ABOVE: A mohair plush teddy bear made by Chad Valley Company Ltd. around 1955. © Victoria and Albert Museum.
Do stuffed animals make you feel warm and fuzzy? Head for the Portsmouth City Museum in Portsmouth, England to see an exhibition of nearly 150 teddy bears from the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The show will run from March 16 through September 15, 2013.
The exhibition showcases teddy bears of all shapes and sizes, along with teddies from picture books, movies, and TV shows. It traces the history of the teddy bear from the first designs (which were based on real animals) to modern "character and designer bears."
You'll learn about the materials and processes involved in the manufacture of teddy bears, and how social and economic change and safety concerns have influenced the evolution of teddy bears since their introduction in 1902. If this sounds too heavy for the kids, you needn't worry: The exhibit also features a Three Bears playhouse and an activity area for children.
The Portsmouth City Museum is on Museum Road in Portmouth, and it's open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Mondays except for bank holidays.) Admission is free.
For more information, visit www.portsmouthmuseums.co.uk.