Outdoor Spaces to Visit in Boston while Social Distancing

Before making plans to visit these great parks, be sure to review the City of Boston’s guidelines for social distancing!

Rose Kennedy Greenway 

Running through Chinatown, the Financial District, the Harbor, and the North End, the Greenway is a favorite for food trucks, markets, and visual art. While the pandemic is affecting our city, the team at the Greenway has also created a variety of activities for you to spend time learning about nature while staying indoors. You can learn about New England’s birds from one of their resident birders, read up on how to plant a container garden, and even check out their Augmented Reality exhibit for an interactive experience of the park.



Boston Common and Boston Public Garden

These two historic areas, created in 1634 and 1837 respectively, are home to some of Boston’s most iconic acres. Both spaces were created to serve as a common ground for all Bostonians to experience relief from the pollution and overcrowding of city life. Today, they are home to the beloved swan boats, Frog Pond, and many great works of art. 


Arnold Arboretum

Havard’s 281-acre Arboretum is not only one of Boston’s most beloved public parks but is also one of the world’s most respected research institutions. It houses nearly 15,000 individual plants, including labeled trees, shrubs, and ferns that will catapult your plant knowledge to the next level. Online, the Arboretum staff has curated incredible resources to learn more about plants, science, and evolution like this blog post about the impact of lilacs in art and culture and an exhibit featuring the work of printmakers whose prints are an effortless blend of art and nature. 



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Charles River Esplanade

The Esplanade is an epic 17-mile stretch of land along Boston’s great river, scattered with playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, and public art. It is the immediate envy to commuters stuck in cars along Storrow Drive. In June, you can show your love for the Esplanade by participating in a Virtual 5k to benefit the maintenance of the area.



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Jamaica Pond

Initially formed by the natural movement of glaciers, Jamaica Pond is a go-to spot for water activities like kayaking, boating, and fishing. The 1.5-mile path along the pond is perfect for beginners, experienced runners, and everyone in between. As the largest standing body of water in the Emerald Necklace, Jamaica Pond is a peaceful escape from city living. 



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The Riverway 

Running along the Muddy River from the Back Bay Fens to Brookline Village, this scenic park is loved by commuters, cyclists, and runners alike. The steep banks and wooded edges along the river provide a serene quality to our bustling city, and the bridges throughout perfectly capture Boston’s architectural history.



Stone gazebo and bridge

The Riverway

Middlesex Fells 

Only a short drive outside downtown Boston, the Middlesex Fells Reservation is home to trails, ponds, and open spaces perfect for hiking, mountain biking, running, and boating. The Fells is worth a visit for the off-leash dog area alone, which is still open for your furry friends to enjoy.


Franklin Park

This wooded park stretches across 527 acres of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester. The park is home to the historic Bear Cages, Scarboro Pond, a renowned cross-country running course, the Franklin Park Zoo, White Stadium, the Elma Lewis Playstead, and more!



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Boston Harborwalk

Connecting 8 Boston neighborhoods and nine public beaches, the 43 miles of the Boston Harborwalk is the perfect path for deepening your relationship to Boston’s history and culture. Over the past few decades, Boston Harbor and the Harborwalk benefited from a redevelopment process that cleaned up our city’s shores and enhanced experiences for pedestrians by making each wharf and pier unique to its location, further showcasing the unique qualities of our city’s neighborhoods. 








Elena Pearl, Patron Services ManagerElena Morris (she/her/hers) is ArtsBoston’s Patron Services Manager. She is a dramaturg and arts administrator passionate about forward-thinking in the arts. Elena holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University, focusing her studies on dramatic literature and movement.
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