Red Square Rink
Vladimir Lenin is the only Muscovite who’s been granted the luxury of sleeping through the winter. Glide along the GUM ice rink just meters away from his resting place. The thought of spending decades in that mausoleum coupled with the invigorating view of the St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin towers will keep your feet moving. Open daily through February.
3 Red Square. Metro Teatralnaya. gum.ru/rink
This park basically has everything: it’s great for walking, skating, cross-country skiing, or just hanging out.
For skaters, take a rest and head to its tree-lined, 5,400 square meter ice rink. But it’s not all sylvan surroundings. A large multimedia screen and illuminated pylons flash dazzling light shows, and there is an Italian trattoria for apres-skate pasta.
If you like to dance on ice, look for one of the skating discos. This huge park also has some of the best skiing in the city. Besides a 2-kilometer track, you can go off it to zip around part of the 45-kilomoter ski route. If you have your own skis, it’s open 24 /7; otherwise you can rent some at the park at the intersection of 6th Luchevoi and Maisky lanes. Or you can just stroll through the forest.
1/1 Ulitsa Sokolnichesky Val. Metro Sokolniki. park.sokolniki.com/en/activities
The sheer size of VDNKh and its grand pavilions epitomize the breadth of Soviet ambition. So do the two ice rinks, one for slowpokes and one for speed demons. Drop by the food court conveniently adapted for your ice skates.
119 Prospekt Mira. Metro VDNKh. katok.vdnh.ru/places/katok-tsvetnik/
Kuzminki offers several types of rides with cute animals for both kids and adults. You can choose a simple twenty-minute ride and a tour of the husky nursery or a more adult-oriented, three-hour trip to a lake in the depths of the park — with champagne and a barbecue afterwards.
7 Ulitsa Zarechye, Bldg. 2. Metro Lublino. park-kuzminki.ru
Kant is an artificial hill just a five-minute walk from Nagornaya metro station, where you can enjoy snow boarding or skiing. Nicknamed the “Moscow Alps” by its management, Kant offers 11 ski runs, including one trail exclusively for beginners. There are also tubing facilities, a cafe and instructors for newbies.
7 Elektrolitny Proezd, Bldg. 2. Metro Nagornaya. kant-sport.ru/sports/skiing/svobodnoe-katanie
Located just outside the city limits in Odinstovo, Meshchersky Park is a nice wooded preserve with a large pond. There are paths and routes for cross-country skiing — a total of five tracks, ranging from just over a kilometer to four kilometers. You can rent skis there or bring your own.
Odinstovsky raion. Bus 883 from the Filyovsky Park metro to the Mershchersky Prud stop. park-meshersky.ru
Volen and Stepanovo
Volen, 60 kilometers to the north of the city, is one of the best-known ski resorts in the Moscow region. A short 15-minute bus ride away is Stepanovo, a smaller complex. There are ski lifts, a number of runs of varying difficulty, and high-quality slope maintenance, as well as an alpine-themed hotel and Russian and Finnish bath houses on site.
1 Troitskaya Ulitsa, Yahroma, Moscow region. volen.ru
Ded Moroz Manor
Now here’s something really for the kids. Unless you’re eager to reconnect with your inner child, this ice rink in the estate of Russia’s Santa Claus is for the younger set.
Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) Manor provides children with the wonderful opportunity to share the ice with their favorite heroes from Russian New Year’s folk tales.
During the holiday season take a tour of the Snow Maiden’s theater or learn how to write a persuasive letter to Ded Moroz. And it can also be a lot of fun for parents and grandparents too. Be sure to check the site for instructions on visits during the peak season.
168 Volgogradsky Prospekt. Metro Kuzminki. dedmorozmos.ru