A devious husband has been scheming with my son to go to Rio. His motivation is the soccer, my son is apparently to see the blue parrot that lives there… His Dad swears that showing Ethan the Rio cartoon before suggesting the trip was a crazy coincidence. Crazy.
I’m sure I’m not the only lady in the room suffering from this, and I felt it only right I share my ideas of what the ladies will do in Rio while the boys chase blue parrots.
On the surface, it’s not easy – I can’t say there’s a lot Rio broadcasts about its image that appeals to a 30-something mum. Sashaying ladies in shimmering bikini’s? Nope. Beach raves? Nuh-uh. All you can eat barbeques? I guess that’s not entirely out of the neighbourhood – I hope I’ve made my point!
On the exterior, the macho, highly sexually charged image that oozes from Brazil would do a lot to turn us mums and families away – and yet doesn’t that make you a bit curious what the families of Brazil do? I certainly am! Here are my family friendly picks for sightseeing in Brazil.
The easiest go-to is Cristo Redentor
Arms held wide and one of the world’s largest, this statue boasts incredible city views but it’s quite the walk mind you! With 223 steps, you’ll have to set the pace and think up some magical games to encourage the little ones to get up there of their own accord.
The Hippie Fair
No word of a lie, that’s what the Ipanema Hippie Fair is called! – is a place to soak in genuine local art, and beautiful local souvenirs at reasonable rates. I’m sure there’ll be heaps of malls, however, a saunter through the local scene is always good for the soul and definitely more our style. One of the things I love about travelling is finding the perfect trinket that, when we look at it, takes us straight back to the destination we purchased it from. They also provide wonderful talking points for guests.
Next stop – the Tijuca rainforest
The more I read about it, the more interesting it gets. The world’s largest Urban Rainforest at 32km2 is a journey that looks like it could be as hard or as easy as you make it. There are jeep tours, or if you’re feeling a little more athletic, hit the hiking trails. There’s a waterfall, an ornate chapel and a chinese pagoda. A little something for everyone!
Sao Bento Monastery also sounds incredible.
Completed in 1641, this monastery stands as one of the most beautiful in all of Rio. An oasis within the city, the baroque architecture and gold interior looks incredible and I have heard if you visit on a Sunday morning you can hear the priests sing their famous Gregorian chant.
Deemed one of the most iconic Rio experiences is the Cable car @ Santa Theresa.
This historic tram journey begins in the Lapa District and will take you up to the artsy hilltop haven that is Santa Theresa, a lure for intellectuals and artists at large. This bondinho or ‘little train’ is affordable, accessible, and a great way to see one of Rio’s most famous districts. It will also give the family a break from all the walking!
When the cat’s away, the mouse will play! It will be the boys’ loss if all they want to do is yell at teeny figures scampering up and down a field. A quick Google reveals scores of samba classes, most of which welcome the odd walk in. Have a little dance, and get just enough of a wiggle to impress the hubby by half-time and the best part, children are also welcome!
A family holiday is not complete without some R&R and people watching by the ocean and Copacabana Beach with its endless white sand against the backdrop of Rio’s stunning Sugarloaf Mountain doesn’t look like it will disappoint. If you work up a thirst, you can visit the incidental beachside mojito stall – WIN! The infamous Copacabana Beach is a must see for a refreshing dip or to simply soak up the vibrant Brazilian lifestyle.
Well, shopping malls notwithstanding, if this trip goes ahead, my daughter and I are crashing this World Cup holiday as there will be plenty to entertain us for a week in Rio. I’m actually quite excited. Now we just have to prepare the children for the 17-hour flight