Apparently Aviapark is Europe’s largest shopping mall. But that wasn’t our main reason for visiting. Aviapark may have lots of shops but it is also filled to the brim with entertainment options for kids both big and small.
Almost all of the children’s things are located on the 4th floor. This is quite a common feature of shopping in Moscow and I love it. Gone are the days of traipsing from one floor of a shopping centre to the other trying to compare kids toys. Very sensibly all the toy shops are grouped together, along with the children’s clothing stores, a selection of the restaurants, and of course the all important kids entertainment. Which brings me back to the main reason for our visit.
We started off in MotorCity where children can lap around the circuit in a variety of different vehicles. Little Pickle was too young to be allowed full control over her own vehicle so until she is 3.5 years old, she has to be followed round the track by Daddy with a remote control device! I think he had almost as much fun as she did.
She loved it and would have kept going round and round but at 300 roubles for just 7 minutes we decided her time was limited! The added bonus of MotorCity was the repair pit at the side of the track where budding mechanics can have fun pretending to pump up tyres and change oil filters. It turned out that this was actually Beanie-Boy’s favourite part of the whole thing, and as it was free of charge it was Mummy’s favourite part too.
The Little Star soft-play area looked fabulous but rather full so we took a left-turn and instead went to Stroy-Ka which is soft-play of a different kind – it has building blocks galore. At 300 roubles for 30 minutes or 600 for unlimited time, this was a great find. As well as traditional building blocks, a number of them have holes through which you can thread soft cylinders of varying widths and lengths so that you can join several blocks together in more interesting and unusual towers. We really should have paid for the unlimited ticket because we had trouble dragging our two away when their time was up.
There is lots more to explore at the Mall, including a good selection for much older children than ours. Our dentist will be relieved to learn that Little Pickle is too young to enjoy the Chocolate Factory Game experience (it’s for ages 3 and up), but I think our daughter would be sad to find that she is also too young for KidZania (ages 4 and over) which apparently creates a whole town where children can pretend to be firefighters, shopkeepers, policemen etc. There’s also a cookery school which operates for families at weekends (for adults during the week), as well as an ice-skating rink, cinema, go-karting and a whole lot of other options.
Given that winters are long and cold in Moscow, the wide range of options for a fun but warm and dry day, makes Aviapark a really great find.
Aviapark is located at Khodynskiy Boulevard 4, there is plenty of parking on site and shuttle buses from the nearest metro stations. Their website is at http://aviapark.com/en/