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Russia can be a daunting place with kids but an unforgettable experience for them. A major challenge is the Cyrillic alphabet -- but you can turn that into a family game by setting out to learn its 33 letters together (many are the same as in English), and then sounding out street signs together ("Look, PECTOPAH means restaurant!"). Travel with small children is difficult, since few restaurants have highchairs, and nothing is stroller-friendly -- even the pharmacies have steps and unwieldy doors. Because Russians travel infrequently with their children, there are few hotels with specifically kid-friendly services, though that doesn't mean they're hostile to families. Also be prepared for unsolicited child-rearing advice from well-meaning Russian grandmothers, who always seem to think that children are underdressed no matter what the temperature. Russian circuses are world-renowned, and the Moscow Zoo and Gorky Park are good family destinations. There are several puppet theaters in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Recommended family travel websites include Family Travel Forum (www.familytravelforum.com), a comprehensive site that offers customized trip planning; Family Travel Network (www.familytravelnetwork.com), an online magazine providing travel tips; and TravelWithYourKids.com (www.travelwithyourkids.com), a comprehensive site written by parents for parents, offering sound advice for long-distance and international travel with children.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.