In full disclosure, we were hosted by Build A Bear Workshop at Build-A-Bear NYC. They provided us with gift cards to the Build-A-Bear Workshop to make our experience possible. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun and our efforts to share fun New York City activities with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Returns to NYC!
Many of us have Build-A-Bear Workshops in our local malls, but did you know that for years there wasn’t any Build-A-Bear store in Manhattan? It’s been a few years since the Build-A-Bear NYC in the Empire State Building has closed but now the Build-A-Bear fun has returned! It was surprising to me that there was no Build-A-Bear NYC to visit as a trip into New York City seemed a perfect opportunity for a treat like making a new friend. Now located on 34th Street, just across from the Macy’s flagship store, the Build-A-Bear Workshop is a perfect place for you to take your kids to make their next cuddly toy.
Build-A-Bear Workshop is one of my favorite brands – the bears are quality, their outfits are adorable and the staff is always helpful. On a recent visit to New York City I surprised my two kids with a trip to the new Build-A-Bear NYC store and they were thrilled from start to finish!
So many bears to choose from at Build A Bear NYC
The one level Build-A-Bear NYC store is like the Build-A-Bear Workshop you’re familiar with – lots of friends to choose from, a stuffing station, party area and more outfits and accessories than you can imagine. We walked in and had so much to choose from. Would our Build-A-Bear be a Pokemon? Disney character? Reindeer or turkey or a traditional teddy bear? Build-A-Bear Workshop does a great job of having on trend and seasonal characters. Our choices were well thought out. We finally decided on a Star Wars stormtrooper and Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. Mom really wanted a Build-A-Bear Workshop reindeer but the kids couldn’t be swayed!
Build-A-Bear Workshop helper Sonia walked us through the next steps to create our new bears. Did you know your bear can have a signature scent? I didn’t! Choose from pizza, bubble gum, donut, mint and more. Want your bear to play music? Say something pre-recorded? Build-A-Bear can do that too. Our stormtrooper now plays the Imperial March when you squeeze his hand – perfect! The bears get stuffed and I love the heart ceremony that happens just before the bears are stitched up.
Watch our Build-A-Bear NYC video below
Now for the really hard part – dressing your bear at the Build-A-Bear Workshop. The outfits and accessories available at Build-A-Bear NYC are limitless! I again tried to encourage some reindeer ears but was rejected. Would they get pajamas? Stick with their themes? Make them sports stars or emergency responder heroes? We could have been there for an hour but once they made their decisions it all came together and the Stormtrooper dressed as Captain Phasma (why not, right?) and Belle found a perfect red rose dress. Sonia was super helpful in showing the kids some options and helping them dress the bears, down to the shoes and eyeglasses. I’m happy to say they created some well dressed Build-A-Bear bears.
My favorite part of the Build-A-Bear NYC store
Now that your bear is stuffed and dressed, he or she needs a name! Build-A-Bear Workshop will even give you a birth certificate to take home so you can be sure he or she is yours. Now for my favorite part of the Build-A-Bear NYC store! I was worrying about carrying the bears around the city in the boxes you get at the stores in the mall. It’s a great box but so big to carry around a crowded city. Build-A-Bear NYC has thought of that and for $5, I highly recommend buying the adorable drawstring bag to take your new friend home in! It even has holes in the side for their arms to stick out. I know for sure these bags are going to get a lot of use.
Sonia and all the staff at Build-A-Bear New York City were so helpful and knowledgeable, and kept us moving along. The Build-A-Bear NYC store wasn’t crowded when we were there but business was steady. There were enough associates to give everyone attention and not make any customers feel rushed.
Our new Build-A-Bear Workshop bears haven’t left our kids beds since they came home. Both kids felt so special carrying their bears around New York City in their unique bags and they even brought their friends on our next trip, in their bags.
We know lots of New Jersey families visit New York City at Christmas time and what a great time it is to check out the new Build-A-Bear ! Make a bear, stop in to buy some of the exclusive NYC merchandise, or just see what’s new.
Check out our Facebook Live TOUR of the Build-A-Bear NYC store
For more photos from our visit to Build-A-Bear NYC check out our Facebook Album. See a preview below.
Build-A-Bear is located at 22 W. 34th Street, New York City. Hours are 9 AM – 9 PM but may vary so check the website. Reservations not required.
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