Can you travel in Russia with children? Not really, unless you think they’ll enjoy the shimmer of omul in Lake Baikal, dog-sledding in the Siberian taiga or painting Russian dolls in artist workshops of Sergiev Posad. Here are the best children’s activities for families visiting Russia.
After admiring the frescoes of the Cathedral of the Nativity, you can take a horse-drawn sled ride along the Kamenka River. The gleaming domes of the many churches are covered in a thick blanket of snow, combined with the colourful wooden homes called “isba”and the chiming carillon of Suzdal, this ride will transport you back to the breath-taking scenes of Doctor Zhivago. After this outing, visit the Dymov ceramic factory to learn traditional tile painting.
In the Astrakhan region or Karelia, you can spend the night in a traditional “isba” and take a Russian banya followed by a plunge in the lake to cool off. In the ancient village of Ust-Pocha, meet Vladimir, a local craftsman that will teach your children to make things with birch bark. To end the trip, take a boat ride to the northern villages followed by a picnic on a deserted, forested island.
Full steam ahead! Dog-sledding through the snowy taiga is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Before heading off, you will learn how to feed and harness the dogs. Don’t be afraid, even the biggest Husky or Malamute is good with children, despite their wolf ancestry.
The ice caves of Olkhon Island and the Chivrykuisky Bay put on a spectacular display of dazzling turquoise ice that you will not find elsewhere. They are also central to Russia’s rich fairytales and perfect for the most extraordinary winter escapade.
These trips are designed for children aged 7+. You can adapt practically any trip to a Russian region we offer, except maybe Kamchatka. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that you will travel long distances with your driver in Baikal, Altai and Arkhangelsk.
Suzdal is perfect for children all year and especially nice during the warm season from May to October or in winter from January to the end of February.
The trip to Arkhangelsk on Lake Kenozero is ideal from July to mid-September (one night train, plus a 3-hour drive).
Dog-sledding with children can be organised in Kostroma (half-day train and car ride), Karelia and Lake Baikal from January to the end of March.
If you want to visit Baikal, we highly recommend March if you are travelling with children.