Moscow’s Marvelous Mini-Museums
Though they are not well-known, and are often a bit hidden within parks, gardens and urban neighborhoods, these museums are well worth a visit, thanks to their specific theme atmospheres.
The “Mars-Tefo” Cosmic Center
The interactive cosmic play center at the VDNKh complex can get lost among the other mini-museums, but has one significant advantage: it is visually packed with information about the exploration of Mars, and not in a boring or overly scholarly way. Mars comes alive by means of mini-models, pictures and an interactive flying plate attraction. The observation walk takes approximately 40 minutes, or you can skip the walk and head straight for the flying-spinning-trembling plate. Kids love it here, and on weekends its small corridors can be crowded. Please note that a prior reservation is required to gain access to the center. There are English-speaking guides. Operating hours 11 am – 7 pm. The entrance fee is 500 rubles( not including the “Plate” attraction).
The Museum of Phone History
The Museum of Phone History is relatively new, but is definitely modern and comprehensive, with a collection of 2,000 telephones from Russia, the USA and Europe. The museum currently offers visitors audio guides in two languages, Russian and English. To get a preview glimpse of the exhibit, you can visit their webpage (check the link below)
The Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions could easily be called the ‘Museum for selfie-lovers.’ Great background scenes are provided, including a magic garden, city rooftops, a giant animal zoo, and so on. The city’s two illusion centers do not provide tours (check the link below); there are just cameras flashing all over the place. To maximize the time spent at the museum, and minimize the time wasted in the queue, it is best to arrive early and avoid visiting on weekends. One more tip: the lighting is very bright, so some figures could be overexposed on your photos. You may wish to use any available settings on your camera to prevent this.
The ‘Experimentarium’ Museum
The ‘Experimentarium’ Museum is a 100% hands-on interactive laboratory for kids and adults. The colorful, engaging demonstrations and real-time experiments provide great explanations for nature’s complicated processes and phenomena. The exhibit also explores architecture and building basics and rules. It contains an education center, and provides a stage for science shows and marathons. A free summer ticket (available on particular days), can be a nice bonus. English-speaking guides are available for groups with a minimum total fee of 4,500 rubles (check the link below).
Links in English:
The Museum of Phone History – http://www.telhistory.ru/en/start_watching/virtual_tour.php
The Museum of Illusions – http://bestmuseum.ru/en
The ‘Experimentarium’ Museum – http://www.experimentanium.ru/en/for-visitors