Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the rainforest with a little green monkey

In honour of my mom's visit (and because I'm obviously a sucker for punishment), we recently made a pilgrimage to the Rainforest Cafe.  If you've never heard of the RC, picture one of those tacky themed diners -- part Disney, part Celine Dion's Nickels circa '90s -- but set in a pseudo rainforest. There are a slew of 'rainforests' in the US of A, but to my knowledge, only two located in Canada. Must be a climate thing.

I know what you're thinking...

But no, it actually wasn't half as bad as it sounds. Reviews slate the Cafe for overpriced food and underwhelmed service. And I can confirm that it WAS on the expensive side, particularly the kids meal: $7.99 for a plate of frozen dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets.  The staff were friendly and attentive enough, though it was far from crowded on a Tuesday lunchtime.  But then, you don't go to the Rainbow Cafe for cordon bleu cuisine. You go for spectacle. 

And what a spectacle it was

Every half hour the rainforest came alive. Thunder rumbled through the lush canopy. Lightning flickered, and the mechanical elephants and gorillas got a little rambunctious. All the while LGO munched his chicken nuggets, and happily beheld the many sights to behold. Incredibly, not once was he afraid (though I would imagine the decibel level might upset some tots). Not even by the lifelike clamping jaws of the life-sized crocodile at the entrance.

A must-have toddler experience

Watching his rapt expression as we wandered through the foliage, pausing to admire a zebra or tree frog or the (real) tropical fish, was more than worth the inflated prices on the menu.  So if you're looking for a memorable day out with your little monkey, you could do worse than the rainforest.  Not that this Little Green Mom feels the need to revisit it any time soon.


  1. You win it! You win the best description of the Rain Forest Cafe, ever! You are one fearless mother and your bravery is admired.

  2. My little niece liked this place, me I feel the same as you about it!