Seven Great Walks to Take on Mother’s Day in Boston

Finished brunch and looking for a lovely stroll to keep the afternoon going? These excellent pedestrian paths will do the trick.

A green park with a glass building in the background

Southwest Corridor Park / Madeline Bilis

Sure, you could treat her to a nice brunch, a beautiful picture frame, or a bouquet of lovely lilies. Yes, you could thank her with a brand-new briefcase, a fancy pair of flats, or a nice pastel pashmina. But really, your mom probably just wants to spend some time with you this Mother’s Day, technology-free. There are tons of beautiful strolls and free outdoor activities to enjoy together in Boston, so grab your walking shoes and your gratitude, and head out for one of these great walks with Mom.

The Comm. Ave. Mall

Avoid the hustle and bustle of Newbury St. in favor of a walk alongside the genteel homes of Comm. Ave. The Mall stretches from the Kenmore station all the way to the public garden, and benches abound along the way. Be sure to set aside time to enjoy the Boston’s Women’s Memorial, which features sculptures of Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley, on Comm. Ave. between Gloucester St. and Fairfield St.

The Esplanade

The walk along the Charles River is a classic for a reason. The sun-drenched skylines of Boston and Cambridge make for stunning views, and the offset nature of the path provides a small escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. There’s motivation and beauty aplenty, particularly on the pedestrian walkway near the Longfellow Bridge.

Southwest Corridor Park

The 4.1-mile long Southwest Corridor Park may run alongside the MBTA’s Orange Line, but its springtime splendor bears no resemblance to the clunky T. You’ll spot tennis courts, playgrounds, spray pools, and amphitheaters in the park, which connects Forest Hills and Back Bay. And if your mom prefers to travel by bicycle, the Southwest Corridor features ample trails to try.

The HarborWalk

The Boston Harbor used to be a dump—literally. But since the 1980s, the city, with help from outside groups, has poured billions of dollars into making the water sparkle. There’s no better way to take in the glistening harbor than a slow stroll with Mom on the uninterrupted pedestrian walkway between Charlestown and South Boston. No need to cover all 43 miles (unless you’re super ambitious!), but be sure to carve out time for Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Nestled behind Faneuil Hall, the grassy expanse bursts with charm.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Public art and scrumptious food trucks abound along the Greenway, which stretches from Chinatown to the North End. Stunning murals, intricate sculptures, and jaw-dropping installations are all on display, and the park even boasts a designated Mother’s Walk. The path, which features scores of personalized tiles, is dedicated “to all who have cared, encouraged, inspired, laughed, and loved.” Sound like someone you may know?

Lilac Sunday

The scent and color of lilacs are simply unmatched, and the majestic flower takes center stage at the Harvard Arboretum’s annual Lilac Sunday. This year is the 110th celebration of that most special purple flower, and tour guides will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to take you and your mom for a stroll through the collection. Lilac Sunday is also the only day of the whole year when the arboretum allows picnickers to spread out and nosh, so be sure to grab a basket full of snacks before you hit the road. 125 Arborway, Boston

Duckling Day

Duckling Day will make your heart melt. For more than 30 years, Bostonians have celebrated the beloved children’s book Make Way for Ducklings by dressing up as characters from the story and parading through Boston Common. There’s nothing quite as adorable as a kid in a bright yellow duck costume, so you do yourself and your mom a favor and enjoy the carnival atmosphere filled with face painting, magicians, and whimsy.