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.
There were two different things in particular today that I really enjoyed doing with my son. The first was playing in the wooden playground on the island in the centre of the moat (yes it has one of those too). There is a wooden castle and a huge ship complete with wooden canons. We had great fun firing the canons (we also played a similar game recently at Arkhangelskoye Estate – only they had real ones). I loved watching Beanie-boy pretending to aim the canon at the “pirates” in the moat – seeing his imagination grow and develop is wonderful, and I am grateful I’ve found this park so I can provide him with that kind of opportunity.
The second was one of those really simple games that you make up on the spot. The area in front of the stage has a large number of circles painted on the ground and we had great fun playing follow-my-leader jumping and hopping from one circle to another. I have no idea what the circles were really for and we were the only ones playing with them but it kept us busy for ages. Sometimes it is the simplest things that turn an ordinary day into a great one.
The park is beautifully kept with well laid out plants and trees and is probably the most manicured park I have seen in Moscow. As a consequence it has signs everywhere warning you not to smoke or drink alcohol or (crucial to note if you have kids) to walk on the grass – mind you we did find one hidden corner where fugitive parents were allowing their children to run around and we did also find some nettles. More precisely Beanie-boy found a nettle and as I had no appropriate cream with me I had to improvise and tell him about dock leaves. Having racked my brains to remember what one looked like I did manage to track down something that bore a strong resemblance to the picture of a dock leaf in my mind and, whether real or placebo, it did the trick.
The nettle rash didn’t spoil the day, we distracted ourselves by watching the big boys play football on one of the all-weather pitches (my little lad thought it was great fun that there are proper stands along one side so we could watch from up high). He has made me promise that we will come back soon and this time bring his football so we can play too.
PS: There is no fence between the wooden playground on the island and the moat (which has very steep banks) so I wouldn’t advise using it with toddlers (thankfully Little Pickle was asleep in her stroller at the time – when she woke up we moved to one of the other playgrounds). There are toilets at the park but I feel I should warn you that they are of the squatting variety!
The park is located on Ulitsa Usacheva and you can find a map here.