things to do castle island

Boston’s Castle Island is a great day-trip for fun, adventure, and a dose of history. The 22-acre park is just 15 minutes from the city and open to the public every day. There is plenty to see and do, without spending a dime!

Here are the best things to do in Boston’s Castle Island:



One of the oldest fortified harbors around is on Castle Island and it gets its name from the architecture! Similar to a real, life castle, this historical association is a great place for your little princesses to slay pretend dragons. Tours of the fort are free! They are only offered from June through October on the weekends with a skyline viewing on Thursdays. Even when the Fort is not open for tours, there is plenty of room to run around on the outside grounds.



With Logan International Airport right across the Bay, Castle Island is the best place in all of Boston to go plane spotting. Any location around Castle Island offers great views. Let the kids play at the playground and be sure to bring your sidewalk chalk and binoculars!



There are two trails you can take near Castle Island for a long walk or a bike ride. The loop around Pleasure Bay, known as the Heart Healthy Trail, is almost two miles. The loop around Castle Island is less than one mile. Take one, or both! There are also plenty of hills around the area, perfect for rolling down or racing up!



No matter the time of year, a day at the beach is always in season. On a sunny day, you can lay out or go swimming in the ocean, play soccer or toss a frisbee.  Make sure to pack a picnic- there are plenty of tables and benches for resting and eating. Or, you can get your food to go from local favorite Sullivan’s. They’re open seasonally starting at the end of February. You can also go fishing or boating any time!



  • Summer Concerts at Castle Island– As part of Boston’s Summer in the City music series, there are free, outdoor concerts held at Castle Island every year.
  • 4th of July– Every year on Independence Day, Castle Island is a great place to watch the fireworks. You can also get a great view of Old Ironsides as it makes its yearly turn-around cruise.
  • Flag Retirement- Twice a year, Castle Island replaces their flag with fresh Old Glory. They offer this free, educational ceremony to the public in July and November.
  • Easter Sunrise– Every year, you can head to Castle Island for an early morning mass. And we mean early! They start at 6 am.
  • Halloween– Each year, Castle Island sets up “scary” and “not scary” tours for little ones and big ones alike. Wear your costume and go trick or treating at a Castle!
  • Murphy Memorial Skating Rink– During the Winter months, you can find the Murphy Memorial Skating Rink located on the far west side of the Heart Healthy Loop.


Did we miss something? Tell us what are your favorite things to see and do around Boston’s Castle Island!

Looking for more ideas for fun around the city? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Boston on the weekend.