Those who come in the summer will ask themselves right at the entrance what the wild birds will do during the winter period. Before you start knitting shawls for them, be assured: The pond doesn't freeze in the winter because it is heated by a compressor. Also the wild cats don't get cold - they have their own fur and if temperatures go below zero, the white tigers, panthers and lions have a protected indoor area at their disposal as well. The spectacled (or Andean) bear is used to the cold. It comes from the Andes but is almost extinct there and so seldom that he is the main attraction of the zoo. The dolphins are also drawing visitors galore, staging up to eight shows per day and enthralling kids with their performances. Also the beluga whale has to work hard for his money, performing numerous jumps for visitors. Ticket sales start one hour prior to the show. But there are smaller animals as well. If you don't dare to go close to the whale you can also watch a wide variety of spiders, bugs and butterflies at the Insecttopia. Got an itch yet? Go to the zoo!
Moscow's winters are long and bleak but Russians make the best of it: They carve ice sculptures. The best pieces are exhibited at the Museum of Ice Sculptures, most likely the coldest museum on earth. At minus 10 degrees centigrade you will for sure need a handkerchief, and red noses are guaranteed. A visit is worthwhile anyway as the sculptures represent the high art of winter. Here, Poseidon hovers on a wave of ice, and over there Father Frost peeps around the corner of his ice house, while ice squirrels are collecting nuts for the winter. The collection is a successful mix of ice, music and colours, often focusing on mythological figures or Russian fairy-tales. If you like to play ice princess you will be disappointed: Right at the entrance visitors are clad in shapeless parkas, a combination of space suit and complete-body condom, protecting you from freezing to death and protecting the sculptures from melting due to your body's heat. The exhibition is open through the summer though. So you can either flee from the heat or warm up in the winter. Just another hot tip: Don't lick the ice, it won't do you any good!