Going to the Red Square with kids

DSC_0080With all the news about our CZ-UK relocation, I still didn’t get around to telling you about our winter holidays in Moscow! One of the highlights of our visit was the Red Square Christmas market. Actually, the correct name would be GUM Christmas market – GUM is one of the oldest and most beautiful department stores in Moscow (you can read more about it here in my post about a retro car exhibition in GUM).

This market is set up by GUM management just in front of the store, which is located right on the Red Square, so all the kids’ rides, stalls and an ice rink are all placed right on the Square itself.


It took us some time to get to the market as everyone had to go through metal detectors to get to the Red Square due to safety measures. You can imagine the number of tourists and locals who wanted to visit the place during Christmas holidays hence the queues. We went there on one for the last school days, so the crowd was still not too bad. However, if anyone wished to go skating during the state holidays some time in the evening – they must have had a LOT of patience to wait for their turn on the rink.


Quite unexpectedly we were interviewed by Moscow 24 channel about the way we get ready for the New Year and Christmas holidays. They wanted me to tell them how far in advance I start shopping for the gifts. It took a lot of explaining and gesturing on my side to explain the young reporter girl that it was definitely a Santa Clause bringing those presents and I had no idea what she was talking about! Both my girls paid close attention, of course.

We got pretty cold out there, although it was just -9C outside (I’m saying just, because the second time we went to the Red Square it was -19C, so -9C was just a bit chilly). It was great that we could pop into GUM any time to warm up and have some hot tea with blini inside.

Lots go lights, tasty blini and sausages, rides for the little ones and an amazing historical backdrop – yes, it was pretty touristy and crowded, but we still really enjoyed it!

All the photos were made by a great photographer Oxana Ruban – if you’re ever in Moscow, get in touch with her! It’s really worth it to get those special moments caught on camera :)

P.S. Christmas lights were amazing in Moscow. We took a walk around the city centre with my sister and Oxana. Although, it was close to -20C, we still managed to take some cool photos. You can check out Moscow Christmas lights here.

Wander Mum


  1. The market looks fabulous. We had a cold afternoon in Red Square a few years ago, we flew in from KZ (yes the only people to go for an easter holiday from one cold country to another instead of Dubai like everyone else!) Brrr. It was amazing to see as I had last been in Red Square and GUM in 1990 so things had changed quite a bit! The photographs are amazing and truly capture the moments so very well.

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  2. Really excellent photos! Looks like a fun time in a fantastic location for all the family…I’m not sure how long I’d be able to stay out there though with temperatures so cold!! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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  3. We have not actually managed to go ice skating on Red Square yet, mainly due to the fact that I refuse to go unless the weather is properly wintery, which is really hasn’t been for much of the season. Jealous you hit the jackpot! Glad it looks as fun as I imagine it to be!

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    • Thank you! I can’t say there were heaps of snow, but it was snowing, so yes, I think it counts as a wintery weather :)) They seem to have left the iceskating rink there for so long – maybe there will be more snowy days, you know what March can be like!


  4. Lovely photos! I visited the Gum Stores just at the turn of Glasnost in the 1980s and it was very plain with lots of queues. I remember want to spend holiday money so queued up anywhere where the queue was short – I came back with potato mashers, hats, hand warmers all sorts – I didn’t know what I was queueing for half the time. It was a lovely memorable time though – I loved the architecture of Red Square – how things change – Sol

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