As the New Year is upon us, you need to see out the old year and see in the new one with grace. This is important because, as Russians say, “how you welcome in the New Year is how you’ll spend it.”
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, like last year, this year Red Square will be closed on New Year’s.
But there are plenty of other places to party on land and on water, on ice and in the air, in high heels or parkas. Here are some creative ways to usher in 2022.
The stroke of midnight high in the sky
Oko Tower in Moscow City is the perfect spot to watch the fireworks all around the capital from a height of 354 meters (1,161 feet). Visitors can drink cocktails as they watch the annual presidential address on a big screen at midnight. Grandfather Frost, Snow Maiden, a DJ and artists will entertain. It’s an open-air event, so be sure to wear a coat and be ready for snow. At 7,000 rubles — nearly $100 — it’s a moderately pricey event. As it’s not an all-nighter, so you can move on from here and spend your end-of-the-year bonuses elsewhere.
If you want to stay on the ground but like a tower of light, be sure to check out Ostankino Tower, the highest tower in Europe. It doesn’t host a New Year celebration, but the 540-meter-tall tower will light up its festive illumination until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 and from 5 to 11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 9. The neighborhood around it or VDNKh Park are perfect places for some festive night-time walks.
Skate your way into the new year
The skating rink at VDNKh is 20,000 square meters (65,600 square feet) — plenty of room for skating and celebration. This season, 383 lights are installed around it in all kinds of decorative shapes and sizes.
On New Year’s night, the skating rink is open until 3 a.m. The program includes figure skaters, a drummers show, and theatrical performances with fairy tale characters from around the world that welcome anyone to join in a parade several times over the course of the celebration. There will be a great fireworks display at midnight. Pop and folk bands will perform before and after it. Tickets are available for 1,600-1,900 rubles ($20-25).
Fine dining in a Michelin star restaurant
The French gastronomic Bible Michelin Guide awarded nine Moscow restaurants with its coveted stars in October.
Seven restaurants were given one star, including White Rabbit, whose chef Vladimir Mukhin is featured in an episode of the Netflix documentary series “Chef's Table.” White Rabbit has previously featured on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Unlike some other Michelin stars recipients, the restaurant offers a special program for New Year’s night.
The opulent White Rabbit boasts festive illumination with fir trees floating under its glass dome. Vladimir Mukhin will prepare a special menu with traditional dishes people love from childhood. Rondo, Moral Code X and the popular Golos show participant Valeria Siltsova will sing. A ticket costs 25-70,000 rubles per person ($350-1,000), depending on how close the table is to the stage.
Celebrate on the water
How about watching the fireworks light up the sky over the Kremlin from the best view in the city? River Palace offers a night on board a river cruiser: board at Kievsky Station at 8:30 p.m. and start celebrating. The ship sails at 10:00 p.m., arrives back at the dock at 3 a.m. for more partying until 5:30 a.m. Music, dancing, shows, food, lots of champagne and other drinks for fees that range from about 23,000 to 50,000 rubles per person.
If you like the idea of a ship but not the idea of sailing through icy waters, the Rio-4 will stay docked by Moscow City for a night of music, dancing and general excess for about 70,000 rubles a person.
Rave until dawn — on January 2
Mutabor techno club and art space is organizing another annual rave marathon starting on the night of Dec. 31 and finishing on the break of dawn of Jan. 2. The five dance floors will be covered by top DJs: Hector Oaks, Rhadoo, Petre Inspiresсu, Raresh (A:rpia:r), Mick Wills, Etienne, Vlada, Nikita Zabelin and others. Entrance: 3,000 rubles ($40).
For a slightly shorter night, Papa’s Bar and Grill on Nikolskaya Ulitsa is celebrating New Year’s from 9 p.m. onwards with guest singers Frank Sinatra and Lyudmila Gurchenko (so they say), food, drink, jazz, rock and general merriment. From 3,500-15,000 per person. Make reservations here.
16 Tons is always hopping, and on this New Year’s Eve Underwood is performing. Advance tickets range from 6,000 (dance floor) to 12,000-15,000 rubles (seating) with a special menu and drinks. Another place guaranteed to be hot is Mumy Troll Music Bar with the girl band TANSLU, great DJs, and plenty costumed madness. For 2,000 rubles you can sit at the bar, enjoy the show and have a glass of bubbly. For 10,000 rubles you and three friends can share a table, enjoy the show with a special menu of drinks and food.
Happy New Year!