Russian doll decorating in St Petersburg

A matryoshka (wooden nesting doll) is the classic Russian souvenir. But why settle for shop-bought when you can paint your own? Kids visiting St Petersburg can smock up and splatter away in a four-hour workshop hosted by a matryoshka master. Often called babushkas, these iconic dolls usually depict women in traditional dress, but creativity is encouraged: after all, this is the city that gave the world Dostoyevsky, Fabergé eggs and one of the world’s largest art museums, the majestic Hermitage.

Parental pointer: Allow time for a later pickup of your completed doll; the paint should dry for at least two hours. While you’re waiting, head to the nearby Museum of Zoology: kids go wild for its collection of 500,000 taxidermied critters.


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