Exhibitions, games and theatre. Ten reasons that make VDNKh the place to head for this winter

Exhibitions, games and theatre. Ten reasons that make VDNKh the place to head for this winter
A detailed guide of VDNKh winter activities.

On 30 November, the Winter City opened at VDNKh with skating rinks, a tubing slide, a curling pavilion and a venue for yukigassen, a team game of snowballs from Japan. Everyone is welcome who enjoys outdoor activities or who is an adventure-seeker. Mos.ru reveals the winter activities that will be available this season at the country’s main exhibition venue, including theatre performances, lectures, workshops and exhibitions. Our map will guide you to your favourite winter activities.

Winter Town: Skates, snowballs and tubes

VDNKh’s Central Alley has been turned into a 150m long river leading directly to the main New Year’s tree, and flanked by new skating rinks, slides and venues for winter activities.

The Tsvetnik (Flowerbed) skating rink is located in the Central Alley between Friendship among Nations and Stone Flower fountains. It covers an area of more than 4,500 sq m and can accommodate up to 1,200 skaters at one time. The Tsvetnik is a family-friendly venue with a festive winter-themed design where entertaining fitness sessions and relays will be held.

Next to the Tsvetnik is a learners skating rink for youngsters aged between three and eight. In order to grasp how to stay upright on the ice, they can steady themselves by hanging onto mini supporters shaped like various toys.

This winter season, a skating rink, called the Raketa (Rocket), is also being created on Industry Square. It is designed for 2,400 people and its area will be more than 8,600 sq m. There is no doubt that this rink will be popular among young people as they’ll be costume and dance parties there.

Both the Raketa and Tsvetnik rinks will be open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 am until 11 pm and from 10 am until 11 pm at the weekend. The entry fee is 150 roubles.

Fans of extreme tubing can visit Sever (North) tubing slide with its five slides and a bar lift. It is located to the left of the main entrance, and is 7m high and 80m long. As many as 130 inner tubes are available along with helmets at the rental point near the hill. A cafe is at the foot of the hill for those who want to escape the cold for a while. There is also a first aid station, just in case. The Sever slide is open to anyone above the age of three. Children under 110cm have to be accompanied by adults.

The slide is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am until 11 pm at the weekends. One slide costs 50 roubles on weekdays and 70 roubles at the weekends and on official public holidays, and 40 and 50 roubles, respectively, for youngsters below 140 cm. More details on the cost of various activities can be found by visiting the VDNKh website.

Those into winter Olympic sports can head straight to the Friendship among Nations fountain. Right behind it is the Curling pavilion with six sheets, with five for adults (10 m x 2 m) and one for children (5 m x1 m), with the necessary gear provided for every sheet.

The pavilion is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am until 11 pm at the weekends. It welcomes any player older than three. Go to the VDNKh website to find out more about the rules of the game and pricing.

Have you ever heard of  Yukigassen? It may sound Scandinavian, but it is actually Japanese. It is formed by the words yuki, which stands for snow, and gassen meaning battle. Invented in Japan in the 1980s, the rules of the game are straightforward: two teams face off in an attempt to capture the enemy flag and chase opponents from the field with snowballs. Needless to point out this is not only tremendously exciting to play but people can have such fun too.

VDNKh will be the place to be for those wishing to play Yukigassen this winter, offering a large court 36m by 10m, snowball machines and seven shelters. It is located between Friendship among Nations fountain and the Tsentralny (Central) Pavilion. Helmets and knee pads can be picked up at a rental point.

The court is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am until 11 pm at the weekends. You will find the rules of the game and pricing on the VDNKh website.

A children’s snow city has opened at VDNKh for the younger visitors between Pavilion 64 and the food court, where children can ride on snowmobiles on an area of 800 sq m. Snowmobiles and helmets can be rented on the spot.

The snow city is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm on weekdays, and from 10 am until 11 pm at the weekends. For more details and pricing go to VDNKh website.

Winter exhibitions: Bulgakov, fashion, old masterpieces and contemporary art

There’ll be four exhibitions at VDNKh throughout the winter and one already opened on 5 December: a new exhibition of fashion items from designer Alexander Vasilyev’s collection, as well two exhibitions held as part of VDNKh’s Resident project, one consisting of the selected works from the Samara Art Museum and the other celebrating the life and heritage of writer Mikhail Bulgakov.

The exhibition entitled Main Characters. Selected Works from Samara Art Museum will open in the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Pavilion. It includes works by Russian artists dating back to the first half of the 18th century up to 1970s: from secular portraits to avant-garde and socialist realism, or from Ilya Repin to David Burlyuk. The exhibition also includes items from the museum’s oriental collection: miniatures and murals from China, Japan and India dating back to 17th to 19th century, collected by merchant and art patron Alfred von Vacano from Austria. This is a unique collection including some exhibits on loan from the State Hermitage Museum, and some from the Samara Art Museum (with this Austrian merchant having direct bearing on the latter’s creation.)

The exhibition is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 11 am and 10 pm, and will be on  until 31 March  2019.

Appearance of a Hero. In Search of Mikhail Bulgakov is an exhibition held by VDNKh in cooperation with the Bulgakov Museum, also in the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Pavilion. Created by Leonid Kopylov and Alexander Bondarev, it introduces visitors to the life and works of the famous writer. It will include exhibits on loan from more than 10 archives and museums in Moscow and St Petersburg. The exhibition consists of three sections. The first part of the exhibition “Follow me, my reader!” encourages the viewers to immerse themselves into the world of Bulgakov’s literature. The second section “Alas, I am not a hero” shows documents, manuscripts and letters. “Retrieval of the Master” is the third section where Bulgakov’s personal belongings will be on display

The exhibition is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 11 am and 10 pm, and will be on until 31March 2019.

Pavilion 16 “Hydrometeorology” is home to an exhibition titled Glamour of the 1980s, presenting outfits and accessories made by internationally acclaimed fashion houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Balmain, Claude Montana, Oleg Cassini, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The exhibition provides an immersive experience into the world of bright and bizarre garments and trimmings dating back to the times that Alexander Vasilyev called “the time when women ruled the world.” The exhibition will also have photos and magazines from that period of time on display.

The exhibition is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 11 am and 10 pm, and will be on until 7 March 2019.

The fourth exhibition, titled Easily, is the final part in the third edition of the Takeoff competition for young artists. The creator of the exhibition is Anastasia Vepreva who was the winner in the “Art” category. Displayed in Cosmos Pavilion No. 34, her paintings and drawings focus on how fragile life is and historical memories. The way people view flying can differ: inspiring happiness for some, while discomforting or menacing for others. Anastasia Vepreva has been displaying her works since 2013, and has had exhibitions in Russia, Serbia, Italy, Germany and Sweden.

The exhibition is open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 11 am and 10 pm, and will be on until 8 January 2019.

An educational winter: Lectures, workshops and theatre performances

The third season of  Knowledge. VDNKh winter educational project will be launched on 7 December with Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Pavilion serving as its main venue. The programme includes lectures, films and workshops. Visitors will get an opportunity to attend meetings with art experts, philosophers, psychologists, writers and other speakers. A special programme of creative workshops, concerts and theatre has been prepared for families.

The educational programme doesn’t cost anything but advance registration is required for some events.

Craft Park: Territory of creativity

As you stroll down the VDNKh alleys and squares ahead of New Year celebrations, do not forget to visit the House of Crafts, the main venue of the Craft Park in Pavilion No.47 (formerly Pig Breeding). Here you will find a plethora of workshops where you can admire and buy not only professional crafts, but also learn to make them. This is a great place to make beautiful New Year tree decorations, learn to master a pottery wheel, arrange flowers, roast coffee beans, and to try one’s hand at masses of other crafts one’s been wanting to try out for ages.

Admission to the Craft Park is free but people will be charged if they want to join workshops. For more details go to the VDNKh website.

Fir Trees on a Farm: New Year shows and workshops

The City Farm family project lets visitors whatever their age feel like a true country dweller. A special programme, Fir Trees on a Farm, has been prepared for the winter celebrations. As of 15 December up until 13 January, the project will serve as a venue for New Year theatre performances and creative workshops, including magical stories, meetings with fantastic heroes, edutainment tours and tea parties on a warm patio.

Tickets to theatre performances and workshops will be on sale. Find the schedule and ticket information on the VDNKh website.

House of Culture for toddlers

Just as 60 years ago when it first opened, the VDNKh House of Culture remains true to its mission of hosting New Year shows and performances for children. Visitors will be treated to dancing and poetry contests, riddles, and of course New Year presents.

A fee is charged to attend events at the House of Culture.

Openwork tower deserves a dedicated tour, be it short

The main architectural discovery of this autumn was the attribution of an openwork tower near Pavilion No.38 (Fishing). According to Tretyakov Gallery research fellow Tatiana Goryacheva and historian Alexander Zinoviev, it was designed by legendary avant-garde architect Lazar Lisitsky who advocated architectural suprematism in the 1930s. Before the discovery, it was believed that only one work by Lisitsky existed in Moscow: the Ogonyok print shop at 1 Sadovo-Samotechnaya Street.

This openwork tower was erected in 1939 as an advertisement structure of Glavkonserv, the Main Directorate for Food Canning Industry, and also served as a sign pointing to the Pond Fish Farming and Fisheries pavilions. At the time, the tower was decorated by two carps, later replaced by a salmon but them these decorations had been lost. When visiting VDNKh, make sure you see the tower in this new light.