City of Winter: VDNKh Park

Authored by:
Megan B.

After spending over a month in Moscow studying and exploring the city, I decided it was finally time to dive deeper into Russian culture and go ice skating! At the beginning of March, my friends and I went ice skating at VDNKh Park, a massive museum and recreational complex that had been turned into a "City of Winter" for the holiday season. There were two rinks to choose from, one for more relaxed skating, and another rink for skaters who are more advanced.

Even though this was my first-time ever ice skating, we chose to skate in the faster rink, called the “Rocket Rink” for the massive replica of a missile in the center of the ice. I definitely needed some guidance when it came to learning how to skate, but I was lucky enough to have friends who were more than willing to help me. While we were skating, we also were able to listen to live performances by artists who were performing on a stage in the middle of the rink. It was such a unique experience and something that I will never forget!

Surrounded by beautiful buildings, museums, and arched entrances, VDNKh Park certainly has a specific flair about it. The complex has a fascinating history and a unique architectural style, a testament to the work of some of the best Soviet architects and artists. When I entered the park, I was taken aback by how beautiful everything was. It was already such an incredible experience to go ice skating in such a beautiful place, but it got even better because we were lucky enough to see some fireworks. After the fireworks ended, my friends skated, and I was pulled, to the entrance of the skating rink. Once there, a few park representatives came up to us and asked us if we would like to participate in an activity for Maslenitsa, a Russian holiday which celebrates the end of winter and the coming of spring. We all agreed, of course, and so we formed a human chain and skated around the entire rink. It was such a special thing to be a part of.

Missile in the middle of the rink

A group photo

Concert on the ice!

Once we finished skating, my friends and I walked around the park and took in some of the other attractions that the park offers. During the winter season at VDNKh, you can go tubing, curling, skating, or even go snowmobiling.  Although we went towards the end of the park’s winter season, there were still so many activities to do and things to see! The park is an extremely beautiful place to visit and I recommend that anyone who finds themselves in Moscow take the time to explore this area.  

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