Every kid in Minsk knows that there are two main parks where they can enjoy the rollercoasters rides. Gorky Park is compact and has about 10 different rides, but is located in the city center. If you’re ready to get a bit further, you’ll be able to enjoy a full day of rides and relaxation in Chelyuskintsev Park in Minsk.
The park was established in May 1932, at the territory of the old Komarovsky forest. As most of the trees stayed there, it still feels like a forest within the city. Park's contemporary name was given to it in 1934, in honour of “Chelyuskin” steamship’s crew. Their mission was to get from Murmansk to Vladivostok in Russia through one ride in the Arctic Ocean, but they got trapped in the ice and the ship sunk. Luckily, aircraft saved the crew within the next two days, and pilots were the first in history to receive “The Hero of USSR” award. Many streets and parks around former USSR-countries still hold the names of “Chelyuskin”, or its crew members.
There are several defined zones in the 78 hectares of the park’s territory. If you turn right after the main entrance, you will get to a dancing square. A little bit behind it, you will see all the rides of the amusement park. Walking through the middle alley from the main entrance will bring you to the central square, followed by chess and checkers area, where people of all ages (mostly old) gather to master their mind. Next to it is the sports ground and children’s play area. If you turn left from there, you will get to the WWII memorial. The rest of the park is transformed into the silent walking zones with plenty of benches to sit on.
There are around 16 different attractions in the amusement park zone, including the Ferris wheel and rollercoasters. My personal favourite is “Lad’ya”. It looks like a pendulum in the form of the Viking rowing boat. It’s not scary at all, but it gives you a thrilling feeling of your stomach going up and down inside of you. Among other things to enjoy are a shooting gallery and trampolines. If you get hungry, there are several cafes, concentrated around this side of the park. Be careful with eating before going on rides! If you don’t like to pay twice – take a meal only after the rides.
Smoking is prohibited on the park’s territory, and drinking alcohol is allowed only at the restaurants located in the park. Toilets are scarce, and they are pretty tricky to find. There are not too many places to sit near the attractions. On weekends, some people might offer to take a photo with the animals that they're hiding under their shirts, like racoons, snakes and parrots. Although it’s legal and safe, please think twice before supporting people who earn money from abusing animals. Rides are available only from May to September.
Getting to the park is simple - there is a metro station called “Park Chelyuskintsev” on the blue line. Station’s name might be written in weird letters. That is the Slavic Latin alphabet, but don't fret, most of the letters will be easy to recognise, and you’ll get it. As soon as you get out of the subway, you’ll see a massive fence with big pictures. Just walk to one of the three main entrances to enjoy the rides and relaxation in Chelyuskintsev Park in Minsk. If for some reason it's not enough, there are also “Dzitsyachya Chygunka” (a railway for kids) and a botanical garden located nearby.
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