Boston Public Gardens and the George Washington statue

Surrounded by Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, and Midtown, the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden are natural oases for the inhabitants of the Hub. Located less than a mile from the Boxer, they are easily accessible by walking or biking. A combined 74 acres of foliage,  these destinations are easy ways to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Here are 7 things to enjoy in the Common and the Garden:

Nature in The Garden

Though both the Boston Common and Public Garden are beautiful, verdant expanses, the Garden’s greenery is especially gorgeous. The intricate flower combinations of tulips, roses, and many more are of Victorian influence from its earliest days. The Garden also contains over six hundred trees of more than a hundred varieties, both imported and native, giving it a unique blend of foliage.

Public Art

The sculptures, statues, and memorials in the Boston Common and Public Garden are some of the best in the city. One of the most well-known centerpieces is the Garden’s George Washington statue, but the Boston Massacre Memorial, Ether Statue, and the Japanese Lantern are some of the most interesting and historically significant works located within the parks. The “Make Way for Ducklings,” sculpture, constructed after the popularity of the children’s book, depicts the eight ducklings following their mother and is a favorite for younger visitors.

The Frog Pond

The Frog Pond, situated on the northern side of the Common, has activities for visitors of all ages during each season. Throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy a spray pool and a colorful carousel nearby. Winter offers the Frog Pond skating rink, which is perfect for a couple’s romantic evening or a night of family fun. In spring and fall, the pond becomes a reflecting pool, while the Frog Pond Cafe is open year-round. Be sure to try the barbeque chicken wrap and wash it down with a cranberry juice, Massachusetts’ state drink.

The Boston Public Garden Self-Guided Audio Tour App

One of the more recent technological advancements for the Friends of the Public Garden, the non-profit that is responsible for its maintenance and support, is a mobile app that provides users with a self-guided audio tour. The application uses geolocation to teach visitors about different features when they walk by them. This way, a casual stroll can become an educational experience!

The Swan Boats

Likely the most iconic feature of the Boston Public Garden are its swan boats. These pedal-driven pontoons have large swans covering the paddle box and take visitors on a leisurely trip around the tranquil lagoon. Passengers share the water with resident swans, get a unique view of the Garden from the benches of the boat, and circle the small island where the mallards from “Make Way for Ducklings” decided to raise their children.

Shakespeare on the Common

One of the most unique Boston Common experiences during the summer is the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Free Shakespeare on the Common. Performed at the Parkman Bandstand, this year’s play is Love’s Labour’s Lost, one of the playwrights earliest comedies. Chairs are available for rental and guests can bring their own.

Performance Times

Tuesday-Saturday: 8 PM
Sunday: 7 PM

The History

With the Boston Common as the oldest city park in the country and the Boston Public Garden as the first public botanical garden in the US, the two oases are quite significant. From Revolutionary War events to Civil War meetings to a civil rights rally held by Martin Luther King Jr., the Common has always been a backdrop for free speech and public assembly.