Monday, July 22, 2013

Build-A-Bear Party!!

So if you have been reading my other posts, then you already know this, but just in case, I have to mention it again.

My son turned 6 years old on Saturday. For those that do not know, my little boy is extra special. He is autistic. His autism gives him a very unique personality, which is wonderful. Unfortunately for him though, it often caused him to become overstimulated easily, which causes him to get so happy, that he becomes upset. Very upset.

It was heartbreaking. I always want my son to be happy. I would chop of my arm just to make him smile, so the fact that trying to make him happy, could end up making his stressed out was terrible. This resulted in not being able to celebrate things for him, namely birthdays.

In years past, all we could do was have some gifts and cake(which he doesn't even eat) at home with family. Anything more would have upset him.

But the past year has been incredible for him. He has made tremendous progress, not only intellectually, but also socially. His coping skills have improved dramatically, and he is so much more in control of his feelings now. I am so proud of him and happy that he is doing better.

He understands so much more now. One thing he understands now, is birthdays and parties, and that they go hand in hand. He has been talking about is birthday for months. He kept talking about presents and party, and he was so excited. I kept telling him he needed to be patient, and although he kept discussing it, he was being patient, more than most any kid I have known. I am so proud of how amazing he was.

Since he has missed out on 5 years of celebrating, I knew that this year needed to be extra special. I wanted to make it HUGE for him. So a home party and some gifts was nowhere near enough. We did some trips and things to theme parks for him, but I still wanted him to have a mega party with guests as well.

I wanted the works, so I needed the perfect venue. I decided something that was a venue, an activity and a gift would be amazing. Of course, there was one place that jumped out at me, BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP!

I knew that my son, and all the guests would love it. I have never been there, but it looked fantastic. It was so easy to set up the party. You can do everything online. Not only can you choose the number of guests and the overall budge, but you can actually set guidelines for the budget, like a $10 Bear and $15 for an outfit, or $25 for a bear and $6 for sound, and so on, to actually have a plan of what each kid can get come party day.

When we arrived, the Workshop was eve more incredible than I could have ever imagined.
You get a party leader(no additional charge with a party) who will explain everything, create name tags, lead the way in each and every step, and even ensure that everyone sticks to the set budget. Ours was named Jennifer, and she was amazing. She made the party effortless, and so much fun.

After name tags and a quick rundown of the process, it was time for everyone to choose their furry friends. There are so many to choose from, and they are all adorable. Mommy chose one too, and even I had a hard time choosing just one.

Since a few guests never showed up(their loss for sure) we got a couple extras for the birthday boy(and little sis, who is obsessed with stuffed friends).

Birthday boy made the wonderful choice of a super cool alligator. And we just had to add some of his favorite characters, Spongebob and Patrick.

After choosing which friends everyone wanted, it was time to stuff them. The stuffing center was so cool.
Birthday boy went first of course. He was a natural, and he loved it.
He loves his stuffed Gator(Chompy).
He stuffed Spongebob and Patrick too. He even got to help refill the fluff(It sucked right up inside, it was really neat).
Tina fell in love with Rainbow Dash(as did I, she is adorable). She was hugging her even before she was stuffed.
She was a little afraid of the stuffing machine, but big brother(and Jennifer) stuffed it for her. She loved Rainbow Dash even more when she was all filled. She had to give her kisses.
Mommy stuffed Sunshine Hello Kitty(my choice). It was so cool, and my little friend is too adorable, although Tina stole her immediately.

Aunt Kelly got Hello Kitty too, but she chose white. She was not too cool to have a blast stuffing her.
Next was Gracie's turn. She chose Rianbow Dash too.
Hanna was next, and she chose Rainbow Dash too. Everyone loves Rainbow Dash.
After the furry friends are all stuffed, it is time to fluff them at the Fluff Me Station.
Bobby had so much fun and did suck a great job fluffing his friends, that he was the designated fluffer, and took care of all of the furry friends.
He was so proud of all his "hard" work fluffing all the friends. He kept saying, "Ta-da".

After they were all stuffed and fluffed, it was time to add the hearts.
Everyone got one for each of their animals and an extra one. Jennifer had us rub them on our brains to make them smart, are arms for lots of bear hugs, our bellies so they never get hungry, our hearts to they always feel loved, and on our noses to make a wish. We put one into our friend and the extra into Bobby's alligator, so it was filled with lots of love and wishes for him. It was fun and very special.

Once the hearts were added, Jennifer closed up all the friends while we all wet shopping for outfits for our new friends. Everything was so adorable.

Chompy(Bobby's Alligator) got a Baseball Outfit and a Captain Hook outfit.
Kelly got Army gear for her Hello Kitty.
Both Tina's and Hannah's Rainbow Dash got a Rainbow Tutu.
And Gracie's got a pretty pink dress.
Sunshine Hello Kitty got a Hello Kitty Bathrobe.
I had to get her an extra outfit since she cannot wear a bathrobe everywhere. When I saw this shirt, I had to have it.
So I got her an adorable Denim Skirt to go with it.
She looks gorgeous in it.
Patrick and Spongebob did not get clothes since they already had theirs attached.
They look perfect together.
And in the midst of all the shopping fun, something incredible happened. Hubby(whom had been adamant about not wanting to participate), saw a Marine Corps uniform for the furry friends, and he since he is a Marine Corp Veteran, he wanted one. So he made a brown bear(way after everyone else, Jennifer was so cool about it), and got it a Marine Corps(Dress Blue) uniform.
He is so handsome.
Once all the friends were stuffed, fluffed, sewed and clothed, it was time for a group photo(Hubby was taking the photo, so he could not be in it).
Jennifer also took photos and put one in a super cute cardboard frame and gave it to us to take home.

After the photo, we had to make sure out friends had a birth certificate, so we headed to the computers. Hannah and Gracie did theirs, and Since Bobby loves computers so much(and he did such a great job), he did all the others.
He had so much fun. He enjoyed it just as much as any other part of the process, and Jennifer was so helpful in telling him the names and showing him what to do. She was complimenting him him and he was so proud.

Then Jennifer passed around a super cute Autograph Bear for everyone to sign. It was a special gift for Bobby. That is so sweet that he got that. Not only does he love the bear itself, but the signatures will make it a special keepsake.
Everyone had a fantastic time at the party, and they thanked me about 40 times each. 

When it was time to leave every furry friend was placed in their very own Cub Condo Carrying Case. They are so cute, and they not only make carrying your friend a breeze, they extend the fun far after the party, because you get to decorate you Cub Condo any way you like.
We all love our new friends.
As much as Bobby loves them all(and he really really does) and hubby and I do, I think that Tina thinks they are all for her. She has certainly tried to claim them all.
Miss Tina will be 2 in September. I guess I know where she'd like to have her party. I will probably make this a tradition on both of their birthdays every year. I love it just as much as them, so now I have an excuse to go twice a year(or more).

If you have a party(any occasion) upcoming, I cannot say enough good things about Build-A-Bear Workshop and their fabulous parties. It is a one of a kind experience, and you would be hard pressed to come up with anything as good.

And there is not extra cost for the party(which is 6 or more guests)at all you pay for is the actual items your guests buy, and you get the Autograph Bear(gift) Host and everything for free. It's such a great value.

Every child should experience a Build-A-Bear Party at least once. It is a magical experience, that cannot even be described in words.

*Although I received a gift card to offset the cost of the party and facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own*

5 comments :

  1. We had so much fun that place was awesome! Thanks for inviting us!

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  2. We had so much fun that place was awesome! Thanks for inviting us!

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  3. This story was amazing! My son sound exactly like yours. He is also autistic. He is turning 6 in April, and I am wanting to have his bday there as well. Sounds like a great time!! I am actually having a combined bday for him and my younger son turning 4. I'm so glad I found this story. You have definitely made my decision final..

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  4. Thanks so much for the story great detail and information

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  5. I am in love with this “build a beer party”. Everything looks just fabulous and bash was really creative. My niece’s birthday is coming and we are planning to host an art contest themed bash for her. We will host this event at some local garden themed event venues. Hoping that kids will enjoy this bash.

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