B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center
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This Wonkaville-esque Fifth Avenue flagship store stuns patrons into babbling submission with its giant and colorful labyrinth of fluff, happy music, and industrious Master Bear Builder associates who, like Umpa Lumpas, help keep the stuffed-animal assembly line moving. It takes about 30 minutes for kids and parents to bring a customized teddy to life: Once shoppers have chosen a deflated animal "skin" from a virtual salad bar of bears, cats, frogs, and rabbits, they can opt to give voice or song to their creation (in the form of a sound chip) before stuffing it to the desired level of "huggability." Then comes the feat of dressing the critter in one of countless infant-sized costumes and accessories—from Mets uniforms to hospital scrubs to do-rags. (Fashion coordinators are available to help put together a knock-'em-dead outfit.) Lastly, children name their new buddy and register it with a Find-a-Bear ID before packing it into its very own cub condo carrying case for the final sojourn home.Extra
Available only for parties, the Eat With Your Bear Hands Café in the downstairs level offers kid-friendly finger foods like French fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza, and special bear-sized chairs for small, furry guests.