St. Petersburg Planetarium

Today, on January 4, we’ll be witnessing the peak of the Quadrantids meteor shower. And on February 1, the C/2022 E3 comet will be at its brightest, approaching Earth by 0.28 au. If you’re interested in the stars and mysteries of the universe, but you’re yet to visit St. Petersburg Planetarium, then this is your sign to do it. It has seven halls, and the Star Hall features a Carl Zeiss projection device that displays 3.500 stars for every celestial hemisphere. In other halls, you can experience a space trip, see curious lab experiments and astronomical phenomena, as well as watch the city’s day and night sky at the observatory. The venue also hosts various musical concerts and children’s plays and performances in the Star Hall. This holiday season, the program will feature The Nutcracker and New Year jazz under the starry sky.

Where: St. Petersburg, Aleksandrovsky Park 4

Working hours and additional information (in Russian): check Planetarium’s website and its community in VK 

Arctic and Antarctic Museum

While rewatching Polar Express during the holidays is an option, you can as well see the real account of polar adventures at the Arctic and Antarctic Museum. Polar bears and other polar animals, equipment, maps, and archives by famous captains and explorers – the museum has over 100,000 related exhibits. For example, the exhibition History of Research and Exploration of the Northern Sea Route is dedicated to the history of arctic seafaring from the 16th century till our time, the exploration of the Northern Sea Route, as well as scientific research by Soviet and Russian scientists in the Arctic. There, you can learn what a stem is, or see what kochs (old Russian boats used in the Northern seas by Pomors) looked like. And in another room housing the Nature of Arctic exhibition, you can learn about the fauna of this region, as well as take a look at a huge portion of a globe with a hypsometric map of the Northern Hemisphere.

Where: St. Petersburg, Marata St. 21A 

Working hours and additional information (in Russian): check the museum’s VK page

Museum of Water, the Universe of Water exhibition

Japan houses the world's only snowflake museum (by the way, you can read more about it here). And in St. Petersburg, there’s the Museum of Water, where you can learn everything about the properties of the substance that snow consists of. One of the museum’s exhibitions, The Universe of Water, is located in the facility of a former underground clean water tank that was built back in the 19th century. The exhibition is split into sections, each dedicated to a specific topic. The exhibition space is as dynamic as water can be: the sounds, visuals, and colors are ever-changing. Multimedia technologies and effects are combined with real exhibits that you can touch. Some of the areas also feature systems of special effects that imitate various weather effects (rain, snow, storm, and rainbow), so the exhibition is not just educational but also beautiful. 

Where: St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya St. 56

Working hours and additional information (in Russian): check the museum’s VK page

Museum of Optics

We are all fascinated with New Year’s lighting and glowing decorations. But what’s behind this magic of light? The laws of optics and the associated technologies become comprehensible at ITMO’s Museum of Optics. The venue is located at one of St. Petersburg’s most beautiful places – the historic part of Vasilyevsky Island. Inside, there are 11 rooms: some are dedicated to the history of optics and the technologies of the future, others showcase optical phenomena – there, you can “freeze” your shadow or paint with color, control particles in space, and even fly for a bit. Optoclones and holograms of unique historical treasures, a light organ, and other exhibits let you imagine yourself a character in a sci-fi movie and learn how optical technologies operate in various fields of human activity. During the New Year’s holidays, the museum will offer a special program with interactive tours and workshops.

Where: St. Petersburg, Birzhevaya Liniya 14 

Working hours and additional information: check the museum’s website and its VK page (in Russian)

Svetoskop Museum of Fascinating Physics

And if you find yourself in Kronstadt, visit the Svetoskop Museum of Fascinating Physics that was founded in partnership with ITMO University. Among the museum’s exhibits are an optoclone of a Faberge clock, a Promovisor device, a mirror room, and much more. 80% of the exhibits can be interacted with and put into motion. There are five rooms, including an ultraviolet forest, a room with lighting effects, and a da Vinci hall with mechanical wonders. You can read more about the museum here.

Where: Krondstadt, Manuilsky St. 20А

Working hours and additional information (in Russian): check the museum’s website