Boston Common
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Lincoln mA
Hours:All hours daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: At the Frog Pond
Water/Snacks: Vendors throughout the park

USGS Boston

America's oldest park is a place of community and a green oasis in the heart of busy downtown.

The Boston Common offers plenty of green space for picnicking.
Photo by: Kimberly Duncan-Mooney

Boston Common, almost 50 acres, is the United States’ oldest park, established in 1634. Once used for grazing livestock, it now offers a respite from the city sidewalks. The Frog Pond (a spray pool in summer and an ice-skating rink in winter) and the adjacent Tadpole Playground are great for kids, but wandering through the city’s backyard, smelling the flowers, and admiring the view are also enticing.

Boston Common is the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that wend through many of Boston’s neighborhoods. The Common has long been a place of public assembly, hosting everything from bonfires and fireworks celebrating the repeal of the Stamp Act and the end of the Revolutionary War to civil right rallies, including one led by Martin Luther King Jr. Today, in summer you can see a Shakespeare play, watch an informal softball game, or enjoy concerts at the bandstand. In winter, you can skate on the Frog Pond, sled down the park’s central hill, or simply admire the holiday lights that adorn the park’s trees.

Remember: You can learn more about the park’s history and pick up maps at the Visitor Information Center at 148 Tremont Street.

Plan B:

The equally historic Public Garden is just next door, across Charles Street. In summer, take a ride on the Swan Boats at the pond. Don’t forget to look for the Make Way for Ducklings statue, a kid favorite.

Where to Eat Nearby:

All around the Common, you'll find a number of restaurants.


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