Franklin Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING: (8)


Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:1 Circuit Drive, Boston, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:
Bathrooms: At the clubhouse (open to all park users, not just golfers)
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

Franklin Park is home to more than just a zoo. Here you can also explore a forest, enjoy concerts, visit playgrounds, run around fields, and go sledding.

A stroller-friendly 2.5-mile loop path winds through Franklin Park.
Photo by: iStock

When people hear “Franklin Park,” they often think “zoo,” but the approximately 500-acre park is much more than that. This is the largest park and crowning jewel of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. Created in the 1880s, it was named for none other than Benjamin Franklin.

In addition to the zoo, a 200-acre forest, tennis courts, baseball fields, a cross-country course, and an 18-hole public golf course—where you can hike, cross-country ski, and sled in winter—are on the property. A stroller-friendly, 2.5-mile loop path winds through woods, over old stone bridges, and past a pond. The Playstead, an area for recreation and sports, is a popular spot. Playgrounds, basketball courts, a baseball field, tennis courts, and a cricket pitch make the park a fantastic place for sports lovers.

Cars do drive along the 6 miles of roads that pass through the park, so be aware, but you can stroll or bike along 15 miles of pedestrian and bridle paths. The Franklin Park Coalition sponsors a number of events in the park throughout the year. Visit franklinparkcoalition.org for details and a calendar.

Remember: Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

You can easily find enough to keep you busy at the park, but no doubt your kids will beg to go to the zoo. If you are a Boston resident with a library card, you can get discounted tickets from your local library.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A restaurant and concessions are available at the zoo, and Jamaica Plain has a variety of restaurants for every taste and budget.



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