But instead I went with a group from Minas International to the Memorial Minas Gerais Vale. It's a museum funded by Vale (HUGE mining company in our state). It's one of the many beautiful historic buildings that surround the Praça Liberdade. I took an easy bus ride with the the 2 younger kids while Dora was at her study group. We hung out in the Praça for a while, and then hit the Museum.
My kids were honestly not too keen on visiting a museum on a Saturday afternoon, but by the end they didn't want to leave! It's a great museum for kids: very interactive, lots of videos presented in interesting ways, music to listen to and screens to touch. There are three floors (stairs only, didn't see if it has an elevator), and 18 rooms in total. Each room has a different theme, sharing some aspect of history, art, or culture of Minas Gerais (our state). My favorite rooms where Vale do Jequitinhonha, that was full of folk art from the area known as Jequitinhonha and the Fazenda Mineira that had hundreds of items that are (or have been) traditionally used on farms in Minas Gerais, and they were all attached to the walls and ceilings. Fun! The kids loved the Povo Mineiro, which was a video (projected on a huge hand statue, and 3 huge head statues!) about the diversity found in Minas Gerais
Everything is in Portuguese, so unless you have a really good English speaking guide it's not really worth it for non-Portuguese speakers. They do have guides, and ours spoke good English, but she didn't do a very good job at explaining things in an interesting way (in my opinion). But the kids didn't want to leave after almost 2 hours, so that to me says that Memorial Minas Gerais Vale is worth a visit.