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. It is very child-friendly with two great little playgrounds. The one close to Pushkinskaya has a fantastic castle-shaped climbing frame for bigger kids but we usually stop at the one at the junction with Bolshaya Nikitskaya which has a boat-shaped climbing frame and is a little more suited to pre-schoolers. It also has what appears to be a swing for wheelchair users – although as I’ve never actually seen someone in a wheelchair on it I can’t be 100% certain of its purpose!
Little Pickle and I walked down Tverskoy Boulevard last week just after the first decent snow-fall of winter. I’m not sure she is old enough to remember snow from last year and she spent quite a long time trying to brush the funny white-stuff off walls and lamp-posts. She also discovered that if you spin yourself round and round on compacted snow that you pretty soon end up on the floor!
There are often photographic exhibitions along Tverskoy Boulevard (you’ll find them in other sections too such as at Chistye Prudy and on pedestrianised streets like the Old Arbat) and last week I enjoyed looking at the pictures of the Baikal Trophy (a trek involving 4x4s by the looks of things) and some stunning ariel photographs of various cities around the world. At certain times of the year you’ll also find stalls selling all kinds of crafts and foods from small producers.
What could be better? Playgrounds for the kids and art exhibitions and crafts for mum and dad – the Boulevard ring is a great place for a winter walk!
P.S. With the temperature below freezing, I found myself in need of a hot drink and I’ve discovered there is a branch of Coffee House just along Bolshaya Nikitskaya that has all important step-free access for those with a stroller. They’ve also been known to provide colouring pencils and paper to keep my two occupied when I went in on one of those particularly stressed-out-Mummy days. If you’re walking up Tverskoy Boulevard in the other direction there is another branch of Coffee House with step-free access at 19 Tverskaya Ulitsa (I’m not paid to publicise them, it’s just that finding cafes I can get into with my stroller has become a bit of an obsession!).