Russians dote on their kids but don't generally take them to city hotels, preferring to take them to a family dacha (country cottage) or dom otdykha (country resort) for vacations. Because Russia's newer hotels are aimed more at lucrative business clients than at families, child-friendly services remain rare. The international chains have the most amenities for families. Corinthia Nevsky Palace stands out in this category, offering a children's playroom and babysitting, as well as a fantastic Sunday brunch with children's entertainment. The Pribaltiiskaya hotel offers an expanse of beachfront good for running around (though the Baltic is too cold for swimming any time of year), as well as a video game room. In addition, its forthcoming Aquapark should make it a big family draw. Two smaller hotels with child-friendly attitudes are the Fifth Corner, whose young staff is happy to babysit; and Alexander House, run by a couple ready with help and advice on how to share St. Petersburg with your children.
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For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.
Because St. Petersburg children are usually fed at home by Babushka (Grandma) until adolescence, and few tourists come with small kids, few restaurants have been motivated to accommodate families. This is changing, thanks largely to international hotel and restaurant chains. The weekend brunch at Corinthia Nevsky Palace includes a playroom and kids' activities as well as many kid-palatable buffet options. Russkaya Rybalka has a children's play area and child's menu, and older kids may get a kick out of helping their parents fish off the pier. Street of Broken Lights is one of the few places local residents frequent with the whole family, and servers are child-accommodating. For quick food at all hours, Russian fast-food restaurant Blindonald's has a child's corner and familiar fare, with a focus on pancakes and mini-pies stuffed with jam, meat, or potatoes. McDonald's, KFC, and Sbarro are always safe bets for a highchair and baby-changing tables, though they don't generally have play equipment and are not as spacious as their outlets in American suburbs.
For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed restaurants, visit our online dining index.