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What to do in winter: Christmas activities in Saint Petersburg

What to do in winter: Christmas activities in Saint Petersburg
29 November 2021

As the weather gets colder, I find this limits the activities you can enjoy, wherever you are. Walking through a park or exploring the city centre is less appealing when it is freezing cold or pouring with rain. However, as we go in to December, people across the world begin to get into the Christmas spirit. Although Christmas is celebrated slightly later in Russia (January 7th), there are lots of winter activities which are starting to spring up across Saint Petersburg. Here are some of the places worth trying out this winter!

Ice Skating in New Holland

On November 13th, the Ice Rink in New Holland (Новая Голландия) opened, and will be in place for fourmonths – until March 13th 2022. This is a large, popular ice rink where you can skate for an hour, any time from 10am until 9pm. The cost ranges from 250-550 rubles, depending on the time and day (you can see a breakdown of the exact prices here). Renting skates costs an additional 450 rubles. The sessions run in alternate hours, in order to constantly clean and maintain the ice, so the rink is high quality. A maximum of 250 people can skate at once (you are advised to book online in advance before all slots sell out). Although this may seem like a lot, the ice rink is large enough (2000 square metres), to still feel spacious enough to skate comfortably. If you go to a session from 8-9pm, there is a DJ providing musical accompaniment, and on Fridays and Saturdays they run a silent disco from 10-11pm.

Light show in Park Pobedy

Another fun activity is a lights show which is currently on in Парк Победы. The light illusions accompany a night time walk through the pretty park in South Saint Petersburg. The Park is located 5 minutes from Park Pobedy metro station (on the blue line 2). The light show is open from 4:30-9pm on weekdays, and 4:30-10pm on weekends. Standard tickets cost 400 rubles to enter. There is also a fairground in the park next to the light show, for anyone who likes rollercoasters andother funfair rides and activities.

Pionerskaya Square Christmas fair

Finally, a very Christmassy activity, which has not yet opened, is the Christmas fair in Pionerskaya Square. The fair is open from December 18th until January 9th, from 12-9pm. Although I will sadly be gone by the time this opens, I would recommend anyone here during this period to check it out. Their website promises something for all ages, be it arts and crafts activities, exhibitions, or markets selling a range of items.

So, if you want to get into the Christmas spirit while in Russia, or are just looking for some new activities during winter, why not visit these places. And finally, here is some Russian Christmas/winter vocabulary which could come in handy over the next couple of months.

Christmas-time vocabulary

Christmas – Рождество 

Ice-skating – катание на коньках 

Present – подарок

Snow – снег

Candle – свеча

Festival – праздник

Frost – мороз 

New Year – Новый год 

Father Christmas – Дед Мороз

By Alice, currently studying at Liden & Denz in Saint Petersburg 

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