Friday, January 7, 2011


What it is: Build-A-Bear is a specialty stuffed animal store located in Southpoint Mall.  Kids can head into the store, pick out a particular stuffed animal, stuff the animal, dress the animal, and give them a birth certificate.  It's a bit pricey, so it's a bit of a special treat for kids, but we had a special occasion, so we decided to head on over. 

I had been waiting to take my son until he was old enough to appreciate it.  Before now, I don't know that he would have gotten much out of a stuffed animal, but now he's starting to get attached to his favorite kitty and squirrel, so I thought we'd have fun.  It's on the upper level of Southpoint, so one of the best parts for us was riding the escalator up and down to the store.  Once we arrived, I showed him all of the animals, and he picked out his favorite, a monster from the classic Rudolph movie we had watched this  Christmas. 

Next, we headed over to the stuffing machine with our store helper.  She put the stuffed animal on the machine and then we could press the pedal to fill him up.  Be warned, the machine makes quite a bit of noise which can scare small children who don't like noises.  My son hid behind my leg the whole time while I pressed the pedal.  At that station, we could also place a heart in the animal for free and a sound effect if we wanted to pay a little extra.  The helper sewed up our monster and we headed over to the "bath" station.  There we brushed his fur and blew air on him to make him all fluffy.  While we skipped the clothing portion of the store, there are aisles filled with all manner of animal clothing.  You can buy any manner of stuffed animal accessory from diapers to Duke cheerleading outfits to guitars and even a stuffed convertible car!  The final step was creating the birth certificate.  My son had a great time pressing the buttons as I asked him the questions. 

Once A. Monster's (Okay, so we're not the most creative with names.) birth certificate was complete, we paid at the register and received a fun box in the shape of a little house that we could keep A. Monster in and color when we got home.  My son then dragged the box himself all the way down the escalator and across the parking lot to our car.  Making the monster made him more attached to him, and my son's been playing with him ever since. 

What we liked:  It's definitely a fun special treat for kids that like stuffed animals.  The store lends itself to all different ages, and they also host birthday parties.

What we would change: It can be a fairly quick activity if there's no line, so it would be nice to combine with some other activities at the mall.  The speed can also be a good thing though for young toddlers with short attention spans like mine.  In addition, the cheapest animals there are $10, so it can be a bit pricey, especially if your child wants clothing for the animal.

Website and other important information:


Address: 6910 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 222, The Streets at Southpoint, Durham, NC 27713

Phone Number: (919) 544-3300

Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 12pm-7pm


1. The stuffer

2. The choices of stuffed animals

3. The brushing and fluffing station

 4. Clothing options

5. Birth certificate computers

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