Spend an afternoon with great art
Three great art shows are closing at the end of the weekend, so buy your tickets online and catch them while you can. The marvelous Museum of Russian Impressionism’s show called “Other Shores” about an art show that went to New York in 1924 is incredibly interesting and a delight to the eye. If you have time, be sure to take a stroll through this young museum’s permanent collection. Information and ticket sales here. At the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, head to the Gallery of European and American 19th and 20th century Art. On the second floor is a modest but fascinating show called “Free Art” that consists of works by Italian Futurists from the collection of Italian businessman and art collector Gianni Mattioli. On the third floor is a spectacular show of works by the Austrian artist Xenia Hausner called “True Lies” that is an absolute must-see. Stay for a snack in their pleasant café, and do a bit of advance gift-buying in the museum gift shop (hint: fancy socks). Information and ticket sales here.
Release your inner Celt
For three days — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — the Glastonbury Club is being transformed into the annual Samhain Celtic Festival. For three days 18 different groups from all over Russia will perform in three halls, while the lower level is a place for reading runes, learning a medieval card game, or trying out some leatherworking. After more music and dancing, stop in the market for some (almost) authentic Celtic crafts and artifacts. Tickets are for one or more days. Costumes of all sorts from every time period and reality (think: elf ears) are not just welcomed but encouraged. For more information about the performers and tickets, see the site here.
The weather is a bit all over the place this week, from storm warnings and -18C to a slushy +2C, but there is a lot of snow, more on the way, and plenty of places in the city to take advantage of that happy circumstance. The most fun way to enjoy a good snowy day in Moscow that requires no skill and can be enjoyed by the whole family is tubing: plopping down in an inner tube at the top of a hill and letting gravity do the rest. In Moscow, probably the best place for serious tubing is Lata Track in Krylatskoye, accessible by public transportation. It’s not cheap – up to 2500 rubles for three hours of fun for an adult – but the tracks are good, they can rent anything you need, and it’s a decent hill. See their site for more information.
Two of Moscow’s most beautiful park-estates also have tubing: At Kolomenskoye there are two hills on Ulitsa Nizhnaya and Ulitsa Torgovaya which are open every day from noon to 7 p.m. It costs a mere 150 rubles for a half hour of fun. See their site for more entertainments.
Tsaritsyno has a terrific hill, too, open until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends, where it costs from 100 to 250 rubles to rent an inner tube (depending on the age of the tuber and day of the week) for 30 minutes of pleasure. The estate has plenty of other winter fun, from sports to concerts, so check out their site here.
Thrill to classical music
Most of the big theaters seem to be recovering from non-stop Nutcrackers, but there are still tickets available for the Golden Mask Festival’s opera “Marriage of Figaro,” performed by the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theater at the beautiful Stanislavsky and Nemerovich-Danchenko Theater. Information and tickets here. If you are a Scriabin lover, you’re in luck: Russia is going to be celebrating a Year of Scriabin, which opens this Friday at the Zaryadye Hall with Yuri Bashmet. Tickets still available here. Or you can attend another concert in honor of Scriabin at the Tchaikovsky Hall on Sunday night, with pianist Marc-André Hamelin playing works by Scriabin, Bach and Beethoven. Tickets available here.
Spend a night at the movies
If your idea of a cold winter night is staying inside, Moscow’s movie theaters have plenty of films for the whole family. For the kids and kids-at-heart is “Spider Man: No Way Home,” playing at a number of theaters; “Sing 2” at Five Stars Novokuznetskaya; and the new “King’s Man” at many theaters. Slightly older movie-lovers might like “The Matrix Resurrections” at several spots around town; the coming-of-age story Licorice Pizza; or a rich family drama in "House of Gucci" at various theaters. At the Art Theater you can see Spielberg’s “West-Side Story” on big screens in very comfortable seats and see if you side with the folks who adore it or the folks who think the original was better. Or you can just enjoy the recliners.