News & Events
A Spin in the Park
A co-hosted event celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Boston Landmarks Commission
March 12, 2015
March 12, 2015
The Friends is delighted to be partnering with the Boston Landmarks Commission on the first in a series of of events that will celebrate BLC’s 40th Anniversary. “A Spin in the Park” is a free guided tour of the Boston Common. On this early-evening ramble, the Friends will present the colorful history of the Common, a designated Boston Landmark since 1977, and their ongoing efforts to restore and maintain it. BLC staff will reveal how the Common’s significant fences, statuary and fountains help define one of the city’s foundational places. This spin through the park will then take to the ice with skating at theFrog Pond, where rental skates will be made available to registered attendees at no cost along with a complimentary hot chocolate. Online registration is available here: blcxlwinter.eventbrite.com
An Evening of Skating for All Ages on Boston Common Frog Pond,
hosted by Young Friends.
February 11, 2015
Enjoy outdoor skating and mingling with Friends while supporting the three historic greenspaces cared for by the Friends – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. All are welcome; membership is not required to participate.
Frog Pond on Boston Common
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
$35.00 per person
(Skate rental and hot cocoa are included in ticket price.)
Reserve your ticket today!
Searching for the Histories of Boston’s Public Garden
February 4, 2015
Boston University Professor Keith N. Morgan will lecture on the creation, evolution, criticism, interpretation and enduring value of the most unusual public landscape in the city’s circuit of parks. From its origins as a private botanical garden built on filled marshland to the public horticultural and educational gem of the mid-Victorian era, the Public Garden became a site for controversy and celebration in its nearly two-century history.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Suffolk University Law School
120 Tremont Street, Boston
Admission: $15.00 per person (Pre-registration is required. Photo ID is needed to check-in.)
Reserve your ticket today!
Holiday Performances with Friends
December 2, 9 & 16 at 5:30 p.m.
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting)
Tuesday, December 2 – Boston Common’s Brewer Fountain Plaza
Tuesday, December 9 – Boston Common, Charles & Beacon corner
Tuesday, December 16 – Commonwealth Avenue Mall near Arlington Street
Young Friends Frame the Garden Event
December 8, 2014
Please join us for a festive evening of appetizers, drinks, and socializing to support the frame project and the Friends ongoing work to care for the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Tickets: $40 per person
Purchase tickets today.
October 9, 2014
THIS EVENT IS FULL. WE ARE NOT LONGER ACCEPTING RSVPs.
Preparing for Climate Change in Boston:
The Vital Role of Our Greenspaces
The Friends of the Public Garden Members Reception will be held on Thursday, October 9th at 6:30 p.m. Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston will discuss what Boston is doing to prepare for climate change, and how parks help.
Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street
Event is free for members, but everyone must RSVP by October 3. You can join the Friends at this event!
We wish to thank Motor Mart Garage, our generous Lead Sponsor of this reception.
Public Garden Tour
September 23, 2014, 12 noon and 4 p.m.
Join the Friends of the Public Garden for a walking tour of Boston’s iconic Public Garden. Learn about the history of America’s first botanical garden, and celebrate the plantings, sculpture, and memorials that make this a favorite destination of local residents, and visitors from near and far.
Please call 617-723-8144 or email email@example.com to RSVP!
Click here to purchase tickets.
Puppets on the Common Returns in August!
August 22, 2014
The event is organized by the Friends and underwritten by the M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust.
The popular puppet show returned to the Common in 2011 after a 16-year absence.
A Summer Party
July 23, 2014
Thank you to everyone that attended — we had a great time!
May 11, 2014
Thank you to all who attended Duckling Day! To view our photos on Facebook click here.
The Friends of the Public Garden would like to thank all of our partners who helped make Duckling Day a big success! Special thanks go to the sponsors listed below:
The Green and White Ball
May 16, 2014
44th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Public Garden
April 29, 2014
Click here to read a transcript of the remarks by our featured speaker, Bill Walczak.
March 29, 2014
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) and the Friends of the Public Garden are co-presenting a special event of talks and exhibit tours related to the MHS Tell It with Pride exhibition. This event is open to the public and free of charge, but registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please register online at this link or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.
Young Friends on Ice: Night at the Frog Pond
February 26, 2014
Thank you to all our Friends — Young and young-at-heart — that came out and supported the parks with ice skating at the Frog Pond! Despite the cold temperatures, fun and hot cocoa was had by all.
Thank you also to Chynna Pope and Elin Shran for their great skating performance!
If you’d like more information on how to become involved with the Young Friends, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 16, 2013
The Friends of the Public Garden hosted its annual Members Reception at the Union Club in Boston. More than 130 Members attended to hear speaker Tupper Thomas, former Administrator of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.
Public Garden Ranks 7th Best in Park in Country
June 30, 2013
The Boston Public Garden is the seventh highest ranked park in the United States in the 2013 “Travelers’ Choice” survey published last week by the TripAdvisor website. The Public Garden is the only New England park among the top 25 in the country. Some reviewer comments:
• “You can’t beat it. With the beautiful landscaping and perfect location, there is nothing like a day at the Public Garden!”
• “It was very well-landscaped and maintained. Very pretty to walk through for a leisurely stroll with friends. There were many old statues there and a variety of flowers. Pretty!”
• “We love the Boston Public Garden. It is one of the most romantic places to be by far. The park is wide open and clean and then there are the swan boats in the middle of the park.”
Summer Social at Via Matta
June 12, 2013
Seventy-five Friends of the Public Garden gathered at Via Matta in Park Square for a cocktail reception on June 12th to celebrate the silver anniversary of The Heritage on the Garden and support the Friends. They included (l-r) Friends Executive Director Elizabeth Vizza, Heritage Developer Ron Druker, Christine Letts, and David Letts. The proceeds will support the work of the friends on Boston Common, in the Public Garden and on Commonwealth Avenue Mall. It was good to see old friends and make new ones.
Students Live and Learn History on the Common
June 3, 2013
Activities included:Playing colonial games and learning about colonial crafts: watching a performance of Native American songs and dances; learning how to plant a Native American “three sisters” garden; viewing farm animals; watching a re-enactment of the valor of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment of African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War; viewing demonstrations of contra dances and the use of wooden pillories for punishment; learning about Native American flint tool making
“It was great to see kids experiencing our rich history in tangible ways,” said Elizabeth Vizza. “Making History on the Common works because it’s simple yet profound.” She thanked event sponsors Motor Mart Garage and Mass Humanities for their generous support.
2013 Green and White Ball raises $393,00 for the parks
May 17, 2013
Two hundred guests attended the Green and White Ball on May 17th at the Taj. The annual gala raised $393,000 to support the work of the Friends in our three parks. We are grateful to all who contributed and for the leadership support provided by: co-chairs Kate Gilbane, Alli Achtmeyer, Katherine O’Keeffe and Annie Sacerdote; honorary co-chairs Anne Brooke, Barbara Hostetter and Nina Doggett, and the event committee. The majority of the proceeds from the event will support the final phase of the Brewer Fountain Plaza project.
The Friends also thanks the following partners for their generous support:The Taj Boston Hotel, Winston Flowers, Felix Doolittle and Roger Farrington Photography.
April to September
The Swan Boats are the enduring centerpiece of the Public Garden and the only boats of their kind in the world. They were launched in 1877 by shipbuilder Robert Paget, a lover of opera, who had been inspired by the finale of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, when the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan. He designed a new boat, with a foot-propelled paddle mechanism enclosed by the figure of a giant swan.
Only a year after the Swan Boats began, Paget died at the age of 42, leaving his wife, Julia, and four children. The young widow assumed full management of the new enterprise, persevering despite the prejudice against women business owners. Her descendants, the fourth generation of Pagets, still operate the Swan Boats, continuing a cherished tradition.
Seven days a week, from early April to late September, the Swan Boats glide in a serpentine course around the lagoon. The fifteen-minute ride, at about two miles an hour, goes around the rocky island made famous in Make Way for Ducklings, under the bridge, and back to dry land. Many famous people have made the quaint voyage, including child actress Shirley Temple, singer Judy Collins, and U.S. presidents Calvin Coolidge and John Kennedy.
For schedules, fares, and more information, check out the Swan Boats website: www.swanboats.com.
The Frog Pond is the year-round heart of Boston Common. In summer, it provides an escape from the heat and a great spot for a picnic. Children splash in the spray pool, while grownups wade in or watch from the grassy slopes. Children also enjoy riding on the colorful carousel nearby. In winter, skaters of all ages stumble, glide, and twirl on the refrigerated ice as lively music fills the air. In spring and fall, the pond becomes a peaceful reflecting pool. The adjacent Tadpole Playground, installed in 2002, attracts a steady flow of youngsters, and the year-round café is a welcome respite no matter the temperature.
In 1995, after decades of decline throughout Boson’s parks, the city constructed a new skating rink and leased the facility to the Boston Common Frog Pond Foundation, created by Thomas Kershaw. Under governance of the Parks Department, the Foundation operated a winter skating program and managed other seasonal activities. This successful arrangement continues under a new operator, the Skating Club of Boston. Click here to learn more about Frog Pond activities.