“Dancing bears, painted wings. Things I almost remember. And a song, someone sings. Once upon a December…”
I thought I’d share with you my latest obsession: themed trippin! If you know me, you know I love a good theme. Especially if it involves a movie. My second favorite thing next to traveling!
It turns out having a December, Russian-themed Anastasia day in New York City is fairly easy. I think a good start to a themed trip is to watch a similar movie before you go! The musical was based off Disney’s version of the rumored story of Anastasia Romanov, so it was perfect!
A little background on this story:
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov of Russia was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia. Nicholas II caused some turmoil with the people during WWI, and was convinced to abdicate the throne in hopes of avoiding a civil war. So, Anastasia and her family were exiled for a short while when civil war did eventually break out. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, fought to replace imperial rule with a new Communist regime, and The Romanov family was brutally executed.
However, rumors were circulating that Anastasia might have escaped! The location of her burial was unknown during the decades of Communist rule, which fueled the rumor fire and launched a series of imposter claims to the throne. Spoiler – they did eventually identify Anastasia’s remains and the mystery was solved.
The Disney movie plays out the “what if” scenario of Anastasia surviving, but with amnesia. So Hollywood! Awesome.
Anyway, back to the Anastasia day!
Start with a tiara. You don’t have to ask me twice!
Visit an old, elaborate library featuring lots of historical books from the era. In New York City, the perfect library is The Morgan Library and Museum. And it’s free on Friday nights!
Do a little Christmas shopping and buy some Russian knick-knacks, like the Matryoshka Nesting Dolls! Very popular at Christmas time.
Have high tea at the Russian Tea Room! A little pricey, but the ambiance!
They even had a dancing bear, just like in the lyrics to the theme song!
Order a themed cocktail, like a White Russian! Ideally not at Russian Tea Room unless you want to pay $20 (ouch).
Find lots of glitsy and golden photo opps!
And finally…. enjoy the Broadway show!