Parks Spotlight: Children’s Fountain

Parks Spotlight: Children’s Fountain


Celebrate Kansas City

A holiday unique to Kansas City, Fountain Day, will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 9 at 11 a.m.  On this day, all 48 Kansas City fountains will turn on for the season.  This year’s Fountain Day festivities will take place at the Children’s Fountain, located at the intersection of North Oak Trafficway, Northeast 32nd Street and Burlington Street/Missouri Highway 9 north of the Missouri River in part of Waterworks Park. The celebration is free and open to the public.


Playful, happy, challenging, thoughtful–all are terms that can be used to describe Kansas City’s Children’s Fountain.   The fountain was designed to celebrate children and Kansas City children were used as models for the figures.  Local sculptor Tom Corbin created the six figures: Joy posing happily on one pedestal; Meeting Challenges represented by a boy with crutches; a ballerina; a boy playing soccer; a boy standing on his head and a girl wading into the pool of the fountain.  They are each 8 to 9 feet tall.

Fundraising began in 1991, led by Anita Gorman, Northland resident and tireless Kansas City booster, who was President of the Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Board at the time.  The $1.7 million were raised by public and private donations and the sale of dedicatory bricks for placement near the fountain.  The property was donated by the Missouri Department of Highways and Transportation.

The fountain was turned on June 21, 1995 and was designed by Larkin Aquatics to run all year round.  The dedication plaque says:  “The bronze figures represent children everywhere to whom this fountain is dedicated and the activities that shape young lives making childhood a joy.”