Thursday, September 29, 2011

Swan Boat Rides in Boston

Prior to heading to Boston this summer, I checked out the famous children's book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey* from our library. I was hoping it would be a simple way to introduce the city and some of the sites to The Arrow before arriving. (If you're not familiar with the story, it's about a family of ducks who settle in the Boston Commons.) Alas, while he is a voracious reader, he never really took to the book and hardly glanced at it in the weeks preceding our trip. Not a total loss, though. I loved it and flipped through it several times before I returned it.

That book, in combination with several blog friends' recommendations, put a swan boat ride in the Boston Public Garden at the top of my list of things I wanted to do while visiting the city. So on our first morning there, we made that our first stop.

We arrived right as it opened at 10 a.m. and only had to stand in line briefly. It gave us a chance to watch the first few boats depart.

Insider Tip: If you find yourself waiting in a long line for the boats, I'd tag-team the parenting. Have someone wait in line until you get close to the boat house, while the other runs around in the park with the kids.

The ride itself was a pleasurable 15 minutes or so. Just long enough to hold a toddler's attention without getting too wiggly.

The Gardens itself are a beautiful spot in the city and you get a pretty good glimpse of them throughout the boat ride. Even if you don't have kids, it's a pleasurable experience. At least, that's what I hope these two travel companions would say. (My poor brother and sister-in-law got dragged on all kinds of toddler adventures while we were in Boston.)

After taking a boat ride, you're only steps away from a carousel, playground and the Boston Common Frog Pond. We walked by these fun attractions, but they weren't open for the day yet. If you time your visit right, you could easily fill a morning or afternoon in this part of the city.

If You Visit:
Swan Boats
The Boston Public Garden is bound by Arlington, Boylston, Charles and Beacon Streets. The Green Line Arlington Station is the closest T stop.
$2.75 for adults, $1.50 for children 2-15.
The 2011 season has concluded. The swan boats will begin running again sometime in April of 2012.
Insider Tip: There's not really a good place to park a stroller. We had a cheap one with us, so we felt comfortable just folding it up and parking it near a bench while we rode the boat. If you're traveling with an expensive stroller, consider bringing a lock of some sort to protect it from theft.

This post is a part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.

Like what you see? Then "like" Arrows Sent Forth on Facebook! You might also enjoy my Boston Trip Report, chronicling our 5 days in the city.

*Links to my Amazon Affiliate account. A small portion of any sales made through these links will come back to support this blog, but this does not in any way increase the cost of purchase for you.