St. Petersburg’s Annual Ice Fantasy Festival in 2019-2020
What is there to see at St. Petersburg’s Ice Fantasy Festival?
- Beautiful backdrop: St. Peter and Paul fortress, with its pansy-yellow and golden spires, really stands out against the white snow making winter the perfect time to visit.
- Icy wonders: From surfers on frozen waves to crystal-clear jungles; see all the wonders of the world from a new, colder but, at the same time, beautiful view-point.
- Frosty fun: Sit in Santa’s see-through sleigh or zoom down an all-ice slide. Depending on the weather, lots of slippery fun can be had at the festival.
Ice — stone-hard, devilishly cold and yet strangely beautiful — is the embodiment of Russia. With that in mind, could there possibly be a better way of learning about Russian culture than through the medium of ice? We think not.
Each winter, on the cobbled-grounds of St. Petersburg's main bastion, Peter and Paul Fortress, tons of ice are hauled in from Russia's great lakes. Hidden within climate-controlled tents, expert ice-sculptors work wonders on these mega-blocks; breathing life into the ice with each carefully calculated hit of the chisel. Each year the sculptures are unique; last year's exhibition boasted a life-sized Tutankhamen and a flock of emperor penguins. This year's theme is still up to conjecture. What is certain, however, is that the resulting works (of which there'll be more than 30) will dazzle and delight visitors of any age. Apart from simply gawping at all the unbelievably big and spectacularly detailed works, depending on the theme, you can unleash your inner-Frozen by sitting upon a sleigh entirely made out of ice or try throwing pennies into a car-sized piggy-bank. Though the exhibition is under-cover, it is naturally kept at rather nippy temperatures. Photography is permitted.
Tickets cost 500 rubles for foreigners, but children may receive a discount. The exhibition is open daily from 10:00-22:00.
*Note: Those who would really like to immerse themselves in this traditional Russian craft can try their hand at chiseling out their own frozen masterpieces. The company offering these ice-sculpting masterclasses has themes for every age and level, from porches to penguins, and they’re surprisingly flexible when it comes to weather. Budget is perhaps the only point on which they aren’t so accommodating; the prices are pretty steep.
Visit their website to find out more: http://russian-ice-spb.ru/en/order
Learn about other winter activities in St. Petersburg.