VDNKh Park has cast off its old-fashioned, honky-tonk past and become a
modern version of what it once was: a fairground with activities for
literally the whole family, with plenty of exhibitions, lectures, and
classes — care to dance? — for older folks, to dozens of activities for
kids: playgrounds, quests, classes, go-carts, animals of the land and
sea, robots, movies, and much more. When you want a break, sit and enjoy
the park’s three magnificent fountains or stroll among the flower beds.
Safe, thrilling fun
Always fancied yourself as the next Spiderman? Head down to VDNKh’s Sky
Town. Although busy on the weekends and little pricey (1100 rubles for
an adult for 3 hours), the rope park offers a unique experience to
thrill-seeking Muscovites. With three levels of difficulty, there are
plenty of obstacles to traverse from 15 to 40 feet above ground. For
those with a phobia of heights there is an open air cafe which provides
the perfect spot from which to heckle your daredevil friends.
Near Pavilion 27
Pet a goat, be happy
A mini-park within the park, Gorodskaya ferma (City Farm) was designed
by the renowned architectural firm WOWHAUS as an educational space for
children and their parents. There is a vegetable patch for the
green-fingered and several petting zoos with small animals just itching
to be stroked, fawned over and instagrammed. Vending machines with
carrots and biscuits up your chances of making a furry friend. A
playground and a small pond with benches and deck chairs as well as a
small cafe serving sandwiches and refreshments are available when you’ve
had your overdose of cute.
Near pavilion 47
Beat the heat
Bikes are available to rent from the Bosco stand just to the left of the main entrance. Choose from tandem bikes, bikes for children, extra-speedy bikes and more — all in an array of bright and summery colors. Each bike requires a deposit of 3000 rubles and most bikes cost 350 rubles per hour, with discounts on weekdays. No registration is required. Once you’ve handed over this substantial sum (cash only, we’re afraid) the enormous park is your oyster. Get lost down shaded forest paths, stop for an ice-cream if the sun gets too much, admire the pretty pavilion buildings or take a break by one of the park’s many fountains. For a change of pace, you can also rent roller-blades, skateboards, and scooters.
360 degree films
Way back in 1959 film makers came up with the idea of shooting a film in the round: attaching six cameras together in a circle and synchronizing the filming process. Over the next few decades they shot almost 20 films, most of which are either lost or need restoration. But a few from the 1960s-1980s — mostly cool, retro travelogues shot around the Volga, Caucasus and Moscow — can be seen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are five screenings a day, each about 20 minutes long, costing 150 rubles. You sit in the center as the film plays out on the circular walls around you. Eat your heart out, 360 App.
Put on your creative hat
Park Remyosel (Craft Park) is a new space at VDNKh devoted to creativity. Its territory includes City Farm, Fisherman’s Village, Ceramic Workshop by Dymov and most importantly, Dom Remyosel (Craft House), located in Pavilion 47. Craft House has several workshops, including a cheese-making school, where you can learn how to make Georgian suluguni or feta cheese for 4000 rubles, a flower workshop, a glass making studio and a coffee laboratory.
Space Shuttle Buran
Among the many other wonders of Soviet engineering in VDNKh, make sure you set aside an hour or so to learn about the Soviet space shuttle Buran. Take a tour through the interactive museum which includes a full-scale model of the shuttle and catch a short documentary film about its construction and launch. If you’re lucky, get chosen to fly a simulation of its famous redirected landing. All for just 500 rubles.
Between pavilions 19 and 20
The Green Theater
Something for everyone
Enjoy a show in the open air this summer at the Green Theater. Reopened in 2014 after extensive renovation work, it is now counted among Moscow’s most dazzling concert venues. Whether you're interested in ballet, jazz, or rock and roll, there's sure to be something for you over the summer season. Ticket prices range from 300 to 5,000 rubles depending on the popularity of the show, but there are usually free shows on Sundays.
Between pavilions no.21 and no.22
If you have kids or love sea creatures, don’t miss the Mosquarium —
Russia’s largest and newest aquarium complex. You can see more than
8,000 types of water-living creatures in 80 tanks that go up, over,
under and around you as you walk around. There are hands-on areas and
enough scary sharks to keep everyone thrilled. The aquarium is also home
to walruses, dolphins and orcas. Tickets start from 800 rubles for
entry and 1,500 for a show.