Water Lanterns festival 

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Rapunzel in Tangled, head right over to the Yusupov Garden to make your wish, write it on a lantern, and set it sailing in the lake (which, as per the organizers’ words, is a sure way to make it come true). Apart from taking part in the already magical enterprise of wish-making, you will also enjoy some live music and get to celebrate the day with a joyous dance. And if that doesn’t sound like enough, visitors are also promised a laser and fire show – just to get completely swept off their feet. 

International drone festival

Credit: fiesta.ru
Credit: fiesta.ru
  • May 2, about 10:30 pm
  • Palace Embankment
  • free

This year, St. Petersburg will host the international festival of drones for the first time. The event promises to be quite a spectacle, with thousands of drones forming various peculiar shapes in the night sky. The festival was preceded by an animation contest in which citizens could vote for the drone formations they liked the most – to later see them turned to life, made into constellations, streams of light, or ships sailing above the city (Treasure Planet vibes, anyone?). If you happen to be in the city center on the evening of May 2, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of attending this unique event. 

Marine watercolors exhibition 

Photo courtesy of Julia Barminova. Credit: instagram.com/@juliabarminova
Photo courtesy of Julia Barminova. Credit: instagram.com/@juliabarminova

St. Petersburg is full of tiny local coffee shops that casually enter the daily routines of those who happen to pass by on their way to work or class – and RID is just one of those spots. The staff is always friendly and willing to talk you through every specialty coffee item available, and the counter is usually stuffed with baked goods for every taste. This time, you can not only feel like a local, but also enjoy some captivating marine watercolors by Julia Barminova, an artist who has spent the last six years exploring ports and seaside villages. Appreciating art while sipping your coffee, what can be better? 

Faces and Images exhibition 

The Faces and Images exhibition. Credit: fiesta.ru
The Faces and Images exhibition. Credit: fiesta.ru

Continuing our somewhat fairytale-themed weekend, we are turning to another exhibition – this time, it is the works of the Traugot family, some of the well-known Russian book illustrators. Georgyi Traugot, his two sons and his wife were all rather prominent figures in the artistic world, with their drawings embellishing many editions of the Brothers Grimm, E. T. A. Hoffman, and other legendary creators of fictional worlds. Here, you will enter each of these worlds and maybe even encounter them anew though the detailed faces of their inhabitants. Who knows, it might be an inspiration to reread the originals one more time? 

Some extra ideas

Even though the weather might not always be ideal, the extended weekend is a great opportunity to spend more time outside and explore new corners of the city or its surroundings. Try venturing out to St. Pete’s many parks (see lists here and here), now open after the winter dry-off. You can also spend the week exploring the Leningrad Oblast with our handy freshly-baked guide. Discover the geek within you – and the city – by paying a visit to one of these locations. Or maybe you want to devote this time to your physical well-being? Check out this handy guide from ITMO’s very own KronBars sports club for topical advice. 

Photo by Oleg Illarionov. Credit: unsplash.com/@illarionov
Photo by Oleg Illarionov. Credit: unsplash.com/@illarionov

And if you’d rather be inside, there is a variety of films to watch over the coming week – for instance, Angleterre Cinema Lounge is screening the recent Oscar winners Nomadland, Minari, Soul, and The Father, as well as the Lord of The Rings trilogy and quite a selection of international pictures. You can also see what’s on at Rodina Cinema (not all shows are in English, but there is usually at least one or two on each day) or head over to SubsCity for an extensive list of all screenings in English and other languages in the coming week.

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