News & Events

Young Friends Skate Night

Monday, February 6, 2017

Young Friends invites you to celebrate winter with us on the Frog Pond

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee, @imeliotlee

Photo Credit: Eliot Lee, @imeliotlee

Date: Monday, February 6, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Price: $35

Get your tickets here!

Ticket Includes: Skate rental, hot cocoa, a donation to the Friends, and a chance to win one of our great raffle prizes!

Last year’s event was cancelled due to warm weather, so we’re hoping for ice-freezing cold temperatures!

View photos from the 2015 event on our blog or check out our Facebook album.



Public Garden Tours; Untold Stories of the Public Garden

May to September 2017

Join our wonderful volunteers for a free guided walking tour of the Public Garden. Learn about the history, horticulture, and sculptures that make America’s first public botanical garden such a special place.

Our season is May-September. See you in 2017!

Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Meet at the Make Way for Ducklings statue.



Brewer Fountain Plaza, Boston Common

April to November

The Friends of the Public Garden is excited to announce that the following food trucks have been selected for our 2016 rotating food truck program at the Brewer Fountain Plaza on the Boston Common (near Park Street Station).  The program started in April and runs through November.

Follow each truck on Twitter to get real-time updates.

Bon Me (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11 am – 3 pm)
Bon Me has been serving bold, fresh, and fun Vietnamese food since they won the City of Boston’s food truck challenge in 2011. Six food trucks and five restaurants later, they’re serving their healthful and exciting sandwiches, noodle salads, and rice bowls to Boston and beyond. Twitter: @bonme


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 Boston’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.


Duckling Day

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thank you all for joining the Friends of the Public Garden for this Mothers Day tradition that celebrates springtime in our most beloved parks! Photos from 2016 Duckling Day here!

More information can be found at our Duckling Day page.