Vacationing with Kids in Kharkov, Ukraine: What to Do with Kids in Kharkov?
What are the best ways to spend time in Kharkov with kids? In our review, you’ll find out about a waterpark, a dolphin aquarium, zoos, kids performances, exhibitions, and active recreation for the whole family in Kharkov.
Kids Museums in Kharkov
In January 2014, the Kharkov University opened up a science educational center called Landau Center. At the interactive exhibitions, they will explain to you how mathematics is related to music, what a “quipu” is, and how microorganisms look. The exhibition is open on the weekend and the exhibits and exposition themes are planned to be changed every month.
You can embark on a journey into outer space if you so desire at the Kharkov Planetarium. In the Main Star Hall, they do movie presentations and in the Small hall they play 3D films and allow you to look into a virtual telescope. According to the schedule they conduct sessions where they invite people to come look at the stars through a real telescope. You can also get your picture taken with aliens and find out interesting facts about other planets at the Cosmos Museum.
At the Kharkov Sea Museum, they tell you how people used to build ships and used real navigational devices. At the exhibition, you will get to see different models of sail boats, yachts, and frigates. You will get to ring a real watch bell and find out how people would fire cannons on real pirate galleons as well as how old steamship horns used to look.
You will get to hear about the ancient times, the middle ages, and modern Ukraine at the Kharkov History Museum. Presented at the exposition is the attire and decorations of Ukrainian women, Cossack weaponry, and dishes and home utensils from the old days. Part of the exhibition is dedicated to the world wars as well as residents’ of the Kharkov Regions participation in them. Also dedicated to the 20th century are four indoor exhibitions where you get to look inside a room modeled after the 1950’s, a kitchen and rural house from the 1960’s, and an apartment of a Kharkov resident from the 1980’s.
The best place for you to get acquainted with the literature of Kharkov and Slobozhanschina would be the Literature Museum. There you’ll get to see various personal belongings, letters, and notebooks of Ukrainian poets and writers. For schoolchildren they do interactive tours based on the works of Grigory Skovoroda and the writers of the Shot-down Renaissance as well as by the books of Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl. Also open at the museum is a movie club and a creative workshop. In June 2014, an entertainment enlightenment center called Kniga (book) will open up in the Literature Museum with interactive games for schoolchildren and parents with kids.
You can see endangered birds and animals like the Great Steller’s Sea Cow and the passenger pigeon at the Kharkov Nature Museum. Gathered there is an inspiring collection of animal and bird effigies, they have dioramas of volcano eruptions, coves with stalactites and stalagmites, Amazons tropics, and a rookery. Presented at the geological exposition are formations and materials from the Kharkov Region where they’ve brought Scythian and Polovtsian stone women discovered by archeologists.
Gathered at the Kharkov Art Museum are sculptures of Ukrainian, Russian, and Western European craftsmen. There you will get to see icons from the 16th century as well as the works of Ayvazovsky, Vasnetsova, Vrubel, and Shevchenko along with contemporary artists and designers.
Kharkov Water Park
At Jungle Water Park you will find entertainment fitting for the whole family. Those fond of faster slides would appreciate slides like Kamikaze, Black Hole, and Launch to Space. Family slides include Multislide, the Fast River, and the wave pool. For smaller children they have a kids water station and a paddling pool. Also on “dry land”, you can leave them in a play room. Finally, on holidays they organize animator programs and mini “foam discos” for kids in the Jungle.
Zoo, Oceanarium, and Dolphin Aquarium in Kharkov
Gathered at the Kharkov Zoo are around 400 types of birds and animals. There have a Pheasant House and a Peacocks Pavilion, a Primate House, a Mountain Cage, a Deer Range, a Hunters House, and a Bear Pavilion. Their thematic aquariums resemble the South American tropics, coral reefs, and stone ponds. You can also see turtles and crocodiles in the summer in the outdoor cages with pools. At the entrance they also sell food for the inhabitants of the petting zoo.
Inhabiting Feldman Ecology Zoo are pygmy marmosets, ponies, sheep, and birds. On the territory of the park, they also do sessions for young naturalists and in the summer time you can go ride attractions and ponies. In the petting zoo if you desire, you can come pet different birds, crocodiles, alpacas, sheep, and Vietnamese pigs. In addition they sell food for animals in the park, while you’re not allowed to feed the animals with food you bring with you.
Presentations at the indoor Nemo Dolphin Aquarium are held year round. Performing in the water arena are dolphins, a white whale named Ice Cream, sea lions, and a manta ray. Also located in the same building is Nemo Oceanarium with coral reefs and clownfish, stingrays, sea fish, and a small reptile house. In the summer time they set up a dolphin show in the outdoor pool.
Theaters for Kids and Kids Shows, Kharkov
At the Kharkov Puppet Theater, they do more than nine adult shows and for kids they have about 30 different performances in their repertoire. The smallest of visitors are invited to come watch the Cat’s House, Snegurochka, the Jungle Tales, and How the Cossacks Tricked the Demons. For children going to school, Andersen and Astrid Lindgren are recommended.
They do kids shows at the Kharkov Youth Theater as well. Small children are invited to come watch stories about the Golden Chick, the Boldly Buzzing Fly, and Leopold the Cat. For a little bit older kids they offer stories about Mogly, Sleeping Beauty, and the Magician of the Emerald City. If you have teenagers you might consider going and seeing the Golden Fleece, Captain Fracasse, Chasing Two Rabbits, or the Night before Christmas.
Performances about The Princess and the Hogherd, Pif Gadget, and the Cat in Boots go on as well at Shevchenko Theater. In their repertoire are more performances for teenagers and adults. In their school program for example, they have Revizor and A Midsummer Night’s Dream there.
At Madigral Theater they perform the Miracles Fair, the Incident in Stop Light City, Buratino, and several other kids shows. Kids that are a little bit older might enjoy watching “Plague, Verona, and Love” based on the motifs of the Shakespearian tragedy or Balakirev the Fool about Peter I.
At the Kharkov Opera and Ballet Theater, you can take your kids to watch dancing performances, such as Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, Petrushka, and Konyok-Gorbunok. Operas that kids might like would include The Little Red Hat, When the Animals Spoke, Yarema and Danila, and Cherevichki. If you have schoolchildren you should consider watching Ukrainian musicals Natalka Poltavka and Taras Bulba.
In the kids repertoire of the Musical Comedy Theater are ten musicals: Cinderella, Visiting a Fairy Tale, Peter Pan, Bambi, and New Year’s and other performances. For schoolchildren and adults they do several dozens of shows, some of which are My Wonderful Lady, Sorochinsky Fair, and Princess of the Circus.
Where to Take Your Kid for a Walk in Kharkov: Parks and Places to Take Your Kids for a Walk in Kharkov
You can go on rides in the summer time and in the winter you can go ice-skating and skiing at Kharkov Central Park in the Name of Gorky. Open on the fresh air is a racing town, a raceway, shooting galleries, and attractions. On top of that they have an indoor play station with a rope station, rock-climbing, and a kids room. At Gorky Park they do organized city holidays and festive events. The main stage is located at the country’s largest Ferris wheel with a height of 55 meters.
Stretching between Sumskaya Street and Pavlov Field is the Kharkov Rope Lift with open cabins resembling different-colored glasses. A trip from Gorky Park to Sarzhinsky Cutbank takes about 20 minutes on the cableway.
Flowing at Sarzhinsky Cut Bank is a mineral water source and located near it is an open dome. There are also two venues there nearby – one a sports venue and the other for kids.
The Kharkov Kids Railroad extends from Gorky Park up to Lesopark, a 3.6 km track built as if “for adults”: there is a stop platform on the track and even a crossing with a lift gate blocking the track.
At Svoboda Square they do festive city celebrations. In the summer time, attractions open up there and artists go on tour. In the winter people celebrate New Year’s there and organize snow festivals and ice sculptures.
You can have a seat at Lovers Fountain at Architects Square. There they’ve set up an exhibition of marble Seven Wonders of Kharkov effigies with the most famous of the city’s attractions: the Uspensky, Pokrovsky, and Blagoveschensky Cathedrals; a monument to Shevchenko; the Gosprom Building; a Mirror Stream; and the House with the Spool.
Open in the square in front of the Opera Theater is the “Mirror Stream" Fountain (many call it the “Glass Stream”) and fountains accompanied by lights and music. There is a large fountain structure on the square of the Arrivals Train Station and in the evenings they do light and music shows there in the summer time.
During the warm season, in Arrow Square on Lopanskaya Embankment they open up boat stations where they invite you to sit down in a boat and row along the Lopan River and Kharkov.
In the summer time, cascade fountains operate in Shevchenko Garden. There you can go for a walk down the paths and take pictures with unusual sculptures. For example, there are monuments in the form of a big soccer ball and a sleeping Cossack.
You can also take your kids for a walk in Pine Hill Park. Riding on its territory are horse jockeys from the Pine Hill Youth team and from time to time there you can check out dramatized presentation and competitions.
Entertainment for Kids in Kharkov, Outdoor Leisure with Kids, Kharkov
If you’re so inclined you can go watch a circus performance at the Kharkov Circus. Performing at the arena are local artists, acrobats, animal tamers, and clowns. Sometimes groups come on tour from out of town as well.
The Magical Farmstead of Grandpa Frost takes visitors year round. In December and January, kids are awaited by the New Year’s Adventure as well as a meeting with Baba Yaga, Snegurochka, and Grandpa Frost. For the rest of the time, the “Farmstead” organizes interactive programs with tours based on the “Passazh” team and horse riding.
During the summer, opening in the Park in the Name of Artyom is South Park Rope City. There they have ropeways for adults and children 4 years and up (the kids ropeway has a 9-meter zip-line slope. Adults and teenagers taking on the most difficult course end up riding down a 70-meter zip-line. They also invite you to go shoot in the gallery there, play laser tag, go for a bike ride, or sumo wrestle in soft costumes.
You can go ice-skating in Kharkov year round. Indoor skating rinks Ice hall, Shato Ledo, and Caravan are open every day. Shato Ledo also has an indoor roller skating course, a trampoline center, and tables for table tennis. After going ice-skating in Caravan skating-rink, you can go stop by the oceanarium or play laser tag.
They invite you to come play kids bowling in Misto Entertainment Center, Atmosfera Bowling club, 24, Magnit, Compass, and Maximum.
There are kids arcades with racing games, rides, air hockey, video games, and dry pools for small children open in all the different entertainment centers across Kharkov. You can spend all day in kids entertainment centers Igroland in Caravan Entertainment Center, Chudo Chado in Visit Mall, and Chudo Park in Dafi Entertainment Center and Mega Antoshka Entertainment Center.
We’ve got events in Kharkov listed for you for every day in our events guide.
Photos: vk.com/planetarium_kharkov, vk.com/public68368143, vk.com/sparksuperrest, wikipedia.org