Moscow – where children become the scientists of tomorrow
Russia is justifiably proud of its many and varied scientific discoveries and achievements. From Medeleev’s periodic table to Russia’s many breakthrough achievements in space exploration, the country has produced some of the world’s true pioneers.
So where can you take your children in Moscow to learn more about space, science, life on earth and all the other amazing discoveries that Russia has given to the world? Here are a few of the main attractions on offer…
Open seven days a week, 10.00 am – 10.00 pm, the largest culture palace in Moscow hosts a wide range of festivals, lectures and one-off master classes for children of any age … and you don’t have to sign up in advance.
The ZiL ‘lectorium’ for children, teens and young adults covers virtually every subject imaginable, from hip-hop history and the habits of early humans to string theory. Science festivals are frequently held here, offering chemical and physical labs where visitors can examine dragonfly larvae, observe snowflakes through a microscope, and do all kinds of exciting things. There’s also a children's bookshop with a range of rare books for sale.
You’ll find the centre on Ulitsa Vostochnaya, nearest metro station Avtozavodskaya. Disabled access provided.
This science centre for kids, located in Sokolniki Park, provides informative lectures on astronomy, physics and chemistry, as well as exciting master classes where children can grow crystals, make natural toothpaste, or observe a table-top volcanic eruption. You can even join an intergalactic journey of scientific exploration. Outside Innopark, there’s even more to do, like stand-up scooter riding or feeding the swans.
You’ll find Innopark on Prospekt Sokolnicheskogo Kruga, nearest metro station Sokolniki. It’s open 10.30 am to 7.30 pm Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 am to 8.00 pm weekends (last admission 30 minutes before closing time). Disabled access provided.
This museum of science and technology for children demonstrates the laws of physics in simple terms that even the youngest visitors can understand: why a spring rebounds, how the clouds form, what blood pressure is, and so on. The exhibition covers three floors, split into sections such as electricity, mechanics, puzzles, acoustics and optics. There’s a film theatre, too. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibits.
Here, you’ll find a miniature hydroelectric power plant, the cabin of a real truck, a heartbeat drum, a laser pendulum, a transparent grand piano that plays with light, a laser labyrinth, mini-tornado, soap bubble room – the list goes on... You can make sand move with the power of sound in the Acoustics Room, and draw with light arrows on a white wall in the Electricity Room. The Water Room has a huge cascade installation with floodgates, whirlpools and pumps.
Every exhibit has a detailed explanation next to it, while the young assistants are happy to provide further information. Experimentanium offers excursions, lectures and master classes, which visitors sign up for on the museum’s website. There’s also a shop of scientific and intellectual toys, and a cafe.
You’ll find Experimentanium on Leningradsky Prospekt, nearest metro station Sokol. It’s open 9.30 am to 7.00 pm on weekdays and offers disabled access.
The Moscow Planetarium was completed in 1929, making it the first such installation in the Soviet Union.
The Planetarium is not that different from an amusement park with its mind-boggling Stellar Rooms, Urania Museum, interactive Lunarium Museum, Sky Park, observatory and 4D cinema.
Perhaps the best place to start is the show in the Large Stellar Room. This starts with a tour of the Urania Museum, where they tell you about the history of the Planetarium and space exploration, the composition of the solar system and its planets. In the Large Stellar Room itself, you can watch educational video projections about telescopes, astronomers, the mysteries of Mars and the universe, and so on.
After the show, you can move on to the Astro-Pad with its collection of old and contemporary astronomical observation devices, and look through the powerful telescopes when the sky is clear. There are also short films on space subjects, or you can take a virtual space rollercoaster ride.
The Planetarium stands on Ulitsa Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya, near Barrikadnaya metro station. It’s open Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 am – 9.00 pm. Disabled access available.
More suggestions to come next month…