My kids like video games, and I like history.
When you’re 42, have 4 kids, it’s raining, and your wife is gone for the week, you start to think about stuff, you know?
The main thing you think about is how to get the kids out of the house! This can be one of the challenges of raising kids in Russia. The weather isn’t always delightful in the Motherland, and you want to stay active.
After doing a quick internet search, I was happy to be reminded of the Soviet Arcade Museum.
The Soviet Arcade Museum is located at the VDNKH park complex. From what I understand, it has moved from the city center, due to renovations, so not sure how permanent the location is.
VDNKH is one of my favorite places to takes guests when they come to Moscow, and it’s a bit strange to me that I don’t see more tourists there. But I’m not complaining, because the crowds there can be overwhelming, particularly on the weekends. The complex has some of the most fantastic architecture in Moscow, a fascinating history, a huge aquarium, a robotics museum, and much more.
Point is, the Soviet Arcade Museum can be a great part of a day spent at the VDNKH complex.
The entry cost is 450₽ per person, or if you’re like me and have 3 children or more, it is 350₽. The admission cost also includes 15 tokens (in this case, 15 Soviet kopecks) for game play.
So, if you’re keeping score, my kids and I had a total of 75 game plays ahead of us.
There are, of course, plenty of racing games, some ultra-simple “Pong” style games, sports, and war. Our favorite though, was the simple basketball game in the above photo.
Here’s a “Prove Your Strength” attraction that just might leave your back aching.
It seemed that either a few of the games weren’t working, or we didn’t understand how to use them. There was a kind and talkative gentleman, walking around and fixing the games. I assume we could have asked for a refund for some of those games, but we didn’t as 75 total game plays was more than enough.
IMPORTANT: Game instructions are provided in English, and the staff also speak great English.
I was thrilled that the kids liked my idea for afternoon fun, as that is probably the exception more than the rule. I think it was fun for them to play games where you can actually see how it works mechanically.
If you’re looking to get out of the house with kids. I also did overhear my teenage offspring comment that “this would be a great place for a date”. The Soviet Arcade is in Pavilion 57 at VDNKH, which is in the very back of the park complex, in a large building that is mainly devoted to Russian history. Point is, you might not see the signs, so best to know which Pavilion.
And there is also a Soviet Arcade Museum in St. Petersburg. Enjoy, and let me know what other ideas you have to get the kids out of the house. With this one we all won, I enjoyed the history, and they enjoyed the games.