Here are the latest Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes:

Wildlife walk

The Esplanade Association will host two Mother’s Day wildlife walks at 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 12 meeting at Fiedler Field

Walkers will join Esplanade Association staff as they walk along the Esplanade identifying different species of birds and animals and hearing about wildlife habitats and how to restore and preserve those habitats. Participating families will receive a free pair of binoculars as they play our Wildlife Bingo.

Participants should arrive at Fiedler Field 15 minutes before their walk is scheduled to leave. The walk is roughly one-mile long and will last about an hour.

Registration is required for this free walk as space is limited, by calling 617-227-0365 or online at

Duckling Day

The Friends of the Public Garden will host the annual Duckling Day at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 13. Registration begins at 10 a.m. on Boston Common at the corner of Beacon and Park streets across from the State House. The parade starts at noon.

Children and their families will retrace the steps of the beloved characters, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their family of eight ducklings, based on the children’s classic “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey.

Led by the Harvard University Band, children will parade from the Parkman Bandstand and into the Public Garden to the famous sculptures, dressed like characters from this story.

A face painter, magician, storytellers, the Knucklebones Crew and a puppet show will entertain the children from 10:30 a.m. to noon before the parade begins. Families can bring a picnic to enjoy in the park.

Tickets are $35 per family in advance, and $40 on the day and will include a special goody bag with toys and treats, snacks and entertainment. The event will take place rain or shine.

For more information, call 617-266-5669 or visit

Legacy of Charles Bulfinch

As part of Boston Preservation Month programming, the Boston Landmarks Commission will offer a free walking tour “The Architectural Legacy of Charles Bulfinch” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15.

The tour of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill District will highlight the architectural prowess of renowned architect Bulfinch, such as the Massachusetts State House, the Otis House and the Phillips House.

Joseph Cornish, director of design review for the Boston Landmarks Commission, will lead the tour.

Reservations are required, by calling 617-635-3850 or by email to

Organ recital

King’s Chapel, located at the corner of School and Tremont streets, will welcome Federico Coppo and Dor Amran from the Boston Organ Studio in concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15.

The recital will feature works by Buxtehude, Scarlatti and Durufle.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians.

Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Inspired by Jane Austen

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will host “Jane Austen: From Book to Film” from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays during May.

The library will screen “Emma” starring Gwyneth Paltrow on May 16; “Clueless” with Alicia Silverstone on May 23; and “Love and Friendship” starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny on May 30.

Admission is free. Call 617-523-3957 for further details.

Lunchtime recital

The Old West Organ Society will present a free organ recital at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St.

Boston University student Minsun Chung will perform.

A freewill donation is requested. For more details, call 617-739-1340 or visit

Boston’s grand boulevard

Boston by Foot and the Boston Landmarks Commission will offer a walking tour “Commonwealth Avenue: Boston’s Grand Boulevard” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17. Participants will meet at the George Washington statue in Boston Public Garden at Arlington Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

This tour through the heart of Victorian Boston parallels the 19 the century filling and development of the Back Bay from its origin at Arlington Street down the seven blocks along the tree-lined, grassy Mall. Careful effort over 150 years has preserved the “grandness” of the Avenue.

Tickets are $15 and $5 for Boston By Foot members and can be purchased in advance or from the guide.

Further information can be found at or by calling617-367-2345.

Hidden gardens tour

The Beacon Hill Garden Club will present its 89th annual tour of hidden gardens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 17. The tour will proceed rain or shine.

The self-guided tour will open the gates to 12 hidden gardens and four ribbon gardens that are viewed from the street.

Complimentary tea and light refreshments will be served all day at the Church of the Advent, 30 Brimmer St., where there will also be a small boutique offering books, postcards and posters.

Tickets are $50 in advance and can be purchased online and at several Beacon Hill businesses. They will be $60 on the day at the information booth at the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Streets.

Proceeds will support horticultural, conservation and environmental projects across Boston.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 617-227-4392.

Creative dance

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will host a creative dance program with the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on May 18 and 25 and June 1.

Children ages 3 to 5 are invited to try out a ballet class with an instructor from the ballet troupe. Creative dance helps to develop coordination, motor skills, listening skills, creative voice and awareness of self and others.

Children are welcome to attend all three sessions, but repeat attendance is not required.

Registration is required as space is limited, by email to or by calling 617-523-3957.

Esplanade 5K

The Esplanade Association will host the annual Esplanade 5K race along the pathways of the Charles River Esplanade at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 20.

The race will be open to runners of all abilities and will include prizes, giveaways, refreshments and more. It will start and end at Fiedler Field and loop along the Boston side of the Charles River Esplanade, allowing runners to enjoy water and garden views set against the iconic backdrop of the Boston and Cambridge skylines.

Immediately following the race, runners and their guests are invited to enjoy appetizers and a cash bar at The Yard at the Liberty Hotel.

Proceeds from this race will benefit the association’s work to care for and improve the park and restore the historic Lotta Fountain.

Registration is $45. For further information and to register, call 617-227-0365 or visit

Photography exhibition

The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St., is displaying “Holding Differences Tenderly,” photographs by Brenda Bancel, Toni Marie Gomes and Roody Jean Louis, now to Friday, May 25.

This photography exhibition showcases the work of professional Beacon Hill photographer Bancel and students Gomes and Louis from the Take 5 program at the Epiphany School in Dorchester. The photographers explore ways to raise consciousness of deeply rooted stereotypes. The exhibit aims to disrupt assumptions, shaking the viewer out of typical thinking in order to stop perpetuating ideas from the past.

Visit or call 617-523-2324 to register and for more details.

Swan boats

The famous swan boats have returned to the Public Gardens. Spring hours of operation (now to June 20) are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting.

Established in 1877, the swan boats are a family-owned and -operated business with a unique tradition and place in the history and beauty of the city. A ride on a swan boat lasts about 15 minutes and provides a picturesque voyage on the waters of the lagoon.

Tickets are $3 or $2 for seniors and $1.50 for children.

For more information, call 617-522-1966 or visit

Photographs of the West End

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord.”

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Coloring for adults

“Color Your World,” coloring for adults, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Fridays during May at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Studies have shown the relaxing benefits of coloring for adults as well as children. Patrons are invited to drop in and enjoy a relaxing afternoon coloring. Coloring pages, pencils, crayons and markers will be provided.

For more details, call 617-523-3957.

Picturing Douglass

The Museum of African American History is presenting a new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., now through May 31.

Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, more frequently photographed than Abraham Lincoln, and was immediately recognizable to millions in his own lifetime. Douglass used photography as a tool of reform and to elevate the image of the African-American in contradiction to the demeaning depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.

Based on the book of the same name by Drs. John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, co-curators of the exhibit, it features more than 90 objects, including historic photos, books, newspapers articles and original letters by Douglass.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at