Best ways to spend the New Year holidays in Moscow

Best ways to spend the New Year holidays in Moscow
A book fair in Novy Arbat Street, the Ice Moscow. In the Family Circle festival at Park Pobedy, a Christmas fair at VDNKh, the Mayor’s New Year parties at Gostiny Dvor and much more: Moscow’s best venues invite city residents and guests to have a wonderful time during the New Year holidays.

Red Square

Every day, a staged performance will be given for kids and adults on the skating rink near the GUM store. Visitors can pose for a photo with Father Frost and Snow Maiden and make a wish. Performances by folk bands will add to the New Year holiday atmosphere. At special shopping pavilions, city residents and guests can buy New Year tree decorations and toys, garlands, New Year wreaths made from natural materials and much more.

Address: 3 Red Square

Dates: 30 November–28 February

Opening time: 10.00am–11.30pm

Manezhnaya Square

In Manezhnaya Square, the biggest New Year tree, 17 metres high, of the Journey to Christmas festival, will be installed. City residents and guests can visit a fair that will showcase New Year tree decorations, including vintage items of the 1950s–1960s, exclusive souvenir watches made with glass art, cuckoo clocks, handmade carnival masks and many other gifts.

Kids will have the opportunity to master the skills of a New Year reporter, make a video message with New Year and Christmas wishes and create scale model fairytale towns.

Address: 1 Manezhnaya Square

Dates: 16 December–15 January

Opening time: 11.00am–09.00pm

Pushkinskaya Square

The fountain in Pushkinskaya Square will be turned into the Musical Forest lighting installation. Visitors will hear famous New Year and Christmas melodies. 

The trade pavilions will sell knit sweaters, mittens, scarves, kerchiefs, hats, sheepskin vests, felt boots and New Year souvenirs. There will be workshops for children, where they can learn how to create animated cartoons and draw fairytale characters using the Adobe Photoshop software. 

Address: Pushkinskaya Square

Dates: 16 December–15 January

Opening time: 11.00am–09.00pm

Novy Arbat Street

During the Journey to Christmas festival, a special book fair will open on Novy Arbat Street, featuring Russia’s top publishing houses, showcasing exclusive and deluxe editions, as well as rare book series and limited edition books.

At a children’s library, which will open near 13 Novy Arbat Street, visitors will be able to read books and have a hot drink, while shopping pavilions will offer children’s craft books and books for family reading.

At the area near 19 Novy Arbat Street, visitors can enjoy playing table-top games. New Year accessories, decorations and presents will be sold near 15 Novy Arbat Street.

Address: 13, 15, 19, 21 Novy Arbat Street

Dates: 16 December–15 January

Opening time: 11.00am–09.00pm

Gorky Park

The events to be held at the park main entrance’s lecture hall will be themed around music. During special vocal workshop, both kids and adults will sing New Year songs, while young children will be able to watch musical stage plays.

Address: 9 Krymsky Val Street, Bldg 9

Dates: 3 January–7 January

Park Pobedy at Poklonnaya Gora

Park Pobedy will host the 2nd Ice Moscow. In the Family Circle festival, the highlight of which is the 40 metre Moscow Kremlin ice scale model. The event will feature other landmarks of Russia’s cities, from St Petersburg, Volgograd, Vladimir and Vladivostok.

The festival opening will be attended by Russia’s chief Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug.

Address: 7 Bratyev Fonchenko Street

Dates: 29 December–29 January

Opening time: 11.30am–10.00pm

VDNKh

The VDNKh exhibition centre will host New Year and Christmas fairs, which will offer souvenirs and gifts manufactured by Russian and foreign producers, warm winter accessories, clothing, carved wooden stars and snowflakes, New Year tree toys, candles, dishware and sweets. 

Address: 119 Prospekt Mira, area near Pavilion 1

Gostiny Dvor

For the first time, Gostiny Dvor will host a series of New Year events called “The Mayor’s New Year Party”, with staged musical fairytales and other entertaining events for kids. A performance will show how it is important to do good deeds. The main character, a lonely girl named Nastya, meets an evil wizard named Kolotun, who tries to make her his assistant in stealing New Year presents. However, Nastya will overcome her negative traits, which were the reason the wizard chose her. The girl will help Father Frost and will find true friends.

The visitors to the events will be able to attend workshops called “Make a Star” and “Father Frost’s Workshop”, while those who like to dance will enjoy the Naushniki (Headphones) dance party. The venue “A Postcard from Father Frost” will provide an opportunity to draw a special postcard and sent it to anyone, or keep it for yourself. At the Art-Palette area, visitors can try their hand at face painting.

Address: 4 Ilyinka Street

Dates: 24 December–30 December

Opening time: 11.00am–06.00pm

Father Frost’s Moscow Mansion

Visitors will take part in exciting open-air games in the company of Father Frost’s assistants, watch their favourite animated movies on a large screen, and dance.

The open-air stage will host a fairytale, called “New Year Tree Carousel, or A Magic Museum”, which will provide spectators will the opportunity to take a wonderful journey together with the characters to various countries and continents to make their deepest wishes come true.  

Address: 168D Volgogradsky Prospekt

Dates and time: 24–25 December (11.30am–06.00pm), 31 December (11.30am–02.30pm), 1–7 January (11.30am–06.00pm), 8 January (11.00am–02.30pm)

Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve

The Theatre House concert hall of the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich will host the New Year Tree at the Tsar’s Palace show, based on Russian fairytales. At the end, kids will receive presents, including a stuffed toy (the 2017 mascot) and candies.

Address: 39 Andropova Prospekt, Property 69

Dates: 22–28 December, 2–3 January

Time: 12.00am, 03.00pm

Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve

At the city’s Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve, visitors can attend staged plays and take part in interactive programmes. During the quest game, The Mystery of the New Year Chest, held at the Grand Palace, children will solve logic tasks and assemble a kit of a young code-breaker: tools to read mysterious messages with New Year wishes. At the end of the game, each player will receive a souvenir.

During the Mystery of the Palace Snowman game, kids – guided by a fairy – will create a search team to search for a missing character. They will be told about the traditions of celebrating New Year in Russia and the history of the museum reserve’s Grand Palace, built for Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, and will learn about some items from the museum collection and receive presents.    

The New Year Story programme will give young visitors the opportunity to learn why the fir tree became the symbol of New Year, the origin of the tradition of its decorating, and what presents children received in the past. They will be able to play pick-up sticks, the Lift-Bridge game and other old games. Participants will make a New Year tree paper toy and a collage portrait of Father Frost.

Address: 1 Dolskaya Street

Dates: 14 December–14 January

Time: 11.00am, 01.00pm, 03.00 pm

Museum of Moscow

Participants in the “How Muscovites Used to See in New Year” programme will embark on a mysterious travel through time to learn how this holiday was celebrated in different ages. In each era, the participants will have to seek an ancient item, solve its mysteries and decorate the New Year tree. The programme will conclude with tea.

Address: 2 Zubovsky Bulvar, Bldg 7

Dates: 10–30 December

Opening time: 10.00am–06.00pm

Moscow Planetarium

The Moscow Planetarium’s Grand Star Hall will host the children’s New Year programme, Third Planet Treasures, with a staged play surprisingly turning into an exciting journey through space. The plot unfolds at a lab where a stargazer and his apprentice live and work, and where the stargazer’s granddaughter arrives ahead of the New Year. She and the apprentice accidentally break the machine that controls the Earth’s rotation on its axis and around the Sun, and the planet stops spinning. If they don’t fix the machine, New Year will never arrive. To fix it, the characters have to look for special tools in the outer space – which spectators will help them do.   

Address: 5 Sadovo-Kudrinskaya Street, Bldg 1

Dates and time: 17, 18, 24, 25 December (11.00am–11.50am, 12.30am–01.20pm); 19, 21, 22, 23 December (11.00am–11.50am); 26, 28, 29, 30 December (11.00am–11.50am, 12.30am–01.20pm)