Let me just start this out like this. When you turn 31...things are a lot different from when you turn 30. Harsh reality? Or really just reality of having 2 kids under 3?? Haha!! But Jimmy was a good sport this year in having a totally different birthday celebration than we had for his 30th!! Check out his 30th birthday post here or about his 30th birthday party/Easter here.
This year, I suggested we do something fun with the kids for his birthday. And then came the email from the Landry's restaurant club thing (that we signed up for when we went to fancy places like M&S Grill or McCormick and Schmick's) saying we had $25 birthday credit loaded to our card for his birthday.
Since the only other restaurant in KC now for this restaurant chain besides the fancy (and delicious, but not so under 3 friendly) McCormick and Schmick's is T-Rex Cafe at the Legends. Now to be honest, all I previously knew about the place was that every time I walked by it when we were out there it was PACKED. And waiting for a table to go out to eat with our kids is pretty much something I won't do - not fun for anyone. Especially because we rarely even go out to eat, so I would like it to be somewhat enjoyable...and waiting for 30 min - 1 hour is not my definition of enjoyable with these kiddos. But to my surprise, I called and they took reservations and of course, they weren't too hard to come by on a Friday night at 5:15PM - because yes, that is when we eat. Ha!
One other thing I learned about it?? The location in KC is only one of TWO anywhere in the US. THe other one is in Orlando at downtown Disney. When I learned that, I was even more excited to take my kiddos to this one of a kind KC thing!
I asked Jimmy if he would be ok if we went there for his birthday. To be clear...he picked Hy-Vee for his 29th (which I guess wasn't blog worthy in my opinion - but it was a super cool new Hy-Vee with a restaurant)...and this year, he "picked" T-Rex. Haha. Poor guy. But not really because we get to go to Mexico in a month alone together and eat whatever we want. So we decided on that and I got really excited because I thought the kids would just love it!!
And guess what? They did!
Except the big bugs on the trees as you go up the stairs. Charlie hated those.
A girl and her dad!
My parents tagged along per our invitation and my dad has been at every one of Jimmy's birthday dinners since he turned 26 and my dad picked us up from the airport on our honeymoon on his birthday and we went to Red Robin. The best part? My mom and Jimmy hung out at the table after we ordered drinking their beers (which by the way, with a draft beer you get a T-Rex beer glass too - which Jimmy's was pumped about. A $9 beer at a kid's place will get you that!), while my dad and I took the kids to explore all the fun stuff they had.
So I mentioned the $25 off that spurred us to come here. Well in my research of this place, I saw they had a Build a Bear, but with dinosaurs in the restaurant. And guess what? In our ridiculous stash of gift cards we have gotten over the years and yet to use, we had a Build a Bear gift card for $20 that Charlie got for his FIRST birthday thanks to my aunt and cousin. I brought it along just in case they would let us use it there because 1) we never go to the mall (Sorry, Emily and Jeff - I know you frequent it) and 2) Charlie likes dinosaurs WAY better than bears. I stopped by when we got there to make sure they took them to the normal store and they did - SCORE!!
With that, we took the kids down to have Charlie pick out his dinosaur. He picked out the green one with "cool spikes" and then we went off to get it made.
What a fun process. My sister and I did this when we were kids when we were visiting the Mall of America in Minnesota as a family and I'll never forget it. Since then, the whole company has taken off, but it was fun to see the concept was still exactly the same of making your animal. I love that Charlie got to pick the heart, kiss it and put it in his dinosaur. He picked up another heart kissed it and gave it to me, what a stud.
After helping her with the stuffing machine, it was time for his birth certificate! We asked what he wanted to name him and he immediately said "MAX". That was easy!!! So fun that we made the birth certificate.
Ok so my honest opinion? Charlie was at the perfect age to do this. For real. He could help with the process but didn't understand enough to ask/beg for add ons to him (like sound or clothes), which of course can add up. The whole thing was $20 without anything extra so all we paid for was tax. And guess what? He LOVES him. Like sleeps with him and takes him everywhere. Constantly is talking about "Max". And when I put him down for a nap on Sunday he asked me to tuck Max in too. Dying of cuteness - so happy we did this!
Ok back to T-Rex pictures/experience.
The birthday boy and his kids!! Jimmy was so excited because Charlie begged to sit on his lap - he usually wants to sit on mine!
Bad lighting for sure for pictures with Nana and Papa, but overall there was cool lighting effects when there were indoor "rainstorms".
For dinner - my dad got the chicken fried steak and it was HUGE. Like we thought they messed up and gave him 2 of them. But he loved it and I had a bite and it was really good. My mom got the cocunut chicken fingers appetizer and she liked it. Jimmy got the Pterodactyl Salad that was delicious - I wish I would have gotten that!! I got the Paleozoic Chicken sandwich and it was good (and big - they were all big and we all took home leftovers). (whole menu here). Charlie got the kids dinosaur chicken nuggets and ate like 2 of them - story of our lives with kid's meals.
Overall? I was worried because there were lots of negative reviews online about their food and service and how the food was cold, etc. It wasn't by any means the fastest service, but she was really nice and attentive and the food was hot. So I'd call that a win. A little more expensive then our usual places we go with kids, but worth it for the extra experience for sure.
Then (against Jimmy's will), we had them sing happy birthday to him, bring him a candle, AND roar at him at the end. It was amazing.
Of course we got hats. And while a little too big for her head, Maddie wore it with style and had about the cutest look on her face.
I, of course, requested a departing family photo in front of the sign. And oh my goodness. My mom took a lot of shots and this was the best/funniest. I mean, Jimmy and I have the picture taking thing down pat...our kids? Well they apparently need some work.
But Maddie's face is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall? We had a great time. It wasn't super super busy and the food was decent.
And for Charlie? He was literally telling us how he wanted to go back the second we left. Maybe for Maddie's birthday?
Glad my husband is a good sport and goes for family fun for his birthday dinner too!