Free exhibitions, tours and old games: Museum and City festival

Free exhibitions, tours and old games: Museum and City festival
The festival timed to coincide with City Day will take place at the Museum of Moscow on 8 and 9 September. All the events are free.

The Museum of Moscow has prepared a festive programme for Moscow’s 871st anniversary. The Museum and the City festival will take place on 8 and 9 September at the main building on Zubovsky Boulevard as well as at four branches of the museum. Over the weekend, there will be free tours, exhibitions, concerts and also workshops.

Visitors will not be charged to go and see all the current exhibitions at the Museum of Moscow on Zubovsky Boulevard between 10 am and 8 pm. Those who like photography will be able to view works by Soviet photographer Nikolai Drachinsky (1917–1978) who carried out technical experiments with film and paper in the mid-1970s. He developed a technique to get multilayer colourful images that were called multicontour. Drachinsky used it to create effects that are now widely used by photo artists and designers long before digital studios were created. Moscow was the main theme of his collages.

Those interested in archaeology can visit the Finds of My Street exhibition that shows about 100 exhibits that archaeologists found in Moscow streets in 2017–2018, including in Zaradye and Kadashi areas. Visitors will see details of Muscovites’ everyday life between the Middle Ages and the end of 19th century. Such things as coins, stove tiles, religious items and even five-century-old leather boots will be on display. They have preserved so well that even the tiniest details can be seen.

A pishchal (a kind of firearms used in Rus in the 14th – mid 18th century) is one of the most interesting exhibits.

The History of Moscow for Children and Adults exhibition has also prepared many new facts about the development of the city. Visitors will see tools used in various trades, a fishing net, a kalita moneybag used by a dice player, a treasure trove with medieval coins in it and other unique things. A famous television and radio host Tutta Larsen will give signature tours at noon on 8 and 9 September: she will speak about medieval Moscow and people who lived there. Registration is required to join the tour.

The Moscow Patrons and Philanthropists exhibition will be held in the museum’s courtyard in Zubovsky Boulevard. Visitors will learn new facts about life of famous Moscow philanthropists: the Alekseyevs, Bakhrushins, Soldatenkovs, Morozovs, Rukavishnikovs, Solodovnikovs and Tretyakovs.  The exhibition shows photographs of the philanthropists and their families as well as archival and modern photos of the museums, theatres, institutes and hospitals they built that have become an essential part of city life. There will also an event called Moscow on the Asphalt for youngsters. Children will be allowed to draw their favourite places in Moscow using chalk. Their parents will also be able to join in the fun. There’s no need to bring your own chalk as it will be provided on the spot.

In addition to all this, the children’s centre at the Museum of Moscow will hold an Open Doors Day. There will be free creative workshops organised for children: they will get a chance to model city landmarks with clay and learn how to play old Russian games such as zakidushki (where you have to throw a ball on a rope into a small cup) and kubari (cylinders with their lower ends cut off to form a cone that look like a spinning top and that should be spun with a little whip or rope.)

What to see at the museum branches

The other museum branches have also prepared free festive events. The Old English Court in Varvarka Street will hold general exhibition tours between noon and 8 pm on 8 and 9 September. At 5 pm on Saturday, visitors will be able to learn how to play games that were popular among the British as well as other foreigners who came to Moscow in 16th and 17th centuries such as bowls and hoop rolling near the museum. The L’esprit du Vent brass band (“The Spirit of the Wind”) will play old German numbers at the main entrance between 4 pm and 6 pm.

An entertaining quest will take place at the exhibition of the Moscow Archeology Museum between 2 pm and 5 pm on 8 September. There will also be several free tours on 9 September. The first one will begin at 11 am and the next ones will be held every 30 minutes until 4.30 pm. No registration is required.

The exhibitions of the Gilyarovsky Centre and the Lefortovo History Museum will also be free at the weekend.


The Museum of Moscow was founded in 1896 at the initiative of the Moscow Duma and was called the Museum of City Economy back then. Its address has changed several times during more than 120 years of the museum’s history. The exhibition was situated in the Krestovskiye Water Towers, Sukharev Tower, and the church of St John the Baptist under the Elm on Novaya Square. It has been located in the former Provisions Warehouses in Zubovsky Boulevard since 2009.

A free tour programme with 52 educational walks has been prepared for City Day. It started on 15 August and will last throughout 9 September. There are 26 different tours. Guides will speak about the history of Triumfalnaya Square, Tverskoi Zastavy Square, Yakimanskaya Embankment and other famous places.

In addition to this, on 8 September the Hermitage Garden will be the place to go for the Theatre March Festival. Festival-goers will be able to watch three premieres and two performances created especially for the festival as well as the largest family programme yet: with eight shows.

City Day is an annual event marked on the first or second Saturday of September. This year it will begin on 8 September and continue the next day.

City Day and the Flower Jam festival

The main events of the traditional Moscow Flower Jam festival will take place on 8 and 9 September. They will be held at more than 2,000 venues in every city district: 1,150 free workshops on flower arranging, botany, design and cooking in addition to 280 concerts and shows, 50 tours in Moscow parks and green zones, skateboarding classes plus a DJ school. There also are 3,000 sporting events and there will be other amusements too.

The nearby Flower Jam chalets have plenty of sweets and desserts, tonnes of berries and fruit, hundreds of different sorts of jam and honey as well as 160 kinds of ice cream. A total of 40 Russian regions have prepared delicacies for people in Moscow to sample. The street market carries a whole range of things for those who enjoy gardening. People will get a chance to buy flowers, seeds, pot plants, interior decorations plus souvenirs. The flowerbed contest will be held on 9 September where people will have a chance to create a unique project, in teams or individually, led by professional gardeners.