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12 Wonderful Ways To Enjoy Rio With Kids

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Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

With even children’s films celebrating the grandeur of vibrant Rio de Janeiro, many families are flocking to visit this hotspot of Brazil.

Rio is easy to get to, with two international airports and several direct flights from the USA.  Rio also offers plenty of family-friendly activities to keep you entertained.  The food is amazing, the culture stands strong, and the beaches are gorgeous with inviting, warm water.

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Is Traveling to Rio With Kids Safe?

I’m going to be straight with you: Brazil is very dangerous.  However, I wanted to go for many years, and after traveling the world for over three years, I figured we could take on Brazil.

We had some fantastic experiences and some horrible ones in Brazil.  I don’t regret going, but I also have a healthy appreciation for the danger that exists there.

That being said families travel successfully to Brazil every day!  I wouldn’t recommend Brazil for brand-new travelers, and I would encourage some standard tips, such as:

  • Don’t be out after dark.  
  • Stay in touristy areas only.
  • Be aware of those around you, and don’t be distracted by your phone.  Our daughter was attacked for her phone while trying to read a map.  Thankfully, others stepped in, and she walked away unharmed and with her phone, although very shaken up.
  • Do not flash valuables like jewelry, electronics, etc.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach.  
  • In the most extreme cases, some Brazilians carry two wallets: the one they can give away and the one they want to keep.

I don’t mean to scare you, but after over 40 countries, I was surprised by how cautious we needed to be.

Fun day at the Ipanema Beach

12 Fabulous Activities To Do With Kids In Rio

1. Rio’s Famous Beaches 

Hitting up Cococabana, Ipanema, or Red Beach and playing in the warm water can’t be beaten.  Be cautious with beach vendors and negotiate down for an umbrella or drink.  Enjoying good food with views of Sugarloaf Mountain and letting the kids play lends to a very relaxing day.

Be cautious with the waves. They can be incredibly strong!

2. AquaRio Aquarium 

Note that is not a very impressive aquarium, despite being claimed as the largest in South America. It’s also suitable for a rainy day.  Most signs are in Portuguese, so have your Google Translate camera ready. We enjoyed AquaRio and combined tickets with the wax museum.

Headed to AquaRio for another date with kids

3. Wax Museum Museu de Cera de Petrópolis

We opted for this small museum and enjoyed photographing the wax celebrities.  If your kids have never been to Madame Tussaud’s, Museu de Cera de Petrópolis can be a fun intro to a wax museum.

4. Rio Star

Visit the biggest Ferris Wheel in Latin America. Consists of 54 air-conditioned gondolas with a capacity for up to eight people, you will indeed have fun city views!

Got to try Rio Star with the kids

5. Hiking Around Rio

Rio offers many hiking trails, thus, an amazing destination for hiking enthusiasts, with plenty of beautiful trails and scenic spots to explore, especially in Tijuca National Park. Check out some hike options here.

6. Cooking Classes

We’ve done several cooking classes with our kids and had a great time!  Learning a new culture through food can be educational and enjoyable. Check out Cook In Rio.

7. Lagoon de Tijuca Tours

This large freshwater lagoon is located in the Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro. Lush green hills surround it, and it is a popular spot for outdoor activities and recreation. We took a boat tour to the ocean, around the lagoon with some tubing, and then to Ilha da Gigoia for lunch.  We even saw alligators!

The iconic Statue of Christ the Redeemer

8. Christ the Redeemer Statue

Visiting this iconic landmark of the work is a must!  Erected in 1920, go and take in the mosaic of thousands of people. Go early, consider a guide and take the cog train (another option), and breathe in the stunning views. You can also start with a bus ride to the Corcovado, then take an elevator and escalator to the top.

9. Sugar Loaf Cable Car

Sadly, the Sugar Loaf Cable Car was not operational during our visit, but if you can take this cable car, do so! This might be a challenge if you fear heights, but the 360-degree views are unbeatable. Go near sunset for even more stunning views.

Onboard Rio Star with kids. We enjoyed the views!

10. Big Jump Trampoline Park

This Trampoline Park is a fun and unique entertainment venue in Rio de Janeiro that offers a variety of trampoline-related activities. It’s a great place to spend a few hours with friends or family, and it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Hitting Trampoline Park with the kids to loosen up more enegry

11. Parque Lage

Parque Lage is a beautiful city park with historic cafés and trails, located in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, thanks to its stunning natural beauty and historical significance. You can explore several well-manicured gardens, visit the mansion that has been restored and is now used as an art school, or attend an event. including art exhibitions, concerts, and film screenings. Check the park’s website to see the events happening during your visit.

12. Escadaria Selarón

Also known as the Selarón Steps, this is a famous staircase located in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. The staircase is named after its creator, Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón, who spent over 20 years creating the unique and colorful mosaic artwork that covers the steps and called it his “tribute to the Brazilian people.”

Picture-worthy Escadaria Selarón

How To Get Around Rio With Kids

We only used Ubers while in Rio, and they worked perfectly!  Occasionally, we had to cycle through some drivers, but we always got where we wanted to go. I felt comfortable with local driving.  I would NOT recommend driving yourself.

I also think public transportation should only be used during the day.  You can read about our experiences with Uber here.

Tram in Brazil

Guided Activities To Consider In Rio With Kids

Guided tours are always an excellent option to learn more about the place. Here are some suggestions for your family:

  • Sunset Sailing Tour gives you a little extra unique view of Rio de Janeiro, including the city’s most famous landmarks, the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer. Set sail from Marina da Glória and pass by three fortresses – São José, Lage, and Santa Cruz.
Fresh coconut to refresh on a sunny day at the beach

Where To Stay In Rio With Kids

Creating an itinerary for an upcoming trip is always a good idea. Plan your destinations and check out these hotel options that are great for families:

  • PortoBay Rio de Janeiro is located in Copacabana, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, and is in the entertainment district and on the beach. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is a top attraction you shouldn’t miss!

Have fun in Rio, and remember our family-friendly tips!



Plan your trip to Rio de Janeiro and get some budget-friendly tickets from Expedia, Booking.com, Skyscanner, or Kiwi.com.

Find more family-friendly hotel options in Rio de Janeiro from Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com).

Discover Rio de Janeiro while having fun through exciting activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator.

Need to rent a car? Visit Rentalcars.com.

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Want to have a photo shoot while on vacation? Book a professional photographer from flytographer.

Capture your best travel memories in Rio de Janeiro as we do with a GroPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

Important Tips When Flying In Brazil With Kids

Driving Versus Uber When Visiting Brazil With Kids: Which Is Better For You?

Visiting the Amazon Rainforest with Kids: Overnight River Cruise on the Rio Negro


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