15 Fun Ways to Use the Boston Greenways this Summer (including several that you may not know about)

The Emerald Network team has put together a list of fun ideas to make use of the greenways this summer! The Emerald Network works to create over 250 miles of greenways (linear parks) within the Boston Metro Region.

Photo credit: Windows 10 Spotlight Images

1. Go for a walk or a bike ride (alone or with friends!) 

For group rides, check out upcoming events from our friends at: Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Cyclist Union and MassBike.

2. Host or Attend a Community Swap

The open space and transportation offered by greenways makes the perfect venue for hosting community-building events such as Clothing/Item Swaps. Check out some upcoming swaps here: https://www.instagram.com/sustainableswapss.

3. Enjoy a meal outside

Pack your own meal or grab food from one of the food trucks along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Some favorite local vendors returning this summer are: Paisani, Kush by Saba, and Jamaica Mi Hungry. For more information, check out the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Food Truck Schedule.

4. Stop by a local farmers market for ingredients to make your own tasty meal at home 

Boston is lucky to have many incredible farmers markets throughout the city, including several near greenways! So take a walk on the Southwest Corridor and then stock up on groceries at the Copley Square Farmers Market. See the sights downtown on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and then visit the Boston Public Market at Dewey Square on the Greenway market.

5. Adopt a tree

Find a tree you like. Place a little homemade placard into the ground at the base of the tree. Oh my gosh! Congratulations! You just adopted a tree! You can bring your own small painted rock to put in front of your tree as a placard. You could also make a placard from natural materials you find on the ground - sticks, twigs and leaves. Another option is to draw your name and dedication in the dirt. Please do not carve into trees or damage any of the greenways’ natural resources. The trees are meant for everyone to enjoy - including you, your friends, and all your loved ones for generations to come :)

6. Learn about or join a local community garden and grow your own plants!

Boston is full of community gardens including several community gardens on the greenways.

7. Listen and Tell Cloud Stories

Look up at the clouds and tell a story using the silly shapes you see. This is a fun activity to do with adults or children.

Photo credit: Zero Degrees Photography

8. Dog watching (with treats) 

The dog watching scene on Boston’s greenways is rich and plentiful. If you have pockets, a free hand, or a fanny pack (if you want to be a real professional), carry some dog treats. Then try your luck at making some long-lasting canine friendships. Just make sure to ask permission from the dog’s owner first.

9. Check out unique local wildlife and native plants 

Ride or walk on the Neponset River Greenway in Dorchester and Mattapan. Make time for bird watching or checking out interesting native plants.  

10. Listen to free live music

Boston is lucky to have no shortage of free outdoor concerts coming up this summer. Catch an outdoor concert along the Esplanade. Listen to jazz on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Catch one of the Berklee Summer in the City concerts happening at parks and greenways throughout the city. 

11. Ultimate frisbee tournament

Greenways’ linear nature makes for the ideal ultimate frisbee playing field. Get a group of friends together for some competitive fun. 

12. Join a free outdoor exercise class and make a new friend

Get moving and meet new people through one of the many free outdoor fitness classes offered on different greenways. Check out classes on the Esplanade, on the Harbor Walk with Seaport Sweat, and on the Rose Kennedy Greenway with Healthworks. The City of Boston’s Parks Fitness Series also holds classes all over the city in different parks and greenways.

13. Learn to do a cartwheel (or check off other personal bucket list items)

Many people have their own silly little bucket list items. One of our team members, Amrita, has “learning to do a cartwheel” as a goal on her bucket list. Open space and play structures on greenways provide the resources to fulfill an amateur gymnast’s dreams. So take inspiration from Amrita, and check off your own bucket list items (gymnastic or otherwise).

14. Leave a (digital) Weathergram

Technically defined, “Weathergrams are short poems written in cursive italic script on paper cut from paper bags [and left] dangling from trees until they disintegrate in the rain.” But we live in the 21st century with cell phones and internet access. Write your weathergram to your favorite tree or outdoor spot on one of Boston’s greenways. Then post it on social media to share it with the rest of our community of greenway fans. Your weathergram can be a profound thought or a message for a stranger. Share your weathergram using the hashtag #GreenwayWeathergram

15. Head to the beach! 

The East Boston Greenway runs from Marginal Street to Constitution Beach. Grab some sunscreen and head to the East Boston Greenway for a beautiful walk or ride to the beach.

Now that you’ve heard from us, hear from others in Boston about how they like to use the greenways: 

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