Making an adorable personalized stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear Workshop is a great way to celebrate your child’s birthday. And the Build-A-Bear pay your age discount is too unbearably good to resist.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the Build-A-Bear concept, here’s how it works: Whether you shop online or in one of the stores, you select a stuffed animal and personalize it with clothes, embroidery patterns and even special sound effects. As you build the unique stuffed animal, you create a huggable treasure that is completely customized.
The cost of the Build-A-Bear experience can add up, though. And that’s what makes its pay your age promotion so popular. You may be remembering headlines from a few years back about the chaos around Build-A-Bear’s kickoff of the pay your age program (including long lines and a total shut-down of the event). But the current program is different from that ill-fated one-day promotion, is well-established and is easy to use.
So, if you’re considering participating in the Build-A-Bear Count Your Candles program, we’ve compiled a complete guide to everything you need to know. Most importantly, know this: You must enroll in the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club to take part in the Pay Your Age promotion (luckily, it’s free and easy to join).
What Is The Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age Discount?
Build-A-Bear’s “pay your age” promotion (officially called Count Your Candles) is exactly what the name implies. The cost of the bear is the age your child is turning. For instance, if your child is turning 5 years old, you would pay $5 for the birthday bear. It’s available in stores only, not online.
While the bear itself is discounted, outfits and accessories are sold separately, so you’ll have to spend extra on those items. Also, keep in mind that the discount applies only to the special Birthday Bear (pictured above, although options by store may vary), not to any critter in the store.
When you bring your child to a Build-a-Bear Workshop any time during their birthday month, you simply pay the dollar amount equivalent to their age for a birthday treat bear.
You don’t have to go to the store on your child’s actual birthday — as long as you go sometime during their birthday month, you’re good to go.
Note: The minimum price to pay is $1 and there’s a limit of one bear per child each birthday.
Can We Select A Different Bear Or Stuffed Animal for Build-A-Bear Count Your Candles?
Only the Birthday Treat Bear is available for the Build-A-Bear Count Your Candles program. The regular retail value of this bear is $14. It’s not possible to substitute this bear for another stuffed animal. So, if your little one has their heart set on a different teddy bear, unicorn, bunny or any other stuffy, know that those are ineligible for the promotion.
Can I Book Build-A-Bear Count Your Candles Online?
This promotion is valid only in stores, so definitely call the store prior to your arrival to ensure the birthday bear is in stock. Availability may vary by store so if it’s unavailable, the store may provide an alternative choice or offer you the option to visit another time to honor the Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age offer even if it’s past your kid’s birthday month.
If you have more than one child sharing the same birthday month, indicate quantity when you call to ensure there are enough Birthday Treat Bears in stock.
How Do I Show Proof Of Age?
Here’s the thing — you won’t need to show identification or written proof of age for the child. When you and your child go into the store, just let them know you’re celebrating a birthday (which birthday it is) and that you would like to participate in the Count Your Candles promo.
Is Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age Discount Online?
It is not available online. It’s available only in Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and outlets. You can, however, purchase clothing and accessories for the bear either in stores or online, but that’s a separate cost and not part of the birthday promotion.
Being in the store is part of the experience. Your child will experience a birthday heart ceremony and receive a birthday heart for their furry friend, birthday cake photo prop, a birthday sticker, birthday party hat and ringing the birthday bell to announce their birthday to the entire store.
Is Anyone Eligible?
Yes, but for the child to be eligible, the adult guest accompanying them must be 18 years old or older and be a member of the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club. If you’re not a member of the club, this promotion doesn’t apply, so be sure to enroll!
When is the Pay You Age Event?
In addition to the Count Your Candles program (which every child is eligible for during their birth month) Build-A-Bear used to offer a Pay Your Age event in stores. The first one, in 2018, led to stores getting shut down as demand far exceeded supply and staffing. The event returned in 2019, but the number of “tickets” was restricted and given out via a lottery system. The event was also spread out over several days to avoid crowding. Then, in 2020, the Pay Your Age event was cancelled due to the pandemic, and we haven’t seen it since. However, Build-A-Bear throws plenty of in-store events. We recently saw the Double the Fun event, which offered two furry friends for $45, for example.
What Is The Build-A-Bear Bonus Club?
It’s free to join the Bonus Club and you’ll earn points on each purchase to redeem rewards. In addition, you’ll get early access and special offers. You can also participate in various events like the No Line On-Line Sale.
The program automatically enrolls you in the Find-A-Bear ID program. Plus, you can donate a furry friend to Build-A-Bear Foundation when you redeem a reward.
When you check out in the store with the birthday bear in tow, you’ll need to share account details such as your email address or Bonus Club account number.
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