There are few things in Rio that aren't for kids. Brazilians take their children everywhere -- restaurants, bars, even dances -- and voice no objection when others do the same. Still, a few places stand out as being especially kid-friendly. First and most obvious is the beach. Sun, surf, and sand castles have kind of an enduring kid appeal. For younger children the beach at Leblon features the Baixo Baby, a free play area equipped with all manner of toys and play stuff geared for toddlers. On Sundays and holidays, the waterfront avenues that line the beaches of Flamengo, Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon are closed for cars. With no traffic, the miles and miles of waterfront become the world's best playground. Both adults and children will enjoy the pleasant bustle of Carioca families going for a stroll and there's plenty of entertainment to boot. You'll find an array of buskers such as jugglers, magicians, musicians, stilt-walkers, and fire-eaters, as well as bike rentals and small electric toy-car rentals. For slightly older kids, the city zoo (Jardim Zoológico) is guaranteed to delight and just possibly to educate. One of the few museums of interest to kids is the Museu do Indio in Botafogo. The museum offers kids stamps and (washable) body paints so they can practice adorning themselves like natives; the re-creations of Indian houses on the grounds are fun places to crawl in and out of. In Catete, the beautiful (if slightly formal) Parque do Catete has a brinquedoteca, a kind of toy library from which you can loan out toys by the hour for a nominal fee (about R$7 per hour). Few kids can resist the fun of a train -- or tram ride. The Santa Teresa tram zooms over a high aqueduct, then snakes through the narrow cobblestone streets.
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