Chicago Fountains

Chicago fountains bring added depth to the city’s sightseeing opportunities. They can also prove to be quite relaxing. Sit for a while near one of the Chicago fountains, and the sound of the water cascading can sooth the soul. You might even be able to drown out the prevailing sounds of the city. Here we offer insight into what are arguably the best Chicago fountains to help you single out which ones to add to the itinerary.

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain

The most famous of the Chicago fountains, Buckingham Fountain is a must-see attraction. After all, this is one of the most iconic structures in the city. The full name of the fountain is actually the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain. One of the largest fountains in the world, it calls wonderful Grant Park home and is just a short walk from the skyscraper-laden Loop district. The specific address is 301 S. Columbus Drive. The Buckingham Fountain shuts down during the November to March period, so the best time to see it is when the water is flowing during the warmer months. When the fountain is in operation, jets of water spurt dramatically into the sky every hour on the hour. These displays last about 20 minutes. Also stop by at night, when the fountain is set ablaze with colored lights.

Centennial Fountain

Centennial Fountain
Centennial Fountain

Officially known as the Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain, this fun attraction can be found on the north bank of the Chicago River in the Near North Side area. The address is 300 E. McClurg Court. Dedicated in 1989, the Centennial Fountain features beautiful cascading waters. It also has a distinctive water arc feature. Every hour on the hour, the fountain shoots a massive water arc across the Chicago River. The water arc blasts last about 10 minutes. May to October is generally when the Centennial Fountain is in operation, so this is the time to drop by.

Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain

Fountains, regardless of where you find them, essentially serve as public art. This is certainly the case with the Crown Fountain in Chicago. Perhaps better explained as an interactive work of public art and video sculpture, this attraction opened in 2004 and has gotten plenty of attention ever since. Found in the downtown area’s Millennium Park, the Crown Fountain is composed of a black granite pool that has glass-brick towers on both ends. The towers stand 50 feet tall and display digital videos. They also spout water intermittently. Most often featured in the tower videos are landscapes and human faces. As is true of the other major Chicago fountains, the Crown Fountain generally operates from May to October, weather permitting. During the summer months especially, it is a great place to cool off, as kids and adults who are kids at heart can stand in the granite pool and play in the water spouts.

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