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Dine alfresco at these 5 prime Boston-area picnic places

Posted by Alex Pearlman  April 24, 2012 06:05 PM

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picnic spots Christian Science Church.JPGBy Kimberly Karter

Break out your checkered blankets and wicker baskets, Boston -- it's time for a picnic! When planning your perfect picnic, be sure you have the three key ingredients: a scenic location, good food, and great friends.

And here’s another tip: be creative! Yes, the Public Garden meets all of the above picnicking requirements, but why not mix it up and venture to new frontiers? Here are five awesome spots to kick back and enjoy lunch (or dinner) in the summer sun.

Christian Science PlazaPick up some sandwiches at the nearby Whole Foods, roll out your picnic blanket on the plaza's bright green grass, and get ready to do some serious people-watching of the mysterious creatures of Mass. Ave. But don’t restrict yourself to the grassy areas: Chill out by the reflecting pool or on the shaded steps of the church itself for an equally lovely summer afternoon.

picnic spots Christopher Columbus Park.JPGChristopher Columbus ParkAfter strolling through Faneuil Hall, head over to Christopher Columbus Park and enjoy the fun, youthful atmosphere and refreshing breezes of the waterfront. Sit under the trellis for some shade, or work on your tan while laying out in the grass and watching the boats sail past. Not in the mood for a full-on picnic and want just a small snack instead? No problem! Emack & Bolio’s is only a few blocks away.

North End ParkTake your pick between a table and chairs or the old-school way of picnicking (a blanket spread out on the grass) at this long, narrow strip of land located right at the border of the North End. Have a very European picnic with antipasti from Salumeria Italiana, or go straight for the sweets and enjoy an assortment of goodies from Mike’s Pastry.

picnic spots Boston Public Library.JPGBoston Public LibraryGrab a spot on the library steps, or lay your blanket down across the street in Copley Square. The BPL is a great (and slightly unconventional) place for a picnic, but rest assured there won’t be a lack of good food or entertainment. Hit up a nearby food truck as an alternative to bringing your own meal, enjoy the sights and sounds of street performers, and people-watch to your heart’s content.

NorthPoint ParkLocated in East Cambridge, this gem is a bit off the beaten path and offers a quiet, serene place for a picnic. With the park set right on the Charles, there are amazing views of the city, including the skyline and the Zakim Bridge. Walk or bike your way through until you work up an appetite, then settle on a spot with a great view and relax in this escape from the city.

Where is your favorite picnic place?

Photos by Kimberly Karter

About Kimberly -- I am a self-proclaimed foodie who loves to cook and eat. In 2010, I combined my passion for culinary arts with writing and founded 'The Moonlight Baker' food blog. Ever since, I've been baking up a storm, photographing countless cakes and cookies, and indulging in way too many sweets. Let's tweet -- @bakebymoonlight!

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