To Do: Fitness Activities at the Harbor Islands

This summer, try yoga, a 5K, or just explore the Islands with your family.

Spectacle Island run photo provided.

Spectacle Island race photo provided.

The Boston Harbor Islands became a unit of the National Park System in November 1996. It includes 34 islands within the large “C” shape of Boston Harbor. Interestingly, the land mass of the Islands is approx. 3,100 acres at low tide and 1,600 acres at high tide. And while you can see the Islands from various places along the Boston shoreline, many people don’t realize that you can actually visit these Islands and participate in a number of activities such as: tour a Civil War-era fort, explore historic lighthouses, check out the tide pools, hike trails, camp, fish, or even swim. (Yes, the Harbor is clean and swimmable now, in case you’ve forgotten.)

The Boston Harbor Island Alliance (BHIA) was also formed in 1996 as the non-profit partner of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. The BHIA raises funds, creates park facilities, and produces educational public events. Below, we outline some fitness happenings that the BHIA is putting on this summer.

Spectacle Island 5K and Kids Fun Run (pictured above)

Run, walk, or bring the kids and participate in family field races. Race day festivities include a 5K run, a half-mile kids’ fun run, field day competitions, picnic lunch, post-race yoga classes, kids’ activities, and more.

When: 6/14/2014
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Where: Spectacle Island
Program Fee: 5K Run $35.00; Field Day Team of Four (add $5 per additional player) $20.00; Kids Fun Run Registration $20.00; Spectator $15.00
Pre-registration is required. Call: 617-223-8108; or email:

Yoga on the harbor island photo provided.

Yoga on the harbor island photo provided.

Island Yoga

This is a yoga class with a view! The “gentle yoga class” overlooks the Harbor. Bring your own mat or towel. Participants should meet at the Spectacle Island Visitor Center.

When: 6/21/2014 – 8/30/2014, Saturdays
Time: 10 a.m.
Length: 90 minutes
Where: Spectacle Island
Program Fee: Free; regular ferry fees apply

Field Day games

Shape Up Activities

South Shore Shape Up

This event is a day of family fitness, music, and activities including field day games, hiking, yoga, Zumba, tai chi, and various water sports.

When: August 15
Time: 10 a.m.
Where: Peddocks Island
Program Fee: Free; regular ferry fees apply, also free ferries from Hingham and Hull

Field Day Games get everyone active.

Field Day Games get everyone active.

Field Day Games

Old-school backyard favorites make for fun field games for parents and kids alike. Try your hand at bocce, corn hole, Giant Jenga, and Frisbee. There will also be three-legged races and potato sack runs.

When: 6/21/2014 – 8/30/2014, Saturdays
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Length: 60 minutes
Where: Spectacle Island
Program Fee: Free; regular ferry fees apply

kayaking in harbor

Kayaking in the Harbor. Photo provided.

Beginner Kayaking

Try your hand at ocean-kayaking by joining the Harbor Alliance staff for a short paddle and lesson in the waters surrounding Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. The event is first come, first serve, and space is very limited. Participants must be 12 years old, be able to swim, and fit in the life vests.

When: 7/7/2014 – 8/27/2014; Mondays and Wednesdays, for times contact the Alliance.
Where: Spectacle Island
Program Fee: Lessons are free; regular ferry fees apply.