Things to Do with Kids in St. Petersburg: 10 Fun Ideas for a Winter or Summer Vacation in St. Petersburg, Russia
You can visit the bottom of a sea and a command bridge, end up in a magical forest and animation studio, spend a day at a water park, go on rides on different attractions, and take off and travel all over Russia – we have picked the 10 best options for you to keep in mind while taking your family on vacation in Saint Petersburg.
1. Learn professions at Kidburg in Grand Canyon Shopping and Entertainment Center. In Russia’s first profession town, children between the ages of 4 and 14 are given a little bit of town money called “profs”, which they can spend on entertainment or training. There they can learn to drive a car, fly a plane, work on the police force saving people, or become a farmer, a football player, mailman, or archeologist. You can read more about KidBurg in our review.
2. Go visit the Smeshariki. Kids between the ages of 2 and 12 are welcomed at the Petrograd Side, where they make cartoons about the Funnies. Every week there they hold interactive tours around the Animated World. Niusha and Krosh tell the children about how cartoons are made and they do activities with adventures and interactive shows including life size and jigging puppets.
3. You can visit the bottom of the sea at the Oceanarium. Riding by on a conveyor belt through the tunnel in a big aquarium, you can see sharks swimming right over your head as well as sucker fish and eels. Also open is a manta ray pool and aquariums with tropical fish and corrals, spider crabs, and sharp tooth piranhas. They do feeding shows there almost every day and underwater circus performances featuring sharks and walruses. You can see the weekly schedule on the Oceanarium’s website.
4. Go for a swim and ride down slides in a water park. In Waterville for example at Vasilev Island you can float on an inner tube down the Lazy or the Wild River, go down seven different slides, and splash around in the wave pool. There’s a separate slide there for kids as well as a kids’ pool where they are entertained by animators. We’ve written about all the water parks and pools with free visiting in Saint Petersburg here.
5. Go on a journey from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad at show museum exhibition Grand Model Russia at the Gates of Moscow. You can visit Siberia, Ural, and the Black Sea, meanwhile checking out the trains, buses, and cars moving by on the roads in a couple hours. About once every 15 minutes it turns to night and the streetlights light up everywhere. The round buttons on the borders of the “countries” can and must be pushed for example to put out a fire or start a horse race. They don’t let strollers into the exhibition, so it’s better to leave it at the entrance at the covered stroller station. You can read a review about visiting Grand Model here.
6. Become a scientist and conduct scientific experiments in one of the interactive museums. At the Labirintum in Petrograd side, you can check out optical illusions, build an electric circuit, and inflate a huge soap bubble. There is a separate room there for kids between 2 and 5 years old with development games and simple exhibits. You can come and explore the Labirintum whenever you want without an appointment, but tours must be scheduled beforehand.
We’ve written all about the interactive museums of Saint Petersburg here.
7. Visit a museum with an interactive exhibition. Constructed at Petropavlovsk Fortress is a Time Street, where buildings of different time periods are situated. There you can stop by a doctor’s or politician’s office, a Swiss repair shop, and a grandmother room with furniture from the past century. By appointment they hold thematic tours for schoolchildren and preschoolers are taken for a walk by the Time Ferry.
There are also interactive exhibitions in modern art museum Erarta. Stop on by the Cherry Garden featuring crystal balls hanging on threads instead of trees or, if you like, the Ancestors Hall, which looks like a Russian hut. You can also literally retreat back to Childhood – a place where even adults feel little, while next to huge furniture.
8. Find yourself in a fairy tale. All you have to do is stop by the Fairy Tale House on Gorkovskaya Street. There children may visit a hut with the three bears, the Snow Queen palace, a magical forest, and a knight’s castle. In the Fairy Tale House, they do tours and interactive shows. You can take your whole family to one of the “Theater Parties”. Also, the second Fairy Tale House was opened in September 2013 at City Mall Shopping and Entertainment Center on Pionerskaya Street.
The do interactive tours for kids between 1 and a half to 12 years old in the animation theater museum called Tarabum on Chernyshevskaya Street. Kids are invited to Winnie Poo or Carlson’s house, they organize animation and sand drawing workshops, and they take kids on a worldwide journey, as well as a spaceships voyage to the stars. They also put on interactive shows there about Masha and the Bear, Tarabumka, and Magic and Mysticism Shows.
In the seven game zones of Museus at New Ockerville, kids are welcomed by cowboys and Indians, a pirate, and a female forest magician. There they are told about the history of sunken ships, dragons, and princesses and learn how to dance and solve riddles. In Museus they also organize workshops and science shows.
The put on interactive shows in a theater called Carlson House on the shore of Fontanka. There, there are also performances inspired by Scandinavian fairy tales about Pippi Longstocking, Old Man Petson, and Findus the cat as well as other presentations on the motifs of Alice and Wonderland. You can watch a video review of Carlson House’s shows here.
9. Know what it’s like to be a sailor on a ship. While the Aurora is off being repaired (supposedly until summer 2014), you can climb atop a C-189 submarines or Krasin icebreaker on the Lieutenant Schmidt embankment. You can only get on Krasin with equipment and objects from the lives of polar explorers by scheduling a tour. They let you climb on submarine compartments whenever you like, but it’s best to arrival at least two hours before closing.
10. Go ride some attractions. Happylon entertainment park is open year round in The Gallery Entertainment Complex. For kids they have swings, an arcade, and a large maze with hills and an empty pool. A little bit older kids can play laser tag and video game machines (in Happylon are over 100 video game machines and simulators), go for a ride on Free Fall, or visit the 5D movie theater.
Open from May to the middle of the fall on Krestovsky Island is Wonder Island, where there are over 50 attractions in operation for the whole family. Kids can hop on trampolines; ride a “choo-choo” train, race cars, and go carts; and join the Fire Squad and put out a “burning building”. In the park are extreme attractions as well, such as the Rocket, Catapult, Buster, and in fall 2013 they are promising to launch a Ferris wheel with closes cabins.
On Krestovsky, not far from Wonder Island, is Sky Town adventure park. You can go through obstacle courses there year round as well as suspension bridges and race tracks. Then in the end you can ride down on the trolley. Kids over 5 years old and newcomers are allowed onto the lower track with a height of 1.5 meters and for adults there is a track six meters tall. We have written about all the jungle gyms in Saint Petersburg and its outskirts in this review.
You can read a detailed guide on kids attractions around Saint Petersburg here, where to take your kids in the evening in Saint Petersburg here, and outdoor activities in Saint Petersburg in this review.
You can pick a children’s show or other event any day of the week on our events guide.