We can’t believe Teddy Bear Tea is finally here, and we’re very excited to see everyone for this amazing fundraising event for The Gardens at Heather Farm!

All seatings are completely full, and since many of the event attendees are joining us for the first time, we thought we’d share this helpful “Q&A” to help fill you in on what to do and what to expect. If you have any other questions not addressed here, don’t hesitate to reach out via email or phone (925) 947-1678.

Q: Where is the event?

A: Teddy Bear Tea takes place at The Gardens at Heather Farm at 1540 Marchbanks Drive in Walnut Creek. The Gardens at Heather Farm is NOT part of Heather Farm Park; it is adjacent to the park and has its own entrance on Marchbanks Drive. The tea party location is inside the building next to the parking lot at The Gardens.

Q: Where can I park and do I have to pay?

A: A free parking lot on site at the venue holds up to 50 vehicles. Guests who arrive early will have first opportunity for on-site parking. If the lot is full, free street parking is available along Marchbanks Drive.

Q: When should I arrive?

A: Assuming no unexpected delays, doors will open 15 minutes prior to the scheduled event start time. Keep in mind, there is no rush for seats — your seats are secured and your tables already assigned, so they’ll be waiting for you whenever you get here.

Q: Where will I sit at the tea party?

A: All ticketed guests have been pre-assigned seats at one of 15 dining tables by our event staff. Each table seats 10 guests. Seating has been finalized and cannot be changed at this point. Groups who requested to sit together in advance have been accommodated to the best of our ability. When you arrive, find your and your guests’ names on the printed seating board in front of the venue to find your table number, then head inside to your table.

Q: What will I eat?

A: Each day of Teddy Bear Tea features a different menu provided by one of our three catering sponsors — Pinx Catering (Friday), Sunrise Bistro & Catering (Saturday), and Absolute Celebrations Catering (Sunday). Menus are a blend of traditional tea items and modern favorites served as a buffet (parents/grandparents may need to help their little ones hold plates and grab items while going through the buffet line). All menus feature a combination of sandwiches, savories (such as frittata and cocktail dogs), fruit, veggies, dips and cheese, plus the ever-popular sweet items such as cupcakes, cookies and scones. Items served may contain wheat, dairy, egg, soy, and nuts. Specific food requests and modifications cannot be accommodated.

Q: What other items will be for sale and how can I pay?

A: The Teddy Bear Tea Boutique sells a variety of plush bears (small, medium and large sizes), bear clothes, handmade jewelry, and the immensely popular ribbon halos. Pricing on these items ranges from $3 to $20. Raffle tickets are also available for purchase. These tickets will give you and your child a chance to win one of the amazing Grand Prizes, which include Disneyland tickets, American Girl dolls, and a Lego Super-Pack, as well as a gingerbread house and individual prize baskets for children containing toys, books and crafts. Raffle tickets are sold 5-for-$10 (regular prize baskets) or 5-for-$20 (Grand Prizes). We accept cash and credit card.

Q: What’s the itinerary?

A: The first order of business after your arrival should be taking your child’s keepsake photo downstairs in Bearland. It is VERY important that you go downstairs to have the photo taken as soon as possible; waiting too long to do the photo will mean that it may not be printed in time for you to take home after the event. The photo can be of your child, you and your child, or your child and their friends — but please note that due to the large number of guests, we can only accommodate ONE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY PER CHILD, so you will have to choose one option as your preference. While we understand it’s exciting to work with our awesome professional photography team from Milk & Lily Portrait Co., this is not a private photo session and not the time for multiple poses or pictures (their new downtown Walnut Creek studio is the perfect place for that). The line for photos will be long, and we kindly ask for your patience and cooperation as we work to get everyone through the photo process. After taking your photo, you’ll return to the tea party room and start browsing the Boutique and the Raffle Prizes. The buffet will be open the entire time and you may serve yourselves when ready. Tea (decaffeinated) will be poured at your table by our volunteers. Juice and water will also be available. Keep an eye out for the Sugar Plum Fairy (courtesy of super-fun team at Happily Ever Laughter) fluttering around the room spreading glittery holiday cheer! After guests have enjoyed food/drinks and purchased plenty of raffle tickets, we’ll draw the raffle winners and hand out the prize baskets. Grand Prize winners won’t be announced at the event; winners of these items will be contacted at the end of the weekend by phone. Once the prize baskets have been handed out, our amazing storyteller from Fantasty Forum Actors Ensemble will entertain guests in the dining room by reading a special book. Volunteers will deliver your printed keepsake photo in a photo frame directly to your table, and kids will have an opportunity to decorate the photo frame and grab a goody bag before departing.

Q: When does the event end?

A: Things usually wind down after about 90 minutes, when some guests depart, and all guests are cleared from the venue after two hours.