ParkARTS: Boston Park and Recreation's cultural programming
COVID-19 update: Due to the current public health circumstances, we have not released our 2021 programming schedule. Stay tuned in the coming months for updates on what programs we are able to host. We'll also provide details on some new programs coming to a park near you!
About our programs
Park partner series
Upcoming eventsUpcoming events
Seasonal events and festivalsSeasonal
One of our only winter events, the Children's Winter Festival is typically hosted during the Boston Public Schools February School vacation each year. During this event we attempt to turn the Boston Common into a winter wonderland. The Common is filled with games, rides, arts and crafts, performances, and much more.
This event is typically held during the Boston Public Schools April school vacation week. Our annual Fairy House Building Festival is hosted in partnership with the Mayor's Mural Crew. During this event, attendees are invited to construct "fairy houses" using natural materials found in Franklin Park’s Schoolmaster Hill area. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best fairy outfit and explore the natural wonders of the park. During this event, you can expect to use your imagination, collect natural materials to create outdoor art, and much more.
One of our favorite ways to kick-start the spring season is with the opening of the Swan Boats at the Boston Public Garden lagoon. This event typically takes place the weekend of the Boston Marathon. It's a beloved tradition for many Bostonians.
There isn't a better way to start summer than with the opening of the Frog Pond Spray Pool on the Boston Common. Typically hosted in June, this fun-filled event features music, interactive exhibits, giveaways, and much more. It’s the perfect way to cool down and celebrate summer.
Our Children’s Summer Festival is the perfect way to end the summer. Typically hosted in late August, this festival usually takes place in Franklin Park’s Playstead area. While at the event, you can expect to find a variety of vendors, interactive exhibits, face painting, a visit from our Park Ranger Mounted Unit, music, entertainment and much more.
One of our spookiest events each year is the Pumpkin Float Festival at the Boston Common Frog Pond. Typically held in October, we invite attendees to dress in their best Halloween costume and to bring a carved pumpkin which we display on a floating device in the Frog Pond. Come nightfall, the Frog Pond is illuminated with hundreds of jack-o-lanterns. Other attractions include interactive exhibits, spooky arts and crafts, glow in the dark activities, and more.
Holiday Tree Lightings
Every year, typically right after Thanksgiving, our department hosts four different holiday tree lighting events to kick-start the winter season:
- Copley Square Tree Lighting
- Christopher Columbus Park Trellis Lighting
- Boston Common Tree Lighting
- Commonwealth Avenue Mall Tree Lighting
Each event is unique in its own way. But, each one sparks joy, brings light, and promotes community throughout the City of Boston.