What to do in Kazan: for families with children
The Kazan Circus makes it seem as if a UFO has "landed" at the Kremlin's doorstep. Its outer appearance alone is enough to attracts the attention of children.
Inside, everything is as it should be - an orchestra under the dome, a red arena with spectators scattered around it. The lamps in the foyer look like balloons, and the staircase leading to the second floor resembles a giraffe. During performance days, a children’s railway train operates within the building. It is worthwhile to go here, even if it’s just to hold your breath as you watch the deadly acrobatic tricks, laugh with the clowns, and see the world's tallest brown bear and predatory animals - perhaps the main stars of the program.
A visit to the planetarium is an exciting adventure for any child. The equipment installed here allows you to take a look into other galaxies, inspect the Sun and other stars, or take a trip to the most remote corners of the universe. In the foyer of the planetarium you’ll find an exhibition that visually shows the effect of gravity, shares stories about the life of astronauts and other interesting facts. With the help of the dome ceiling, children will be shown a starry sky from different points of the Earth and will have an opportunity to compare our galaxy with other planetary systems. For those who want to learn a little more, the planetarium staff also conduct interactive tours.
On your way back, after a fun-filled afternoon, don’t miss the Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory, built in 1899 – located next door to the planetarium.
Inside the KidSpace “city of professions” amusement park, children can realize their dreams of a potential future career. For a short period of time, let your child step into the shoes of a scientist, doctor, traveler, artist or one of the many other careers set out among the 20 “workplaces”. Here, young journalists are taught to conduct interviews, and bakers and confectioners have an opportunity to bake cookies and pizza.
Upon entering the new world, your child receives a passport of a “KidSpace” city resident and a cheque, which can be exchanged for “experiences” in the “bank”. “Experiences” are this city’s currency that are spent on acquiring new skills, entertainment and games. Any unused “experiences” can be stored in their own “bank account” and used during their next visit.
The park welcomes children of any age – those aged between 4 and 14 years old can play, communicate with peers and learn about different careers, while toddlers have a dedicated “Kindergarten” section also available for use. If your child is over 8 years of age, you can let them explore the city independently under the watchful eye of the city’s guardian staff while you relax in the cafe and take some time out.
Museum of Natural History of Tatarstan
This museum will become a real treasure trove for children interested in animals, plants and minerals. It is remarkable not only for its wealth of exhibits, but also for the modern multimedia equipment: touch-screen kiosks, monitors and plasma screen panels, which are an interesting and fascinating way to learn about the rich flora and fauna of the region.
The museum contains a lot of interactive elements – a particular favourite of many is the “space scales” that will show you your weight on the Moon, Mars and other planets of the solar system.
Gorodskaya Panorama (City Panorama) Exhibition Complex
This museum is a sure way to spend both an entertaining and educational afternoon, because of the truly interactive format in which the history of the millennial city is presented here. Gorodskaya Panorama issues hand held electronic tablets that will serve as a guide for visitors to travel through the four buildings of the museum as you learn about the history of Kazan from ancient times to present day. On the round screen with a video panorama, you’ll be able to watch historical short films about Kazan, and on the big screen – see the city from a bird's eye view. Particularly noteworthy are two large model mockups of Kazan - the winter of the 16th century and the summer of the 18th century. The mock-ups are not simple: the projector recreates the events of those times - for example, the attack on Kazan by troops of Ivan the Terrible. Modern Kazan can also be viewed on a layout that is planned to be constantly updated alongside future changes of the city.
With the help of virtual reality technology, your child can take an exciting journey into the past to shake hands with Peter I, take a selfie with Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay and become acquainted with other famous historical figures.
The museum has a children's room where kids of all ages are invited to take part in a game on the big screen, based on the story of an old legend about Kazan. In it, the brave batyr warrior fights snakes and, after defeating them, goes in to battle the Zilant dragon.
At the end of your tour, don’t miss a trip to the cafe which has been created to portray a 19th-20th century city tram. Embark on a virtual trip through historical Kazan, and rest and relax as you enjoy the national pastries and fragrant tea.
The Kazan Aquapark located inside the Riviera complex is one of the largest in the world. It features over 50 attractions, so you’re bound to find at least one you like. The adrenaline seekers will love the rollercoasters, the inner surfer in you can try your skills in the wave simulator pool, relax and surrender to the stream in the “Amazon” attraction, or order a cocktail at the pool’s aqua-bar. The outdoor swimming pool is open year-round regardless of the season, so you can even swim here comfortably in winter. For the park’s younger visitors, the Riviera has even installed a pirate fort with water cannons, a helm and waterfall.
Location: 1 Amirhana St
“Ekiyat” Puppet Theatre
The new building of the theatre built in 2012 has already become one of the city's main attractions. With its stained-glass windows, white stone turrets and columns, it looks like a big fairy tale castle.The theatre repertoire consists of over 50 performances, based on national tales of different countries around the world as well as modern works, however performances here are only staged in Russian and Tatar languages.
The theatre attracts families with young children, regardless of whether there is a show happening or not, since the surrounding territory is a perfect place to take a walk, play in the fresh air, or even check out the Flower Festival that takes place here in summer. Children here can happily swing on swings, play among the bright-coloured flower beds, run along the assembled bridges and solve puzzle presented in interactive street installations.
Location: 57 Peterburgskaya St
The Kremlin Embankment is almost never empty, especially in summer when you’ll find many young people riding skateboards and roller skates, parents with children studying the panorama of Kazan on cycle rickshaws and tourists and locals alike strolling along the promenade.
Grab an ice cream cone and meander down the long Embankment, have a go on the workout equipment in the sports area, hop on the French rides such as the carousel, or join in and participate in a festival or exhibition that often takes place around here.
In the evening, when the entire Embankment is illuminated by lights, make sure you take a photo or two among the European-like atmosphere.
Location: 1 Fedoseevskaya St
Family-friendly cafes and restaurants
This is one of the oldest family-oriented establishments in the city - a “children’s cafe", which has been operating since 1970. People of all ages come to this place for the legendary 1970s ice cream which is served in a “kremanka” ice cream dish from the Soviet era. It’s hard not to feel like you are being transported to a typical Soviet childhood while you’re here. Other than ice cream, the menu contains a large selection of children's dishes: salads, cereals, soups, pastries and desserts made on the premises. “Skazka” is all about children here - the cafe contains a children’s games room with a soft rubber floor and toys, and even organizes regular culinary master classes.
Lovers of Italian pizza should not miss the Basilico restaurant, located near the “Skazka” cafe. The pizzas are prepared under the guidance of one of the best pizzamakers of Naples, in an authentic stone pizza oven. Basilico is very welcoming of visitors with children and highchairs are provided on demand. Older children will also enjoy this place - Basilico organizes master classes, where they have a chance to prepare their own pizza creations with the chef’s guidance.
An Italian restaurant is an excellent place for a family dinner. This one is located on the Kremlin Embankment, from which you can enjoy a picturesque view of the new part of the city. The restaurant has a big menu for adults and children, as well as various cereals and soups for the youngest of guests. Children are also given the opportunity to learn to cook themselves - on Sundays, the restaurant hosts culinary master classes where young participants are taught to cook pizza, which they can then enjoy themselves and treat their parents to a bite or two.
Popular among tourists
- A Day in Kazan. Version 1 Get acquainted with the capital of Tatarstan, check out the main sights and try the national cuisine 12 hours 14 km
- A Day in Kazan. Version 2 Dwell into the history and culture of Kazan through museums and city streets and get to know the traditional and modern gastronomy of the region 10 hours 6,2 km
- A Day in Yelabuga Get acquainted with merchant life and the life of the city’s brightest personalities, make a wish at the stone tower, and take an evening walk through Gorky Park in Kazan 8 hours 7,6 km
for visitors of Tatarstan