Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Rainforest Cafe...

Has anyone ever been?

My daughter's actual birthday was on Monday, so of course, after we had her birthday party with the kids, and another family birthday party a day later on the Sunday, we just had to do something on her actual birthday...(Talk about a lot of parties for a four year old.)

ALthough, in truth, I had enough of celebrating her birthday. Planning parties are stressful and emotionally exhausting and I'm just glad not that only kid got out alive, but no kid actually cried. They had a great time, adn that's always what really matters.

(I don't really like plugging places here, but this place called the Groove Dance School, made the most painless party for the 21 kids who showed up. So if you're looking for a new venue for a 3-8 year old, it's a fun place to go.)

But, I know, I know, you do actually have to do something on your own child's birthday because the guilt would kill me....if not the food at the Rainforest cafe.

The food isn't great at the Rainforest cafe. It's not awful either. Which means, I guess, it's the perfect place to take a child.

You know it's a perfect place to take a child because it is THE most unromantic resturant I've ever been to in my entire life.

I wanted to take my daughter to tea at the Four Seasons on her actual birthday. But she can be, um, a wild child after school and I don't think the old ladies, dressed in their very tea best, would appreciate my daughter running around the Four Seasons, runing their relaxing afternoon.

Which is why we ended up at the Rainforest cafe, where a monkey hung over my head and every fifteen minutes would wail monkey sounds. Every fifteen minutes, too, the elephants would start howling elephant sounds. There are lots of never ending loud animal sounds at the Rainforest cafe.

The best? Oh, yes, the sound of a thunderstorm going off every half hour. I get why kids love this place (IF you tell them it's your child's birthday a whole bunch of waitors will come out and sing for them - which they love. Yes, it's that kind of place.)

The people I don't get are the people who don't have kids who actually go to this place. Serious, can someone please explain this to me? Why would anyone, without children, go to this place. But they do! There were lots of tables without kids.

If you've been to the Rainforest Cafe, in Yorkdale mall, what exactly attracts you to the place? Maybe you have good food reccomendations. Maybe the fajitas are the best fajitas in town.

I just don't quite get why anyone would go to such a loud place, with so many kids, elephants ranting, thunderstorms going off, if you don't have any kids with you.

And after all this, I know I'll be going back. Hey, my kid loves the place. Which means I, too, will learn to love the place.


Anonymous Steph said...

For me, the attraction of the Rainforest Cafe at Yorkdale lasts about ten seconds once a year. Walk by- wow- look at that- ooh listen to that. Ok done. I have always figured the food was terrific given the insane lineup each time but I guess not!

5:06 AM

Blogger Badness Jones said...

Hmmm....I haven't been there yet, but it sounds like the Rainforest Cafe might be loud enough to cover the sounds coming from our little boy....Eating out hasn't been much fun since he was born, but this might keep him entertained and I may get to eat in a restaurant again before he leaves home after all! Thanks for the tip!

6:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Four Seasons! But ya, totally not kid friendly.

Another great birthday party suggestion - Loblaw, Westons, whatever has 'Refresh' (make up parties) and Cooking parties for little girls in their grocery stores. The newer, nicer ones with the community rooms. It's actually fun for parents too. (

8:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I actually USED to go to Rainforest Cafe, and I don't have kids. The reason I went was actually because of this one salad they had- Cobb Salad. It had huge chunks of blue cheese, bacon, hardboiled eggs, chicken and this amazingly yummy dressing. It was fabulous (not low cal but fabulous). But last time I went they stopped carrying it. So, until I have kids.... it'll be the Keg.

9:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I USED to go to Rainforest Cafe and I don't have kids. And I did go for the food. I went because they had this amazingly yummy salad- Cobb salad. It had huge chunks of blue cheese, hardboiled eggs, bacon and chicken with this super good dressing. It was fabulous (not low cal, but fabulous). Last time I went it was off the menu, so until I have kids..... it'll be the Keg.

9:16 AM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

My son LOVES rainforest cafe. Seriously he loves it. You're right about the food though. It's not that great but I kind of want to try the volcano thing where they all come running and shout.
I went once with just my husband, before we had kids. But, it was new at the time - and we split dessert. Actually, he was going to propose that night - but then realized that maybe this was not the place to do it.
It would suck to be drowned out mid-proposal by an elephant or dancing monkey.

9:20 AM

Blogger Devra said...

They have pretty big tropical drinks there. I found that if I had a drink or two, I just didn't notice the noise as much. ; )

8:55 PM

Blogger Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Geez, I had totally forgotten about the Rainforest Cafe. We haven't taken the bunny there before.

I suspect she'll either LOVE it or be terrified!!!

6:13 PM

Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

I stay away from places like the Rainforest Cafe. My son is almost 2 and I know I have tons of crap like that in the years ahead. I have no intention of voluntarily subjecting myself to it now.

8:47 AM

Anonymous Shannon said...

I go there a couple times a year with my kids, ages 2 and 4. I was just there last weekend. The food is awful! Even the kids food is bad. But my kids love it, so I am sutre I will be back.

11:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The things we do for our children...

From your Command Center you can organize your family’s medical information & create wellness reminders, find & rate local service providers, plan & book the perfect vacation, get a handle on your photos, create & plan events and parties, stay in touch with your community using the innovative “HeadsUp” local broadcast feature, plus find inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

12:05 PM

Blogger Super Interesting Girl said...

lol, i have always wanted to go to the rainforest cafe - I am a total sucker for anything tacky with a theme...

9:18 PM

Anonymous tutthi said...

You mentioned the Groove Dance daughter is turning 3 in January and I originally was thinking of planning a party for about 16-20 kids at the Rainforest Cafe. I have never been there myself, but was wondering if this Groove thing would be more fun (for the kids)...where is this place and what do you think ???

10:25 AM

Blogger 1001 Petals said...

I read one of your books last week, am going to Chapters today to get the others. .and anyway, have been reading your entire blog while my daughter naps. It's like reading one of your books for free, thanks! :) I googled you and was really surprised to find out your in Toronto -- even my Scottish husband knew who you were!

Anyway, to comment on this post, I used to love going to the Rainforest cafe cause I just liked the fish and weird animatronics. . .I also really enjoy childrens movies. .the bright colours, the simplicity, happy endings, all that. So the restaurant really suits me, except for the awful food. It's so bad that the last time I was there, I had to leave as I couldn't find anything to order. I guess the novelty wore off after a few visits.

8:37 AM


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