One of the perks of having close friends with children is that you get to be a part of a lot of fun events or experiences and over time you start to think about things that would be fun to do with them. Enter Smiley360, a free website that gives you the opportunity to test out a wide range of products and companies in exchange for your honest review, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I had a survey to qualify for a Build-A-Bear experience! Immediately, I thought of Charlotte’s girls (go check out her blog!), filled out the survey, and soon received the Build-A-Bear kit in the mail. The mission kit consisted of a $40 gift card to build a new friend from the collections of Marvel, My Little Pony, or Palace Pets, a link for a coupon of $5/$25 purchase, and a pamphlet that would help me spread the word out about what Build-A-Bear is all about. Yeah, you read that right $40 FREE and all I have to say is…where was this when I was a kid?! Charlotte received the same mission and we began to plan a day to take the girls to the nearest store in Orlando to get their new friends.
The day we chose was also the day of our American Heart Association Walk, but despite being sweaty in Publix gear, taking the “scenic route”, we welcomed the A/C, grabbed some lunch, and had the chance to walk around the mall for a while and look at some of the stores that we don’t get to frequent often. Once we found Build-A-Bear I was floored and wished I was 10 again! They have an entire wall of nothing but unstuffed friends and there is literally something to appeal to everyone, boys and girls! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon 😉 After you choose your new friend, you take them to the heart station where you can pick out the qualities that you want in them like loyalty and friendship. When your heart is ready to go you make your way to the interactive filling station where an employee helps to stuff your new friend and sew their heart inside, they even have special touches like putting a scent in your friend! Once your friend is all sewn up, you give it a bath and go to the computers to put in your information (in case your friend gets lost) and create a birth certificate that is printed at the desk. Once all of that is done you get to enter the world of accessories and outfits for your new friend, there are so many to choose from that I think we spent more time there than actually creating our friend. With outfits and friends in hand we made our way to the check-out and paid under $4 total (can’t beat that) and had a photo shoot with girls and their new additions.
Overall this experience was priceless, it was so much fun to watch the girls go through the whole process and come out with their own unique creation based on their individual style and creativity at the end. Build-A-Bear is a great gift idea for any child (or those young at heart) because it truly lets them use their imagination from the minute they walk in to the minute they walk out, plus the employees are great interacting with the kids! I am grateful for Smiley360 and Build-A-Bear for helping us create a special memory! I will be back!
Be on the lookout for my next Smiley360 mission review…Chapstick’s new dual ended chapsticks 🙂