The dilemma of the week was how to find a day out that combined somewhere-for-the-kids-to-run-around, with visiting-relatives-wanting-something-interesting-to-see.
Kolomenskoye solved the problem. It is a former royal estate and is massive (in fact we only really explored one corner of it). But there is plenty to see including a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the form of the Church of the Ascension which was built in 1532 (and which gets its status by virtue of being the first example of a tent-roofed stone church).
We also saw a collection of wooden buildings that have been moved from elsewhere in Russia to be preserved, and an apple orchard planted for the Tsars. Helpfully there are signs in English as well as Russian to tell you in reasonable detail about the various structures so you have some idea what you are looking at!
The kids ran around – sticks and leaves being perfect toys at their age, and the relatives admired the sights including the architecture, the boats on the river and the numerous wedding parties having their photos taken.
Kolomenskoye doesn’t have the same kind of buzz about it as Gorky park or the Hermitage Gardens but it does have more historical things to see which, with visitors in tow, made it a decent choice on a cool September day.
P.S. There are toilets on site as well as cafes and food stalls – nothing fancy but plenty of options if you get hungry. Kolomenskaya Metro station is a 10 minute walk away but the park isn’t very well signposted from the station so take a phone with GPS on it! You can find it on my map here.