- Type: Parks and Gardens
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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The grounds of the Boston Common started as a cow pasture in the mid-1600s. After a few years, overgrazing became a problem and the area was transformed into a British camp pre-Revolutionary War. Today, the Common is the oldest public park in the country and one of the focal points of the city. The Common also hosts a variety of activities and events throughout the year, including theater and musical performances.
"This park is just perfect to relax when visiting downtown Boston. The birds, people, grass and trees are just what you need to take a break," wrote one TripAdvisor user. As you soak in the scenery and enjoy a quick respite, you'll get a dose of history, too — this is Boston, after all. Exhibit A: The Central Burying Ground and final resting place for many who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill (including some British soldiers). And Exhibit B: The Solders Monument (also called the Soldiers and Sailors Monument), a tribute to troops who perished in the Civil War.
To cool off in the summer (and to ice skate during in the winter), simply head to the Frog Pond in the middle of the park. If you're planning to arrive between mid-November and March, you can pick up a pair of skates for $9; visitors can skate for $5 (kids ages 13 and younger can skate for free). Winter skating hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meanwhile, if you're planning to stop by in the warmer months, you can indulge your inner yogi with a free yoga class. For further details about current and upcoming events, consult the official Boston Common Frog Pond website. The Common welcomes visitors daily, and is conveniently located in the middle of the city.