After trekking around with your kids looking at historical sites in downtown Boston, your pint-sized history buffs will need a break. So, head for The Boston Common and enjoy the huge playground here. There are enough wide open spaces to run around and have a game of frisbee. You can also check out the neighboring Boston Public Garden across the street, two centuries younger.
However, you can also sneak in some history by teling them that this is where cattle and horses would be grazed during Revolutionary War times, where the militia drilled in preparation for war and where there were public hangings!
Later history also shows up in the form of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, Civil War commander of the first all-black regiment), Civil War Recruitment, the site of free speech and anti-Vietnam protests in the 20th Century. Notables such as Pope John Paul II, Martin Luther King Jr. and Charles Lindberg have spoken here.
I can't imagine there is a young child out there who wouldn't love Boston Common. The park sits in the center of American Revolutionary history which is the obvious draw for most visitors, but I think the Duck Pond and playground are probably what steal the hearts of kiddos. The duck pond is a great place on a hot day because it is a shallow wading pool with its large fountain offer kids a great opportunity for play. Adjacent to the duck pond is a fenced playground. Between the two, just try to drag your kids away from this place. Ample green areas beckon for games of tag or frisbee.
The Boston Common also marks the beginning of the Freedom Trail. A small visitor center inside the park is a great place to pick up a map of the trail which helps folks take a self-guided tour of one of the the most historic walks in America.
Boston is my most favorite city in the entire US! It's easy to get around, family friendly and has an amazing park in the middle of the city - The Boston Common!
I took the kids into the city for just one day while we were vacationing at the shore in Rhode Island. We stopped outside the city and rode the train downtown - huge highlight for the kids! After a quick bite to eat, and a stop at a Cookie Food Truck (Yes, I said a Cookie Food Truck!!) we walked over to the Common.
The Common is a beautiful old park right in the center of the city. At one corner is the famous pub, Cheers - a great place to stop for a drink and appetizer. I even rolled the stroller in! At yet another corner, you have Newbury street (another great shopping district/area to stroll and people watch). However, it's the interior of the park that takes you away. On the day we visited, we saw literally 5 different weddings going on! What a backdrop for your wedding photos! And, my 5 year old daughter thought it was magical to see all the brides.
Be sure to take a ride on the swan boats if you happen into the Common. The boast are maneuvered by a young man at the back of the boat peddling his heart out! The prices haven't changed in years! The most expensive ticket was $3. Totally reasonable for a ride around the pond. Not only did we get a chance to see all the brides from the water, but there were baby ducks everywhere. Such a sight to see as we rode these old, beautiful, man-powered boats.
We next found our way over to the Make Way for Ducklings statues. Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings have been immortalized in so many hearts over the years, it was great to stop and let my own little ones meet them in person (well, meet their bronze counterparts!)
The day we were there happened to be a festival day. So, in addition to all the fan favorites, we also met a balloon artist! He was impressive and definitely put the icing on the cake for the kids!
Absolutely a must stop for anyone in Boston...not just kids!
There is so much to see and do at this park. It is a fantastic place to just sit and watch people. If you have a family bring frisbees, football, camera...anything to play with. We walked thru and watched old people feeding pigeons, there were musicians paying anything you can think of. We saw people napping on the grass, others reading books. I realize there isnt a big need to people watch but it can be fun because of the colorful people. This is also next to the freedom trail. You might be able to see a tour guide explaining historic events. You cannot join( as we found out) but if you happen to pass by you can catch a sentence or two. You cant miss the tour guides because they dress as characters from the 1800's
Boston Common was very family friendly. Lots to do, from tours of the historic to a free splash park. The splash park was the hit as it was 99 degrees that day. We went to a few sights, then back to cool off at the splash park. Lunch, then soaked our feet. It really was a great summer family place.
Really fun during summer when the Carousel is set up. People lay out blankets and read or play frisbee. The gazebo is a great place for photographs. Free concerts and such in good weather. During winter months the frog pond is frozen for ice skating and the big Christmas tree is all lit up.
It looks great in all seasons. I love hanging out here in the summer during my break and eating lunch. You will see people running, playing basketball, kids playing in the water sprinklers, etc. Close to shops, restaurants and historical points. This is also a great place to relax on a warm day and just enjoy a good book.
The Common is a great place to let off some steam. There is plenty of open space to run around, as well as a playground. In the winter there's ice skating on the frog pound. I know my 3 year old is not super entertained here, but it's a beautiful green space in the city!
I love the Boston Common, it is an amazing part of history and has so much space and things to offer everyone. I love the Swan Boats and the Duck Pond, they were great for our little one to have fun and she loved the Swan Boat ride, well worth the wait and the Duck Pond was great for her to splash around in. There are also little statues from the book Make Way for Ducklings, my little one loved finding those. It is a great oasis in the city and a whole day can be spent there, for very little money out of pocket. If you have little ones, they will be able to run around and have fun the whole day, while you can relax and enjoy the wonderful area that the city of Boston put aside for all its residents and visitors to enjoy.
I went to Boston for the first time just a few months ago because I met with Family Feud producers there, and my favorite part of the entire city of Boston was Boston Common. It was busy, but it wasn't insane (like how it would have been if it were in NY). I loved the fact that you could just sit down and enjoy the fresh air and the park without looking like you're insane and having to worry about rushing! It was like another dimension from what I'm used to back at home.
When you're tired of trying to make sense of the streets, you can forget about asking for directions and just wander around the park and let the kids chase the pigeons. (Not that I would encourage that activity or anything....) Very centrally located in the middle of the city.
The kids really enjoyed playing in the park. We got some excellent pictures of the kids feeding a squirrel. The birds and the squirrels are so used to human contact the will almost eat from your hand. I would not recommend going in the winter, as it is cold. But it was fun to see the worst placed tree in the world, it covers the view of Beacon Hill. But if you see a vendor selling roasted, sugared nuts don't pass them buy! They are delicious and my kids, who don't like nuts, even ate them!
On a nice day, a visit to Boston Common is worth a few hours. Tell the kids to imagine what it was like when Boston residents used this “common” area to graze their cattle, then discuss what it may have been like to live here when British soldiers used the Common as a training ground before the Revolutionary War.
Nowadays, the Frog Pond is a big attraction year-round. On a hot summer’s day, it’s a great place for a cool dip. In the winter you can glide along on the ice. Forgot your skates? Don’t worry; rentals are available for a nominal fee.
At noon on any weekday, regardless of the weather, you’re likely to share the park with many of the people who work in downtown offices. Bring a picnic lunch, or watch a softball game. A summer concert series attracts name talent and is popular with older kids, teens, and students.
Charles Street separates the Public Garden from Boston Common.
The Boston Common is a must-see for families on vacation. Wife expanses of grass for running, paths for walking, and vendors for snacks -- all right in the middle of the city. In the summer you can play in the playground and then cool off with a dip in the Frog Pond, a wading pool. In the winter the Frog Pond becomes a skating rink, complete with rentals in all sizes and a snack bar for the requisite hot chocolate.