Things to do in
Buckingham Fountain

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Buckingham Fountain: Our most recommended tours and activities

Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

1. Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

After your hotel pick-up from most downtown Chicago hotels, board your climate-controlled minibus with a small group of twelve people or less. Enjoy the sightseeing tour which has won Chicago's "Concierge Preferred" award several years running.  Your tour begins in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop.  Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers.  You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, you'll tour through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain (operational May to October).  Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field and the most spectacular skyline views in the city.  After a ten minute photo stop, you'll travel around Millennium Park, featuring The Bean, before heading up north along Wacker Drive, which parallels the Chicago River. You'll arrive in the fancy Gold Coast nightlife area and residential neighbourhood - one particularly interesting sight here is the original Playboy Mansion. Then you'll take a trip through part of Lincoln Park, and end the tour by zipping along Lake Shore Drive, past beaches and old mansions as we get you back to or near your hotel or parking place. For those wanting the ultimate Chicago experience, add on the option of the world-famous architecture cruise of Chicago. After your 2-hour minibus tour and a short break, climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River. Marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Gain insights into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. An expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building and more.  

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Eastside Chicago: Exploration Game

2. Eastside Chicago: Exploration Game

Start the adventure at The Art Institute of Chicago. It will take you between 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace. Pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at the Fountain of the Great Lakes. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. So, are you up for an exciting city game? After your booking, you will receive an email on how to download the game to your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to download and play the city game on their phones. Alternatively, each person can make their own purchase.

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Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

3. Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

See the sights of Chicago from onboard the Spirit of Chicago with a 2-hour (brunch and lunch) or 3-hour (dinner) cruise on Lake Michigan. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail through the Windy City, and delight in panoramic views of the city's famous skyline. Board your vessel at Navy Pier and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your brunch, lunch, or dinner buffet consisting of creative prepared fresh daily, and listen to the onboard DJ's tunes. After your meal, play games like giant Jenga and shuffleboard, or bust out some moves on the dance floor. Don't forget to visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the skyscrapers of Chicago's distinctive skyline glide by. SAMPLE BRUNCH BUFFET MENU Early Risers Seasonal Fruit Breakfast Pastries Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Meats Breakfast Potatoes Late Risers Organic Mixed Field Greens Green Bean Salad Red Beetroot Salad Roasted Broccoli Florets Baked Ziti Pasta Mashed Potatoes Oven-Baked Atlantic Atlantic Flounder Filet Honey and Sesame Chicken Hand-Carved, Slow-Roasted Strip Loin Dessert Raspberry Mousse Lemon Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberries Coconut Vanilla Cake Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Brownie SAMPLE LUNCH AND DINNER BUFFET MENU Salads Organic Mixed Field Greens Organic Spinach and Kale Salad Green Bean Salad Kidney Bean, Black Bean, and Chickpea Salad Red Beetroot Salad Bow Tie Pasta Salad Vegetables, Potatoes, and Pasta Roasted Broccoli Florets Creamed Corn and Cheddar Cheese Casserole Baked Ziti Pasta Mashed Potatoes Entrées Oven-Baked Atlantic Flounder Filet Honey and Sesame Chicken Italian Beef Meatballs Braised Beef Short Ribs (dinner only) Dessert Seasonal Fruit Raspberry Mousse Lemon Pound Cake and Fresh Strawberries Coconut Vanilla Cake Carrot Cake Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Brownie (dinner only) The menu is subject to change. Please inform your server if anyone in your party has a food allergy.

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Amazing Lakefront Segway Tour of Chicago

4. Amazing Lakefront Segway Tour of Chicago

Glide around the streets and parks of Chicago on a leisurely 2.5-hour guided Segway tour. Perfect for Chicago newbies and veterans alike, the tour uncovers quirky facts about one of America’s most energetic destinations. Start your Segway experience at Millennium Park and continue to Grant Park to stop and admire the famous Buckingham Fountain. Ride to Museum Campus to soak up spectacular views of the Chicago skyline and beautiful lakefront. The tour includes a training session to become familiar with the unique self-balancing Segways, before exploring the Windy City in a fun and futuristic fashion. Smart, entertaining tour guides work hard to provide you with the experience of a lifetime, and reward you with expansive views of the sea-like Lake Michigan.

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Chicago Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

5. Chicago Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

This half-hour Seadog Speedboat ride along Chicago’s lakefront is one of the best ways to view the city’s skyline while learning about the city. Combine an exciting speedboat ride with informative and amusing stories about the world-famous Windy City! As you depart Chicago's Navy Pier, your captain will tell you interesting facts about the pier and the lakefront as he cranks up the music and races to key lakefront landmarks. Stop near the picturesque lakefront park of the Chicago Museum campus, where you’ll learn about the architecture and history of Chicago. Admire views of the Magnificent Mile neighborhood, including the Buckingham Fountain, Sears Tower, Grant Park, and Chicago's largest shopping district. Listen to the thrilling sound of the turbo engines as you race around the Lake Michigan waterfront and back to the Navy Pier. Upgrade to the Extreme Thrill Ride Option and experience exhilarating speeds and full 360° spins. This jet-propelled ride blasts off to start and splashes down to stop. Experience full-throttle slalom runs, sharp twists and turns, and the raw power of Seadog Extreme's 1400 HP engines.

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Chicago's Greatest Hits Bicycle Tour

6. Chicago's Greatest Hits Bicycle Tour

This tour takes you through some of Chicago's main sights by bicycle. Ride along the lakefront visiting parks and gardens as the refreshing lake breeze races across your face. Glide by Buckingham Fountain as it sprays high into the sky and reflects the sunlight. Coast through the green spaces and monuments of Millennium and Grant Parks, the Museum Campus and Burnham Harbor. As you cruise by, get a glimpse of some of the most popular attractions in Chicago while your guide shares their history and explain's the city's massive collections of historical artifacts that are unique to these world-renowned museums.  Finally, ride back as you view one of the world’s most beautiful skylines and its lovely lakefront, perfect at any time of the day.

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Chicago: Downtown Family Food Tour by Bike with Sightseeing

7. Chicago: Downtown Family Food Tour by Bike with Sightseeing

Hop on a bike and enjoy this easy ride around Downtown Chicago to explore the cities best sights and food. Cruise through Millenium Park, Museum Campus and along the lakefront with regular stops to sample delicious treats as you go. Your guide will take you to some of the best spots to try deep-dish pizza, a true Chicago hot dog, Italian beef, and a dessert for good measure. Try them all (or their veggie alternatives) and learn about the foods that made Chicago famous. In between snacking, visit some of Chicago’s most popular downtown districts as you cruise through Grant Park (Buckingham Fountain), the Chicago Riverwalk, and more. Along the way, your guide will point out highlights like Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile and the Chicago River. The stops are well-timed so, even though you’ll be working up an appetite, all ages and fitness levels can get involved and enjoy this ride. If you want the full experience, upgrade to the VIP Craft Beer Tour to enjoy beer pairings with many of the food stops.

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Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

8. Chicago: Private Architecture Tour - 3 or 6 Hours

Start with pickup from your hotel and meet your local tour guide, an expert on the architecture of Chicago. Travel through the city in luxury private transportation to discover its rich architectural history. See famous buildings such as the Sears Tower, The John Hancock Building, and the Wrigley Building Discover Gothic gems along the Magnificent Mile, historic brownstones, and the Frank Lloyd Wright homes of Oak Park. Enjoy a unique added value opportunity to view not only the outside but the amazing hidden interior of many of the buildings on the tour. At your discretion, make numerous stops along the tour to go to the top of the sky decks of famous skyscrapers. Walk along the Chicago River and enter the inside of buildings designed by many famous architects. This tour has several different options. Enjoy the sites of the downtown Chicago area with its many skyscrapers, amazing interiors and great photo opportunities. You may also choose the Oak Park Frank Lloyd Wright Homes and Studio option in lieu of the downtown tour where you will have the opportunity to view the interior of his very first home and studio along with over two dozen of his original structures lining Forest Street in Oak Park anchored by Unity Temple, considered to be the world's first building of the modern architectural style. Each of the above separate options are 3 hours long. If you are to choose both options for a full 6-hour touring experience, enjoy a lunch stop at one of Chicago's many famous hot dog stands or deep-dish pizza joints.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Buckingham Fountain

Want to discover all there is to do in Buckingham Fountain? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Buckingham Fountain

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,182 reviews

We were a group of 10!! And we had an amazing time, with the best patient and knowledgeable tour guide!! We will definitely recommend this tour, it is a fun way to get to see the most beautiful views of Chicago.

Note: Meeting place is at the pier where your boat is docked not in Navy pier address (entrance). All in all it was an excellent activity. The staff was excellent!

Ask for Alicia -- best Segway tour guide in Chicago! She also provided an excellent tutorial on use of the Segway before we began our tour. Highly recommend!

Informative as well as humorous - good driver - good way to see downtown highlights as well as the nice area near Lincoln Park. Highly recommend.

We went at night and the skyline was beautiful all lit up. The pictures weren't that great because it was dark, but the videos were fantastic.