IWalked Boston’s Public Garden – Make Way For Ducklings Statues

Perhaps the most popular destination within the Public Gardens (judging by the crowds) is the Make Way For Ducklings statues by Nancy Schon. Atop these bronze representations of Mrs. Mallard and her 8 ducklings, there is always an abundance of children climbing and riding these representations. After all, this is what they were designed for. It is uncertain sometimes if it is more fun to watch the children interacting with the statues or watch frantic parents trying to get that ideal snapshot of their child astride the ducklings.

The statues were added to the park in 1987, situated atop a 35” span of old cobblestones rescued as part of old street repairs throughout the city of Boston. They, of course, depict the characters from Robert McCloskey’s children’s book Make Way for Ducklings which was published in 1941. In the story, Mr. And Mrs. Mallard scour the city, mostly within the Beacon Hill area trying to find a new home.

McCloskey’s novel has had an always obsessive impact in the Boston culture. Every Mothers Day since 1978, parents dress their children as ducklings and have them walk the route of ducklings within the book. In addition, in 2000, schoolchildren from Canton, MA petitioned the state to have McCloskey named the official children’s author of the state. While this was met some protest from those in Springfield, MA (birthplace of another children’s author you may have heard of, Dr. Seuss) a compromise was finally made whereby Dr. Seuss was named the official children’s author while Make Way For Ducklings was named the official children’s book.

If your child still crazes more bronze cartoon statues to climb over, then I recommend you also check Ms. Schon’s Tortoise and the Hare in Copley Square near Trinity Church. The statues are appropriately located at the finish line for the Boston Marathon.


Website: http://www.schon.com/public/ducklings-boston.php

Address: Boston Public Gardens, Boston, MA. Near the intersection of Beacon Street and Charles Street.

Cost: Free.

IWalked Audio Tours To See This Site: Boston’s Common and Public Gardens. (Purchase the MP3 tour here. iPhone application tour is available here. Please note, all Boston tours are now available as in-app purchases upon download of our FREE Boston Lite application, which includes a free 1 hour tour of a portion of Downtown.)


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