sales and coupons. This is also how I knew to sign up for the voucher that I used. 
  • Don't buy all of the accessories. Backpacks, sunglasses, hats, wigs, bags, you name it- they have it. Usually these types of things can be found at other stores for cheaper. 
  • Say no. Once you have your bear and your outfit you'll move to the stuffing station. Here you can pick sounds to stuff your bear with. Then you can pick a scent (skip these seriously- you can't even smell them once everything is done!), and a beating heart. 
  • Grab freebies. Sometimes walking in they have free bear hats. The felt heart that you make a wish on is free where the beating heart isn't. Be sure to grab a bear birth certificate for no charge. The fancy gift box costs money, but the cardboard box which kids can color later is free too.
A few little things:

  • Build A Bear has its own free streaming radio on their website. So if your kid likes their music, which is all original, there is a way to listen from home. 
  • If you have an old Build A Bear animal that needs to be refluffed, you can take it back to the store and they will restuff it. 
  • Build A Bear has several free online games for kids which launch from their website.
  • Build A Bear does offer birthday parties for 5 or more guests. The cheapest package is $18 per kid and includes a bear and a t shirt all the way to the most expensive at $45 per guest to include a more expensive bear, a clothing item, shoes, a sound, and a backpack. There isn't any cake involved, but I know that at the Lynnhaven the store is directly across from the food court, so you could potentially have cake and lunch before or after. A heads up, at that store there is no bathroom in the store, so go before you go in the store.