Entertainment

This animation studio was created at the Moscow Children's Fund in the mid-1990s. Many great animation directors have worked here, such as Andrey Khrzhanovsky (Glass Harmonica, The House that Jack Built) and Aida Zyablikova (all cartoons of the Moomin series and Kuzya the Little House Sprite series). They also taught kids the basics of cartoon animation in a study group attached to the studio. The studio, located in a historic mansion on Leningradsky Prospekt (Leningradsky Avenue), will not admit walk-ins: only tour groups may enter by prior appointment. The tour is of two parts: theory and hands-on. First they tell the visitors about the drawings, puppets and props for famous cartoons, showing sketches for, say, Yuri Norshtein's Hedgehog in the Fog, then they will teach you to make your own cartoon using a device called microstanok. In the finale, they will show some good animated cartoon from the studio's cache of "goldies."

One of the oldest, tried and true, all-season water parks in Moscow, where families come to stay the whole day. Many slides and water adventures, running the gamut from kids' paddling pool to the Black Hole, which is 20 metres (66 feet) tall and looks scary even to adults. The smallest children can be confidently sent to the "wave pool" – a rippling sea imitation, or Kidsville with low slides, water pistol shooting, fountains and waterfalls. Kidsville looks like an outdoor playground overflowing with water heated up to +33. Instructors will watch the kids, teaching them the techniques of descent from different low altitudes, while the grown-ups explore the big slides. When you are done water sliding, try the spa centre with sauna and massage for kids, then the Etazh Restaurant, which has a family menu.

Nikolai Galkin/TASS

This is an interactive model of a Mars-based space station in the Moscow Planetarium. Those who sign up for this adventure get a chance to step in astronauts' shoes and feel the enormous responsibility that befalls them. They begin to realize how people feel on a work mission so far away from home. Stantsiya Mars Project was advised by real space scientists and astronauts during construction. The concept is this: kids get to work as engineers, communications officers, geologists and power technicians on a very realistic-looking space station. They don’t just do their jobs, but they get to handle all kinds of challenges, sometimes saving the world in the process. They fix broken computers and solar batteries, fight meteorite showers, expose and neutralize "space spies." The main idea of the project is to teach the kids to make decisions, particularly in a critical situation, when the instruments are blinking and buzzing emergency, and a meteorite splinter is coming right at you. Inside and outside, the station looks like a space station from a quality sci-fi film or some not-too-distant future: touch-screens, shiny silvery metal, and other high-tech stuff. The "ride" lasts about an hour. It is necessary to sign up in advance on the Stantsiya Mars website.

Offering a plethora of exciting "career guidance" master classes all in one place, Masterslavl is a veritable children's city with its own rules, currency, lifestyle, and all the jobs necessary to support its livelihood. Expect to spend at least half your day here. That is how long one session lasts, actually. As the kid steps in, he receives a passport, a bank account, and a start-up capital, which everyone is free to use as they see fit. The money can be spent at once on amusements like rock-climbing or segway riding, or invested in a 30-minute "internship" at a bakery, library, shop or hospital, gaining qualifications for a good job, complete with a certificate and the kudos that come with it. Every class is designed to prove to Masterslavl visitors as starkly and convincingly as possible the benefits of being serious about your career. This career orientation is so much fun that everyone is happy in the end, those with a doctor's diploma, and those making a living stacking up tires at a car service station, alike. Masterslavl welcomes kids aged 5 or older, but small kids are advised to bring their parents, otherwise they may have trouble figuring out this city with its many streets and its long time-table of master classes. On weekends and during school breaks competition peaks among those wishing to learn and work at Masterslavl. The older, more experienced professionals usually win.

This is a quiet, shady park one Metro station away from Sadovoye Koltso (Garden Ring). Nikita Trubetskoy, the proprietor of Neskuchny Garden, had a nice wooden house built here in 1758, which people came to see from all over Moscow. The paths of this park were trodden by many a person of consequence at the time. Alexander Pushkin visited the Trubetskoys' Estate on September 16, 1826, after attending the popular celebrations of the coronation of Nicholas I. Only a few neat ponds with bridges and a couple of vistas have remained of the estate by the beginning of the 21th century. There are also two nice playgrounds, a squirrel zoo, an aviary with partridges and pheasants, and tranquil vistas with beautiful old trees. There are no bicycle riders in the park, which is surrounded by a high fence. The park is patronized by the Creative Children's House. Smoking is strictly forbidden anywhere in the park. They make a large ice-hill for sledding here every winter.

PandaPark is a rope adventure chain which is present in most of Moscow's major parks with forest areas, but the one at Fili is the biggest of them all. There are routes here designed for adults and kids of all ages. PandaPark at Fili stays open all year. The kid has to be at least 90 centimetres (35 inches) tall to go on the ropes. The shortest route is 55 metres (180 feet) long. The instructors will explain how to get through the obstacles on the route. The parents should make sure their young stuntman wears comfortable gym shoes.

The purpose of this "ideal farm" simulation with a petting zoo is dual: to entertain and to show kids and adults how animals live in nature. Rabbits, cows, sheep, goats and several kinds of poultry live all year in the cute huts and cages on the bank of the Kamenka River, surrounded by tall trees. You can simply watch or pet the animals, or you can think of something useful to do, and you are also welcome to attend any of the master classes, lectures or workshops on agriculture. The pens and aviaries were designed by Wowhaus architectural bureau, which has given Moscow many wooden structures recently: in the pavilions of Gorky Park, the playground in Bauman Garden, Pioneer summer cinema, Krymskaya Naberezhnaya (Krymskaya Embankment), and elsewhere.

This "job city" for kids, located on the fifth floor of the Central Children's Store on Lubyanka, deserves to be on every kid's sightseeing plan for Moscow. KidBurg has its own laws, its currency, its documents, and all the rest of the regular adult appurtenances, combined to let the child settle into the new role more firmly and play it responsibly. There are fifty jobs on offer for kids aged 1.5 to 14. Older kids are offered to try their hand in the capacity of doctor, film cameraman, or sailor. Very small children are welcomed to art school, the farm, the "Soft" museum, or the central park meadow for some fun mind-building lessons. KidBurg has its own police, hospital, post office and shop. Kids can work as checkout clerks, learn to drive a car on a simulator, or take a chance as local radio hosts or reporters for a local paper. Kids' parties are also welcome: those who sign up for KidBurg special programmes are offered a chance to step in the shoes of Sherlock Holmes or one of the Ghostbusters. KidBurg offers additional options during school breaks, usually combined with some celebratory show or performance. KidBurg has a real café, where the "workers" and their parents can reinvigorate themselves when they get tired.

This is a chain amusement centre with pool tables, bowling alleys, and other enjoyments fit for the whole family. There are 12 Cosmik Centres, and they are all different. Cosmik BrandCity, for one, has a kids' centre with a trampoline, video games, air hockey and a long labyrinth in addition to pool and bowling. Cosmik Afimall City offers Lasertag, which is a game of running around a dark room with a laser gun, firing shots, feeling like you are in some very unquiet future. All Cosmik centres have food courts. Parties are welcome, adults' or kids.'

Happylon is a chain amusement park packed with enough fun things to do for a whole day. The Happylon at Filion Shopping Centre is the biggest indoor amusement park in Moscow with 200 video game machines, 12 "extreme" rides varying in complexity, a racetrack, carousels for toddlers, a five-story labyrinth and a rollercoaster. To enjoy any or all amusements and rides at the park, visitors buy a "game card" for 30 rubles, put money on it, and then spend the money however they choose. The smallest visitors make straight for the nursery or the Poprygun or Veterok amusements, where they get tossed up to the ceiling or ride a chain carousel. Older kids will prefer other enjoyments, such as the UFO pendulum, 180-degree rotating bench, air hockey, free-falling tower, or other similar breath-taking experiences. Happylon welcomes kids' birthday parties, in which case a different set of rules applies: the kids get entertained by an animator, the birthday boy or girl gets to blow out the candles on the cake, etc. Happylon has a restaurant with three "party rooms," and a kids' menu.