Odessa with Kids: Places to Go and Things to Do with Children in Odessa, Ukraine
You can go below ground for a tour in the catacombs, count the steps of the Potyomkinskaya Staircase, have a walk along Deribasovskaya Street, set out for the open sea on a day cruiser, and hang out on a bench next to Utyosovy – all of this in the old city of Odessa. Our review includes parks, museums, attractions, a zoo, a dolphinarium, water parks, and many other ways you and your family can enjoy yourselves in Odessa.
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Over 60 different famous people have “settled in” at the U Baby Uti Wax Museum. Even kids are able to recognize some of today’s singers, writers, actors, and characters from the movie Avatar, Pirates of the Carribean, Ice Age, and Aterix & Oblelix. Some famous Odessites you can also “meet” in the museum include Leonid Utyosov, Ilf, Petrov, founder of the city De Ribas, Mayor Richelieu, Sonya Golden Hand, and revolutionary Kotovsky.
The line of defense and military technology from the Second World War are presented at Odessa Heroic Defense Memorial of Troop 411. Outside at the exhibition you can see Odessa Tank NI-1, a tractor sheeted with armors, zeniths, howitzers, mines, an armored train, and a street train that soldiers departed from Odessa on to the front. Firing bases and entrenchments from military times are restored around the museum and in the museum tour they tell you about the military events that took place in Odessa.
The Anchor Museum exhibition is located outside on the Seaport Building. Amongst several dozens of exhibits are multiple-pronged drag anchors; a Matrosov admiralty, hall, and cast anchor; and beam anchors forged out of one big piece of metal. Another thing you can find out there is which one was the heaviest and which anchors the Vikings used when abandoning ship.
Labyrinths and catacomb mines spanning kilometers long are constructed below the Odessa streets. You can get inside them only though the Partisan Glory Museum in Nerubaysk village 16 km from Odessa. All other entrances into the underground are considered unsafe due to the rocks frequently collapsing. At the museum they tell you about the history of the partisan movement and the mines where partisans hid out during wars. You can find out more about the tours by calling the museum information center at +38 (48) 731-44-54.
In the summer in Odessa, you can see a show in one of several theaters. Take, for example, the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater where they perform musical fairy tales for children. Also in the theater’s repertoire is the kids version of the Nutcracker Ballet and you can also take your kids to the fairy tale opera Emerald City, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, or to ballets like Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Red hat, or Alice in Wonderland.
They do shows for all ages at the Odessa Youth Theater in the name of Ostrovsky. You can take small children to the Cat’s House, Mowgli, and Ivasik Telesik. As for a little bit older kids, they have Treasure Island and The Red Men Chief and for adults and school children who are almost graduating they have somewhat more serious stories in their repertoire, such as The Glass beat and Philumenus Marturano.
They do puppet shows in the Odessa Puppet Theater on Paster Street. With little ones, you can watch The Three Pigs, Teremok, or As if by Magic. In the puppet theater, they also have “adult” shows too.
Inhabiting Odessa Zoo are various species of animals and birds. Inside they bird cages, you can see Armur Bay leopards, baboons, bears, Przhevalsky horses, saker falcons, and an Indian elephant. Also calling the reptile house home are various snakes and other reptiles. In addition, there are thematic festivities that regularly go on in the zoo for children. For instance, you can depart to a Journey to Egypt and celebrate Water Day, The Year of the Snake, and International Africa Day.
On Langeron beach there is Nemo Dolphinarium. They do shows with bottlenose dolphins and stingrays three times a day. In the summer of 2013, you can also watch a little dolphin that was just born in the end of May. Also open in Nemo is an oceanarium with sharks, piranhas, clam crackers, butterfly fish, and an exotarium with snakes, crocodiles, and turtles.
You can walk down the famous Potyomkinskaya Staircase or the Odessa Cable-railway off of Seaside Boulevard. You can take this shady boulevard to the port and on the way you can stop by a glass dome with excavations of an ancient Greek settlement and take pictures next to the monument of the first mayor of Odessa – Richelieu. The boulevard lights up on the boulevard in the evenings.
On pedestrian Deribasovskaya Street, you can simply go for a stroll or maybe stop by one of the restaurants or cafés. If you’d like to take a picture on the bench next to Utyosovy or have a seat on the Twelfth Chair, you’d better not do it in the heat: the summer sun quickly scorches the bronze sculptures.
The city garden on Deribasovskaya is small, but it’s the olden in Odessa. You should consider having a look at the Tree of Love there or at the Spirit Fountain where they do a light music show in the evenings.
You can go for a ride every day in the suspended aerial lift off of French Boulevard 17 to Joy beach. Every 10 minutes during the trip, you get a view of the city center and the Odessa bay in the different colored cabins. In the summer of 2013, a ticket costs 15 hryvnias (about 70 rubles) and the rope operates every day from 8:30 am until 8 pm.
You should consider going on a seaside walk along the Odessa bay. Just rent a boat or buy a ticket for the city “sea train”. Motorboats and catamarans take off from the port for 40-minute tours departing into the open sea and visiting the harbors of the Odessa bay. The cost of a tour in summer 2013 starts at 70 hryvnias (about 350 rubles). For details, call the directory of the Seaport Building at +38 (48) 729-38-03.
In Odessa’s Moon Park next to Shevchenko Park, the attractions work during the summer. There are roller coasters there, merry-go-rounds, speed racing, and big swings. In June 2013, new “adult” attractions appeared in the park, such as Air Flight and Captain Hook. Little ones can jump on the trampoline, pass through a labyrinth, and ride on a merry-go-round, a kids train, or a swan boat on the water. Also, on South Palmira Ferris Wheel, at a height of 45 meters, you get a view of the park and the whole city.
Open in Sauvignon housing estate is Magic World Kids Entertainment Complex. For little ones, they have swings, merry-go-rounds, a dry pool, and a three-level maze looking like a castle. For a little bit older kids, they have a raceway, video game machines, air hockey, and racing games. In Magic World, they even have rock climbing and trampolines and if you like you can stop by for a bite to eat at Yummy Bar with a separate kids room.
For those who like putting together figures out of construction toys, you’d be well advised to pay a visit to Lego Center in Odessa. In the kids play zone are tables with toy building parts and for people with kids, they do family parties and competitions. Schoolchildren are invited to Lego Technic Club with gladiator robots, robot football players, and race car driving. And on Sundays Lego Center hosts board game compendiums for children of various ages from Magic Castle for little ones to the Lord of Seven Lands and Alias: Tell Me Different.
They do “ship boy”, “older sailor”, and even “skipper” test in Flying Dutchman Rope Park in Old Bazar Square. There are 3 different courses there: “Kids” for those 4 years and up and “Brave” and “High” courses with trolley slides for teenagers and adults.
In June 2013, Odessa Water Park recently opened up 7 km out of the city on Ovidiopolskaya Road. You can go for a ride on Centrifuge, Boomerang, and Rocket slides as well as the Multislide for the family while out in the fresh air. In the water park, they have a separate big “pirate town” for kids with slides, water cannons, and waterfalls. You can also stop by for lunch at the pizzeria or the snack bar.
There is another water park open called Koblevo located 40 km from Odessa. You can race your whole family on the Multislide or the Rafting slide on two or four-person air rafts. There are extreme slides, a massage pool, and umbrella lounges too in the relaxation zone at Koblevo and kids can play in a water complex with 10 slides. You can take food and drinks with you, although the water park has its own snack bar and even a kids café.
Photos: wikipedia.org, legocenter-odessa.blogspot.ru, aquakoblevo.net, nemo.od.ua