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I’m not sure that I should really call it ice-skating. For our family a better description would be ice-slipping, ice-sliding, and quite frequently ice-falling. But for a first attempt, Gorky Park was a great place to go.

We headed for the small childrens’ rink, which is equipped with these fabulous penguins for tiny wobbly children to hold on to.

Penguin in Gorky Park

I have a friend who took her 3 year old daughter for the first time a few weeks ago and, holding on to the penguin, her little girl whizzed round the ice for about two hours. My offspring are clearly not as co-ordinated as that little girl because penguin or no penguin they still spent rather a lot of time slipping over and falling.

Little Pickle fared considerably better than her elder brother. We bought her these wonderful double-bladed skates which are ideal for little ones who are just starting out on the ice.

 

They are adjustable so will last her for a few years yet and simply strap onto her normal boots.

Beanie-boy had proper ice-skates which he loved so much we even found him wearing them in bed the day we bought them (before they were sharpened I hasten to add!!) and he was absolutely convinced that he was going to be whizzing round the ice in them. We did try to warn him, and we read him the Charlie and Lola book where Lola goes skating and falls over more than she stays upright, but he was still convinced…until he actually got on the ice and he ended up spending most of his time like this:

It probably didn’t help that neither Mummy nor Daddy really know how to ice-skate and so weren’t able to be of much assistance. I spent most of my time clinging on to the side with one hand and wishing they made adult-sized penguins for clumsy grown-ups to hold onto. We should probably make some sort of  New Years resolution to take ice-skating lessons while we are living here…it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity.

For those who are already comfortable on the ice, the main rink in Gorky Park is incredible. It isn’t an oval/rectangular shaped rink at all, instead they flood the paths around the central fountains so you can skate round them for several kilometres. At night it is all beautifully lit-up, and for those who have really mastered the art of skating, Thursday night has a DJ so you can try ice-dancing. When you need a break you can drop into the cafes (still wearing your skates) for a bite to eat and a hot drink to warm you up before continuing on your way.

Gorky Park offers skate-hire, lockers and skate-sharpening services. You can also book lessons. Prices for skating vary according to the day of the week and time of day.

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Sculptures at Park Muzeon
September 162016

Sometimes as a parent I can spend one morning too many at a playground. There is only so much patience I have for pushing Little Pickle on the swings and roundabout before I feel the need to go somewhere a bit different. And when that happens, Park Muzeon is the ideal place to go. I can soak up a bit of art and culture, and Little Pickle can still have fun running around picking up leaves and flowers (and there is a playground too!). You can read the full post by clicking here.

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Kuskovo Estate
May 312016

We had only taken about six steps through the gates of Kuskovo Estate when I made one of those minor parenting decisions that you shortly  come to realise was a Big Mistake. “Can I throw sticks in that pond?” asked Beanie-boy. “No, sweetie, let’s go on a bit further and find somewhere else.” He pouted and replied: “But I like this pond”. I looked at the algae-covered water and the steep edge, and (picturing him falling in) said firmly: “No, let’s find somewhere else”. A small decision. But it resulted in approximately 90 minutes with Beanie-boy grumping, whining and generally sulking, which wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for our visit to the beautiful Kuskovo Estate. To find out more about our visit to the former home of the wealthiest family in Russia click here.

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If you have an interest in history – or visitors who do – then Novodevichy Cemetery is a must-see place. Little Pickle enjoys it too, she’s had great fun finding leaves, stones, seed pods and bugs while I’ve wandered about taking pictures and showing round various house-guests. The cemetery is the final resting place for a number of prominent Russians, but finding the relevant graves can be a bit of a challenge, so to save you some time here is a guide to the ones I’ve found so far.

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Ice-sculptures
January 122016

What do you do on one of the coldest days of the winter? Go and see some ice-sculptures of course! At the weekend, we visited the Ice-Moscow festival at Park Pobedy which has a number of ice-sculptures of major tourist attractions including ones of the Kremlin and the Bolshoi theatre. You can read the full posting about the ice-sculpture festival here.

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Tverskoy Boulevard
November 252015

As winter begins, finding somewhere central to stretch your legs (and more importantly the kids’) might seem like a challenge, but thankfully Moscow has the lovely tree-lined Boulevard ring where you can do just that. You can of course walk the entire ring, but at a toddler’s pace a small section is good enough for us, and one of our favourites takes us along Tverskoy Boulevard. To find out more you can read the full post here.

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Park Pobedy
October 12015

There was one place that we absolutely had to take grandad when he came to visit. For a former soldier, nothing could make a better day out with the kids than Park Pobedy. The park commemorates the victory in the second world war and, as well as being full of miltary statues, there is an outdoor museum displaying military machines galore. To read the full post click here.

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A Walk with Lermontov
September 182015

My book club is currently reading A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov – widely considered the first great Russian novel – and so a couple of us (with our three toddlers in tow) thought it would be rather fun to do a walk around central Moscow taking in some of the places associated with him.

Lermontov was born in Moscow in 1814 and, as the house where he was born no longer stands, we started our walk near the Metro station Biblioteka Imeni Lenin. To follow our walk you can read the full post with all the details here.

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Kolomenskoye Estate
September 172015

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. You can read the full post about our visit here.

 

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Ekaterininskiy Park
September 52015

There are two things that made our trip to Ekaterininsky park a little bit more special than most. Firstly, it has a number of really pretty little buildings which makes the walk among the trees and shrubs more interesting, and secondly (and the big draw for our toddler in particular!) is the pond with the ducks. If you want to find out more you can read the full post here.

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Moscow Zoo
August 262015

There was only one place to take my birthday boy and that was to the zoo. We hadn’t been to the Moscow one before but zoos are always a firm favourite in our family and this one didn’t disappoint. Granted we had to miss out on the big cats and the polar bear because of renovation work but there was still plenty to see.

Beanie-boy’s absolute favourite part of the zoo was the monkey house which included a lovely family of orangutans who put up a fantastic display of acrobatics. If you want to read more about our visit, you can find the full post here.

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Hermitage Gardens
July 152015

If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were ever to visit Moscow, I could easily imagine them spending an afternoon with their kids at the Hermitage Gardens. This place would easily qualify as a celebrity hang-out – it may not be that big, but it is very cool. If you want to find out why, you can read the full post here.

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This lovely little park is actually called Presnenskiy Detskiy Park but it is known by ex-pats as The-park-behind-the-White-House for the simple reason that it is located immediately behind the large white building that houses the offices of the Prime Minister. You can read the full post here.

 

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I’m not sure they could have fitted more into Trubetskoy park if they had tried – three playgrounds, three courts for Basketball and Football, an aviary, a horse paddock, a stage, a pond – the list goes on. All those things make it an interesting place to spend an afternoon but what I like the most is that I come away with that satisfied feeling of a parent who has watched their children do something slightly different with their time. If you want to find out why, you can find the full post about Trubetskoy Estate Park here.

 

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My son recently declared this park to be his favourite place. What sets this park above all others can be found in the playground at the centre where there is a small section of one of the climbing frames where Beanie-boy can pretend he is a construction worker. It has a bucket on a metal chain that your fellow construction worker (today it was Mummy) fills with sand from the nearby sand pit. You then haul the bucket up and carefully transfer it to your platform before pouring the sand down a chute. Hours of fun. You can read more about our visit to Skver Devichyego Polya here.

 

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VDNKh
May 312015

VDNKh (which stands for Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy) is a vast park originally built in the 1930s to celebrate the achievements of the Soviet Republics. Inside are numerous exhibition halls (termed pavilions) that house both permanent and temporary exhibits. It’s a nice place to wander about with some stunning fountains, lots of soviet-era architecture and statues, as well as an amusement park with rollercoasters, go-karts and other theme-park rides. VDNKh is also a great place to come in winter. Not only because there are plenty of indoor exhibitions to keep you entertained but because it also makes space for the world’s biggest ice-rink. You can read the full post about our visit to VDNKh here.

 

 

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This playground has to be one of the best-kept secrets in the area. Tucked away behind the apartment blocks, I discovered it over the winter when the lack of leaves on the trees meant that I could just catch a glimpse of the tops of the climbing frames.  Now that spring is here you could easily walk down Kaloshin Pereulok and miss it completely. Read the full post about Kaloshin Playground here.

 

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I didn’t need to live in Moscow for long to realise that when someone tells you they live in Chistye Prudy, the correct response is to coo in admiration. “Oh, how lovely!” other expats would sigh, “I do so adore that part of town!”. But until this weekend I had no idea why. To read the whole post on Chistye Prudy click here.

 

 

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Izmaylovo Market

Izmaylovo Market

Izmaylovo Market

April 212015

I’ll be honest, up until my first visit to Izmaylovo I never really understood why other people got so excited about going to a market. I couldn’t understand why you’d want to risk getting wet in the rain when you could go to a nice indoor shop with clearly labelled prices? But Izmaylovo had me hooked from the beginning. There is something incredibly charming about its towers, turrets and the narrow lanes of stalls – I always feel a little bit like I’ve stepped into a movie set. It is definitely the place to go for Russian souvenirs, from cold-war memorabilia to amber necklaces and lacquered boxes, you can find it all here.

If you want to know more about our visit to Izmaylovo Market just click.

 

 

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  • Ice-skating in Gorky Park

    Ice-skating in Gorky Park

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Sculptures at Park Muzeon

    Sculptures at Park Muzeon

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Kuskovo Estate

    Kuskovo Estate

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Novodevichy Cemetery

    Novodevichy Cemetery

    Exploring Outdoors, Walks and Tours

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  • Ice-sculptures

    Ice-sculptures

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Tverskoy Boulevard

    Tverskoy Boulevard

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Park Pobedy

    Park Pobedy

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • A Walk with Lermontov

    A Walk with Lermontov

    Exploring Outdoors, Walks and Tours

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  • Kolomenskoye Estate

    Kolomenskoye Estate

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Ekaterininskiy Park

    Ekaterininskiy Park

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Moscow Zoo

    Moscow Zoo

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Hermitage Gardens

    Hermitage Gardens

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • The White House Park

    The White House Park

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Trubetskoy Estate Park

    Trubetskoy Estate Park

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Skver Devichyego Polya

    Skver Devichyego Polya

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • VDNKh

    VDNKh

    Exploring Indoors, Exploring Outdoors

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  • Kaloshin Playground

    Kaloshin Playground

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Chistye Prudy Boulevard

    Chistye Prudy Boulevard

    Exploring Outdoors

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  • Izmaylovo Market

    Izmaylovo Market

    Exploring Outdoors

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