News & Events

Friends Launches Photo Contest

April 13-27

In honor of Membership Month, the Friends is hosting a photo contest and encouraging members of the Instagram community to take photos in the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall, and include the tag #FOPGContest. Learn more.



Meet the Friends Reception

April 30, 2015, 5:30pm

The Friends of the Public Garden is hosting a wine and cheese reception for prospective members interested in learning about the work of the Friends. The reception will be on Thursday, April 30th from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the office at 69 Beacon Street and will celebrate the end of the Friends’ Membership Month. Anyone who joins the Friends during April, either online, via mail, or at this reception, will be entered to win dinner for four at Toscano, Italian Restaurant (Beacon Hill and Harvard Square locations).

Space is limited. To RSVP for the reception, email or call 617-723-8144.
To join online and be entered into the drawing, click here. Or call us and we will send a Membership form to you!

The Green and White Ball

May 8, 2015

For more information click here!

Duckling Day

May 10, 2015

The Friends of the Public Garden in association with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, will celebrate Mother’s Day with Boston-area families will host Duckling Day on Sunday, May 10. A beloved 9_DucklingDayParade2014tradition for more than 30 years, Duckling Day Celebrates the children’s classic book, “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. Enjoy magic, juggling, puppet shows, crafts, circus games, and more.

Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common
10:00 a.m. – Registration opens
Noon – Parade
$35 per family (register online before May 8)
$40 per family at event

For nearby parking information please visit the website of our sponsor: Motor Mart Garage

motor mart logo





Swan Boats

April to September

Public_Garden_Swan_Boats5_crop_webThe 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:

Frog Pond

All Year

Common_FrogpondThe 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.