Few things make parents happier than finding free entertainment, especially when it involves water play on a beautiful hot summer day. Gather your pennies — so, um, we guess it’s not totally free — because we rounded up local water fountains worthy of your wishes. Some you can actually play in! From the world-famous and massive to the tiny and refreshing, these picks will put a smile on your face and a click in your camera.

Eli Bates Fountain

You might know it as the “Storks at Play” fountain. Officially, the fountain is named for its donor after he bequeathed money making its 1881 installation possible. Tiny visitors will enjoy the whimsical bronze birds spewing water from their beaks and will be in awe of the half boy-half fish creatures holding large fish that appear to come alive, splashing in the water. Tall bronze reeds and cattails protrude from the center of this stunning fountain that serves as centerpiece for the formal garden just south of the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

East of North Stockton Drive & South of Lincoln Park Conservatory
Lincoln Park

photo: Eli Bates Fountain courtesy of Chicago Park District

Know of a fountain that’s perfect for pictures (and your pennies)? Let us know in the Comments!

— Maria Chambers