Performance Added to Leap Year Skating Event


Attendees of our Celebrate Leap Year at Boston Common Frog Pond event will be treated to special performances by competitive figure skaters Ashley Harkins, Elana Sargent, Juliana Bent, and Nikki Montanaro. Skaters will be donating their time and talent to entertain guests.

Our event welcomes skaters of all ages and abilities. Non-skaters are welcome to mingle over hot cocoa and enjoy the show while supporting parks. We look forward to seeing many of you at this event hosted by our Young Friends group. Register today. 

The Friends Support Skating in the Schools

Coaches Mary Kathryn Maher and Alyssa Blackwell with 4th and 5th grade students from the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA. Photo courtesy of Skating Club of Boston.

The Friends of the Public Garden is a proud supporter of Skating in the Schools. The program, founded by The Skating Club of Boston in 2011, aims to help young students in Boston learn to ice skate while teaching them about the science behind skating. The students are able to take the lessons they learn in the classroom and apply them through real life experience on the Boston Common Frog Pond.

Skating in the Schools was created with the goal of improving local students’ science skills while also allowing them to stay active and participate in an activity they enjoy. Schools are able to choose one of three versions of the program: Skating Lesson, Skating Lesson and In-School Lesson, or Skating and School Lesson Field Trip.

The basic Skating Lesson option includes transportation to and from the Frog Pond, skating lessons, and extras like a year pass to the Frog Pond. The Skating Lesson and In-School Lesson pairs the basic option with a weekly class where students are taught the various sciences involved in ice skating, including physics and chemistry. And the third option, Skating in the Schools Field Trip, gives students a single day trip that includes skating lesson and in-class lesson.

Skating in the Schools is an important program that allows students to be challenged by learning a new sport and applying new lessons in science. The Friends helps sponsor the program led by volunteers at The Skating Club of Boston. They have worked with four local schools and hope to expand the program to all Boston Public Schools.

For more information on Skating in the Schools, visit The Skating Club of Boston’s website.

Join Skating Night on Frog Pond and Support Our Parks

©Mark Hunt/
©Mark Hunt/

The Friends of the Public Garden Young Friends group is hosting a private skating night on Frog Pond for all ages. Enjoy outdoor skating and mingling with Friends while supporting the three historic greenspaces cared for by the Friends – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall

All are welcome and new friends are encouraged to attend this event; membership is not required to participate.

Wednesday, February 11
Frog Pond on Boston Common
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
$35.00 per person (Skate rental and hot cocoa are included in ticket price.)
Reserve your ticket today! 

Skating in the Schools returns for a second season

Last year the Skating Club of Boston piloted their Skating in the Schools program at the Boston Common Frog Pond. This wonderful after school activity gives children a positive outlet for energy while teaching a valuable skill. In the winter, the number of athletic opportunities available to school age children is significantly diminished, the skating club is offering a great opportunity by exposing children to a wonderful winter sport. When the program began last year only one school was invited to participate. In it’s second year the program has expanded to include two school groups.skating in the schools 2

Most of the students are new again this year, there are two or three repeat students from Washington Irving, but for the most part it is an entirely different group,” says Cheri Rigby, Director of Programs at the Skating Club of Boston.

She hopes the program will grow to be more comprehensive, a program in which students enroll early and participate throughout their schooling, “But we’re not there yet.” It’s tough to say at this early stage whether students who return are improving in their abilities, but they do receive free season passes to use the Frog Pond whenever they’d like to skate for free. Skating is an expensive sport, the Skating Club provides the free passes to provide students who enjoy the activity with an affordable (free) opportunity to do so. Whenever they’d like. “We realize that kids 13 and under already have free admission at the Frog Pond,” Cheri points out, “our intention was that this free pass allows a parent or guardian to come in for free–thus the added assurance that they will get back to practice and enjoy skating in their free time.”

The program has more than doubled in size since last year and has plenty of support to continue to grow. If program success was measured solely in smiles, the Skating Club would have a very positive report. “The smiles are the best testimony [to success] at this point,” Cheri reports, ” [and] we have tremendous support from educators. We know we have tapped into something very good and really look forward to the expansion of the program“.

skating in the schools 1

I know from firsthand experience (I was a skater) the incredible feeling of freedom and personal strength you have when you are on the ice…When these kids are on the ice, they are 100% focused on the task at hand. They can only think about the present moment. That in itself is very therapeutic.  In addition to the effort and concentration skating requires, it is also extrememey humbling.  I enjoy watching the transformation of the kids when they step on the ice.  It puts them in a place of vulnerability that opens them up to asking for help and for allowing someone to help them…Skating [is] a wonderful vehicle for children to learn life lessons.”  – Cheri Rigby

Cheri’s plan for the future is simple and focuses on the following principles: quality programming with engaged students and supportive educators, administrators and sponsors and helping kids to develop the confidence and life skills they need in order to thrive and grow.

Labor Day Weekend in Dance and Music

You can’t help but marvel at how quickly the summer went by. Between the Public Garden and the Boston Common, there was no shortage of ways to celebrate the warm weather days. Labor Day Weekend (or also known around here as the Student Invasion) in particular was bountiful in outdoor activities!

Spectacle Island was host to a Berklee Jazz Concert, Marlborough boasted it’s annual Labor Day parade and the Boston Common had its own (free) activities up its sleeve this weekend. On Saturday the Societies of Spontaneity in Boston formed a “Dance Walking Fitness Class,” which felt less like exercise and more like an amusing way to confuse the folks around them.

Photo by Dance Walker Alissa Daniels
“Getting fit at Park St Station” by Dance Walker Alissa Daniels

Dance Walkers moved through Boston to the beat of the dance music that played in their ears. We’d also like to add that the fitness class covered all three of FOPG’s public spaces, starting from the Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Clarendon and Berkeley, dancing through the Public Garden and ending in the Common at the Brewer Plaza. Judging by the photos and enthusiastic comments on the Society’s Facebook page, it sounded like a success!

On Sunday night the Frog Pond was transformed into an amphitheater in preparation for our Laser Light Show in collaboration with Radio BDC and the Skating Club of Boston. We were delighted to see the massive crowd that piled onto the banks of the pond as well as lemonade vendors and the Public Garden’s balloon man. Instead of a spray fountain, there was a giant inflatable screen in addition to a light system that was sure to dazzle. Set to classic U2 hits, the lights played off abstract and/or literal translations of each song. What better way to wrap up the end of a spectacular summer than with a spectacular laser light show!

The crowd at the Laser Light Show. Photo courtesy of Greg Wong

How was your Labor Day Weekend? Tell us about it on Twitter! 

Laser Light Show Labor Day Weekend

Photo courtesy of

The last official day of summer is fast upon us and FOPG is not about to let this moment pass unnoticed. On September 2, in collaboration with the managers of the Frog Pond and the Skating Club of Boston, Friends will be premiering a night of unforgettable entertainment to send the season of leisure out in style.

This family-friendly event will feature a laser graphics show and 3D aerial beam show, both synchronized to music. The music will be unique tracks programmed by Radio BDC, the new station streaming live on, who will also host music on site at the event.

To sweeten the deal, the Frog Pond Café will serve “Say Goodbye to Summer Shortcake”. Labor Day is the last official day to enjoy the spray pool, so stop by while you still can. Festivities begin at 7:30 p.m., and the laser light show starts at 9:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“Laser Lights at the Frog Pond” is underwritten with the support of The Friends of the Public Garden. Additional contributors include O’Connell Design Build LLC, Sovereign/Santander and the American Meteorological Society.



Boston Common Frog Pond Heralds Spring’s Arrival with New Carousel!

News from the Frog Pond:

The Boston Common Frog Pond has some exciting news this week!  Now that winter is officially behind us, the Boston Common Frog Pond is getting ready for its newest arrival—a new Carousel that will open mid-April. The Carousel will be located adjacent to the Frog Pond, and will provide a new destination for kids of all ages.

The Carousel is an American masterpiece, built by the Chance Morgan Ride Company of Wichita, KS. It features a variety of Bradley and Kaye horses, made from the molds of the legendary Los Angeles amusement company, wildlife figures, and a chariot. It has the style of a classic carousel with an oak floor, beveled glass mirrors, and a standard pie top with lighted crown.

The Carousel is handicapped accessible and has height limitations. Anyone 42” or taller can ride alone; anyone under 42” requires the presence of an adult. Admission for the ride will be $3.00, with 10 ticket strips available for $25.00. Hours of operation will be Sunday-Thursday 11:00am – 6:00pm; and Friday and Saturday, 11:00am – 8:00pm. Please check for details on official opening date.

A little history:

The Boston Common, the nation’s oldest park, has belonged to the people of Boston since 1634 when each householder paid a minimum of six shillings toward its purchase. For over 350 years it has been a center and a mirror of civic life, free and open to all. Today this hallowed ground remains a green oasis in the heart of the city. The Frog Pond opened on the 25th of October, 1848 as a real artificial pond, and ice skating has found its home there for over 150 years. The Boston Common Frog Pond is managed through a public-private partnership between The Skating Club of Boston and the Boston Parks Department. The partnership’s mission is to manage the Frog Pond for the benefit of Bostonians and visitors alike, and to provide recreational activities year-round at a customer-friendly destination in the heart of America’s oldest public park.