If you choose to spend your weekend in Izmailovsky Park, you can be rest assured that you will not be bored. Not only can you enjoy the park's beautiful nature, but there are so many fun things to do: you can rent a segway, play tennis or go boating on a catamaran. Beyond that, the park features playgrounds and educational spaces for children as well as interesting sights.
You can start your walk by entering through the northern entrance located near the Partizanskaya metro station. The park grounds start right across from the streetcar tracks, a favourite spot for photographers. You can get some great shots of streetcars passing one another, moving in opposite directions or heading down a green (in the summer), yellow (in the fall) or white (in the winter) corridor of park trees.
Beyond the playground in a grove of birch trees stands a memorial to Natalya Kachuevskaya. During the Great Patriotic War, Natalya organised a series of front-line concerts, performing in bomb shelters and field hospitals. She also took part in the construction of defensive structures, and when she learned of her husband's death, she left for the front herself. You can read about Natalya's acts of bravery on the information board by the tablet.
Next, we find ourselves in Northern Square. The Studio-Park pavilion can be found here, as well as an outdoor wooden podium hosting creative performances and sports lessons. Next to the podium you will find a sports equipment rental shop where you can rent a bicycle to ride around the park.
If you walk down the chestnut alley, you can drop by the "Northern" firing range. Here you can put your sharp-shooting skills to the test with bow and arrow, cross-bow or air rifle. On a related note, there is another rental shop nearby where you can rent gyroscooters, tricyclopods and even the unusual looking 'fantastar'.
A little further along, you will find the Panda Park ropes course offering several highly entertaining routes. One course, designed for children, offers fairly easy obstacles and is positioned only slightly above ground. The family course is a bit more challenging: it offers nine different types of obstacles, including rope bridges of varying complexity, a net and a long zip line at the very end.
In order to get to the centre of the park, you need to find your way to the broad Narodny Prospekt (to the right) and walk strait towards the main entrance, located at the intersection with Moskovsky Prospekt. To the left of the main entrance stands another sports equipment rental shop and tennis courts. It also hosts a large parking lot, a shop selling balls and rackets, locker rooms and showers.
Further down the pathway, you will find the Krokha amusement park for kids.
Now we're coming up onto the Vladimir Lenin monument. On weekends you will meet the friendly residents of the stables here and can go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage or on a pony (for kids).
The Central Square is where you will find the Forest cafe where you can relax and have a snack along your promenade. Alternatively, you can find a spot on the lawn across the stage and have a picnic. However, fires and barbecues are not permitted in the park. You can take in the park's most famous view in the Central Square, looking onto Round Pond and the large Ferris wheel.
Now we can head back to the Vladimir Lenin monument and take a stroll down the Big Circle path that follows the shape of the pond. To the left of the pathway sits a complex of sports grounds: outdoor exercise equipment, work-out areas, volleyball, basketball and street ball courts, as well as a rental shop, where you can secure table tennis and badminton equipment. You can find free yoga classes every day at the Sunny podium nearby.
And if you make a right turn, you'll find yourself along a beautiful pathway lined with tall poplars. On the right you'll find another vintage monument to the Great Patriotic War: Gallantry Square.
This memorial commemorates the 85th voluntary Moscow "Katyusha" guard, which was formed in Izmailovsky Park during the Great Patriotic War. This space was used as a training ground for reconnaissance and sabotage groups, and a number of guerrilla detachments were trained and organised here. The square displays some military equipment that made it all the way to Berlin during the war: a Katyusha multiple rocket launcher, a legendary T-34 tank, as well as an anti-aircraft gun. At the centre of the composition stands a monument in the shape of a missile launcher comprised of three seven-metre guide rails and four rockets directed towards the sky.
Once you are past Gallantry Square, turn right and you will see the Round Pond boating station in front of you. Here you can take in the view from the observation deck, take a stroll down the embankment or rent a row boat or a catamaran and go boating on the pond.
Round Pond was created here back in the 17th century to decorate the palace estates of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich, which used to sit on the territory of this park. The body of water is shaped like a horseshoe, while the man-made island in the middle follows its outline. The island offers a secluded nesting area for mallards and roody shelducks.
Once you're done with the boating station, you can return on the pathway and walk past the Art-Park exhibition pavilion (open during performances and classes) and several park cafes. A short distance from the Ferris wheel stands the Sokolinaya Gora station, part of the Moscow Central Circle metro line, where you can catch a train home. Alternatively, you can walk down the Proletarian entrance pathway to the other end of the park, next to which you will find the Shosse Entuziastov metro station.
Izmailovsky Park is one of the most environmentally friendly parks in Europe and serves as both a monument to landscape gardening and a specially protected natural area. It occupies a total area of 310 hectares of natural forest within the city boundaries. Its main features include a broad range of flora and fauna, clean air, affordable diverse recreational activities and entertainment options for visitors of any age.
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