Valentine's Day in Moscow: Romantic guide through winter frost

Although Valentine's Day is not so popular in Russia in comparison with the U.S., some Russian couples celebrate this holiday. Source: RIA Novosti / Yevgeny Samarin

Although Valentine's Day is not so popular in Russia in comparison with the U.S., some Russian couples celebrate this holiday. Source: RIA Novosti / Yevgeny Samarin

On Feb. 14, Moscow parks will offer themed activities and restaurants will feature special menus.

For those who happen to be in Moscow for Valentine’s Day, options for the perfect date abound – even for the most particular of romantics.

Sokolniki Park

Sokolniki Park will feature the Festival of Thawed Hearts. The park entrance will be decorated with an installation consisting of ice hearts, live roses, teddy bears and flowers, and the central pathway will be temporarily renamed Lovers’ Lane. The highlight of the festival will be the world’s largest beating ice heart – a construction that will top 13 feet in height. (The current record belongs to a 6-and-a-half foot heart, which was constructed in New York).

A pulsating unit will be installed in the middle of the ice masterpiece to make it “beat.” The festival will start at 6:00 pm and will feature ice dancing, a light show, the longest kiss and best instagram picture contests. Up for grabs are dinner for two and a trip for two to Italy.

Address: 1 Sokolnichesky Val Street, Moscow, 07113

Hermitage Garden

The Hermitage Garden will offer the chance to take part in a costume ball on its ice rink. The party will involve masks, cupids, Valentine’s cards, a photo booth and candy with love horoscopes. The show will start at 5:00 pm; the entrance fee is 150 rubles ($5).

After taking part in the festivities, walk by the Silver Heart, a sculpture installed in the garden by the Serebryanyi dozhd (silver rain) radio station in 2006; legend has it that an identical heart was drawn on Juliet’s house in Verona. Visitors can walk through it and make a wish.

Address:3 Karetny Ryad, Moscow

Experimentarium

An Ames room, which creates an optical illusion using checked patterns on the floor and walls. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

An Ames room, which creates an optical illusion using checked patterns on the floor and walls. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

The Moscow-based science museum introduces some healthy skepticism into the heart mania and invites visitors to the Day of Big Illusions on Feb. 14. The pick of the day is how deceptive our senses can be.

One example is an Ames room, which creates an optical illusion using checked patterns on the floor and walls. A person standing in one corner appears to the observer to be a giant compared to someone standing in the other corner. When someone moves from one corner to the other, the observer watches him grow or shrink.

Address:46/2 Butyrskaya Street, Moscow, Russia

Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve

Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve. Source: Lori / Legion Media

Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve. Source: Lori / Legion Media

Valentine’s Day will be an open day for the Moscow Registry Office, or ZAGS – the state agency that records all marriages. The event will be held at the Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve. “If you want to have a family or register your marriage in 2013, we invite you to Kolomenskoye on Feb. 14 to our Open Day for Lovebirds,” reads a message on the ZAGS website.

The staff of the registry office will provide detailed descriptions of the application process, the registration procedure and new additional services. Visitors will be welcomed at 17:00 and 18:30 at entrance No. 5 to the museum.

Potential newlyweds will be taken from the park entrance to the Concert Hall (Teatralnaya Khoromina) of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich’s Palace in a sleigh.

Address: Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich’s Palace, Teatralnaya Khoromina (39-69 Andropov Avenue). Exit from the last car of the train from the center.

All-Russian Exhibition Center (VVTs)

The open-air event Launch of Hearts will take place at VVTs. Source: ITAR-TASS

The open-air event Launch of Hearts will take place at VVTs. Source: ITAR-TASS

You can also light up your day by participating in a launch of Chinese sky lanterns on the territory of the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VVTs). The open-air event Launch of Hearts will take place at VVTs, Rostokino, Akveduk. The program begins at 19:30; the launch is scheduled for 20:30. Dress warmly and bring lanterns and a lighter with you.

After a few hours at a skating rink, a trip to a ZAGS and the mass launch of lanterns, romantics might think about taking a rest over a meal. An exquisite dinner makes a perfect end to the long day of fun.

Karlsson, a restaurant of the Moscow Ginza Project chain, will treat its guests to love songs by Italian Christian Panico, accompanied by dishes by Italian chef Giacomo Lombardi.

Cherdak, a club café under the aegis of the famous Moscow restaurateur Arkady Novikov, will offer not only delicacies but also a performance by Music Hayk and a soap bubble show. Anticafe Good Republic, with its unique brand of sarcasm, will hold an Anti-Lovers’ Day party for people without significant others.

The guests will attend a voodoo doll-making master class, go through a Disengagement ritual, become members of Free People Anonymous, have fun playing frivolous role and board games, attack a heart-shaped Piñata, and watch the most cynical films about love (Tarantino, Kusturica and many more). The entrance fee is 500 rubles ($15) but those carrying a picture of their ex will enjoy a trademark cocktail and a 30 percent discount.

Addresses: Bus/minibus No. 56, 195 from VDNKh metro

1. Cherdak Café-Bar-Club, 7 Kuznetsky Most Street, Phone: ‪ ‪+7 (495) 628 76 78

2.  Karlsson, 20-1 Ovchinnikovskaya Naberezhnaya, Moscow, Business Centre Central City Tower, Phones: ‪ ‪+7 (495) 280 04 28, +7 (495) 280 06 28

3. Good Republic, 13-24 Myasnitskaya Street

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.