Pros: Every child at the party gets a great toy, the atmosphere is very fun
Cons: Nowhere for food, cost can be prohibitive
We have done the gamut of birthday parties, but this Build A Bear Party was just about the best. My 12-year-old decided that she wanted to go B-A-B for her birthday party. The cost factor was definitely a scary thing, but we managed to hold it down. We happened to go during October and our party host was even dressed as Fred Flintstone. Some of the party guests were late due to traffic, but the hosts and hostesses at B-A-B were very accommodating. They managed to catch up the late-comers and we all finished at the same time.
The host was very good at keeping the cost to my set limit. We did the BEAR basics, a $10 bear for each attendee. The birthday girl chose a $10 bear as well. They had all the partiers line up in the circle and make a lot of party noises, then they noisily marched all of the partiers over to the heart and fill station. The whole ceremony lasted about 30 minutes.
To keep costs down, I had made little costumes of nylon net which consisted of a "tutu" made from nylon net sewn onto a ribbon and a bra top of a strip of nylon net with ribbon in the middle. The bra top just tied on the back as did the tutu. We made 9 of these costumes for about $8 total. The party guests (and the birthday girl) all had something to dress their new friends in, and we didn't break the bank. We did a fun, entertaining party for 7 guests plus the birthday girl for under $80, then headed back to our house for play time and cake and ice cream.
Our house looked like Christmas Day after we got home. Each child had a new toy to play with, and none of the planned games were accomplished. It was Christmas in October for those kids!
They played with their bears for hours, and went home saying it was "the best birthday party I've ever been to!"