We went with the tropical rainforest theme for Bubs' activity mat as a baby. Bright colors, animals, good interactive play. The activity mat is some of the best money you'll ever spend on baby gear, by the way, since it kind of grows with the kid. First they lay on it, then they roll on it, then they sit in it, then they pull to standing- you get the picture. Snook was even fighting Bubs for his when he was just a little guy because by the time she was two-years-old she was ready to turn it into her own personal fort. (And she wanted everything that was earmarked for the new baby.) Here Snook is in her own activity mat circa Summer 2006.And here Bubs is next to his rainforest version circa Summer 2008.
I thought about Bubs' rainforest when we lunched at the Rainforest Cafe yesterday with my longtime girlfriend Eugenia. Turns out the rainforest is not only a great theme for a kids' toy, but it's also the perfect theme for the ultimate in kids' restaurants. The animatronics in that place were incredible- so realistic in fact that Bubs was scared to death by the trumpeting elephants and the snapping alligator. But he loved the aquariums and the waterfalls. I loved that when he was scared and fussy, nobody could hear him over the cacophony of drums and animals noises. And that they offered bananas as a side with the kids' meals. Heck, I'll eat a soggy Cobb and fried calamari (minus the squid?) any day if the kids are happy, entertained and properly nourished.