Moscow doesn't appear at all child-friendly on the surface, and Russia's plunging birth rates only exacerbate Moscow's image as a city for grown-ups. That said, Russians revere their kids, and Moscow has plenty for children to do if you're a bit creative. The circus is a world-famous draw, the zoo is impressive, and several puppet theaters around town offer top-quality performances. The shows are in Russian only, but younger children are often content to enjoy the visuals. Be aware that animal rights activism remains totally alien to Russia, so sensitive parents would be advised to stay away from the circus and zoo if this is an issue. Seasonal festivals, such as those at Kolomenskoye, are a sure winner for kids, as are the attractions at Gorky Park. Another kid pleaser is the Police Relay Race that whips around the Garden Ring the first Sunday after Police Day on October 24. The highlights are the motorcycle and patrol car races; see local newspapers for details of the best vantage spots.

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