Bringing the kids on your next trip to Moscow and worried about what you'll do with them? Well don't! The city is full of interesting and unusual places for you to take the family, which are guaranteed to keep the little ones entertained and happy!
Whether it's a trip to the circus or a matinee at the puppet theater, the suggestions below are well worth a try!
Detsky mir (Children's World)
Detsky Mir (Children's World) is the largest children's universal store in Europe; since 1947 it brings joy to the children of Russian capital.
Detsky Mir is a real paradise for children and, therefore, a minefield for your purse. Your son or daughter will surely enjoy light and roomy halls with high ceilings, packed with toys of various kinds: meccanos, puzzles, dolls, electronic games: The merry-go-round in the centre of the main hall, though closed almost all the time, is the object of special delight. As for adults, here they will find some luxury boutiques, souvenir shops, usually offering different wood paintings and carving, and even the Swiss watches salon. Detsky Mir has a well-kept secret other than its real ice-cream milkshakes served year-round.
On the fourth floor of the classic shop, still operating with the Soviet system of specific departments for each type of item needed, there is an authentic Stalin-era cafe. What makes this cafeteria the genuine article is the system of selecting typical Russian dishes by sliding a plastic tray along metal rollers and peering into darkened cabinets full of vinaigrette salads, herring and beets, pirogi and cabbage dishes.
The perfect day out for the kids! The zoo boasts more than 5,000 rare and exotic animals and birds - make sure you don't miss the monkey and cats houses and the fantastic aquariums. In Moscow zoo different excursions for visitors of any age are carried out: Fauna of Russia, Tour of "Exotarium" – the inhabitants of coral reefs, Tour of exposition "Primate house", and of course the Children Zoo - here the youngest visitors for the first time will get acquainted with hens, pigs, sheep and other domestic animals.
The Children's zoo was constructed in 1996 and it was solemnly opened on October 25, 1996, in the presence of the City Mayor Mr. Luzhkov. For the first time in the history of our capital the youngest visitors received their own special area of the zoo territory. They can see there the heroes of their favourite fairy tales: three piglets, the wolf and seven yeanlings, and many other animals well known to all the children. Furthermore, children can touch and stroke charming Cameroun goats; in "farming" zone they can see domestic animals unusual for the city dwellers: goats, sheep, donkey, geese, hens – and even observe the process of chicken hatching in an incubator. In the child's zoo the scene for performances and presentations is situated. You can find here some sculptures of the heroes of the children books. On school holidays the theater-studio "Tik-Tak" often makes performances here.
It's a Splash! To see the Black Sea dolphins, a beluga whale, sea lions and South African fur seals walk on water, clap their fins and balance balls on their noses, take your child to the Moscow Delphinarium. You'll be able to hear a whale sing and see how dolphins are trained to rescue humans. Delightful and playful water shows that the kids will love!
Great Moscow State Circus
Five interchangeable rings are located in a huge machine hall at the depth of 18 meters. With perfectly adjusted mechanical and electronic equipment the replacement of one ring with another takes 5-6 minutes. One huge thirteen-meter ring goes down, slides aside while another one takes its place and is lifted upwards by a "giant hand". All five rings were used in many shows of the Circus: horse ring, water ring, ice ring, illusion ring and light ring.
From the moment of its birth the Circus presented to the spectators over one hundred different programs including theme shows and divertissements performances where best Russian and foreign circus artistes took part. In 2001 the Great Moscow State Circus celebrated with a grandiose show its 30th anniversary.
Yury Nikulin's Circus
A bronze cabriolet is parked in front of the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard; a man in a shabby jacket and funny hat stands beside it. This is the monument to Yury Nikulin, famous Russian clown, actor and director of the Circus in 1983 - 1997. Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is one of the oldest circuses in Russia. The permanent brick building for it was erected in 1880. It soon became world famous thanks to the brilliant performances by Durovs' horses, as well as the braveness of its high-wire artists and surprising magic of the world-famous illusionists Kio.
The Circus continued its performances even during World War II. Outstanding clown Karandash (literally "Pencil") mimicked fascist soldiers, and in the end of the show a real tank drove into the ring and crushed hostile pillboxes. It encouraged Russian warriors to fight Fascist invaders.
Yury Nikulin used to say "humour, laughter and a simple smile help to overcome life's difficulties". So, come here and make your life - as doctors recommend - a bit longer by laughing from the heart!
Enormous parks filled with children's fun fairs, an original Buran spacecraft now open as a "Cosmic Experience for Kids", endless ice skating opportunities in the winter and boat trips in the summer.
Children's Musical Theatre
This truly unique theatre named after its founder - Natalia Ilyinichna Sats can be called the eighth wonder of the world; it is surmounted with the Blue Bird, bird of happiness on a golden harp that has turned into a symbol of the theater.
Here every detail is designed for children; the mail box on a tree stem, under which there is a bronze bear cub, a buffet in winter garden, a room for younger brothers and sisters. Children, unable to watch a long play to the end, can play with the theatre tutors, listen to fairy tales and even take part in the orchestra of musical toys. Nothing is broken or battered here. Children treat their theatre with care. Wonderful theater performs traditional Russian and
European folktales. Don't miss a performance of Prokofiev's famous Peter and the Wolf!
Durov Animal Theatre
"Grandpa Durov's Corner", "Grandpa Durov's Wonderland", "Animals' Theatre named after V.L. Durov" - these names are well familiar not only to Muscovites and people of other Russian cities, but also to many guests from foreign countries.
In this house Vladimir Leonidovich Durov, famous circus actor and talented animal trainer had lived and worked. It is indeed an unusual house, there is none like it in the world. It is a realm of harmony between the Human-being and Nature. The fairy tale and reality live here side by side.
Snow-white horses, Afgan wolfhounds, dog-boxers, monkeis, elephant cow Dasha, hippopotamus Mukha together with poodle Arthamon, tigers and chimpanzees, pelicans perform various tricks there. You will also see the famous "Durov's railway" here. This steam locomotive was specially made for this attraction at Putilov plant. The steam locomotive is a real one, refueled with coal and working with the help of steam. Over one hundred animals were engaged in this Durov's trick and played all the parts: monkeys acted
as an "engine driver" and a "switchman", the porcupine listed a book as if taking notes of the train's delays, the part of the cashier was played by an animal of bears species called "nosy" who used to put stamps in the small tickets with its nose; the station master was a bulldog and the porter was a bear.
Moscow Cats Theatre
Kuklachyov and his four-legged company have been on tour of the United States a number of times and have won the hearts of many Americans.Now the Moscow Cats Theatre has a branch in Manhattan, so the Russian cats are now performing on Broadway.
Delightful theater featuring fun and playful performances by a whole range of domestic moggies! The kids will never want to leave!
In the early 1990's an unusual theatre appeared in Moscow. Its actors are… cats, and it's called the Moscow Cats Theater. It was founded by a remarkable clown and animal-tamer Yuri Kuklachyov.
Obraztsov Puppet Theater
The theatre was founded on September 16, 1931 as an attachment to the Central House od Artistic Education of children and from the very first days was directed by the prominent Russian artist, actor, director, painter and literary man Serguei Obraztsov. The Obraztsov's Theatre is the only centre in Russia and the best in the whole world for organizing international festivals of puppet shows. The best and most prestigious meetings of the puppet men from all over the world take place on its stage to perform on which is a great honour for the actors of all countries.
The Central Puppet Show regularly receives the best puppet shows of our country and those of the world who have made a valuable contribution to the development of the professional puppet show art. Among them we can mention well-known puppet shows from Japan, Italy, Czechia, USA, Holland, India and other countries.
The Central Academic Puppet Show is a Russian and world training centre of specialists. On September 14, 1981, the Obraztsov's Puppet Show was granted the title of "academic". The Obraztsov's theatre is indeed the world's only Academy of puppet show art. Its disciples and followers work not only in Russia but also in Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, South Korea, Cuba, Italy, Spain, USA, Switzerland and in many other countries of the world.The puppets museum of Serguei Obraztsov's Theatre was set up in 1937.