Building a furry good friend was soooo much fun!

Yesterday morning, embarking on a spontaneous adventure, I, along with my spirited trio – Curly, Little Bean, and Beanie Boy – set off at 9 am. Our journey began with collecting my Mum, adding more excitement to our little expedition. Our destination? The Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester, where a magical encounter awaited us at the Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the radiant smile of Kelly, the Store Manager, who promised an unforgettable experience. The children’s eyes sparkled with anticipation, feeling utterly special from the moment we stepped in.

Build A Bear Workshop

Kelly, with her warm approach, unveiled the magic of choosing a bear. It’s not just about looks; it’s about connection. She encouraged the children to interact with their chosen bears, checking if they were the perfect match. To my amusement, each child, immersed in the moment, eagerly followed her guidance.

The adventure deepened as we moved to personalize our bears. Curly opted out of adding a sound box, humorously reasoning that it might startle him at night. Beanie Boy, true to his nature, chose a giggling sound, while Little Bean’s Hello Kitty echoed, “I love you.” My Mum and I, perhaps wishfully, selected Brahm’s Lullaby, hoping it might coax the kids into sweet dreams.

Kelly’s natural flair with children shone as she guided them through the ‘stuffing’ process. Each bear received a unique barcode for safe returns if ever lost – a thoughtful touch. The children, full of excitement, controlled the stuffing machine while carefully placing their chosen sound boxes.

As a seasoned Build-a-Bear veteran, I anticipated the next enchanting step: the Heart Ceremony. Surprisingly, everyone, including Nanna, participated wholeheartedly. Even Beanie Boy, a tad camera shy, joined in from the safety of my side. This ceremony brought our bears to life, infusing them with love and care.

Then came the fashion show – dressing our bears. The vast array of outfits made choosing a delightful challenge. Beanie Boy’s initial insistence on Wellington boots alone for his bear gave us all a chuckle. However, after some gentle persuasion, he agreed to a more complete ensemble. Little Bean and Nanna, assisted by Kelly, turned Hello Kitty into a fashion icon. Curly, the most indecisive, eventually styled his monkey in an ultra-cool outfit, complete with a camouflage tent, glasses, and hiking boots.

The final step, registering our bears and creating their Birth Certificates, was made joyous with the child-friendly, colourful keyboard. This allowed the children to take charge with minimal assistance from me.

Our visit coincided with the store’s opening hours, which quickly filled with customers. It was my first shopping experience in Leicester, and I was thoroughly impressed. The spacious, welcoming atmosphere of the Build-a-Bear Workshop, complemented by the helpful, child-friendly staff, made our visit memorable.

As we left, a birthday party was starting, the staff creating magical moments for the children. It’s hard not to get swept up in the joy and excitement of an adult.

Build A Bear Workshop

Our children, now inseparable from their new furry friends, snuggled up with them in bed, smiles on their faces. We spent nearly two hours at Build-a-Bear, and not a moment passed without laughter or smiles. Curly, nearing his 11th birthday, expressed heartfelt thanks, cherishing this new experience beyond his previous brief encounter with Build-a-Bear.

The adventure doesn’t end at the store. Back home, the children can bring their bears to life online at Bearville on the Build-a-Bear website. It’s a treasure trove of games, printables, e-cards, and desktop images, extending the fun.

Kelly’s dedication to creating joyful experiences was evident. Her favourite part, the Heart Ceremony, resonates with her as she witnesses the children’s belief and joy in their bears. Her involvement in these special moments is truly touching.

For anyone who hasn’t experienced Build-a-Bear, I wholeheartedly recommend it. The ever-changing range of bears, outfits, and accessories means there’s always something new to discover. And with prices starting at just £9, it’s an affordable treat. Whether in-store or online, the world of Build-a-Bear awaits to enchant you and your family.

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