If you are stuck for a party idea then I would like to highly recommend the Build A Bear Workshop Party. I think it has to be one of the easiest parties I have ever organised/been to – and Grace and her friends absolutely loved it!
I was googling around, about a month ago, trying to decide what to do for Grace’s 6th Birthday party. It isn’t an easy time anyway due to it being the festive season, so trying to find an idea for a party musn’t be too expensive or stressful! It was when I got an email from Build A Bear, as I am on their mailing list, that I noticed that they do birthday parties! I went onto the website and called to book at the Reading store in the Oracle straight away. I couldn’t wait to tell Grace when she came out of school – and needless to say that she was very excited when I explained all about it.
They didn’t do party teas and the whole experience was going to last around an hour so I booked the bear party at 2.30pm and Pizza Hut across the river for 4pm (a bargain at £4.99 per child which included the ice cream factory on an unlimited basis!).
One of the best things about the Build A Bear experience is that you set a price limit per child and the party leader guides them on what they can have. This means that all you pay for is the bear and clothes/accessories. No hall hire fees, no entertainer costs, no party bag hassles as the party bag is the bear, its box and some added extras – which includes a colouring book, stickers, voucher and some extra bows for your new cuddly friend.
When arriving at the store with Ross, Grace, my Mum and Stepdad, my Mum and I both decided we wanted to be little girls again!
The birthday girl and four friends, including my niece Emily, all congregated at the front of the shop at 2.30pm on Thursday 3rd January (the Mums who dropped them off were able to take full advantage of The Oracle at this time!). They were all given a name sticker and then taken to choose the cuddly animal they would like to take to the stuffing ceremony. Grace and Emily both chose a polar bear, Sophia and Maisy both choose a dog each and Chloe chose a monkey. They were all lovely but I have to admit a soft spot for Chloe’s monkey and Maisy’s dog! They then hopped over to the sound effects machine. The two dogs were both given barks and the monkey a cheeky monkey noise. The polar bears stayed silent.
Then it was naming and stuffing time. Each taking it in turns to take their animal up and push the pedal to stuff their animal. Lisa, the party leader, stuck a sticker on the back of the person standing at the machine and got the other girls to help her guess what animal she was by answering her questions – they all had a real giggle doing this. Once their furry friends were stuffed, they chose two hearts each which they rubbed on their head to make them brainy, their cheeks to make them cheeky, their tummy so they would never go hungry and their hearts so they would be full all love. The four girls attending the party then put one of their hearts into Grace’s bear so now her aptly named ‘Heart’ bear was full of 6 hearts – it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised the significance of this number, her 6th Birthday!
Once the animals had all had a good fluff and groom, it was off to choose some accessories and clothes with their remaining funds. Grace chose a lovely sparkly top, lead and some ear bows for her new bear. The other girls all picked wisely too. Finally it was time to stand on the bear circle back at the front of the shop and take the bear promise;
My bear is so special, I brought it to life. I chose it, I stuffed it, now I am taking it home. Best friends are forever so I promise right now to make my bear my number one pal.
They were then given boxes (homes) to take their bears home in which doubled as party bags with all the extras. We then took the short walk across to Pizza Hut where colouring pencils, books, oh and of course food, were waiting for us! The girls enjoyed pizza and pasta whilst the adults shared some nachos and garlic bread. The girls also took advantage of the ice cream factory, decorating their dessert with chocolate sauce and chocolate buttons. Then everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ as Grace’s Moshi Monster cake was brought out.
Once finished, the girls used the restaurant floor as an adventure area for their new chums as the parents finished chatting. Then, everyone departed for home, tired but happy.
It was so lovely not to feel hassled or harrassed by screaming children all hyper from a party! Just 5 little girls who were calm and happy. My niece, Emily, has decided she would like the same for her birthday.
Some images from the party: