São Paulo for Kids
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Don't even think of leaving your kids at home when you come to São Paulo.
They're going to have a ball with the radical rides at the amusement parks and huge green spaces for running around.
And they'll be enchanted with the animals at the Zoo Sao Paulo and the Instituto Butantan, which conducts researches about poisonous reptiles and insects. Both are famous for their scientific work — and will teach your children many new things.
They'll even have fun at lunch, because there's a restaurant in the city that looks just like a ranch. With so many attractions, your children will never let you come alone again on your next business trip.
With its imposing architecture, the Galeria dos Pães, on the corner of Estados Unidos with Haddock Lobo streets in Jardins, is a great choice for breakfast with the whole family. With two floors, it houses a bakery, luncheonette, wine cellar, a cheese and wine exhibit and a self-service buffet.
Afterwards, head to the Instituto Butantan, responsible for the production of more than 80% of the serums and vaccines used in Brazil. The Biological Museum has plenty to teach about snakes, serpents, scorpions and spiders. The world of microorganisms is unveiled at another museum, the Microbiology museum. And the History Museum tells how research about vaccines was done in the past until arriving at today's techniques.
The name may sound a little strange to an uninformed parent, but the Restaurante Choperia Cachaçaria Pompéia (The Pompéia Cachaça Bar Restaurant & Beer house) is a ranch in the middle of the city.
Installed in an area of 12,800 square meters in the middle of extensive greenery, it has a mini zoo with domestic animals. The restaurant offers the best of Minas Gerais cuisine, and its attached bar boasts more than 14,000 brands of cachaça, which means that dads will also enjoy the place. On weekends, a recreational tram organizes games and rides in horse-drawn two-wheeled and farm carts.
After lunch, your kids deserve still more fun. One option is Parque da Mônica, named after the cartoon characters created by Mauricio de Sousa. The Park occupies an area of 10 thousand square meters inside the Shopping eldorado. The public interacts with all the attractions, from the puppet theater to participative rides.
But the park can be a bit boring for children who are already pre-adolescents, older than 7 or 8. In this case exchange the Parque da Mônica for the Playcenter in Marginal do Tietê. Inaugurated in 1973, the park has more than 30 attractions, many of them quite radical.
For those who prefer a nature walk and want to learn a little about animals, a good tip is to go to the Zoológico de São Paulo.
Opened in 1957, the zoo has more than 3.2 thousand species distributed over a 824,529 square meter area. There are mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, all living in environments that resemble their natural habitats.
Right next door is one of the largest preserved areas of the Atlantic Forest in the city (500 thousand square meters), the Zôo Safari. There, visitors enter by car to go on a safari and see animals up close in the wild, such as deer, lions, tigers and jaguars.
If you have time, visit the Jardim Botânico de São Paulo, where children can have fun learning a little about native flora — and can also run around in its vast green area. It is very close to the zoológico.
Evening and Night
If your family still has enough energy for some evening entertainment, go to TGI Fridays, a typical informal American restaurant. The USA chain was installed in Brazil in 1995. With its concept of elegant disorder, it has a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. On the menu there are grilled meats, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and of course a special menu for children. They deserve it.
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