Build-a-Bear Workshop

So a couple weeks ago, some of your may have braved the long lines in the mall during the first ever “Pay Your Age” Build-a-Bear Workshop event.  I give you major props because I could not handle that many people. You probably got a really awesome deal on one of those super cuddly personalized stuffed animals, which is amazing! But if you are like me, and watched it all unfold on social media, then you know how crazy the whole thing ended up being. In the end, I am glad we stayed far away from the mall! 

And ultimately, everyone won.  Build-a-Bear Workshop realized that things went a little off-kilter so they offered everyone who had previously signed up for the Bonus Club a chance to save $15 on any purchase (one coupon per household).   The deal had to be downloaded soon after the original event; but if you have a coupon, you have until the end of August 2018 to redeem the deal. 

We took advantage of that discount last week at the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester! 

We had made a bear a couple years ago at Build-a-Bear Workshop when this little guy was ready to lose the pacifier. It was aptly named the “binky bear” and when he was stuffed, they put my son’s pacifier in the foot of the bear.  It was a fun little ceremony and it probably softened the blow a little bit but oh did he miss that binky for a while.  Since he was only two when we went last time, my son really didn’t remember anything. So this was like a whole new experience for him! 

Many of you have done the whole Build-a-Bear Workshop experience but if you have not, let me walk you through it all! 

First, when you enter the store, be prepared for teddy bear overload! Your little ones are going to be excited and slightly overwhelmed. Try to keep them nearby because the whole experience does need to be done in a certain order! 

Your first step is to pick a friend.  There are a lot to choose from! 

They have your classic teddy bears in all different colors. Then they have special animals like monkey and sharks. They also have characters you find on your child’s favorite show like Paw Patrol’s Chase or Zuma,  Poppy from Trolls, and Star Wars bears. Their options change all the time, and not every bear will be available in store.  Most kids have no issue finding a friend.  As for prices, they range anywhere from $12 to $75 (online).  The average stuffed animals is in the $20-30 range.  

Once you’ve chosen your new friend, you have the option of adding sound! You can match the voice to certain characters or choose a dog bark for a furry canine friend. You can even record your own message.  

You then head over to the big machine that will fill your friend and give him life.  This is probably the best part of the whole process at Build-a-Bear Workshop! 

Your child will be fully involved in this process too. With the foot pedals, he will be able to help stuff his new buddy! 

Once the bear is full of stuffing, your child will be then asked to pick a heart out of the bin. You also have the option of putting in a heart that actually beats if you want; it just costs extra.  

Adding the heart to your stuffed animal is a special moment and you have to make sure all your love goes into this heart! He had to rub it on his nose, heart and knees! 

Then with one last kiss, the heart went in and his new friend was stitched up! 

And then we had Chase! Now that he was ready to go, we headed to the grooming area. He needed a proper ‘bath’ and his fur needed to be brushed! 

Now, the next step is where your bill can rack up. So tread carefully, even though it can be hard to resist all the cute little outfits and accessories.  They have everything for your stuffed friend. Shirts, shorts, shoes, socks, hats, bags, and so on. There are superhero outfits, uniforms, sports jerseys and more.  They even have matching outfits for their special characters. 

We found the Chase outfits! 

When you find the right outfit for your friend, head over to the dressing room! 

We made sure everything was on correctly before we finished up! That hat was a little tricky! 

Now that Chase was dressed, we could finish up. Our next step was to register him at the computer.  Here you’ll scan his tag and then you’ll be given the chance to name him, and you can also add your child’s name.  This is definitely a step for the parents; but he had fun pretending he could type! 

Once you finish at the computers, your stuffed animal’s information will be sent to the main printer and a birth certificate will print out.  They will have it waiting for you when you check out. 

Here it is! Chase is officially ours! 

Of course, you do have to pay.  They accept cash and credit.   While ringing out, make sure you give them your Build-a-Bear Workshop Bonus Club information (it’s the email address you signed up online with).  If you are using any special coupons, you’ll need to present it at checkout.  They also have other regular promotions including the Pay-Your-Age special during your child’s birthday month (just note that this deal is only for their Birthday Treat Bear).    

Your stuffed friend will be placed in the famous Build-a-Bear box.  Some parents love this box, some don’t. But it is part of the experience.  Just be prepared for your child to hand you the box and make you carry it around the mall. 

Chase is now a part of our family. He was made with love and he is definitely loved. 

My son had fun with the whole experience.  He lost interest in some parts of the process and he also got bored quick when there was any wait involved.  My child is not a stay and wait kind of kid – he’s a tornado and he wants to run around and destroy. So we moved through the whole process rather quickly. If you have a calm child, you could easily spend a while here with your child.  Or you could dash through the whole store hoping your child won’t rip apart every display like we did! You know your child best!  Overall though, he liked the stuffing machine and he had fun grooming his new dog.  Making a friend at Build-a-Bear Workshop is one of those things that all kids will have fun taking part in. Is it something you want to do every weekend? Not so much.  But it’s a great birthday treat, or a way to celebrate a big milestone.  And it’s also worth it when you’re saving $15.  

Build-a-Bear Workshop has definitely created a unique opportunity for kids to be a part in creating their own stuffed buddies.  How many times did we imagine making our own teddy bear when we were a child? And now our kids have the chance to do it.  I’d definitely recommend trying this whole experience out at least once! 


This about sums it up…

The Shoppes at Buckland Hills – 194 Buckland Hills Drive – Manchester, CT 



Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


  • Stroller accessible! 
  • Free Parking at Mall 
  • Bathrooms & changing tables located throughout mall
  • Make sure you join Build-a-Bear Bonus Club
  • Shopping (plan to spend some money!)
  • Cash or Credit accepted
  • Great for all ages! 
  • Birthday Parties Available
  • Pay Your Age Birthday Month deals available – also check online for other promotions to find ways to save
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop is a nationwide chain and locations can be found everywhere (including several other stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts)

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