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Parque Zilda Natel On the flipside

If you’re in the mood for some four-wheeled madness, look no further. This 2,300sqm skate park features a number of tracks, pipes and bowls to suit everyone from newbies to board-toting pros.

Though funded by City Hall and the Brazilian Confederation of Skating, the tracks themselves were designed and tested by semi-professional skaters while local graffiti artists were given the task of brightening up the decor. Complete with spaces to practices flips and ollies and a somewhat boot-camp-like warm up area, you could easily find yourself losing a whole day here.

Kart In Speed demons

It’s the best of both worlds: all the thrill and speed of car racing with all the safety of a children’s playground. Kart In covers an astounding 45,000 square feet and includes the 36,000 foot “Super” track, although the slightly less adventurous might prefer the 2,600 foot “Kart In” or even the 980 foot “Kart In Jr” (mainly for the under six crowd). To keep things fresh, the tracings are changed every six months.

Go-karters craving some Michael Schumacher-style glamour are invited to join groups of 15 to 20 people in a miniature Grand Prix, complete with a podium awards ceremony. Champagne not included—but obligatory equipment such as helmets, gloves and various protective padding is provided free of cost.

Circo no Beco Make 'em laugh

Children, circus fans and artists often gather at this unofficial rendezvous point in an otherwise unremarkable Vila Madalena alleyway.

Clowns, jugglers, conjurers, trapeze artists—the whole spectrum of circus art—train, perform and otherwise make their entertainment magic here.

These open air activities are all free, but in accordance with street performance custom, a hat is often passed around to collect contributions at the end of the shows.

Since these mini circuses take place right in front of the Cidade Escola Aprendiz, an NGO dedicated to teaching art to kids from all social classes, it is common to see scores of these young “apprentices” mingling with the cheerful circus crowd.

Hopi Hari Fun, fun, fun

Welcome to the biggest theme park in Latin America. Actually, Hopi Hari’s size seems to have gone to its head: it imagines itself to be its own country and even goes so far as to communicate in a secret language.

This amusement “nation” includes a total of 47 rides and divides its 8.8 million square feet into five different regions—Aribabiba, Kaminda Mundi, Infantasia, Mistieri and Wild West—with each adhere to a particular theme.

Besides an immense rollercoaster (the “Montezum”, Latin America’s largest), Hopi Hari also features the Tour Eiffel (which visitors are invited to jump off of), the Hadikali (a hang gliding simulator) and the Tirolesa (which involves a terrifying swing across a small lake). Fasten your seatbelts… Cause it’s gonna be a bumpy, shriek-filled day.

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