Mount Auburn Cemetery
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA
Hours:8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, October through April, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, May through August
Fee: Free
Contact:; 617-547-7105

Bathrooms: Outside Story Chapel
Water/Snacks: Water fountain outside Story Chapel

USGS Lexington; ground map available at Story Chapel

America’s first large-scale designed-landscape cemetery is rich in art, architecture, and nature.

From the 62-foot Washington Tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery, visitors enjoy a panoramic view, including Harvard Stadium and the buildings of Boston.
Photo by: Athena Lakri

Mount Auburn Cemetery, founded in 1831, was the first large-scale designed landscape cemetery open to the public in the United States and is now a National Historic Landmark. As with the Forest Hills Cemetery, Mount Auburn is so much more than a burial site. The 175-acre property has ponds, meadows, woods, gardens, fountains, sculptures, monuments, and chapels. It’s considered a wildlife sanctuary for birds; the Mass Audubon Society designated it an Important Bird Area.

Start your visit at Story Chapel (to the right of the cemetery office), which is home to the visitor center. You can watch a video about the cemetery’s history and pick up maps as well as special materials for kids. Mount Auburn is committed to educating children and offers a letterbox challenge, a scavenger hunt, and a family guide to the Washington Tower, an observation tower you can climb for views of Boston.

The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery offers guided walking tours and special events throughout the year. Check the cemetery’s website for a calendar.

Remember: Let your kids know that the cemetery is a place of contemplation for many and is therefore not the place for rambunctiousness. Bicycles, picnics, and pets are not allowed.

Plan B:

Fresh Pond Reservation and Danehy Park (Trips 17 and 18), where the kids can run and play to their hearts’ content, are five minutes away by car.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Plenty of food choices are available in either direction on Mount Auburn Street.



By: kduncanmooney
Posted: 11/05/2012 11:08

I've been to Mount Auburn many times, but finally ventured to the tower on a recent trip. My toddler loved climbing the stairs to the top (which made his mother dizzy to watch!), and the views are great. Be sure to stop by Sofra bakery before you head to the cemetery (it's on Belmont Street, just off of Mount Auburn Street). Sipping on a piping hot rooibos tea latte and enjoying a famous "earthquake" cookie completes an autumnal walk!

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By: FossT
Posted: 05/10/2012 16:57

This is an amazing place. I have driven past it for years, and finally last week we visited it. The vareity of trees alone makes it worth the trip. The grounds are beautifully maintained. The tower is so cool to both climb and look out of.  Our friends enjoyed all the birds, while I enjoyed reading the grave epitaphs.

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