Moscow is getting into the holiday spirit. The city's winter festival, Journey Into the Heart of Christmas, has lit up 40 squares, parks and boulevards in the capital, until January 10. There are literally millions of lights; thousands of food, drink and gift stands; and hundreds of activities, events and performances. Start with the largest tree ornament in the world on Manege Square and wander up Tverskaya Ulitsa to Pushkinskaya Ploshchad. The square is ablaze with activity, and the boulevards are a forest of lights and magical creatures. For more information, see: christmas2016.festmoscow.ru
GUM Christmas Market
Traditional and classy
This is a beautiful, festive market with 35 stands selling all kinds of traditional gifts, like painted trays, Orenburg scarves, wooden toys and seasonal confections, along with other gifts and souvenirs. There will be plenty of food stands selling Tula gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and Viennese waffles. A lovely place for an evening stroll — after some ice-skating on the Red Square rink.
1 Kremlyovsky Proezd, Red Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad
Daily until Feb. 29, noon to 8 p.m.
Do your holiday shopping and help others
This year the biggest and best of Moscow's charity bazaars has a record number of participating groups — 75 — and so will be held at the ExpoCenter. You can find all kinds of handmade gifts, from Christmas tree ornaments to ceramics to clothing and food. While you browse, your kids can take part in master classes and singalongs. The best thing: all your purchases help support wonderful non-governmental organizations. Second best thing: there will be therapy dogs on hand to help shoppers de-stress.
ExpoCenter, Pavilion No. 7, West Entrance
14 Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Vystavochnaya.
Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Formula: Hand-Made — New Years
Best crafts fair
This might not be the most festive name for a fair, but it's actually heaven for lovers of anything made by hand. For three days over 300 vendors will be selling a huge variety of goods, like soap, clothing, jewelry, household items, buttons and much more. There will also be vendors selling craft supplies if you are interesting in trying your hand at necklace-making or knitting.
7 5th Luchevoi prosek, Bldg. 1, Sokolniki Park.
Dec. 11-12, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Muzeon Holiday Market
Upscale, hipster holiday fair
If you can hold out until December 24, Muzeon has a European-style, slightly hipster holiday bazaar — which is so cool it's called a "market." Here you can buy a Christmas tree at the last minute, buy ornaments and gifts, and enjoy some food. Gifts include Scandinavian sweaters, brightly colored felt boots, unusual mittens and all sorts of beautiful things to adorn your home, your family and your self. You'll be able to fortify yourself with hot blini, mulled wine and other festive food and drink while listening to the music floating over the park for the day.
Muzeon, square in front of the New Tretyakov Gallery. Metro Polyanka, Park Kultury
Dec. 24, noon to 9 p.m.
Gallery-quality, last minute shopping
If you've really waited until the last minute to do your New Year's shopping — good choice! On the last Saturday and Sunday of the year, head over to the Telegraph Building on Tverskaya Ulitsa, where over 100 of some of the country's best artisans will be selling their wares. You will be able to buy totally unique and original gifts, everything from jewelry to knitwear to paintings and sculptures. Of course there will be plenty of toys and Christmas tree ornaments, too, along with master classes and other activities. Definitely worth waiting for.
Main Telegraph 7 Tverskaya Ulitsa. Metro Okhotny Ryad.
Dec. 26-27, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.