Best Parks in Boston For Picnics and Recreation

Wildlife & Nature

Parks in Boston | Boston Parks, Nature Attractions

According to official records, Boston boasts of over 2,300 acres of parkland that adds to its greenery. Parks in Boston, that include Boston Public Garden and Boston Common, East Boston Memorial Park, Olmsted Park, Back Bay Ferns etc., are large open spaces that are suitable for people of all ages and all kinds of activities. While the playgrounds, carousels and swing-sets make them fun for children, the golf courses, athletic fields and game courts make them ideal for everyone.

Here is the list of 17 Best Parks in Boston For Picnics and Recreation

1. Boston Public Garden and Boston Common

Boston Public Garden and Boston Common

Boston Public Garden and Boston Common happen to be a pair of public parks, with the former being at the centre of the city and the latter being the first public park of the United States. While the two are excellent for simply taking a stroll, admiring the wildlife, monuments and fountains or riding the Swan boat, the former is also a botanical garden which showcases a variety of flora. The Victorian touch of the parks provides a romantic feel, which is why they are preferred locations for weddings.

Address: 4 Charles St., Boston, MA 02108, USA
Activities: Walking, boating, appreciating the architecture (fountains, monuments, statues), Duckling Day Parade
Suggested Duration: 1-3 hours
Closest Subway Stop: Boylston Street Station on the MTBA Greenline

2. Boston National Historical Park

Boston National Historical Park

A collection of 8 sites, the Boston National Historical Park is a National Historic Landmark, owing to its depiction of the city’s role in the American Revolution. 7 of these sites are linked by the Freedom Trail, thus providing people with an opportunity to take a walking tour of downtown Boston. Since it’s a site of such historical significance, the Park hosts numerous educational tours and programs, and Faneuil Hall and Charlestown Navy Yard is where the Park operates two visitor centres.

Address: Building 5, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02109, USA
Hours: Monday (open 24 hours), Wednesday (closed), other days- 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Main Attractions and Activities: Faneuil Hall and Charlestown Navy Yard visitor centres, Freedom Trail and Black Heritage Trail, Ranger-Guided Talks and Tours, Education Programs

3. Rose Kennedy Greenway

Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a green and beautiful linear park that runs above Interstate 93. It is quite a popular destination and regularly attracts large crowds, especially in the summers, when the weather is pleasant and there are numerous events. The kids can have fun at the carousel, while the adults can walk or jog and even take advantage of Trillium’s, the local brewery. Moreover, the food trucks are an opportunity to munch on something delicious.

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Hours: 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 1-3 hours
Main Attractions and Activities: Volunteering for the Horticulture project, Mother’s Walk, Carolyn Lynch Garden, City Winery, Cornhole by Social Boston Sports

4. East Boston Memorial Park

East Boston Memorial Park

The East Boston Memorial Park is a public park owned by the City of Boston and spans over an area of about 23 acres, providing the public with open and safe green spaces. While the public trails make this an excellent choice for walking or jogging, it is most well-known for being ideal for children, with its playground, sports fields and spray fountains. Moreover, it is home to Suffolk’s varsity sports like baseball, soccer and softball, thus attracting large crowds.

Address: 143 Porter St., Boston, MA 02128, USA
Hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Activities: Walking, playing, varsity sports (baseball, softball, soccer)

5. Back Bay Fens

Back Bay Fens

The park is a part of Emerald’s Necklace in Boston and was originally a saltwater marshland. Also known as the “Fens” or the “Fenway”, there are 6 entrances to this urban wild that houses several monuments and memorials. While the park in itself, with its sports fields, formal gardens and open spaces, is a great place to walk around and admire the greenery, it is well-known for its landmarks like the Westland Gate with lion heads, the Duck House, the Fire Alarm Office and the Japanese Temple Bell.

Address: 100 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Suggested Duration: 1-3 hours
Key Attractions: Kelleher Rose Garden, Japanese Temple Bell, Duck House, Westland Gate, Fire Alarm Office

6. Commonwealth Avenue Mall

Commonwealth Avenue Mall

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall that is part of the Emerald Necklace, is a linear park often frequented by a “posh” crowd. It is an ideal location to seek shade in the hot summer months, owing to its gigantic trees and is great for taking a stroll or for walking pets. Not only was it designed in the French boulevard style, but it also has historical appeal and is the site of many statues, such as that of Abigail Adams, Phyllis Wheatley and Lucy Stone, that attract many visitors.

Address: 484 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116, USA
Hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Activities: Walking/jogging, walking pets, learning about Boston’s history and architecture, admiring the flora
Public Transportation: Subway, bus, train

7. Olmsted Park

Olmsted Park

A linear park that is part of Emerald’s Necklace connecting to the Fenway on the north side, Olmsted Park is a popular destination for many, owing to its woodlands, ponds, athletic fields and trails. It is suitable for people of all ages to come and take a stroll through the lush greenery, walk or hike on the trails, bike, walk pets or simply admire the many ponds, bridges and flora and fauna. Olmsted Park is also the site of many concerts and events in the summer months.

Address: 217 Jamaicaway, Boston, MA 02130, USA
Suggested Duration: 2-4 hours
Main Attractions: Ward’s Pond, Leverett’s Pond, Willow Pond, Muddy River, wildflower meadow, Allerton Overlook, Summer Sundays in the Park concerts

8. South Boston Bark Park

South Boston Bark Park

Located close to the shoreline, South Boston Bark Park is a treat for dog owners and lovers. It is a fenced area with benches and tunnels where people can bring their dogs (they must be licensed) and let them off the leash. Not only is it ideal for dogs, but people can also come and sit under the shade of the trees while watching the dogs run around. Given that the beach is close by, people opt to walk to or from Park.

Address: 1280 Columbia Road, Boston, MA 02127, USA
Hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Beaches Nearby: Carson Beach, M Street Beach, L Street Beach

9. Medal of Honor Park

Medal of Honor Park

Initially known as Independence Square, Medal of Honor Park is a peaceful historic park in South Boston’s City Point. The park houses a memorial to honour the Vietnam Veterans and every year in September, there is a ceremony to rededicate the same. It is an excellent location for a picnic, walking around in the lawns and the pathway, and is also ideal for kids, especially after the renovation brought in new play equipment and water play.

Address: 775 1st St., Boston, MA 02127, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Main Attractions: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, September ceremonies

10. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is made up of 34 islands and peninsulas and is extremely close to the city. Owing to the many islands, there are several beaches where visitors can swim, sunbathe or engage in beach sports. Besides being home to varying wildlife and plant life, the trails offer the perfect opportunity for hiking or walking. Key attractions of the park include Fort Warren (Georges Island) from the civil war era and Boston Light (Little Brewster Island), the oldest lighthouse in the States.

Address: 191w Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02109, USA
Islands: Bumpkin Island, Gallops Island, Little Calf Island, Raccoon Island, Green Island etc.
Main Attractions and Activities: Fort Warren, Boston Light, hiking/swimming, swimming
Transportation: Ferries and shuttle boats to and from the city

11. Paul Revere Landing Park

Paul Revere Landing Park

Paul Revere Landing Park is a 5-acre parkland situated on the Charles River. It is a great place to walk around, play, jog or simply relax amidst the greenery and is quite close to the Freedom Trail and Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. Sporting an oval-shaped lawn, a performance area as well as a playground, it is suitable for all ages and attracts a considerable number of people.

Address: N Washington St., Boston, MA 02129, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours

12. Castle Island

Castle Island

Castle Island, a gorgeous piece of green land located in South Boston, is a part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Fort Independence happens to be a key attraction on this peninsula as it sits overlooking the waters. Castle Island is quite popular for its sandy beaches where visitors can swim, sunbathe or play beach sports; there are restrooms and showers on site. Moreover, they can explore Castle Island Loop and Pleasure Bay Loop or simply head to the picnic area.

Address: 2010 William J Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127, USA
Hours: 6:30 am to 7:00 pm
Restrictions: Pets are not allowed May through September

13. Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Located in Boston’s North End, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a small, harbourside public park. Frequented by large crowds on a regular basis, it is known for the many events and festivals that it hosts every year. Visitors can have a fun time at the centrally located playground, admire the trellised avenue, have a bite at the popular bars and restaurants or can simply walk or jog on the Harbor Walk that it is a part of. Until recently, it housed a statue of Christopher Columbus.

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Activities: Climbing, walking/jogging, picnic, admiring the rose garden
Crowd Situation: Generally heavily crowded

14. Franklin Park

Franklin Park

Franklin Park, that connects the neighbourhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roslindale, is a massive wooded area in the centre of Boston and perhaps the largest open space too. The trails make it ideal for walking or hiking, while the playgrounds and the Franklin Park Zoo make it an especially fun destination for children. This “country park” is well-known for attractions such as Scarboro Pond, the historic Bear Cages, the William Devine Golf Course, amongst others. The Playhouse is known to host different music events.

Address: 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston, MA 02121, USA
Zoo Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 2-4 hours
Attractions: William Devine Golf Course, Scarboro Pond, Playhouse in the Park, Elma Lewis Playstead, White Stadium

15. Harambee Park

Harambee Park

Earlier known as Franklin Field, Harambee Park is about 45 acres of recreational parkland, known primarily for the many sports fields; there are basketball courts, a football field, cricket pitches, soccer and lacrosse fields, a little league field. The many sporting fields are suitable for hosting different games and also for ensuring that people do not engage in sports activities in the nearby Franklin Park. These, along with the playgrounds, make is perfect for children while the well-lit pathways are suitable for walking.

Address: 930 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02124, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Sports: Basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, cricket, little league

16. LoPresti Park

LoPresti Park

A popular recreation spot on the Eastie waterfront (East Boston), LoPresti Park offers visitors a gorgeous view of the Boston skyline. The basketball courts, street hockey rink and the soccer field provide people with the perfect chance to play some sports at any given time of the day. Moreover, they can choose to go fishing or kayaking in the water, two popular activities, or simply take a stroll on the pier while enjoying the view, especially at night.

Address: 33 Summer St., Boston, MA 02128, USA
Hours: 6:00 am to 11:30 pm
Activities: Basketball, soccer, hockey, fishing, kayaking, walking

17. Peters Park

Peters Park

Peters Park is a fitting destination for both children and adults. Visitors can have fun playing baseball, basketball or tennis in the designated courts while children can enjoy themselves in the Tot Lot! The gardens are wonderful for walking about and are lined with flowers. Dog owners can bring their dogs to the Dog Park and can sit on the benches while the dogs run around off the leash.

Address: 1277 Washington St., Boston, MA 02118, USA
Hours: Open 24 hours
Activities: Walking, basketball, baseball, tennis, dog walking

Hope you liked our list of parks in Boston; let us know what you think in the comments below!

This post was published by Arushi Bhowmick

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