Winnie-the-Pooh holds a special place in many a child’s heart; if truth be told, the loveable bear can coax a smile from any but the most crusty soul. When Cie McCullough Buschle told me that she was going to write about the real Hundred Acres Woods in celebration of A.A. Milne’s 130th Birthday, I was reminded of those sweet days when Pooh was a part of my children’s daily lives.
We read the stories, watched the videos – over and over again, and ventured onto The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh at Disney World on more than one occasion. Our love for the world of Pooh was boundless, but he wasn’t the only teddy bear in our lives. Eventually, there were so many stuffed animals sharing my son’s bed that there was a serious danger of suffocation.
Suffice it to say that the highlight of many a day trip was a stop at the gift shop to search for another cuddly acquisition.
Teddy Bear Museums and Other Cuddly Attractions
For those who share my family’s love for a “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff,” here’s a list of attractions where teddy bears take center stage.
- Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends: The Original Toys – Tears of joy have been shed in the New York Public Library at the sight of the small stuffed bear that inspired the fictional character. Winnie-the-Pooh is joined by the whole menagerie – Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger – in the Children’s Center of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in New York, NY.
- Build a Bear Workshop – Living up to the motto, “Where Best Friends Are Made,” customers go through an interactive process in which the stuffed animal of their choice is assembled and customized during their visit to the store. Locations nationwide.
- Vermont Teddy Bear Factory & Bear Shop – A very popular tourist attraction in summer, teddy bear factory tours operate year round. Burlington, VT.
- American Girl Place - It’s not just a store; it’s a full-on immersive experience: dining, shopping, hair salon, clinic, special events – all with American Girl dolls. NYC and locations nationwide.
- Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum & Library – One of the largest displays of dolls & teddy bears and the largest research library of related books in the world. Santa Barbara, CA.
- Teddy Bear World – An interactive, immersive experience, with locations in Hawaii and Korea.
- The Dorset Teddy Bear Museum – An “unmissable family museum, with Edward Bear and his family of people-sized bears, in Teddy Bear House.” Museum collection ranges from the earliest antique teddy bears to modern favorites. Dorchester, England.
- The V&A Museum of Childhood – The museums houses an extensive Teddy Bears & Soft Toys collection but visitors are advised to call ahead to ensure that particular items are on display. London, England.
- Tateshina Teddy Bear Museum – 5,000 Teddy Bears from all over the world, wearing each national costume, introduce the culture and characteristics of their country. Japan.
- Teddy Bear Museum – An eclectic assortment that includes historical tableaus such as Leonarda Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” designer bears, and the world’s smallest teddy bear. Multiple locations in Korea.
- Teddy Bear Museum – An immersive, interactive experience featuring: 8 Wonders of America, Dinosaur Park, Save the Planet, Hawaii In Hawaii, and the Teddy Bear Museum. Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sandra Foyt | Sandra Foyt inspires lifelong-learners to travel the world. A former education advocate and enrichment coach, she lived in Buenos Aires, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Southern California before settling in Northeast NY with two teens, an outdoorsy husband, and a well-indulged Chocolate Lab. Sandra contributes to Being Latino, and her portfolio appears at www.SandraFoyt.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @SandraFoyt.