Wendy Rush

Well….it ended up being a fox, but still…what a fun experience for a kid! And a little hectic for Mom, if I’m being honest. But, to be fair, we had three kids and only two adults. You kind of have to go one-on-one with this experience. There are stations and steps the kids have to go through in order to complete their stuffed animal. If you are outnumbered kids-to-adults, you’re going to be chasing at least one kid around the store while the other one does their station.

My sister-in-law and I took our littles for their birthdays. Z turned 7 (can you believe it??) and her little cousin was celebrating a late 2-year birthday. Cousin’s big sis (turning 5 in July) came along for the ride. It was a little bit of mayhem for the 2-year old, who wasn’t sure what she wanted. Of course, big sis wasn’t helping because she was skipping steps and showing little sis all the outfits before she’d chosen a skin. We were probably in there for about 2 hours. I don’t suspect this is normal.

So, here’s the step-by-step guide on how to get through the Build-A-Bear Workshop. I highly recommend the experience for the kiddos and learned a few tips for you along the way.

First, go to the one in Henderson!!! The Galleria Mall at Sunset has the perfect combination of the other two locations. It’s got the same amount of local traffic as the Summerlin store. Meaning you don’t have to deal with all the crowd in the Fashion Show Mall location. But, the one in Galleria DOES have the accessories variety of the Fashion Show one. The one in Summerlin is very small and you end up having to get a lot of accessories online. HOWEVER, this could be a good thing for parents who can’t say no to their kiddo’s little pouty faces asking for all the bling the accessory section has to offer.

  • Tip #2 (and another great thing about the Galleria location): The Bouncy Thing!

    Bungee Cord Ride

    We had to wait about half an hour for our other party, which turned out to be awesome because we discovered this little gem just outside the workshop. It’s a bungee bouncer for kids and adults! Anyone 20-200 pounds can go on this thing. Z did it twice so she could practice her flips!

  • Tip #3: Get The Kids In The Game

    Build-A-Bear Steps on Poster

    Make sure you let the kiddos see this poster. It’s right at the entrance and it gave Z a feeling of importance that she had to follow all the steps. For some reason, this works. Kids and routines and all that jazz.

  • Tip #4: Hype Up The BIRTHDAY BEAR!

    Build-A-Bear Wall

    One great promotion Build-A-Bear offers is the birthday bear. If you come in during the month of your child’s birthday, you get a standard teddy for the price of your child’s age. So, had Z chosen this one, we would have paid $7 for her 7th birthday. The one on display (top left in the photo) has a blue “Happy Birthday” sweater and birthday hat, which are extra.

    Build-A-Bear Stuffed Animal Skin

    Well, I personally didn’t have success with this one because Z’s old enough to have bigger opinions about life. LOL. So…she opted for the Pokemon Eevee skin. Which, if I’m being honest, looks a little like road kill when it’s not stuffed. Moving on…

    Yes, I’m holding it by the ears…I know how to handle wild animals! 😛


  • Tip #5: Spend some quality time at the "Stuff Me" Station

    Build-A-Bear Employee at Stuffing Station

    This was my favorite part of the Build-A-Bear experience. “Stuff Me” is the third station after “Choose Me” and “Hear Me”. The latter is where you can buy upgrades to have an animal sound or your (or your child’s) voice put into the stuffed animal. Z opted out of that one and I didn’t push it. Remember, practically everything is an upgrade.

    But THIS station is where the kids get to help their new friend come to life. They get to step on the lever that pumps the stuffing into the skin, they get a heart to put into the animal, and they get to watch the animal get stitched up.

    Child putting heart into Build-A-Bear stuffed animal

    PLUS there’s an adorable little routine the employee walks the kids through to make the heart start beating. (Check out the video below to watch a part of it).

  • Tip #6: Be prepared to drop some cash on accessories

    Build-A-Bear Outfits on Rack

    This is where the cost adds up fast. There are all kinds of outfits (even Harry Potter and Superheroes) and all the dress, skirts, tiaras, backpacks, shoes, etc are extra. They’re not too bad individually, but they add up.

    BONUS TIP: The four-legged friends require double the shoes…but have fewer options for outfits.

    Build-A-Bear Stuffed Fox

    Eevee looking good in a stylish hoodie.

  • Tip #7: Don't forget to ring the bell!

    Child ringing Build-A-Bear bell

    If it’s your child’s first time at Build-A-Bear, they get to ring the bell. They also have special treatment for birthday kids, including a hat, button and song.

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