fun to do kids rio de janeiro brazil   Travel for Kids
    Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
"Rio de Janeiro is a great city!" writes a parent. Famous for its golden beaches and soccer teams, Rio also is a tropical paradise, with lagoons, waterfalls, colorful flowers, mountains covered with rain forests, and panoramic views from Sugar Loaf Mountain. Traveling to Rio, kids can surf at the beach, then ride to the sky on a cable car.
    Go to the beach – Ipanema and Leblon beaches are the safest and the most beautiful in Rio. Rent chairs and umbrellas and spend an afternoon splashing around. Vendors come buy selling corn on the cob, salted cashew nuts and ice cream (Italia brand fruit popsicles are the best).
      For older kids, there are surf lessons at Apoador Beach (Praia do Arpoador), an easy 10 minute walk down the beach.
      For really young kids, head out to the beaches in Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. They are wider and the water is calmer.
    Copacabana Beach – Copacabana beach has been famous with adults for a long time. But what makes it great for kids are the many giant sand sculptures, right along the famous black and white mosaic sidewalk. You'll see locals making sculptures in the shape of castles, princesses, sports heroes and even a life size tribute to Michael Jackson. The artists are constantly creating new designs and often let the kids help out.
    Morro da Urca – Urca Hill is an easy hike (30 minutes) that even the littlest hikers can do. Once you get to the top, there are amazing views of the city from Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar). Stop to buy a snack from vendors selling fresh fruit juices and other treats. Then, take the short bondinho (cable car) down to the bottom.
      Bar da Urca – After the cable car ride down, walk over to Bar da Urca. This restaurant was established in 1939 and has been making wonderful snack food ever since. Order a few empadas (salty baked treats filled with meat, cheese or seafood) and then go across the street to sit on the break wall. It's an amazing view of Guanabara Bay, and kids love watching the crabs that climb all over the black rocks.
    Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer Statue - The best way for kids to visit the famous Corcovado statue is to take the train ride through the forest. The train leaves from the Cosme Velho station every 30 minutes. It's about a 20 minute ride up the hill and 222 steps to the actual statue. Go early because it can get crowded.
    The Lagoa – The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is a nature wonderland for kids. Around the lake is a paved walkway, perfect for bike riding (available for rent). There are small playgrounds, pedal boats to rent, a place to watch helicopters land and takeoff, vendors selling ice cream, and many kiosks and restaurants.
    Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico) – In the gardens are huge emperor palms that date back a hundred years, meat eating plants in the orchid garden, waterfalls and playgrounds. A perfect place to spend an afternoon relaxing in nature and a wonderful escape from the bustle of the city.
    Tijuca National Park (Parque Nacional da Tijuca) – At 46 square miles, it's the largest urban national park in Brazil. Because of the lush foliage it is usually at least 10 degrees cooler there than in the city. There are bike tours, hiking tours and jeep tours. Older kids can rock climb and teens can go hang gliding.
    Go to a soccer game – Watching soccer (futebol) played by Brazilian teams is something kids will never forget. The big Macarana stadium is currently closed for renovation, but when it reopens, arrange for tickets at your hotel.

Fun food


Eat Churrasco. Brazil is famous for the BBQ restaurants that feature waiters strolling around with skewers of grilled meat, sliced to order. Kids can pick their own cuts of meat, and even try grilled chicken hearts if they are feeling adventurous. A fun snack is paõ de queijo cheese buns.




At General Osorio park in Ipanema, every Sunday is a fun market that's perfect for kids. There are local crafts for sale, but what kids like the best are the "gem sellers". For a small fee, the kids can pick and chose their own special gems (stones native to Brazil) to take home.



family tours rio de janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has so much to offer stroll through colorful streets, sample refreshing drinks and snacks, listen to music try out capoiera, and learn how to samba. Take a private three hour family walking tour to discover fascinating Rio:

Through Artists' Eyes: Rio Discovery for Families
kids book srio de janeiro

goes the drum in a colorful Carnival parade.
goes the wind at Sugarloaf Mountain.

Delightful introduction to Rio de Janeiro for younger kids. (Board book)



Open the small box and fold out a colorful miniature cityscape of Rio de Janerio – 12 different places, including Christ the Redeemer Statue, Maracana Stadium, Copacabana Beach, Botanical Gardens, Sugarloaf Mountain, Sambadrome, and fun facts about each landmark. (Mini book)


rio de janeiro trisha krauss
steve goes to carnival  
Steve Goes to Carnival
Joshua Button, Robyn Wells

Steve, a gorilla, escapes from the Rio de Janeiro zoo, rides the yellow tram into the city, and joins the carnival celebrations. Steve stays up all night, listening to music and dancing too. Gorgeous illustrations capture the color, excitement and spirit of Rio. Feliz Carnaval! (Picture book)


travel for kids | brazil | rio de janeiro
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