Pay Your Age Teddy Bears
- What: Birthday Build-A-Bears
- When: Your child’s birthday month
- Why: Save money, gain memories
- Where: Build a Bear Stores
Do you remember when Build-A-Bear ran a special promotion where any kid could buy a bear for their age? For example, a five year old would pay $5. It proved to be a complete fiasco, with hours long lines snaking through parking lots and nowhere near enough inventory of the special bears.
But kudos to Build-A- Bear for adjusting. Now instead of one day a year, they run a special promotion year round. Anytime during your child’s birthday month, they can go visit and build a birthday bear for the cost of their age. The birthday bear, regularly priced at $14, can be a big discount, and best of all, you can go anytime that month to get the deal.
Stores have limited capacity currently thanks to the pandemic, but they still offer this deal. For the shortest wait times, go during the week (it’s not like the kids have school anyway) rather than a Friday or a weekend. Kids don’t get discounts on accessories, but many stores have sale or clearance sections where you can score a bargain. Or you can get a birthday shirt or other clothing for under $10. If you budget around $25 for your child, they can choose a couple options.
Don’t forget the store will try to upsell your child on sounds (roughly $7) including ones you can record yourself, and scents, which run around $3.50 and go inside the bear. It can be hard to say no once you get inside the store, so I make sure both the kids and I know the budget before we walk into the place.
Both my daughter and son have gone for their birthdays to build a bear, and they love the special attention and birthday goodies that come included, like a paper hat and sticker. If you’re not familiar with the concept behind this brand, kids choose an unstuffed animal at the store. They have a wide collection that changes frequently and features popular characters from Star Wars (I’m looking at you, Baby Yoda!), Pokemon, Frozen, Paw Patrol, and many more. They also have plenty of generic animals kids can choose. Once you pick a pet, employees help you stuff it in store, finishing it off with a stuffed heart kids place inside. The remainder of the store is devoted to dressing and accessorizing your new buddy, as well as naming and printing a birth certificate. The big numbers overhead walk you through the process step by step, making it easy for both kids and grown ups alike to follow.
If you want to treat your child to a birthday bear, an adult must be a member or join their Build-A-Bear Bonus Club. Adults age 18 and above can join online or in person for free with an email and phone number. Then visit any store during your child’s birthday month and let them know you want a birthday bear. They will take care of the rest, and your kid will end up with an memorable experience to go along with the myriad stuffed animals they own.