Located squarely in downtown Boston since 1634, Boston Common is one of the oldest features of the city with plenty of lore to go along with it. Obscure laws, dating back to Revolutionary America, are unenforced now but still remain on the books: Duels to the death were allowed on the Common, but only on Sundays and only if the governor was present; crossing the Common without a shotgun was illegal, for fear of wandering bears. The Common has been a cow pasture, a camp for British soldiers, a public gallows, the home of many protests, a stage for Judy Garland and Martin Luther King, and more recently, a college Quidditch field. There's no telling what to expect from one day to the next on the Common; it could be a festival of Greek culture, a Sarah Palin rally, or Marine Week.
Walk through the Central Burying Ground, where graves dating back to 1756 belong to casualties of Bunker Hill, poet Charles Sprague and artist Gilbert Stuart. The Frog Pond, located near Park Street (the first subway station in America), is popular as an ice skating rink in the winter ; be sure to walk around and check out the many Christmas lights put up by the city. The Frog Pond is also transformed into a public wading pool and fountain during the summer. After a successful run last year, a carousel is open each summer through October, adjacent to the Frog Pond.
In early spring, when the trees by Boylston Station bloom a graceful light pink that is a sigh of relief after the long winter months, their falling petals carpet the intersection of Boylston and Tremont. People from all walks of life awaken from hibernation to poke their noses out of their dorm, cubicle, or apartment and lounge on the Common, careless of grass stains or anything else except the feeling of spring sunlight. Winters in Boston are notoriously cruel, but the heightened joy that comes with surviving the dark weeks is the reward. In the midst of the bustling city, celebrate this small triumph with hundreds of Bostonians as they flock to the park for the summer to relish the Common in its glory.
- Bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street.
- Subway Stop:
- Take the Green Line to Boylston or Park Street, (which is also accessible by the Red Line.)