NYC Parenting

NYC Pools open June 29th

I am always looking for ways to beat the NYC heat. I go to as many suggested price museums as I can, watch the $2 Moviesfree bowling, and have been known to go to the grocery store just to take advantage of the cranked-up AC. But there is another way to beat the heat. Visit one of the many free public pools found in every NYC borough.

The pools are open from June 29th to September 2nd. Check your local pool for hours. As you check the hours, also note when they close the pool for cleaning (usually 3 – 4 pm). When I first began going to the pool, I would forget about the break and show up right before it closed.

Be warned, food and glass bottles are not permitted. They allow plastic water bottles. The Park security guards are some no-nonsense employees, so don’t think you can get something past them. I’ve seen many parents and kids thrown out of the line for having something in their bag that they may not bring in. You must also bring a lock with you – if you don’t have one, then you can’t swim. Also, you aren’t allowed in if you aren’t dressed for swimming. I’ve heard many parents complain they weren’t planning on swimming and that only the kids were swimming, but again, the no-nonsense security guards didn’t buy it. When I go to the pool, I’m already dressed and ready for the water. It makes it easier to get into the pool that way. I rarely bring anything that needs to be locked. I carry towels, sunscreen, and water bottles with me. Before my kids were potty trained, I also brought an extra swim diaper with me as well. I do this so I can walk right in with no hassle.

Here are some other key things to know:

  • All babies need to wear swim diapers.
  • Other than swim shirts, only shirts that are completely white may be worn in the pool area.
  • There is stroller parking at the pools, but are left unguarded and nobody is responsible for them.
  • All men’s bathing suits need a lining inside. That means no board shorts.
  • Kids 7 and up must go through the bathroom of their sex. That makes it difficult for people like me who have kids of different genders. My advice is to have them wait by the door until you come back around to meet them.
  • Floaties are not permitted in the pool, unless they are attached to the swimsuit.

The pools also offer free swim classes and morning and evening lap swim for adults. My kids have taken classes at the pool and I have used the early morning lap swim hours to get in some early morning or evening exercise.

Final tip? Don’t open your mouth while in the water. There are a lot of kids there, after all.

Sadly, Pools are closed at the Astoria Park, Edenwald Houses, Harlem Meer Center, Tomkins Square, and the Tony Dapolito facility. Those pools are undergoing much needed renovations.

Here are some of my ways to cool off with my kids.

$3 & $5 movies at AMC
$2 Movies at Regal
List of free museums in NYC or that have a suggested donation
Free Bowling

Check out these NYC attractions:

Wonderland Dreams: Where visitors become art
Spyscape: Spying and solving in NYC
Visiting Madame Tussauds
Batman X at Spycape
Rise NY
History of the Liberty Pole in City Hall Park
History of Bowling Green’s Fence
Visiting St. Paul’s Chapel
Gaming at the Paley Center
Harry Potter NY
Great Jones Distilling
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Moulin Rouge on Broadway
Unmarked Slave Burial Ground
Hamilton Dueling Grounds
List of Museums in NYC that are free or have suggested prices
Visiting the Guggenheim with my Toddler
Visiting the MoMA with Kids 
Visiting Hamilton Grange
Visiting Grant’s Tomb

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