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Duckling Day Boston 2024

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Dates:Sunday, May 12, 2024 - Sunday, May 12, 2024
Hours:10:00 am - 12:00 om
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Adults
Cost:$$$ see below
Category:Special Events

duckling day boston 2024 photoThe Friends of the Public Garden, in association with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, celebrates Mother’s Day with Boston-area families during its annual Duckling Day event.

The next Duckling Day will be held on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 12, 2024. Looking forward to a quacking good time on the Common!

A beloved tradition for more than 30 years, Duckling Day 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 Marching Band, the parade will begin on the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand and end in the Public Garden near the famous Make Way for Ducklings sculpture.

Bring your camera – the parade is possibly the most adorable thing you’ll ever see!

Prior to the parade will be Playtime on the Common, a vibrant array of family entertainment including a creative play area, a magician and other performers, interactive circus games, live music, and more.

All families are welcome to decorate their wagons or strollers, bring a picnic, and enjoy springtime in Boston’s most beloved parks!

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:

Playtime on the Common activities include:

- Jump, climb, and run with Knucklebones
- Jenny the Juggler
- A traditional lion dance performance by students from Woo Ching White Crane School
- Make Way for Ducklings reading station, where the children’s classic is read by the Duckling Day Volunteer Brigade
- Hang out with our gentle giant Duckling mascot!
- Visit with a live Marching Band
- A dedicated quiet tent

The registration fee is $35 per family in advance (before May 12) and $40 per family the day of the event. Each child who registers will receive a special goody bag.

Register here.

Duckling Day is the most adorable Mother's Day celebration in Boston! Celebrate the famous children's book Make Way for Ducklings with your family, while enjoying springtime in our parks!

Dress your kids in their feathery finest and join us not only for our famous Duckling Day Parade, but also our Playtime on the Common full of music, magic, circus games, Knucklebones, and more!

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

Your family can join hundreds of children parading through Boston’s most picturesque parks, dressed like characters from the story.

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.

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.

COST↑ top

$35 per family in advance (before May 12) and $40 per family the day of the event



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

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

  • 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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