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Duckling Day Boston 2021 - VIRTUAL!

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Dates:Sunday, May 9, 2021
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Adults
Category:Special Events
duckling day boston 2021 - virtual photoFor its second year, the annual Mother’s Day parade typically held in Boston’s Public Garden will be happening online via Facebook Live.

The 2021 Virtual Duckling Day, hosted by the Friends of the Public Garden on Sunday, May 9 at 12 pm, will feature an enhanced interactive program, celebrity readers, and online activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Duckling Day celebrates mothers everywhere! Inspired by the tenacity of Mrs. Mallard from the famous Make Way For Ducklings, the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, everyone is invited to join the Friends for its signature virtual reading beginning at 12 pm, broadcast on the nonprofit’s Facebook page. Friends has assembled an all-star cast to share this timeless story, including:

- First Lady Lauren Baker
- Senator Elizabeth Warren
- Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
- WCVB’s Rhondella Richardson
- Human helpers sharing the story with furry and feathered friends at the Franklin Park Zoo and the New England Aquarium

Following the reading, the program will continue with engaging and delightful entertainment for the entire family. Karen K and the Jitterbugs will perform a new song called “Do The Duck”, and Bonaparte the Magician will perform some duckling magic. More videos and activities, including a parks-themed coloring book, are available at

Send in photos of you, your family, or any ducklings enjoying Duckling Day. Please submit your photos to with your name and the year (guessing is allowed!) and we’ll include it in the social media celebration.

Tune in for the live virtual event!
Sunday, May 9, 2021
12 pm

=====Past Year's Info - PRE-COVID-19=======

Below is a description of what this event looks like when it takes place in person. This will be the second year that it will be a virtual event, but we look forward to next year when events like this can take place in person again!

We look forward to celebrating Mother’s Day in Boston's most beautiful parks at the Duckling Day celebration and parade.

A beloved tradition for over 30 years, the event celebrates the children’s classic book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

Every year, hundreds of children parade through Boston’s most picturesque parks, dressed like characters from the story.

Led by the Harvard University Marching Band, the parade will begin in the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand and end in the Public Garden near the famous Make Way for Ducklings sculptures.

Bring your cameras – this is the most adorable event in all of Boston!

Prior to the parade will be Playtime on the Common, a vibrant array of family entertainment from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

All activities are included with event admission.

Past Event Highlights

· Interactive Circus Games with Esh Circus Arts
· Jenny the Juggler
· Peter O’Malley, magician
· Jump, climb, and play with Knucklebones
· Face-painting
· Meet our giant Duck!
· Visit with the Harvard University Band
· Make Way for Ducklings reading station
· A goody bag for every kid – full of Duckling Day-themed items!

The event is a benefit for the nonprofit Friends of the Public Garden, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020!

The registration fee is $35 per family in advance (before May 8th) and $40 per family the day of the event.

Each child who registers will receive a special goody bag.

Register here

For more great ideas about fun things to do in Boston in April, visit our spring guide to family fun. And you can stay in-the-know about family-friendly Boston Events all year long by subscribing to our free weekly newsletter.

Looking for more ideas for virtual family fun? Visit our guide to social distancing activities for families, with ideas for both indoors and outdoors!



Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA map
Phone: (617) 723-8144

*Virtual for 2021*

Usually takes place at:
Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common.
MBTA to Park Street or Boylston; park at Motor Mart or Boston Common garage.
We are at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. Closest MBTA is Park Street (red/green) or Boylston (Green - but NO ELEVATOR). Closest parking is Boston Common Parking Garage. Street parking is free on Sundays if you can find it!

Boston Common - Corner of Beacon and Park Street
Green Line: “Park Street” stop
Red Line: “Charles Street” stop
43 bus and 55 bus both go to Part St. & Tremont St.

TIPS↑ top

  • (When the event is held in person.....) This is a festive event and many kids are dressed up like ducklings - feel free to let your imagination go wild! Duckling t-shirts and hats are available for sale at the event if you want some last-minute decorating. Bring a picnic or enjoy one of the nearby dining options. The whole event is stroller-accessible though much of it is on the grass. All the fun begins at 10 AM and the parade begins at noon. Event is rain or shine!

5-starGreat Intro To The Commons
Moving from Oregon two years ago, I was dedicated to getting into 'the city' as often as possible. While I've hit the hightlights; walking/waddling the Freedom Trail both pregnant and wearing a newborn, eating at the Old Union Oyster House, Children's Museum and Aquarium, I didn't feel like I'd had any non-tourist city time. Going solo on Mother's Day due to my husband's work schedule, I knew I'd want something fun to do, so signed up for the parade. It was So. Much. Fun! I have a 3.5 year old and an 11 month old. The parade route was short enough that my three year-old easily walked it all with full energy (read: got some energy out) and it ended right at Starbucks where he went potty and I re-fueled. We were walking through the Commons to get to the red line station, and I saw the universal signal of childhood fun...a swirling red and white canopy. Yep, a carousel! Bring your cash, because this $3 ride is well-worth the smiles! I got to ride free, since I was standing and I also didn't have to pay for the baby who had his usual seat on my hip bone. After the carousel, we saw the 'Tadpole Playground' which has a huge playstructure with multiple slides and climbers and a cushy ground cover that is great for preventing plaster casts and also conducive to putting a baby on the ground since it's not bite-sized like so many wood-chip or sand-filled varieties. The parade was such a fun way to have the kids get a little silly in their duck costumes, and for me to check out the absolutely beautiful homes that line the route. Discovering the park that we'll hit again and again was an added bonus. It was really busy, but I'm thinking a week-day would be less so. The subway was, as always, a fun experience for the kiddos, but I would advise that you don't bring a front-to-back double stroller as you wouldn't fit in the elevator. If you have to spend Mother's Day solo with the ones that made you able to celebrate that day, this was such a great way to do it!


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