The Friends of the Public Garden, in association with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, celebrates Mother’s Day with Boston-area families during its annual Duckling Day event. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, May 14, 2023!

A beloved tradition for more than 30 years, Duckling Day celebrates the children’s classic book, “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. Every year, over 1,000 people meet up and parade through Boston’s most picturesque parks, dressed like characters from the story. Led by the Harvard Marching Band, the parade will begin on the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand and end in the Public Garden near the famous Make Way for Ducklings sculpture. Bring your camera – the parade is possibly the most adorable thing you’ll ever see!

Prior to the parade will be Playtime on the Common, a vibrant array of family entertainment including a creative play area, a magician and other performers, interactive circus games, live music, and more. All families are welcome to decorate their wagons or strollers, bring a picnic, and enjoy springtime in Boston’s most beloved parks!

Duckling day

Prior to the parade will be Playtime on the Common, a vibrant array of family entertainment from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. All activities are included with event admission:

· Interactive Circus Games with Esh Circus Arts
· Jenny the Juggler
· Peter O’Malley, magician
· Jump, climb, and play with Knucklebones
· Meet our giant Duck!
· Visit with the Harvard University Band
· Make Way for Ducklings reading station
· A goody bag for every kid – full of Duckling Day-themed items!

The registration fee is $35 per family in advance (before May 6th) and $40 per family the day of the event. Each child who registers will receive a special goody bag. Register here.

Would you like to showcase your company’s products or services to hundreds of Greater Boston families? The Friends is seeking business sponsors to exhibit at this fun, family event on Boston Common on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022. In addition to on-site exhibit space, the Friends offers pre- and post-event promotional benefits for your business. For more information, contact Karin Turer at or 617-599-8509.

Visitors may be filmed, videotaped, and/or photographed by an employee or contract photographer at any event sponsored by the Friends of the Public Garden. Admission to the event serves as permission for the use of images of visitors by the Friends of the Public Garden and its constituents. The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are public places and as such photos of our guests are permitted as they would be in any public space, such as a park, trail, or roadway. However, visitors may ask – either the photographer or a Friends of the Public Garden staff member – not to be photographed. The Friends asks all photographers to respect the wishes of Friends of the Public Garden’s guests. Harassment of any visitor or infringement on their personal space is prohibited. Please contact us at if you would like your picture removed from one of our online platforms.

Please contact Karin Turer at 617-599-8509 if you wish to arrange press coverage.

Duckling Day 2021 was held virtually on May 9, 2021. WATCH HERE!

Watch an All-Star reading of Make Way for Ducklings below:

Ducks on Parade! A wonderful new book by Nancy Schön. In a series of delightful photographs taken by members of the public, Ducks on Parade! chronicles many of the original, moving, humorous, and startling outfits that artistic Bostonians have dressed the ducks in. From summer hats to winter scarves, from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter, the ducks reflect the life of the city and our country. Purchase a copy here.