Alana Vandagriff | 

Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age: Here's How Their Birthday Discount Works

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If bringing your children to Build-A-Bear and spending hundreds of dollars on a dressed-up stuffed animal sounds like an exhausting time, I am with you. Thankfully, you can get away with getting out of Build-A-Bear for a few bucks when your kids are young with their Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age program. Typically, bears and characters range in price from $10 – $40, but with extras and accessories, a Build-A-Bear can cost around $70 on average. I love my kids, but no thanks. We all know that bear is going to end up under the bed next week.

However, with the Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age promotion, you can get in and out of a Build-A-Bear workshop for as low as $1. We know a few ways to save at Build-A-Bear, but the Pay Your Age deal for your child’s birthday has to be one of the best. Here’s how it works.

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1. The Build-A-Bear birthday promo lets you buy your kids a bear for the cost of their age.

A little kid holding a Build-A-Bear Birthday Bear while sitting in a stroller

The Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age promotion — aka Build-A-Bear Count Your Candles — allows you to get a Birthday Treat Bear at a price equal to however old you’re turning up to a maximum of $14. The bear doesn’t come with any clothing or accessories for that price though.

The Birthday Treat Bear is a special bear that’s only offered through the Pay Your Age promotion. You also have the option to get a special birthday-themed heart, birthday heart ceremony, birthday party hat, birthday cake photo props, and you get to ring the birthday bell for the whole workshop to hear. Unfortunately not every location has these extras, so be sure to call your local store first to make sure.

Related: Want even more ways to celebrate birthdays for less? Head right over to our HUGE list of birthday freebies and deals. I like to call this the birthday tour.


4. Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age gets you a special birthday bear for as low as $1 (reg. $14).

A shelf of Build-A-Bear's Birthday Bears with the price of $14 or Pay Your Age

You pay however old you’re turning. Turning three? You’ll only pay $3 for the Birthday Treat Bear. Turning 10? You guessed it, you’ll pay $10.


Get the Build-A-Bear Birthday Bear any day during your birthday month.

Yup! The Count Your Candles offer gives you the go-ahead to pay whatever your age is for your whole birthday month. That is, you don’t have to go on your actual birthday. In fact, nothing extra special happens at Build-A-Bear by going on your true birthday versus sometime in your birthday month.


Can I get a Build-a-Bear birthday bear online?

Unfortunately, you can’t get your birthday bear online. It’s only available at Build-A-Bear Workshops and outlet locations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

In 2020 Build-A-Bear hosted an online event that took place for one day only on Aug. 12, 2020. You were able to get two sale-priced items per shopper, and this wasn’t limited to only the Birthday Treat Bear. You could get almost any character for the price of your child’s age.


3. Skip the Build-a-Bear Birthday Bear if you’re over 14.

A kid holding up a pre-stuffed Birthday bear at Build-A-Bear

There’s no age limit to participate in the Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age offer. But the special Birthday Treat Bear retails for $14, so if you’re over 14, you won’t really save any money. Plus, do you really want to drag your teen into Build-A-Bear? We all know how that will go. I find the Build-A-Bear Birthday bear a cool thing to do with your kids when they’re little. It only costs you a few bucks for a fun birthday outing.


Do you have to show proof of age at Build-A-Bear Pay Your Age?

No, but you do need to be a Build-A-Bear Bonus Club member, which is free. You don’t have to add your child’s birthday or information to the Bonus Club account before heading in. I forgot to add my youngest who was turning two years old, and I had no issues getting his bear for $2.



4. Look for additional coupons to save on Build-A-Bear accessories.

A person looking at a cellphone displaying the Build-A-Bear website page about their Bonus Club

Being a member of the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club will not only get you access to the Birthday Treat Bear, but you’ll also get coupons. Once we reached the birthday month of my youngest child, I received a $10 off $30 coupon in my email. This coupon could be used in store or online. We decided to use it in store to buy clothes for his birthday bear.


5. Host a Build-A-Bear birthday party for as low as $14 per guest (bears included).

A kid stepping on the stuffing machine pump at Build-A-Bear while an employee stuffs the toy.

Build-A-Bear offers parties for any occasion, and to book a party, you need at least five guests. Birthday packages start at $14 per guest, and parties include making your own stuffed animal. Depending on which package you choose determines the value of your stuffed animal — and if you’re able to include accessories, sounds, and scents.


What’s included in every Build-A-Bear birthday party package:

  • A party leader (for 5 guests or more)
  • One stuffed animal per guest
  • Special heart ceremony
  • Plush light-up keepsake for the guest of honor
  • Party games and activities
  • Name tag stickers
  • Paper party hats (shaped like bear ears, of course)
  • Photo prop
  • Free invitations and thank you notes

Build-A-Bear also has special parties for Girl Scouts and service projects. The Girl Scouts-Themed Party is $40 per guest and includes a Girl Scout Bear (value up to $24), a Girl Scout clothing item, and a Girl Scout Vest or Girl Scout accessory. The Service Project Party is $12 per guest. It includes a Lil’ Cub (value $14) for guests to make and donate to the nonprofit or registered charity of their choice.

To book a party, you have to purchase a $50 nonrefundable e-gift card. In the case the party is canceled, you can use your e-gift card for a future purchase at a Build-A-Bear Workshop.


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