Thursday, December 16, 2010

Checking Our List #39: Build-A-Bear Workshop {Review & $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway}

{This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, aSpoonfulOsugar!}

There are a lot of places that my kids enjoy visiting because they know they'll always have a good time: Grandma's house, the Splash Park near our house, the zoo, etc.

If you asked Big Sister E right now, however, everywhere else just might pale in comparison to the eye-opening fun, laughter and incredibly good time she had in her very first visit to Build-A-Bear Workshop. I'm pretty sure that in her dreams, when she is imagining wherever in the world she could possibly be, she looks up and sees this:

How could you not have an amazing time in a place that looks like that? Just mention the name Build-A-Bear Workshop and the excitement for kids everywhere begins to build. The place where they can not only choose their own best friend but actually create it, this is one store that knows how to treat their customers of all ages.

Although I had been trying to keep the store and trip a surprise for as long as possible, Big Sister E had overheard me saying enough things that she had the general concept... or at least she knew that making bears was involved. But when we stepped inside, I think her eyes didn't know where to go first and the level of entertainment became much more clear.

After a warm greeting from a friendly Bear Builder Associate, we set off to accomplish what ended up being the most difficult task of the entire trip: choosing which furry friend to make. With more than 30 animals to pick from (starting at only $10), it didn't take Big Sister E long to decide on a cute dog... while Little Sister B took a while longer checking out each soft character before finally picking a bunny.

Seeing that we had made our choices, the Bear Builder Associate stepped back in and helped us through the next step in the process: adding sound.

A completely optional add-on, we couldn't pass up listening to some of the fun options ("I love you," different animal noises, record-your-own, etc) and including barking into Big Sister E's dog and a giggle into Little Sister B's bunny.

Next up was the large and impressive Stuff Me station.

Both girls were in awe of the spinning stuffing and Big Sister E was thrilled to be able to help by stepping on a floor pedal to make it fill up her dog. She even got to help twice, as Little Sister B wasn't sure about the vacuum-sounding noise that the machine makes when it is in use.

Before having their animals sewn up, Big Sister E and Little Sister B participated in a Build-A-Bear Workshop tradition of picking out and preparing a heart for their furry friend. Big Sister E followed along perfectly, rubbing the heart in her hands to warm it up, on her forehead to make her dog smart, on her heart to make it loving... even closing her eyes tight to make a wish for her new friend before placing it inside.

After our new pals were all stitched up and ready to go, we moved over to the Fluff Me station so that they could be "washed," fluffed and ready to get dressed. Little Sister B was a little scared by the noise of the machine as it blew air (I think she also didn't want to put down her bunny) but Big Sister E told me just how much she liked being able to brush and prepare her dog.

Then it was the clothes; the many, many clothes. With outfit options ranging from simple (shorts and a t-shirt) to elaborate (full ball gowns and tuxedos), there isn't an apparel or accessory item that Build-A-Bear Workshop has overlooked. I couldn't believe all of the adorable little sunglasses, hair bows, types of shoes, bow ties, pajamas... there were even strollers made for a child to push their bear or a little wheelchair for stuffed friends who needed one.

Unsurprisingly, when Big Sister E caught sight of the familiar white and green of her favorite Buzz Lightyear, her decision was made. This cute miniature costume had everything she needed - from the soft helmet down to the shoes - so her shopping was done... although she still had a good time browsing.

Not being as particular, Little Sister B helped look at the collection of clothing options, sometimes stopping to examine a pair or shorts or a baseball cap. There was even a clearance rack of various pieces, some that were from past holidays and some that must just have been going out of style, that provided a great bargain or two.

Stopping at a Dressing Station to get our new friends prepared to go home, we had a good time putting on and off a few items and trying on the provided colorful wigs just for fun.

Then it seemed that all we needed to do was stop to admire the finished look and the immediate love that had been formed.

However, before it was time to leave, we stopped at the computer stations to customize a birth certificate for our new friends. Build-A-Bear Workshop gives you options of including as much or as little personal information as you are comfortable with, as well as signing up for their newsletter and more.

I definitely appreciated the fact that, due to the barcode that was placed inside my girls' animals before they were sewn, Build-A-Bear Workshop can now send me an email if our buddies are ever lost and turned in to any store location. What a great feature!

Build-A-Bear Workshop makes it possible for everyone to leave happy, no matter how much time or what size budget you have. The adorable smallfrys collection of 7" stuffed friends are only $5 per animal or complete outfit and are the perfect thing to put in a stocking or wrap for under the tree. Or, for quick full-size gifts, Build-A-Bear Workshop has a great selection of classic ideas boxed and ready to go - just add wrapping paper!

From gift cards to birthday parties (something I'm going to be looking into for Big Sister E for next year) to a visit just to make a day special, Build-A-Bear Workshop really does provide kids with a magical experience. We were fortunate that the store was nearly empty on our trip but I know that we would have still had a wonderful time even had there been more people around. The girls couldn't wait to get their animals home!

There just isn't any comparison to making your own best friend! Build-A-Bear Workshop provides a unique and entertaining time for kids of all ages (although Little Sister B was slightly on the young side at just 2) and our dog and bunny have been a huge hit at home due to the connection that the girls feel to them.

In fact, Big Sister E was so excited about her dog wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume that as soon as we were back in the house she went right upstairs...

Buzz Lightyear made Little Sister B think of Halloween, in which she wore her monkey costume. Not exactly a match to the bunny, but cute, nonetheless!

Build-A-Bear Workshop definitely received an A+ from all of us and I have no doubt that we will be back again and again... and with so many locations across the country (and the world!) I'm sure we'll stop in to others as we come across them while on vacations for years to come. It has been an instant favorite for any time of year!

Thanks to the generosity of Build-A-Bear Workshop, one person will have the opportunity to have a blast making their own new furry friend (or pick one out online) as well, because...

One lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Build-A-Bear
Workshop (in-store or online)!


To enter to win: Visit Build-A-Bear Workshop and tell me the location of a store near you. I'd also love to hear if you and your child/grandchild have ever been there and how much fun they had!

Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry if you head over to A Mom's Balancing Act and enter to win a $25 gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop over there as well!
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you sign up for the Build-A-Bear Workshop email newsletter, follow them on Twitter and/or Like them on Facebook.
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the Holiday Gift Guide giveaways (Checking Our List giveaways ONLY) running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

Checking Our List 39: #WIN a $25 gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop! Kids ♥ @buildabear! #thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/gUytce #giveaway

2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you have our Checking Our List {Holiday Gift Guide 2010} button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Build-A-Bear Workshop. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on January 7th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

A big thank you to Build-A-Bear Workshop for providing a $25 gift card for me as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

1286 comments:

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michellec3 said...

I entered your Superstructs Building Set Giveaway
threekiddoes@verizon.net

Unknown said...

The nearest Build a Bear is at the Westfarms mall in Farmington, CT. We've never gone in but I know my little ones would love to.

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I entered the Build A Bear giveaway at A Mom's Balancing Act as well.

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I signed up for the Build A Bear newsletter.

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I like Build A bear on Facebook. (Donna Zeigler Roucoulet)

packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I follow you on GFC. (Rumbletiger)

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I follow you on GFC. (rumbletiger) (2)

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I am an email subscriber. (1)

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I am an email subscriber. (2)

Donna
packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Anonymous said...

I'd like to go to the meadowwood mall stores

Unknown said...

I like you on Facebook. (1) (Donna Zeigler Roucoulet)

packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

I like you on facebook. (2) (Donna Zeigler Roucoulet)

packratmomto4(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Unknown said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/#!/notimeMom/status/23515931367972865
andrea.kruse at gmail dot com

polly said...

entered csn store
pkeintz@gmail.com

polly said...

entered db logic
pkeintz@gmail.com

polly said...

entered britax
pkeintz@gmail.com

skgaff said...

entered the collections etc giveaway
glass.stephanie(at)gmail(dot)com

skgaff said...

entered the hearts for hearts girls doll giveaway
glass.stephanie(at)gmail(dot)com

skgaff said...

entered the zooper hook-on chair giveaway
glass.stephanie(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

There is a location in the Mall of Georgia at Buford that is close to me. Our daughter has been to Build A Bear. She had lots of fun building her bear. garrettsambo@aol.com

Savings said...

we have a build a bear in the governor's square mall in tallahassee, fl
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

tina reynolds said...

we have one a few miles away at the westfield mall in vancouver washington thanks for the chance to win eaglesforjack@gmail.com

tina reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tina reynolds said...

i follow 1/2

tina reynolds said...

i follow 2/2

tina reynolds said...

i subscribe 1/2

tina reynolds said...

i subscribe 2/2

tina reynolds said...

facebook fan 1/2 (mrstinareynolds

tina reynolds said...

facebook fan 2/2

tina reynolds said...

entered zooper

tina reynolds said...

entered hearts for hearts

tina reynolds said...

entered collections etc

tina reynolds said...

entered cheerios

tina reynolds said...

entered superstructs

tina reynolds said...

entered csn

tina reynolds said...

entered db logic

Kellye and Jamie said...

The closest to us is LR. We have never been there but would love to go. My son would love it! Kellyeandjosh@aol.com

Kellye and Jamie said...

Liked you on fb. Kellyeandjosh@aol.com #1

Kellye and Jamie said...

Liked you on fb. Kellyeandjosh@aol.com #2

Kellye and Jamie said...

Following you on twitter under the name camilong Kellyeandjosh@aol.com #1

Kellye and Jamie said...

Following you on twitter under the name camilong Kellyeandjosh@aol.com #2

barblong said...

The closest one to me is in Novi which isn't too far away. My granddaughter received a do-it-yourself Build-A-Bear kit for Christmas that she loved so I know she would really like to go to one and pick everything out herself.

longbarb1@aol.com

Karen Propes said...

Daily Tweet
http://twitter.com/#!/ncjeepster/status/23580056198578176
ncjeepster@aol.com

mail4rosey said...

Looks like the closest one to us is in Ann Arbor, MI., which is about an hour away.

msurosey@yahoo.com

mail4rosey said...

I entered your Keurig Apple Cider giveaway.

msurosey@yahoo.com

Roxann said...

The Summit Louisville
4130 Summit Plaza Drive
Louisville, KY40241 is closest to us. My kids have never been there but I know my son would love it.

Roxann said...

GFC follower. Entry #1

mail4rosey said...

I am an e-mail subscriber.

msurosey@yahoo.com

Roxann said...

GFC follower. Entry #2

mail4rosey said...

I am an e-mail subscriber.

msurosey@yahoo.com
x2

dvice12 said...

We haven't been but there's a store near us in Westfield Annapolis

Sand said...

We've got one at the mall just a few miles away. I've not yet been but everyone tells me it's a lot of fun.

Tylerpants said...

My nearest store is at Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, MD. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

I'm an email subscriber. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #1

Tylerpants said...

I'm an email subscriber. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #2

Tylerpants said...

I'm a feed subscriber. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #1

Tylerpants said...

I'm a feed subscriber. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #2

Tylerpants said...

I'm a GFC follower. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #1

Tylerpants said...

I'm a GFC follower. tylerpants(at)gmail.com #2

Tylerpants said...

I'm a fan on Facebook (Lisa L). tylerpants(at)gmail.com #1

Tylerpants said...

I'm a fan on Facebook (Lisa L). tylerpants(at)gmail.com #2

Tylerpants said...

Subscribed to the Build A Bear Workshop newsletter. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

I'm a Build-A-Bear Workshop fan on Facebook (Lisa L). tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

Entered your Zooper giveaway. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

Entered your CSN giveaway. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

Entered your Collections Etc giveaway. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Tylerpants said...

Entered the Build A Bear giveaway at A Mom's Balancing Act. tylerpants(at)gmail.com

A Helicopter Mom said...

Visited Build-A-Bear Workshop and there is a location 7 miles from my house! I took the kids there one time and they were closed for a large birthday party (it's a tiny store here). We've wanted to go back since.

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I signed up for the Build-A-Bear Workshop email newsletter.

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I follow them on Twitter (mickeycoutts)

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I Like them on Facebook (Mickey Coutts)

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted:

http://twitter.com/mickeycoutts/status/23612604987482112

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I follow you with Google Friend Connect (Mickey Coutts) #1

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I follow you with Google Friend Connect (Mickey Coutts) #2

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed #1

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed #2

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email. #1

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I'm a fan on Facebook (Mickey Coutts) #2

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I entered the 75 gift certificate to CSN Stores giveaway.

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

A Helicopter Mom said...

I went over to A Mom's Balancing Act and entered to win a $25 gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop over there as well!

mickeycoutts at yahoo dot com

trixx said...

A store near me is at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, NY

trixx said...

I subscribe via email

trixx said...

2 I subscribe via email

trixx said...

2 I subscribe via feed

trixx said...

3 I subscribe via feed

trixx said...

1 I follow your blog

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