fun things to do with kids in Peterhof Petrodvorets 
    Petergof st petersburg russia   Travel for Kids
  | St. Petersburg

Peterhof (Petrodvorets, Petergof)

Peter the Great liked to build stuff. At Peterhof, "Peter's Court," he built on a grand scale, constructing a palace and landscaped park on the Gulf of Finland. Peter wanted water and fountains in his gardens, and the result is a glorious series of fountains and artificial lakes on thousands of acres. Peterhof is the place to take the kids on a hot day.
  Hyrofoil to Peterhof To get to Peterhof, in summer take the hydrofoil that leaves from the Neva embankment in front of the Hermitage. It's a 45 min. ride down the Neva River, past shipyards, into the Gulf of Finland. Arriving at the dock, you get your first glimpse of the Marine Canal and the Grand Cascade.
      To the right of the dock, there's a sandy beach and grassy area. When the water is calm, this is a great place to wade in the water or have a picnic on the grass. (Close by, there is a café too.)
  The Grand Cascade and Samson Fountain, a massive gilded figure surrounded by pulsing jets of water, is the centerpiece of Peterhof. The big hulking Samson, prying open the lion's mouth, symbolizes Russia's victory over Sweden. From the Grand Cascade, you can head indoors to visit the Great Palace or spend your time outdoors in the gardens.
      Take a tour of the Grotto, where you can see pipes and the waterworks that bring water from the underground springs to the fountains. The highlight of the tour is a trick table, a stone table that squirts water when you touch the fruit (everyone near the table gets wet). You also get sprinkled by the cascade when you come out (so wear shoes that can get wet). Buy tickets for the Grotto at the ticket booth next to the ticket booth for the Great Palace.
Kids at Peterhof
  The Fountains – The fountains were the highlight of our visit, especially the trick fountains. Our favorites were the Umbrella and Spruce Fountains. The Umbrella Fountain looks like a big mushroom with jets of water pouring off the cap (it's supposed to spray water when you sit on the seat, but it was going continuously). At the Spruce Fountain, a stylized tree sprayed children lurking under the branches, and two benches unexpectedly doused kids with sprays of water. The Roman Fountains are shallow enough for kids to wade in them. Other totally cool fountains are the Pyramid Fountain, the Chessboard Cascade and the Lion Cascade.
      Note: The fountains are only turned on in the summer.
    The Gardens – Going from fountain to fountain, there are plenty of shady, tree-lined paths and a fresh breeze off the water. The gardens just go on and on. Once you've finished the Lower Park, you can move onto the Upper Gardens.
      If you have little ones who are tired out, you can be pedaled around the extensive grounds in a bicycle rickshaw.
Great Palace – Peter's Great Palace was no small thing, but then Empress Elizabeth decided to re-decorate, so she added more rooms, including a really big ballroom and gilded the interiors. The giant size dining rooms and table settings can't fail to impress, and don't miss the oak paneled study of Peter the Great.
      Tip: Wear water shoes and bring extra clothes so you can get soaked in the fountains.
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