If you’re looking for an outdoor, kid-friendly family activity in Acton, Massachusetts, Acton Arboretum is perfect. There are lots of grassy areas, perfect for both toddlers learning to walk (like little Arrow, who is pictured below!) and older kids playing tag. There are also many well-kept trails, some leading to gardens, others leading to bridges, and none of them overly strenuous (you can find a trail map here). I’ve found that the paths are generally stroller-friendly, as well. Plus, you can bring your dog! (But please, please, for the love of all things that are good in the world, pick up after Fido.)
If you want to visit for a few hours, you can enjoy the Arboretum’s picnic tables for lunching before heading home. There’s a semicircle made out of large rocks (you’ll see it if you scroll down) that also serves as a nice spot to sit. Well, I enjoy sitting there… When I bring my son to the Arboretum, he generally enjoys using those same rocks as a small playground. Since they’re a pretty manageable height, I let him jump off them and climb back up in an endless loop that leads straight to his afternoon nap! 😉
Given all of the above, it’s no surprise that Acton Arboretum made the perfect spot for this family photography session. I met Lindsy and Julius at church a few months before Covid shut everything down, and I was struck by how warm they both were. Lindsy is a children’s pastor, and Julius is an exercise science professional who also serves in the National Guard.
We tried to set up a family session for the end of 2020, but the pandemic got in our way. The silver lining is that we had a backdrop of blooming trees rather than the brown, dead-looking backdrop that plagues photographers during New England winters. Plus, their son learned to walk in the meantime. 🙂
Arrow was just the cutest little guy. He was most interested in the dogs he saw people walking, and who can blame him? (I may have barked behind the camera a few times to get his attention…)
If there’s one thing that was clear to me during this session, it was the love that flows so generously from this couple. They are so easy to be around, and they exude kindness and gentleness. Toward the end of the session, Julius changed into a shirt to represent something near and dear to his heart: his original home in Ghana. Soon after, Lindsy and Arrow also changed into clothing that was emblematic of Julius’s heritage. I love that they included something unique and important to them in their photos!
Please enjoy these images, and if you have any favorite features of Acton Arboretum that I left out, please leave a comment!
To view more of my family sessions, click here.
Hannah is a Boston-area family, maternity, and newborn photographer and specializes in capturing authentic and intimate moments so that you and your loved ones can remember these days for years to come.