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Aug 4, 2014 11:28 AM

Lunch with kids near Public Garden/swan boats

A friend is coming into the city tomorrow and we are planning to take the kids down to the public garden to walk around. We are hoping to play on the playground, ride the carousel, and take a trip on the swan boats. Is there a kid friendly place to grab lunch very close by? We are hoping to park at a meter so we will (most likely) only have two hours to fit everything in. There will be four children under the age of 8!

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  1. Oh... and I see that there is a "Frog Pond Cafe" but we were hoping to find something a small step up from that.

    1. That's not a very big window of time to cover all of those amusements *plus* a lunch stop. Would it be possible for you to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy outdoors, maybe on a bench in the Public Garden?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Allstonian

        We were thinking we could either grab something to go somewhere and eat it in the park or grab something and take it elsewhere to eat if we are at a meter. We didn't want to lug around a cooler all morning.

        1. re: lkmuller

          Then DeLuca's could really fit the bill. I had success with the kind of makeshift picnic you're describing picking up sandwiches/snacks/drinks from there while kids continued to play in the park. 4 kids:1 grownup could be tough depending on their ages, but if one of the adults can break off to pick up food either while you're walking between Garden-Common or while the kids are happy on the playground, that would maximize your time.

      2. It's a good idea to hit the Swan Boats when they open (10am) to avoid long lines, though maybe it's better on a weekday.

        If you finish up at the playground/carousel area, you'll be close to two options on Charles St.: the Paramount is a kid-friendly restaurant with a diner-type menu (, another place I'd avoid on weekends but that should be fine on a Tuesday. If it's nice enough that you want to eat outside, DeLuca's ( is a gourmet shop just across Beacon St., with a made-to-order sandwich counter in the back. Easy for picky eaters.

        If you instead end at the Swan Boats, the closest kid-friendly place to eat is Boloco on Boylston St. This is a local burrito/wrap chain. If your kids are like my two-year-old the view of the tourist trolley stop right outside will make the meal.

        If two hours is all you've got, DeLuca's or Boloco would probably work better than the Paramount.

          1. If grabbing something to eat in the Common, Lamberts has good sandwiches and a nice salad bar. My kids love the slices from Sal's pizza which is right next door to Lamberts.