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Boston’s 10 friendliest parks for strollers, mapped

Obvious picks such as Boston Common and the Arnold Arboretum mingle with dark horses such as Medal of Honor and Fan Pier

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It’s one of the more laborious rituals for Boston parents and other caregivers: Maneuvering the dang stroller out and about. These 10 swards—naturally beautiful, a cinch to navigate, and easy on the wheels—reward them for the struggle.

More for Play Week: Downtown Boston’s 6 best places for public art :: 12 quaint Boston-area towns to visit this summer, mapped :: Lighthouses near Boston that you can visit, mapped :: 9 beginner bike rides in the Boston area :: Boston walks: 10 perfect ones for warmer weather :: Boston hikes: 10 superb ones in and around the city, mapped :: 5 Boston-area hikes that end in great beer

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1. Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

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125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 524-1718
Visit Website

The 281-acre, Harvard-owned Arnold Arboretum overflows with plant and tree life, and features abundant paved pathways.

A lush shot of foliage in an arboretum. Lorna Wu 2/Shutterstock

2. Jamaica Pond

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Jamaica Pond
Boston, MA 02130

It’s about 1.5 miles around the popular pond, which is part of a larger urban greensward that includes Olmsted Park.

By and large, its pathways are smooth and its crowds rarely dense.

Mariana Paes/Shutterstock

3. Back Bay Fens

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Back Bay Fens
Boston, MA

The park and its bodies of water provide a particularly lush backdrop for strolls with strollers.

Moreover, one can connect nearly directly with the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which then ends at the Public Garden—one long roll.

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

4. Charles River Esplanade

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Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA

The Charles River run features miles of paved pathways that connect relatively easily with similar sinews on the Cambridge side of the waterway.

There are also three playgrounds within the esplanade.

A path with trees on both sides. Some of the trees have pink blossoms. There is a body of water in the distance. William N Durham/Shutterstock

5. The Public Garden

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4 Charles St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 635-4505
Visit Website

The 24-acre garden is Boston Common’s more serene, but equally smooth neighbor.

It’s invariably less crowded, too, even on weekends and holidays.

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

6. Boston Common

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139 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 635-4505
Visit Website

America’s oldest public park is not only eminently stroller-navigable, it’s chock-a-block full of stuff for the kiddies to do, including playgrounds, a carousel, and the Frog Pond.

f11photo/Shutterstock

7. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

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185 Kneeland St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 292-0020
Visit Website

The famed linear park is newish—it opened in 2008 as a result of the Big Dig—and therefore its paths and plazas are in especially good repair. Plus, fountains.

Capture Light/Shutterstock

8. Fan Pier Park

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(617) 261-4500
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Smooth brick for the most part, water views, and strategically located near the Boston Children’s Museum. What’s not to love?

Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

9. Pope John Paul II Park

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hallet street
Boston, MA 02124
(617) 727-6034
Visit Website

This park on a former landfill at Boston’s southern gateway is famed for its bird-watching among other activities.

And it might just be you, the kids, and the birds in some spots as the park’s paved pathways are not as heavily traversed as those of others on this map.

Adam Gladstone/Shutterstock

10. Medal of Honor Park

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775 E 1st St
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 635-4505
Visit Website

The park reopened in June 2017 after $1.3 million in renovations.

That work left Medal of Honor with fresh furnishings, a water-play area, and freshly laid pathways.

1. Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130
A lush shot of foliage in an arboretum. Lorna Wu 2/Shutterstock

The 281-acre, Harvard-owned Arnold Arboretum overflows with plant and tree life, and features abundant paved pathways.

125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130

2. Jamaica Pond

Jamaica Pond, Boston, MA 02130
Mariana Paes/Shutterstock

It’s about 1.5 miles around the popular pond, which is part of a larger urban greensward that includes Olmsted Park.

By and large, its pathways are smooth and its crowds rarely dense.

Jamaica Pond
Boston, MA 02130

3. Back Bay Fens

Back Bay Fens, Boston, MA
Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

The park and its bodies of water provide a particularly lush backdrop for strolls with strollers.

Moreover, one can connect nearly directly with the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which then ends at the Public Garden—one long roll.

Back Bay Fens
Boston, MA

4. Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA
A path with trees on both sides. Some of the trees have pink blossoms. There is a body of water in the distance. William N Durham/Shutterstock

The Charles River run features miles of paved pathways that connect relatively easily with similar sinews on the Cambridge side of the waterway.

There are also three playgrounds within the esplanade.

Charles River Esplanade
Boston, MA

5. The Public Garden

4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02116
ESB Professional/Shutterstock

The 24-acre garden is Boston Common’s more serene, but equally smooth neighbor.

It’s invariably less crowded, too, even on weekends and holidays.

4 Charles St
Boston, MA 02116

6. Boston Common

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111
f11photo/Shutterstock

America’s oldest public park is not only eminently stroller-navigable, it’s chock-a-block full of stuff for the kiddies to do, including playgrounds, a carousel, and the Frog Pond.

139 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111

7. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

185 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111
Capture Light/Shutterstock

The famed linear park is newish—it opened in 2008 as a result of the Big Dig—and therefore its paths and plazas are in especially good repair. Plus, fountains.

185 Kneeland St
Boston, MA 02111

8. Fan Pier Park

Boston, MA 02210
Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Smooth brick for the most part, water views, and strategically located near the Boston Children’s Museum. What’s not to love?

9. Pope John Paul II Park

hallet street, Boston, MA 02124
Adam Gladstone/Shutterstock

This park on a former landfill at Boston’s southern gateway is famed for its bird-watching among other activities.

And it might just be you, the kids, and the birds in some spots as the park’s paved pathways are not as heavily traversed as those of others on this map.

hallet street
Boston, MA 02124

10. Medal of Honor Park

775 E 1st St, Boston, MA 02127

The park reopened in June 2017 after $1.3 million in renovations.

That work left Medal of Honor with fresh furnishings, a water-play area, and freshly laid pathways.

775 E 1st St
Boston, MA 02127