Bears love to party!

By Margie Brill of My Springfield Mommy

A party at a Build-A-Bear Workshop can be for so much more than just a birthday. No matter what brings your family together, whether your children are part of a sports team, club, or church group, there is always room to celebrate.  For example, just this month I invited a few children and their families from the local Ronald McDonald House to come to the Springfield, Ill. store for an unforgettable afternoon.

kids from the ronald mcdonald house party in springfield, illinois

Since this was my first party at Build-A-Bear Workshop I arrived early to be able to help the store with any last minute prep and to greet the guests as they arrived. Instantly, I was told it was okay to relax and to just have fun, they would do all the work. So I just stood back and visited with a few of the parents and children.

As the guests arrived they were each given a name tag and gathered in the circle at the front of the store to get the party started. Once a few quick rules had been discussed it was off to select a friend. The funniest part was when they showed which friends the kids were allowed to select from. When the first child picked the blue star bear all the children seemed to fall in love with him and had to have the same one. Once a furry friend was selected it was time for the heart ceremony, where each child worked hard to make sure they would have a smart, happy, energized friend who would always be there for them.

ronald mcdonald house kids putting heart in their bears

After the hearts had been placed inside it was time to give a name to the friends and then split up into two groups, one went to play games, a combo of both hot potato and hide and seek, and the other went to the stuffing machine where the real magic happened.  After all eleven kids had made their new furry friends it was off get a bath and dressed.  I really enjoyed watching the kids dress their bears, it was fun watching them pick just the right outfit. Many of the kids had to look at the selections a few times before choosing the perfect one.

After all the friends were finished the kids returned to the front of the store where they proudly played and showed off their newest friend and posed for a couple of group photos before heading off to the food court for pizza and cupcakes.

kids from the ronald mcdonald house doing the bear promise

If you are like most of us, you have a have a budget to stay within and may think the cost of a party here is too high, but the truth is no matter what you have to work with the team at the store will do everything possible to keep your price range.  They will consult with you before the party and work with you to ensure that you stay in a price range that is comfortable for you.  They will also select friends along with outfits that keep the child within a price range that is comfortable for you and exciting for the kids.

One thing to keep in mind is that no food or drink is allowed in the store, but in many cases the food court will allow you to bring in a cake and open presents (be sure to check with your local mall first.) In our case we visited the food court for cupcakes after the party and got a little extra treat when Larry from Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen sent a pizza over for the kids to snack on.  This was, without a doubt, the best way to end a great day!

Thanks to Build-A-Bear,  all the families who made the trip out, the Ronald McDonald House and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchens, for a fun day.  I hope all the kids are enjoying their new friends!

Use the Party Calculator on the Build-A-Bear Workshop website to find out how you can stay within budget.

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