Boston Common Park is arguably the most famous park in Boston and contains the most visitors daily. No matter the season of your visit, there are always fun activities one can do. Although outdoor activities do favor warmer weather — as most outdoor activities do! Let’s get into the seven activities that’ll keep you occupied during your visit to this historical park founded in 1830.
1. A Picnic with the family, friends or spouse.
As the winter becomes a season of the past and we look forward to the late spring to early summer, a picnic at Boston Common Park is a must activity. The soil becomes softer with the sun turns the snow into water, which grass takes in all of it to cover most of the park’s grounds.
Life springs into action at Boston Common Park. Squirrels return on the hunt for nuts, birds search for wiggly rewards under the soft ground to feed their newest addition to the family, and with every day, the trees increase their leave count. Some workers who work near Boston Common Park visit it for a lunch during their break.
Lay down a white cloth on the green grass, and listen to the surrounding life. Either lay on your back and watch as the clouds glide on the canvas above you, or rest your back against a large trunk as you watch cheery tourists and commoners walk along the paths that seem as if they’re the veins of the park. Maybe have a snack with you, or even share a meal with your spouse. Let the afternoon slip by as you rest your back against the large oak tree that has existed before the both of us.
Picnic is number one on my list, as it is a great way to soak in the life of Boston Common Park. Experience the life that exists while enjoying some snacks with great company! What else could you ask for?
2. Let your little ones cool off in the few inches deep pool
When summer become no stranger to the Boston area, Boston Common Park can be a great option to spend an evening or afternoon. Located at the center is a large, but not so deep, swimming pool. But before you get too excited, it’s only for toddlers and young children, unofficially. But that doesn’t keep some adults from dipping their feet into the cold water.
Bring your children’s bathing suits and take them to the nearby restrooms to change. Once they’re in the pool, it’ll be almost impossible to bring them out while the sun still shines from above. The pool is only a few inches deep, I’d say, not exceeding one foot. Let them splash in the cold water, and maybe they’ll make new friends.
As an adult, you have a few options once they’re in the pool. A few lies their feet in the water by the edge — allowing their feet to soak in the cold water. But most sit at the many benches which cover the perimeter of the spray pool. There are also some who love to lie down in the grassy area just behind the benches, as they watch their children cool off in the summer’s heat.
Let’s move on to another section of Boston Common Park. More for the kids and it’s better during the summer, but available year-round — the playground at Boston Common Park.
3. Boston Common Playground and Carousel
More activities for the children. These two activities are on either side of the pool — playground on the closest entrance (entrance is subjective, so when I mention it, I’m referring to the one near the Park St Station) and the Carousel is on the opposite side of the pool, furthest away from the entrance (as far as these three items are compared).
The playground is available year-round, but not so popular on the winter days. It’s very unlikely you’ll find children having fun at a playground with only bitter cold around. The same is said for the carousel. It’s hard to enjoy an activity that’s more enjoyable in the summer weather. The carousel is only available during the summer day, when the hours are long and the kids are out from school. We can find carousel near the pool, and near it there are plenty of stands of snacks and sandwiches for purchase.
4. Ice Skating (winter season)
When the not-so-deep pool is out-of-order because of the season, it becomes useful for ice skating. For those tourists who visit Boston Common Park in the winter, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in this fun activity.
The price is very reasonable — for adults it’s $5, students and seniors $3, and for children under 10 years old only a buck! There are other rentals that one could rent, but not really necessary. Anyway, skating at Boston Common Park won’t put a hole in your pocket — everything is cheap.
There’s a lovely scenery at the skating ring, especially at night with the street lamps covering all the paths of Boston Common Park. I would definitely recommend visiting the place after dinnertime, maybe around 7-8PM, but after sunset is great. Although that it becomes crowded by this time because of the beautiful scenery and the quiet atmosphere that’s built around the ice skating ring.
5. Feed the Squirrels and Pigeons of Boston Common Park
Before arriving at Boston Common Park, purchase a bag of nuts, grains and seeds. During the warmer seasons, you’ll find many squirrels and pigeons sharing the park with us — the humans.
Although they, themselves, can search for food, you can’t go wrong by feeding them yourself. Grab a seat on one of the many benches at Boston Common Park. Anywhere is fine, but I would suggest you grab one closest to the entrance. There are plenty of trees by that entrance.
Pull out some nuts and search for a curious squirrel. Once you have met one, place a few nuts on your palm, and come close to it — don’t rush in, just slowly as you would the first time touching a horse or cow. Bend down, keeping your hand near that ground for the squirrel to reach.
At any moment, the squirrel will make eye contact with the treasure you’re holding in your hand. It will approach you slower than you did to it, and this is your signal to stop moving. Allow the squirrel to do the moving from here on out.
When it reaches close by, it will rush to your hand and snap the treasure right off. Record it with your phone using the other hand, or simply watch the squirrel accept your offering.
Feeding pigeons is a lot easier than squirrels, as it doesn’t require much effort. Grab a seat on a bench and slowly toss a handful of seeds and grains beside the bench (to not block the path).
In a matter of moments, families of pigeons will fly down to feast on the seeds and grains you provided them. And as they’re feasting, you’re rewarded by watching them.
6. Bring your dog to fetch at the park
The park is pet friendly, and if you have a dog, why not bring the dog with you? There are many enormous fields of grass from the Charles St. entrance of the Boston Common Park (opposite end of State St. entrance).
There are many dog owners who bring their dogs to the park. Spend an evening with your pal. As there are more dogs, particularly in summer, your pal might find new friends. But make sure that your dog is friendly and that you clean up after it if the dog relieves itself.
A short section, as I don’t have a dog or a pet. In this section, I’m speaking from observation, but I thought it deserved to mention because of its popularity at Boston Common Park during summer or any day that’s warm.
7. Get some exercise on the path
As the sub-title hints… very basic, I know! Bring your running shoes or bike, or even rollerblades. The paths of Boston Common Park are flat and contain minor bumps to no bumps, making them perfect for walking, running, skating, or any other physical activity. You would think that with so many trees that there would be many roots craving through them, but this is not the case.
Join the joggers who have their morning jog at this historical location. Bring a running buddy who you can share a conversation with as you two get your daily exercise. Listen to the surrounding life — the kids playing at the playground, the trees dancing with the wind, and the conversations from other walkers.
There are many Bluebike stations around Boston. Why not rent a bike and cross the park with a partner. Or, if you would rather soak in the life slowly, take a walk. Talk to your friends as you walk under the summer sun. Let your legs take you around the maze of paths of Boston Common Park.
As mentioned in the introduction, summer is the best time to experience the life that exists at Boston Common Park — there’s more life, more memories to be shared, and no issues with the weather!
Whether you’re a tourist or a local—such as myself—Boston Common Park is a location everyone should inevitably experience. And for the locals, it should be at least twice a summer. The life that lives within is unique and the memories that store themselves inside your mind will make the trip well worth it.
The video linked shows a really good walkthrough of Boston Common Park. Take a 25 minute tour of the park.