Founded in 1634, the Boston Common bears the distinction of being the oldest park in America -- making it a longtime…More and excellent neighbor to Beacon Hill. The jumping off point for the Freedom Trail, the Common is host to everything from full-scale Shakespeare productions to Ultimate Frisbee and impromptu snowball fights. Its a fixture of life in Boston and Beacon Hill residents benefit from their close proximity to the nearly 50 acres of green space. While the Common has a rich history filled with revolution, political protest and a whole lot of cattle grazing (up until 1830), most of today's Beacon Hill residents enjoy the Common as a great place to take a blanket and relax in the sun or else grab some ice skates for a spin around Frog Pond in the winter.
City parks officials recently announced plans to remake the "Pink Palace" -- a now-defunct men's restroom near the Common tennis courts -- into a high-end restaurant. This park really has seen everything.
The Common is bordered by Beacon Hill to its north and the Boston Public Garden to its west, which was created 200 years after the founding of the Common. Together with the Public Garden, the Common makes up nearly 75 acres of green space in the heart of downtown Boston.
Sovereign Bank 68 Beacon St, Boston, MA02108 Founded in 1902, Sovereign Bank has branches across the northeast United States. Situated directly between the Public…More Garden, the Boston Commons and the busy Charles Street, this is a full-service branch of Sovereign Bank with a lobby, two ATMs (one of which is a talking ATM) and safe deposit boxes. The location also provides night deposit services.
Like its neighbor the Boston Common, the Public Garden is known for breaking historical ground. When it was created…More in 1837, it was credited as America's first public botanical garden. Because it's right next the the Common, the two are often indistinguishable and most tourists and even some residents don't realize they are visiting two different parks.
Together with the Common, the Public Garden makes up nearly 75 acres of green space in the heart of downtown Boston. Most tourists flock to the Garden for a spin around the pond in the famous Swan Boats, in operation since 1877. The boats welcome riders between April and September every year. But the Public Garden's charms are much more varied and deep than the Swan Boats -- the impeccable landscaping and peaceful, timeless atmosphere provides Beacon Hill residents with a year-round urban oasis. But for $2.75 a pop, a Swan Boat ride could be a worthwhile 15-minute reprieve even for native Bostonians.
Saturdays, especially during the summer, are exceptionally busy at the Garden -- and watch out for ubiquitous newlyweds and their snap-happy wedding photographers ignoring signs not to walk on the grass!
No cycling or rollerblading and definitely no walking on the grass!
In July and August the Boston Common Frog Pond is transformed into a wading pool and water fountain. The pool is open…More daily from 11 a.m. to 6p.m.
From November to mid-March, the Frog Pond becomes a skating rink. Admission is $4 for those 14 and older. Adult skates can be rented for $8 a pair and children's skates can be rented for $5 a pair. Lockers are available for $1. Season passes are also available, and the skating rink can be rented out for birthday parties and other events.
The Carousel on the Common operates April through October and tickets are $3 a ride. It's open daily from 11am to 9pm. The Lily Pad Café serves up food to hungry swimmers or skaters from 11am to 6pm daily.
The Skating Club of Boston operates and manages the Frog Pond Skating Rink.
Friends of the Public Garden is a nonprofit organization that formed in 1970 in response to the deterioration of…More Boston's public parks. Today, the organization partners with the city of Boston to maintain the beauty and splendor of the Boston Public Garden, the Boston Common and the Back Bay's Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
From its headquarters in Beacon Hill, Friends of the Public Garden helps to preserve and protect the parks by repairing fences and fountains, restoring monuments and maintaining trees and foliage. It takes care of 44 monuments and more than 2,000 trees in all three parks. In 2009, the organization spent more than $150,000 on pruning, fertilizing and injecting trees against disease.
The group partners with the city of Boston and is supported largely through private donations. Executive Director Elizabeth Vizza and a board oversee the organization's activities. To join Friends of the Public Garden, residents can make a donation online of $25 or more.
National Society of The Colonial Dames of Massachusetts 55 Beacon St, Boston, MA02108 This state branch of the national organization owns and manages the historic William Hickling Prescott…More House. Built in 1808, the house contains remarkable collection of antique furniture, decorative arts and costumes. Tours of this museum are offered May through October for a fee of $5. With a prime location overlooking Boston Common, the second floor of this National Historic Landmark is available for private functions such as weddings and receptions.