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The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory lets Kids See How Bears are Made and then "Make a Friend for Life!®"

Just south of Burlington Vermont, with the Green Mountains in the distance, we found  the colourful factory of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company.  Over 130,000 people visit the factory annually to see over 2,700 furry bears that are produced daily.

For $2.00 adults (children under 12 are free), we were guided through the factory by our Bear Ambassador, Dave.  For a half an hour we received a crash course, amidst bear puns and jokes, on the step-by-step process by which each Bear-Gram is made and packaged before becoming one of over 425,000 gifts sold and/or shipped annually from the factory.

Tours run regularly throughout the day and everyone receives a colour coded bear pin for the tour and a button bear during the tour.  Button bears are bear shaped cutouts made from the left over synthetic fur.

Dave gave us the "Bear" facts about the company and bear colours.  We were enthralled with his knowledge and candor.

We could "Bearly" contain our excitement as we travelled over to the cutting table.  Layers of synthetic bear fur are placed on the cutting table where bear part shaped dies are punched through with pressure equal to 12 elephants sitting on the dies.  The factory isn't big enough to accommodate the elephants so the press has to "Bear" the workload.

The next step involves sorting, sewing and then turning the pieces right side out in the Sewing Department.  Eyes and noses are added to the head and then the pieces are each stuffed with Bear DNA (synthetic stuffing) pumped from the hopper through the stuffing machine.   We learned how pins are then inserted in the jointed legs and head before these lovable teddy bears are assembled.  

We "Beared" with Dave's puns as he explained how the the "Bear" backs are then hand sewn up, inspected and brushed to "Bear" hug standards.

These bears are then piled high to await being ordered as a Bear-Gram.  Each Bear is then outfitted and packed in their travelling case (with the air-hole opened) to be shipped to their new owner.

Last but not least Dave told us to "Bear" in mind that all Teddy Bears are 100% Guaranteed and any injured bears can be returned  to the Bear Hospital for repair and recovery.  The healed Bears then receive a new bear-sized hospital gown before being returned to their owners. 

Upon exiting the factory tour, the knowledge we gained during the tour "Beared" fruit when the kids got a chance to "Make a Friend for Life!®" for only $19.95.  

During our visit, we could choose a "fat-free" bear, rabbit, cat or dog in a variety of fur types and colours.

Chocolate Brown Bears stuffed with giggles for one and magic for the other were selected on the character dial.  

After a quality control "Bear Hug", the kids added love to a bear heart with a kiss and placed it inside the bear.  Bear surgeons used special T. Bear stitches and tied the "Umbilical" knot to close up the bears.  Bear Certified officials oversaw the completion of the birth certificate and administered the Teddy Bear Oath to each new owner.

Our bears were then off to the salon for some last minute grooming.  The Bear Shop also has many themed outfits and accessories for new Bears.  Cowboy hats provided the finishing touch to our Mountain Bears before they were packed in their special travel case.

 

November 14 is deemed as National American Teddy Bear Day to commemorate the legend of  President Theodore Roosevelt's  refusal to shoot a defenseless bear cub on November 14, 1902.  The event was illustrated in a cartoon that inspired Brooklyn Shopkeeper Morris Michtom to create the first American "Teddy" bear.  The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory celebrates this event on the previous Saturday with fun free events and birthday cake from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 

Special events are planned for the 100th anniversary of the event on the Saturday prior to November 14, 2002.

We will never look at teddy bears in the same light after our visit to The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.  Choco and Snickers have now become cherished momentos for our children, like many other Vermont Teddy Bears have already and many more are sure to become in the future.

For more information and to contact The Vermont Teddy Bear Company go to Vermont Family Attractions.

For information on Hotels and Resorts in Vermont go to Vermont Hotels and Resorts

For information on Ski Resorts in Vermont go to Vermont Ski Resorts.

 

Some photos courtesy of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company.

Stay at this Hotel Fun 4 Kids™ Rated Destination in Vermont:

Click here to learn more about Smugglers' Notch Resort, A Hotel Fun 4 Kids Rated Destination

 

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See the following sections for more information on Travel in Vermont:  

A Family Visit to the Shelburne Museum

Tour Lake Champlain on the Spirit of Ethan Allen II

Explore the Children's Farmyard at the Majestic Barn of Shelburne Farms

There are Plenty of Ways to Enjoy Lake Champlain in Burlington Vermont

Stowe, Vermont - Summer Activities Rival Winter Season

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