Holiday advice: Where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Moscow in a fun way and for free
Moscow has prepared New Year’s Eve events to fit every taste, including disco parties, quizzes, concerts, ice skating and fireworks shows. All Moscow’s parks will offer original programmes that will run until 3 am. So what do you want to do on 31 December?
Watch a fireworks display
Nothing is more festive than fireworks. New Year’s fireworks shows will take place at 30 venues. Many Muscovites traditionally welcome in the New Year on Red Square. The famous striking clock, the lights of the Main Department Store and the sparkling skating rink create an unforgettable experience. On midnight, fireworks will be launched from Moskvoretskaya Street and people will see them above Red Square. At other venues, pyrotechnic shows will start at 1 am.
Over ten kinds of fireworks will illuminate the sky on New Year ’s Eve. There will be bouquets of colourful peonies and chrysanths, golden and silver waterfalls and waves, twinkling rings, palms and crowns.
The following 30 venues will host fireworks displays:
— Central Administrative Area: Moskvoretskaya Street (at midnight);
— Western Administrative Area: 18 Fedosyino Street, on the pond shore;
— Northwestern Administrative Area: 5 Roslovka Street, in the park behind the sports centre;
— Northern Administrative Area: Dryzhby Park;
— Northeastern Administrative Area, Lianozovo District: 38 Novgorodskaya Street, on the pond shore;
— Southeastern Administrative Area: 3 Zarechye Street;
— Southern Administrative Area: 25 Borisovskiye Prudy Street, near Brateyevo Cascade Park;
— Southwestern Administrative Area: an empty lot on Kadyrova Street;
— Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas: Township of Moskovsky, Moskovsky sports centre;
— Zelenograd Administrative Area: 4 Ozyornaya Alley, Bld. 2;
— Tagansky Park;
— Hermitage Garden;
—850-Letiya Moskvy Park;
— Babushkinsky Park;
— Izmailovsky Park;
— Sirenevy Garden;
— Sokolniki Park;
— Perovsky Park;
— Krasnaya Presnya Park;
— Severnoye Tushino Park;
— Vorontsovo estate park;
— Lianozovsky Park;
— Gonzharovsky Park;
— Kuzminki Park»;
— Sadovniki Park;
— 50-Letiya Oktyabrya Park;
— Gorky Park;
— Victory (Pobedy) Park on Poklonnaya Gora;
— Bauman Garden;
— Olympic Village park.
Get inspired by designer New Year’s trees
The New Year’s tree is an indispensable part of the year’s main holiday. Traditionally, New Year’s trees are decorated with string lights and glass ornaments. But how about trees that are reminiscent of the Swan Princess or a ballerina? These interestingly designed trees will be put up on Kuznetsky Most Street near the Central Department Store (TsUM).
Five 7-metre tall trees were decorated by famous fashion designers. One is decorated with ballet tutus and is dedicated to Maya Plisetskaya. Another one looks like the Swan Princess from Alexander Pushkin’s “The Tale of Tsar Saltan.” It is decorated with swan wings, a star and a crescent moon, with artificial pearls, crystals and snowflakes. And another tree will remind us of summer: it is decorated with over a thousand delicate flower buds: hydrangeas, roses, peonies and ranunculuses.
Look back at the 1990s in Sokolniki Park
Spending New Year’s Eve in a park is a great idea. Guests at Sokolniki Park will warm up at a 90s style disco party, a dance flashmob, quizzes and competitions. The festival will begin on Fountain Square at 10 pm. The Propaganda band will be the headliner of the party, which will also be attended by Total, DJ Groove, Stilyagi and the MorozBand cover group.
Festive ornaments will create a fairy-tale mood. They will include garlands of fir branches and colourful glass balls, the Northern Lights installation, thousands of lights, an LED spotlight and, of, course the New Year’s Tree.
Ice skating is another way to stay warm. Sokolniki Park will offer two free skating rinks. The Giant rink has traditionally appeared on the Grand Circle. A new one, the Forest Rink, will have 1.5 km of iced forest paths.
On 31 December, young visitors will enjoy the arrival of the Sweet and Tangerine Express. Sleds full of festive treats will be brought in by fairytale characters. Children who answer quiz questions or do a creative task will be presented with sweets, marshmallows and tangerines.
Dance till you drop at Gorky Park
For New Year’s, Gorky Park has been decorated with festive lights, lanterns and garlands, and even a horizontal New Year’s tree.
On New Year’s Eve, the park’s Leninskaya Square will turn into a huge dance floor. A DJ will play from a platform several metres high between the main entrance columns. The party will run from 10 pm to 3 am.
After the midnight, a huge balloon with a camera will shoot video of the party, and broadcast live on two large screens on the sides of the dance floor.
Listen to funk music in Kuzminki Park
In Kuzminki Park, New Year’s Eve events will feature a music festival, which will begin at 10 pm with Braska, a funky pop rock group. The arrangements are influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jamiroquai. A Force-Majeure cover band will provide the dancing: their covers of famous songs will inspire everyone.
Those taking part in competitions will be presented with holiday crackers, Bengal lights and tangerines. Of course, people will be able to listen to the President’s traditional New Year’s address and the toll of the Spasskaya Tower clock striking midnight. They will be broadcast live on a large screen.
Concluding the party will be double bass, drums, accordion, guitar, clarinet and a performance of the Meydeleh art-band, each of whose songs is a mini performance.
Experience New Year’s deja vu
Guests at Bauman Garden will welcome the New Year as many as five times. Each hour, starting at 9 pm, the clock will strike and the host of the party will announce which part of Russia has just welcomed the new year. Other countries’ traditions will be displayed at the party as well. Guests will get dressed in dotted clothes, traditional for the Philippines (polka dot is believed to bring luck), will be treated to Georgian sweets, eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes (as is common in Spain), and pull festive crackers as Berliners do.
Visitors at VDNKh will also enjoy an amazing journey around the world. At 10 pm, they will travel to the far north to take part in a carnival procession dedicated to sunrise. At 11 pm, they will travel to the Far East where they will see a dragon taking part in a festive procession.
When the Spasskaya Tower clock bell strikes 12, people will welcome the New Year Moscow-style. A party with ice dancing will begin, accompanied by a fireworks display.
Colourful masks, mime artists and national traditions from Italy will paint the frosty Moscow night with the warmth of the sunny peninsula at 1 am. Concluding will be a trip to Scotland, which will feature bagpipes, drums and national songs.
Watch an interactive play
Krasnaya Presnya Park will feature a concert, a street theatre performance and a night DJ set.
The ceremony to bid farewell to 2016 will begin at 10 pm. The Brevis Bass Band and Meydeleh will perform on the main stage. At 10.30 pm, Sketches in Dimensional Space street theatre will perform. At about midnight, the Cheese People band will perform, followed by the Alpha Domino interactive theatre.
After midnight, performing will be Needshes and Mana Island. The party will last until 3 am and will be accompanied by a DJ set.
Immerse in the wizarding world of Harry Potter
Tagansky Park will offer an immersion into the wizarding world of the Harry Potter fantasy series. A mix of hockey-quidditch competition will take place on the skating rink. Players will be equipped with brooms instead of hockey sticks, and they will shoot ring-shaped goals. But note that if you want to have a free skating and quidditch experience, you should dress as one of the characters from the series. The best costumed will be presented the entire Harry Potter book series.
The main square will host magical quizzes and dance workshops, and the Bratya Grim band will perform with Vanyh, a Moscow band that combines contemporary electronic music with blues, reggae, funk and country.
Listen to jazz
Izmailovsky Park calls its New Year’s party the Lights of Jazz. It will feature performances by jazz singers, trumpeters and cover bands.
The 1/2 Оrchestra group will be the headliner of the evening. They will play brass, wind and percussion instruments. They are known for combining jazz, funk, hip-hop and drum-n-bass.
The Helios Jazz Band will perform both classical and contemporary jazz pieces. The Jazzplay Band will feature covers; the Smitana Band will perform an unusual mix of blues, funk and jazz. Nata Pontiani & Funky Tools will perform funk, soul and rhythm-n-blues, while the 3ok cover band will perform famous songs for all guests to sing to.
The band FV Brass will perform our favorite melodies, while the Dixie Providance Band will feature American and European hits from the early 20th century and jazz covers of contemporary songs.
Ride the metro
Just kidding. It is unlikely that you would want to spend New Year’s Eve in the metro. But, theoretically, you can. For the first time, the metro will operate the entire night of 31 December-1 January. Intervals between trains will be about 15 minutes.
Take the Journey to Christmas
On 16 December-15 January Moscow will host the most magical festival of the year, the Journey to Christmas. Its programme will feature workshops, quests, exhibitions and installations, ice slopes and many others things. The festival’s central venues will operate on New Year’s Eve as well.