The store is actually not that big but it is overwhelming - filled with animals, clothes and accessories.
STEP 1: picking a "bear" and bear is a misnomer since you can choose from all different types of animals. Here MRK is deciding between a triceratops and a moose. Of course being a good Canadian he chose the moose, whom he named Elliot.
STEP 2: You get to pick a sound that goes with your animal. Here LL and FMK are picking their sounds. LL chose a cheetah as her bear and she picked the "hello girlfriend, you are my best friend" sound. FMK chose a bunny as her bear and then chose the monkey sound to accompany her bunny. When we got to the next step (stuffing) Courtney (our stuffer) said she had never come across anyone who wanted the monkey sound put into a bunny. That's FMK she marches to her own drummer, definitely related to Mo.STEP 3: waiting in line for the stuffing. Here are the patient new "best friends" and Mo waiting in the line. We asked and apparently it's always like this no matter what day or time, always a line and always pretty busy.
Once we got to the front of the stuffing line the next step is giving your bear to Courtney and then you get to step on the peddle that controls the stuffing of the bear. Here MRK is a little unsure of the stuffing procedure. But the very helpful Courtney (seen here stuffing FMK's bunny) was very reassuring and asked all the right questions. STEP 4: Giving the animals a heart. This part of the process is fascinating. Here Courtney asked each of the kids to pick up a heart that would be put into their bear. She asked them to rub the heart between their hands to get the hearts warm and beating. Then they were asked to rub the heart on their heads and stomach to make sure that the animals would be wise and never go hungry. They had to promise to always look after their animal. STEP 5: Fluffing and grooming. There is a station where the kids can brush and fluff up their bears.STEP 6: Clothing the bears, because no animal can ever be naked. . .
STEP 7: Picking a name
This is a very important part of the build a bear process - picking name. It's here that you enter your details so they can contact you in the future to lure you in to buy more things and revisit the store. You fill out the details and then when you head to the cash register you get a "birth certificate" for your animal.And you get a "house" to take your bear home. We ended up with a pink cowboy boot wearing bunny named Livy who makes monkey sounds, a moose name Elliot who plays hockey for the Ottawa Senators and a cheetah named Nala who wears a tiara and carries a wand, but who is not wearing the right dress: