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A Museum that Brings Fairytales to Life

Fairytales are an important part of growing up. They transport children into magical worlds where they can be pirates, princesses, mermaids and kings, conquer the world, rescue the vulnerable or defeat evil with one strike of their mighty sword. In some, valuable lessons are taught, ancient events are brought to life and tales of courage and heroism warm the hearts of both young and old. And when parents think that they are not able to carry across these fairytales of wonder and excitement to their children, there is the House of Fairytales Museum in Moscow that will come to their rescue.

The House of Fairytales Museum, or Zhili-Byli (meaning “Once upon a Time”), was opened in the year 1995. It became a world of exciting activities, education and a place where children were allowed to express themselves through theatrical plays. As the demand and support of the museum grew, a new branch of the museum was opened in 2000, namely The Pinokkio Museum.

Both the divisions offer fairly similar activities. However, to generate interest in a variety of fairytales from across the world, the House of Fairytales Museum and The Pinokkio Museum concentrate on different authors. The House of Fairytales Museum looks as traditional Russian fairytales, educating children on how important it is to start reading and the traditional customs of the country are taught by allowing the children to partake in lively folkdances, dressing in costume and playing the roles of the fairytale characters and by joining in on singing some of the traditional folk songs. With more than twenty different programs available, the museum looks at ancient, Russian and foreign fairytales, turning to authors such as Brothers Grimm, H.C. Anderson and others, for inspiration. The House of Fairytales also has a wonderful collection of over four hundred items, including furniture, puppets, books and antique collectables, which the children are allowed to touch and explore. Programs for disabled children are also available.

The Pinokkio Museum concentrates on the fairytales written by people from different cultures and also local writers, which includes the works of Gianni Radarim, Carlo Kollodi and Alexei Tolstoy. Here visitors will find ten different programs that also allow children to dress up and role play, singing, dancing and discovering the more than three hundred items in the museum’s collection. Over and above guided tours and creative learning sessions, the museum often invites writers and artists to be guests of the museum, as well as arranging festivals for children. But no matter which branch children and their parents visit, they are guaranteed to find magic, fun, exploration, culture and education at the House of Fairytales.


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