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A statue of George Washington, looking stately atop his horse, greets visitors at the main entrance on Arlington Street. Other pieces of public art in the park, however, are more whimsical. The most endearing is Make Way for Ducklings, always a favorite with tiny tots who can climb and sit on the bronze ducks. But it’s the peaceful lagoon that draws visitors and locals alike to the public garden. Here, you should take a ride on one of the slow-going swan boats, a serene relic of bygone Victorian days.
From late May to early September, join a free guided walking tour of the garden and learn about the park’s history and its horticulture. Or book a city tour by foot or on bike to get an overview of Boston including the public garden.
The Boston Public Garden is located west across Charles Street from Boston Common, bordering the Back Bay neighborhood. The garden is easily accessible via the MBTA subway, known as the T: Park Street Station is on both Red and Green Lines. It’s also close to many Back Bay sites such as the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and Gibson House Museum.
On Mother’s Day, the garden hosts Duckling Day, featuring a parade with kids dressed as characters from the Make Way for Ducklings children’s book by Robert McCloskey. Swan boats are available from early April to late September. Overall, the best time to enjoy the garden is in the spring and summer months when the weather is warm and flowers are in bloom and in the early fall months to see the changing leaves.
Adjacent to the public garden, Boston Common is considered the oldest park in the country and features several historical sites, monuments, and memorials, as well as the starting point of the Freedom Trail. The family-friendly spot boasts ice skating in the winter and plenty of activities in the summer, including a carousel.