Visiting Rio’s Lagoa – and the best place for those traveling with kids

I wanted to take the kids to see Rio’s Lagoa up close, and the best place for that is at the Parque dos Patins. This area is next to the heliport, where you can go on a scenic helicopter tour of the city.

Arriving at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa (Corcovado mountain and the Christ statue in the background)

Arriving at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa (Corcovado mountain and the Christ statue in the background)

Parque dos Patins means Roller skate’s Park in Portuguese, and there is a large roller skate rink at the center of it, of course. There’s a fairly large playground around the rink, bike rentals, bathrooms (which cost R$2 to use, but at least they’re clean), a restaurant with a beautiful view (Arab, middle eastern cuisine), a small pier and some other kid attractions (not free), such as a large trampoline, ball pit, etc. The parking is controlled by the city of Rio, and they only charge R$2 and you can stay all day long (on a weekday, not sure if it’s the same fee on weekends).

The large roller skating rink at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa

The large roller skating rink at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa

We got there a little before noon on a cloudy-turning-nice day, the park was empty and there were a few tourists taking photos at the pier. The kids immediately loved the fishing birds and ducks swimming around. Eric didn’t want to leave and kept repeating “pato” (duck) every 5 seconds.

Eric and Julia loved watching the fish

Eric and Julia loved watching the fish

My mom, Eric and Julia at the pier

My mom, Eric and Julia at the pier

The kids and I, why is it so hard getting them to pose for a picture?

The kids and I, why is it so hard getting them to pose for a picture?

Eric and my mom enjoying the view

Eric and my mom enjoying the view

After a few photos and a bathroom stop, the kids decided they were hungry and we sat down at Arab to eat, with a gorgeous view of the Lagoa. The one thing that makes this place not-so-perfect is the constant noise of the helicopters going up and down.

Arab restaurant, Lagoa

Arab restaurant, Lagoa

The restaurant had menus in (funny) English and Portuguese, prices are Rio-crazy-standard, Brazilians still haven’t understood the purpose of a children’s menu (they had 2 kids’ dishes available, both more expensive than the adult’s meals that we ordered, at R$ 34 each versus R$ 27). I ordered fried kibbe with catupiry (big mistake on the catupiry! It’s a Brazilian cheese that I love, but there was way too much!), which comes with hummus and rice with lentils and fried onions. My mom ordered the same, except she got the baked kibbe instead (which was MUCH better than mine). I also ordered mini-esfihas (meat esfihas, tiny, a basket with 8), these were pastries with ground seasoned meat on top; they were good and the kids loved them. The hummus was quite bad, very bitter, not sure how they managed to do that. Service was very slow, we spent over one hour there and it was empty, so I’m not sure what the waiters were doing. Besides being right next door to a big kid’s park, they had no high chair available, so I had to hold Eric on my lap.

Mini esfihas, the kids loved them

Mini esfihas, the kids loved them

After we finished lunch, we took the kids to the playground. It’s spread out over a large area, and the coolest thing in my opinion was the track painted on the ground – you can rent a bike or a “race car” (that the kids pedal, it doesn’t have an engine) to go around (or bring your own bike if you live in the area).

The playground at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa

The playground at Parque dos Patins, Lagoa

I thought the tracks on the ground were pretty cool

I thought the tracks on the ground were pretty cool

You can see the Corcovado and the Christ statue from the playground

You can see the Corcovado and the Christ statue from the playground

Julia making sure she still knows how to play in the monkey bars

Julia making sure she still knows how to play in the monkey bars

Diaper changing table at the playground

Diaper changing table at the playground

There were swings, see-saws, monkey bars, a rope-structure for kids to climb…Julia liked it, but everything was too big for Eric, there wasn’t any toddler-sized play equipment. Eric tried a climbing structure with ropes and a “climbing ladder” and went down one mean wavy slide, every kid going down hit their back badly on one of the “waves” (I have no idea why this slide doesn’t work, maybe the “waves” are too big, or the angle is wrong, no idea).

Swings at the playground, no toddler seat, unfortunately

Swings at the playground, no toddler seat, unfortunately

Eric had to do some climbing too

Eric had to do some climbing too

Julia trying out the horrible wavy slide

Julia trying out the horrible wavy slide

Julia loved this climbing structure

Julia loved this climbing structure

If we had more time, I would rent one of the 3 or 4-seat “bikes” to go around the Lagoa, seems like fun.

You can rent one of these to bike around the Lagoa

You can rent one of these to bike around the Lagoa

Useful information
Parque dos Patins
Av. Borges de Medeiros, 1900, Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Open daily, 24h

Brazil Destinations Rio de Janeiro

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