2018 World Cup: things to see and do with children in Russia
From June 14 to July 15, 2018 the World Cup is held in 11 cities of Russia. For those who are going to watch the games at the stadiums with the whole family, FamilyWithKids.com has compiled a list of the most interesting places that are worth visiting with kids, in each of the cities hosting games in the summer of 2018.
A new funicular route is set to connect the main arena of the Luzhniki Sports Complex and the Vorobyovy Gory Park (Sparrow Hills Park). By mid-June it will be possible to ride from the stadium to a viewing platform over the Moscow River. The park has both children's and sports grounds; for a quiet walk it is worth choosing one of the ecotours or renting a boat, and guided tour ferries run from the pier all day long.
From the Vorobyovy Gory Park, there is an 8-kilometer cycling track to the Museon Park. The track runs along the embankment, and has 13 rental points, where bicycles for children and adults are available, but also baby seats, and baby strollers.
At the Gorky Park entrance visitors are greeted by the mascot of the championship - Wolf Zabivak. Guests can also visit the lookout site on top of the roof of the Main Entrance. The Gorky Park offers many activities: summer cinema, a light and music fountain, cafes and restaurants, rental outlets, and beaches with wooden decking and sun loungers.
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At the VDNH Center (ВДНХ) there is entertainment for children of all ages: at the City Farm children can feed goats, calves, lambs and alpacas, at the Smart City Pavilion - get acquainted with the latest technical achievements, in the Museum of Cinema - see an exhibition of dolls, and at Model of Moscow - see a light show, which starts every hour. In the evenings, the three main fountains at VDNH are illuminated. Perhaps, the most interesting place at VDNH for families with children is the Moskvarium, where it is possibe to see orcas, dolphins, sharks, manatees, stingrays and other underwater inhabitants. To not waste time standing in line at the entrance, it is recommended to buy tickets at the official website, in advance.
In the Moscow Planetarium it will be interesting for children to visit the MARS Station, where every guest performs a role in the fulfillment of a space mission. And in the Central House of Culture is a good place to shop for souvenirs and toys, as well as go up to the observation deck on the roof.
Our other English-language reviews of kids-friendly places in Moscow can be found here.
Photo by: https://www.facebook.com/cdmmoscow/
Seeing the whole of Russia and St. Petersburg in particular in miniature is possible in two venues in St. Pete. The first place is the Grand Maket Russia, where visitors can push buttons to control the tiny trains, running on the tiny tracks, launch all kinds of attractions and little cars. The second place is the Petrovskaya Aquatoria, here visitors can see what St. Petersburg and its suburbs looked like back in the 18th century.
At the historic Poltava Shipyard a battleship was launched in May of 2018. Now visitors can climb its deck with a guided tour. And the shipyard itself holds artillery drills and workshops on linocut, knotting, weaving, forging and rigging. It is also possible to board the Aurora Cruiser and the Krasin Icebreaker. And at the Museum of Russian Railways visitors can learn about the arrangement of locomotives, diesel locomotives, special equipment and wagons (there are more than 100 on display here).
Photo by: Davide Punkbianchi https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4322242388/
Walking through an underwater tunnel and seeing giant crabs, stingrays and sharks is possible at the St. Petersburg Oceanarium. Swimming in pools and riding slides is possible at the Peterland Waterpark. It is possible to get the the waterpark via the pedestrian Yacht Bridge straight from the St. Petersburg Stadium. And the numerous attractions of the Divo Ostrov Amusement Park are located in just a 20-minute walk from the Zenith Arena.
Summer is a good time to go outside of the city of St. Petersburg, for example, visit the beaches of the Gulf of Finland in Repino, Komarovo or Zelenogorsk, swim in the heated outdoor pools of the Igora Resort or in Ohta-Park Resort.
More of our English-language reviews of the family-friendly places in St. Petersburg here.
It's worth to start with the Kazan Kremlin, which houses the majestic Kul-Sharif Mosque (there are special viewing balconies for tourists) and the Natural History Museum of Tatarstan with a working model of a mud volcano, dinosaur puzzles, space scales, a prehistoric aquarium with ancient fish and other interactive exhibits. And on the Kremlin Embankment, opposite from the Farmers' Palace, there is a recreation area with a tourist train, bicycle paths, and a rental point.
Traditional dresses, paintings, contemporary art and history of Tatarstan are represented in the Museum of National Culture. The exhibition is built in accordance with the actual chronology of important events. The history of Kazan is clearly represented in the mock-ups and installations of the City Panorama. And in the Chak-Chak Museum visitors do not only learn about the Tatar customs, but can also try some traditional Tartar sweets with tea.
Photo by: https://www.facebook.com/kremlinmuseum/
Right in the building of the Kazan-Arena Stadium there are two major attractions for kids: the KidSpace Town of Professions, and the Zarnitsa Scientific and Entertainment Center. Kids can learn different skills - from building a campfire and caring for animals, to flying into space and extinguishing fires. The Vnebopark Trampoline Center avaits visitors in any weather, aside from the actual trampolines, there is a rope park with rock climbing. The Riviera Waterpark has pools and slides both inside and outdoors. Right next to the waterpark, on the 25th floor of the Riviera Hotel Complex there is an observation platform, offering a bird's-eye view of Kazan. It is also possible to admire the city from the height of 65 meters from the Around the World Ferris Wheel on territory of the Riviera.
Our detailed English-language review of the kids-friendly places of Kazan can be found here.
The Yeltsin Center offers a few entertainment options for the whole family: children can be taken to the Newton Park of Entertaining Science, or go on one of the museum’s fairytale tours, and for teens and adults it might be interesting to visit the center’s exhibitions and lectures on history and culture. The Newton Bio Park has 60 interactive exhibits dedicated to the anatomy and biology of the human body.
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And for a family cultural day out, the Twentieth Century Literary Life of the Urals Museum is a good option: it has a virtual room where visitors can find themselves on board of a spaceship or a flying carpet. At the Drum House visitors are given the opportunity to listen to melodies from different countries and play on spoons, maracas, bells, singing bowls and other musical instruments from around the world.
At Fantasygrad every child gets the chance to find his or her calling in a fairytale world, kids can try themselves at different medieval occupations: from a knight or minstrel, a magician or an alchemist, to a royal fire-bearer or an artisan. The TutoKruto Amusement Park offers the opportunity to jump on the trampolines, play in the maze and compete courses in the rope park. The entire family can go for a swim at the Limpopo Waterpark. For walks, there are a few options: the Mayakovsky PKiO Park has various attractions, a Ferris wheel, and an exhibition of retro cars. Visitors can also ride around the park on the renovated Children's Railway. The roof of the Vysotsky Skyscraper has an observation deck, which can offer a panoramic view of Ekaterinburg from the altitude of 188 meters.
Find a fuller English-language review of things to do with kids in Ekaterinburg here.
The Samara Space Museum talks about the average day of an austronaut at the International Space Station, and about which space technologies we use in our everyday life here on Earth. The museum also has a collection of models of rockets and various aircrafts.
The indoor Megaland Amusement Park has bright inflatable slides-trampolines, attractions for children of all ages and a rope park. And at the Mobius and Galileo cognitive entertainment complexes, children get to try on the role of scientists, while taking part in fascinating scientific experiments. The KidSpace Professions City allows kids to try certain professions: of a builder, a car mechanic, a traveler, a coach, a cook and many others. The Victoria Waterpark might be a good place to spend a relaxing family day together: swimming in the pools, going down slides, and sunbathing in the recreation area with sun loungers.
Our detailed English-language review of family activities in Samara can be found here.
It is highly recommended to cross the Volga River in a Cable Car, the line connects Nizhny Novgorod and the nearby town of Bor. It is interesting to visit the open air Gorky Locomotive Museum with children in and learn about the very old locomotives presented here. Families can spend an active day together at the Nevesomost Trampoline Park, the Dai Start Amusement Park, or at the Panda Park Adventure Center. To uncover the secrets of science kids need to be taken to the Einsteinium Museum, or the Teleportation Virtual Entertainment Park.
Photo by: http://nnkd.ru
The Caribbean Waterpark is a good place to refresh after a busy day, and while in the area of the Sormovo Park it might be fun to ride the Ferris wheel here and take advantage of the many other attractions located in the park.
Our full English-language review of the Nizhny Novgorod attractions and activities for kids can be found here.
The Old Sarepta Museum tell the story of the German Volga settlement, from which the city grew from the middle of the XVIII century. And the Ilovlinsky Museum of Culture and Life tells the story of the Cossacks. The most famous and gloomy events of the Great Patriotic War can be studied at the Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad; a ladder with 200 steps, according to the number of days of the battle for Stalingrad, leads to the Mamayev Kurgan.
Those who are in Volgograd (Stalingrad) for the first time should take a ride on the metrotram - underground high-speed tram, and then, go for a walk along the Volga-Don canal (tourist ships sail from the river port). And in the center of the city, in the floodplain of the Tsarina River, it is possible to take a rind on the Children's Railway.
To get acquainted with the inhabitants of the underwater world, the entire family can head to the Volgograd Oceanarium, and to turn into scientists and preform their own experiments - visit the Einstein Museum of Entertaining Sciences, which is located right next to Volgograd Arena. The Impulse Trampoline Park has 55 trampolines for active family liesure. In the summer, a Ferris wheel and other children's attractions are open in the Central Park of Culture and Sport, and water slides and swimming pools for the whole family are available at the XXI Century Waterpark.
The Sochi Park takes visitors into the world of Russian fairytales. Guests can ride the terrible Zmey Gorynych (a huge magical snake), sail to the island of Ostrov Buyan, and board a flying ship.
For some quality time outdoors a visit to the Sochi Skypark is a must: children of any age can walk along the Skybridge with their parents, the Via Ferrata mountain trail is accessible for children aged over 6; the Maugli Rope Park with its 550-meter high-speed MegaTroll zipline and SochiSwing welcome children older than 7, and the Bungy 69 jump allows visitors as young as 10 years (only in the comapny of an adult).
The Sochi Dendrarium is good for quiet walks in the shade, it also has a rose garden, a bamboo grove, an aquarium, and an exotarium. And the Sochi Discovery World Aquarium runs a mermaids show and invites visitors to feed the carp in the pond.
Our English-language review of Sochi for kids can be found here.
Both children and adults are likely to enjoy a visit the Railway Museum, where they can examine restored locomotives and wagons, and go on a sightseeing tour around the city on a retro train. Riding a train is also possible at the Children's Railway at the Ostrovsky's PCiO Park. Those who are ready to venture outside of the city, should visit the archaeological excavations at the Tanais Historical Museum-Reserve where it is possible to see the reconstruction of fortress walls, huts, sanctuary and other ancient buildings.
The KidBurg City of Professions is open to children who want to try themselves in different occupations, for example, they can work as rescuers, stylists, ecologists, architects, etc. The Laboratorium Museum presents the natural phenomena and scientific experiments is a clear and visual way.
And the Arcade Indoor Activity Park has a maze, and some rope courses. The Octopus with slides and open-air pools and the H2O waterparks are also an option for family fun in Rostov-on-Don.
Read our review of Rostov-on-Don for families with kids here.
Photo by: https://www.facebook.com/h2opark/
Museum of the World Ocean in Kaliningrad offers a lot to its visitors: they can climb onto the deck of a ship or through the compartments of a submarine, to visit an aquarium and an observation deck. The history of Koenigsberg is told at the Grand Embassy of the Royal Gate, and the history of Russian shipbuilding and maritime traditions - at the Friedrichburg Gate. Visitors of the Friedland Gate can go on a virtual walk around old Koenigsberg. The EinsteiniUm Museum or Kidrum are places, where kids can learn about sciences and the laws of nature in a fun and entertaining way. And the Vanana Park Indoor Activity Center offers a host of opportunities to play, ride, and climb.
Visitors of both the Central Park of Culture and Sport and the Yunost Park can walk the shady alleys and enjoy attractions and rides. Families can also enjoy a trip outside of Kaliningrad, to the long beaches of the Baltic Coast, for example, to the famous Curonian Spit.
Our detailed Kaliningrad English-language reviews can be found here.
Photo by: Sergey Bazylev https://www.flickr.com/photos/akabazyl/25941242106/
Saransk with kids: activities and entertainment options
The Museum of Mordovian Folk Culture is a place where visitors can get familiar with the customs and history of the peoples of Mordovia through participation in workshops, creating dolls in traditional dresses. And the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art of Erzya has a collection of works by the famous sculptor. The Museum of Local Lore has dioramas, explaining the diversity of Mordovian nature, and entrance to the Memorial Museum is free, where visitors can learn about the heroes of the Second World War, and the military and labor achievements of the Soviet people in 1941-1945. A family walk can be undertaken in the Pushkin PKiO Park, and the Madagascar Park has various attractions and playgrounds for kids.
Photo by: James Hyndman https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]