My (not so) little man turned 4 recently and I have to say, I’m feeling so old! Neither of my boys are really babies anymore and I’m starting to feel old! I’m excited for the days of no more diapers or pull-ups and them being self sufficient but the closer those days get, the more I want to hang on to this age! Parker had an AMAZING birthday and my favorite part was our trip to Build-a-Bear Workshop in Waco, TX.
My boys are familiar with the magic of Build-a-Bear friends and have a great collection, but they’ve never actually been to the Build-a-Bear Workshop! We drove about an hour to the nearest Workshop so Parker could experience the real thing to celebrate turning 4! As you can see, he was REALLY excited. We explained that THIS is where our Build-a-Bear buddies come to life and here, you can make your buddy however you like! (You’ll see, he really took this to heart!)
First we scoped out ALL the incredible options. There are so many amazing “stuffies” (as Parker calls them) to be made here and the options can be a little overwhelming! The staff at the Waco store were SO patient and knowledgable it was absolutely refreshing! They told us little tidbits about many of the bears and let us know what options weren’t on the wall.
My favorite little bit of “employee knowledge” came from Carlos who would be our “Party Host”. He explained that the Waco Workshop is the only place in Texas where you can get this Woolly Mammoth! Isn’t this the cutest! As much as I wanted one of the boys to pick this adorable, hard to find guy, they weren’t as into it as Mommy was. Oh well, maybe next time 😉 In store ,they even displayed one of these on roller skates!
Parker selected a Penguin as his buddy.
Parker let Carlos know and he was ready with his trusty marker to put Parker’s name on his new friend. They used a series of tags that went around the buddies wrist to keep up with the items added to our “stuffies”. I thought this was a great way to stay organized and it kept us from having to hold onto a lot of excess packaging during our party.
Jack took a little longer to decide. He was looking for that little something EXTRA. I think Carlos noticed this and showed him a very special Bear with light up ears! The Flames Hot Lights Bear by Skechers. This bear is sold out online but you can still find him in stores! Jack’s eyes instantly lit up and he let us know THIS was the one.
Next we went to the Sound Station. It’s been about 10 years since I was in a Build-a-bear Workshop and I had no idea this was available! There are over 20 sounds available for purchase or you can even record your own message. My boys love to play with a sounds app on my husband’s phone so this was a hit with them. Parker chose a 5-in-1 sounds with different phrases and Jack chose a giggle.
After putting our sounds into our friends, we were ready for stuffing. This is where the boys really got to be a part! This big “stuffer” is controlled by this foot pedal and the boys each pressed the pedal for their friends!
Carlos kept the boys engaged and entertained the whole time. Even while the machine whirled and buzzed!
Once your Build-a-Bear is stuffed, you have to give him or her the hug test and see if they’re too soft, too firm or just right! You can customize the amount of fluff in any Build-a-bear friend.
Then we needed to give our new friends a heart. This adorable “ritual” had us adults beaming! I wish I could remember all of the steps but it included rubbing the heart in your hands to warm it up, rubbing in on our cool shoes (so our friend would be as cool as we are!), placing it on our heads (for smart friends) and ended with making a VERY special wish. Since it was Parker’s birthday, his bear got two hearts. The extra one came from his little brother with an extra special birthday wish 🙂 (Okay, I admit, that part had me a tiny bit teary eyed. The connection between brothers is such a blessing in our home every day!)
Jack decided to stop and check out some of the extras available! You can make your new friend smell a certain way and even add an animated hear that beats! I held one in my hand and it is very realistic!
Then it was time to give our new friends a bath. Jack tried to convince Carlos that he just wanted a “dirty bear”. Until he saw how fun it was to give them an air bath!
My mother-in-law asked an important question, “What’s the point?” Okay, she didn’t say it like that! But really, it’s fun but does this air bath have any real purpose? Come to find out, it does! The brushing and air help to get off any extra “fuzzies” on your bear. It also helped to expose and loose/extra threads that Carlos promptly trimmed for us! After a few minutes of combining here, our new friends were perfect!
They just needed clothes!
At Build-a-Bear Workshop, the possibilities are truly endless! From everyday clothing to Super Heroes and Star Wars and loads in between! It was hard for me to focus on just one thing! Parker be lined for an outfit he had decided on early on! Spider Man!
Then it was time to get all dressed!
Parker paired his Spider Man Penguin with some flaming Skechers shoes! He’s all boy!
Jack took a little more time, but decided to dress his Bear like the “Big Bad Wolf”! We’ve been loving the story of the 3 Little Pigs so I thought this was a wonderful idea! Mommy helped with the shoes 😉
It wasn’t easy getting a photo of two excited toddlers!
Our last step (before check out) was registering our bears. This is also where we named our friends and printed Birth Certificated. This was Jack’s favorite part!
While I enjoyed everything Carlos did to make this Party extra special for us, his patience with a 2-year-old on a computer took the cake! He patiently pointed to each letter Jack needed to press until the entire form was filled out! It wasn’t a short form either! This was really beyond customer service!
Once we checked out, our Build-a-Bear friends got their own special houses to ride in on our way home!
Overall, this was an absolutely AMAZING experience! The Waco store was so friendly and they really took the time to cover all the little things with me (as a parent/customer) and with my little ones. It was an absolute treat and I honestly cannot wait to go back! If you’re ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend requesting Carlos for a party. He’s an absolute JOY and he kept my otherwise wandering 2-year-old engaged for over 30 minutes! I need some tips!
If you haven’t visited a Build-a-Bear Workshop with your kids, there’s never a bad time to go! It’s a magical experience and one my boys won’t soon forget! You can search for a store near you HERE. You can also learn more about booking your own party HERE!