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How to Find a Free Swimming Pool This Summer

How to Find a Free Swimming Pool this Summer
Written by Oana Schneider

One of the best activities that you can indulge in during the heat of the summer season is swimming. You can visit the beach, go to a lake house, bring the kids to a waterpark or simply wade in a swimming pool. Aside from swimming, you can also enjoy numerous water sports activities during the summer season.

But with all the summer activities that you are planning, which is more fun with the rest of the family involved, you might just find yourself short on budget. You wouldn’t want to take a grand vacation which you will be paying for over the next few years, so it’s better to have fun in the summer without breaking the bank. This is where free public pools come in. By simply looking for a free swimming pool in your area, you can wade in the water all you want or simply bask under the heat of the sun, and have the ultimate summer fun without having to spend anything.

Free Swimming Pools in the US

As you may already know, swimming pools are containers filled with water which is intended for swimming or other water-based recreational activities. The two major types of swimming pools are above ground and in-ground pools. Almost all public pools are in-ground, and made long or big to accommodate a lot of people. In fact, in cities like Cleveland, there are about ten public pools made available for every 100,000 residents. According to Statista.com, for 2014, here is the number of public swimming pools in different cities which are used by every 100,000 residents. This includes indoor and outdoor pools, with a four-foot minimum depth:

  • Cleveland = 10.8
  • Cincinnati = 8.7
  • Pittsburgh = 6.2
  • Washington, D.C. = 5.4
  • Atlanta = 5.1
  • Tucson = 4.9
  • Henderson = 4.8
  • Philadelphia = 4.8
  • Denver = 4.5
  • Orlando = 4.3

Most of the health clubs, fitness centers, and private clubs in these cities –as well as other cities in the US – do have public pools which are used for recreational activities, health and fitness. Hotels, schools, universities, and spas are the other establishments where you will typically find a public swimming pool. Here are a few more statistics about swimming pools in general according to CDC.gov:

  • For 2009, about 301 million visits to swimming pools were made by Americans over the age of six.
  • 15% of adults in the US swim at least six times per year.
  • Around 91 million people over the age of 16 swim in lakes, oceans and rivers every year.
  • There are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the US.

How to Find a Free Swimming Pool this Summer

Swimming is an excellent way to keep fit while also having a great time. Whether it’s in free swimming pools, lakes, oceans, rivers or even spas and hot tubs, Americans do swim hundreds of millions of times every year. Although a lot of people know how to prevent sunburn, recreational water illnesses and drowning, it’s still a must for all families to take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents from occurring while swimming.

How to Find a Free Swimming Pool This Summer

Now that you already have an idea about how big a role swimming plays in the lives of the average American, how can you keep the costs down if you would like to enjoy the water? If you do not live near the beach, you would have to spend money on entrance fees to water parks, or travel to the nearest area where you can swim in a lake or the ocean. These activities will cost you money in the long run, especially if you go on one swimming trip after another. The good news is that you can find free swimming pools near where you live. As the name implies, these are pools which are free for the public to use. There indoor and outdoor pools which have limited operating hours so all you have to do is find which ones are open, bring your swimsuit and your friends, then swim to your heart’s delight.

Here are the ways for you to find a free swimming pool this summer:

1. Go online and do a quick search on the nearest free swimming pools in your area.

When you go online, you can find plenty of websites which specialize in helping you find the nearest public pool in your area. For instance, there’s www.swimming.org/poolfinder. When you visit the site, you can find plenty of helpful information about the public pools in your area. If you live in New York, you will find about the schedule of the opening and closing season of the public pools in the city. Naturally, most cities open up their free pools to the public during the summer season.  When visiting a public pool in New York, you should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Through the website, learn what you should be wearing as swimming attire. Most public pools do not allow unlined shorts for men, or colored shirts for swimming.
  • You should also ask if you can bring floaties when brining the kids to a public swimming pool. Babies and toddlers can head into the water with full supervision of the parents, as long as they are wearing swim diapers.
  • It is entirely your responsibility to keep your belongings safe when using a public pool. This is especially true during the height of the summer season when a lot of people are using the pool. If you must bring a stroller for your babies, make sure to keep an eye on it. You should also use a sturdy combination lock to keep your valuables safe.

Websites like Swimming.org will usually give you a list of the available public pools in your area. Make sure to take note of the exact address of the pool, the dimensions of the pool so that you would know if it’s a small, intermediate or large wading pool, if it’s a playground pool for the kids, or if it is an outdoor or indoor Olympic-sized pool. The dimensions of the latter are 330’ x 120’ x 4’.

Most public pools are open from 11am up to 7pm, usually with a one hour break from 3pm to 4pm – time which is meant for clean-up. Again, it pays to learn about all the rules before visiting a free public pool in your area, so that there will be no surprises ahead. The less hassle and fuss there is, the more time you will have for swimming and enjoying the water. Another link that you can visit to check on the availability of outdoor parks in New York is www.nycgovparks.org. During the height of the summer season, most public pools will extend their operating hours to help residents cool down.

How to Find a Free Swimming Pool this Summer

2. If you just moved in, you can ask neighbors where they usually swim for free.

If you just moved into a new house, you might want to introduce yourself to your neighbors and ask where they usually swim for free. If you enrolled your kid in a new school, ask the teachers for recommendations about which public pools are best to use. While you’re at it, ask about nearby lakes, rivers or other outdoor treasures where you can have the most summer fun in. You might also want to check out public bulletin boards for announcements from health clubs, spas, and waterparks. These establishments will usually offer free entrance to the public as part of a promotional campaign, so that people can learn about what they have to offer – and be more than willing to pay for the use of their facilities the next time.

3. Check out the official websites of the universities, colleges and other schools near your area.

Finally, you can check out the official websites of the schools, colleges and universities in your area. Most of these educational institutions would have student athletes and swim coaches, so they are bound to have swimming pools which are used for athletic training, or for physical education, diving classes or other water sports activities. Most of these pools double up as free swimming pools for the public to use. Just make sure to ask when the facilities are open to be used by the residents in the nearby area, which usually happens when there are no classes or trainings held in the pools.

Indeed, the best way to cool down during the height of the summer season is to take a dip in the pool. During the winter season, these pools are usually heated so that swimmers can use them as a way to stay fit.

By following these tips, you can easily find a free swimming pool in your area. Bring the entire family with you, have plenty of fun and enjoy water-related activities without having to pay a single cent.

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How to Find a Free Swimming Pool This Summer

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

8 Comments

  • If you live near a lake, check and see if it is considered clean and safe for swimming by the locals. Lakes are usually free or very close to free if you have to pay a few dollars for parking. Swimming in a lake allows you to avoid exposure to chlorine which can cause itchy skin, dried out hair, and respiratory issues in indoor pools. Going to the lake gets you out into nature where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings as well as the cool water.

  • It is great to be able to find somewhere free to swim in the summer time for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is great for your health, and you can really feel your stress levels lowering if you go regularly. Secondly, if you have children, it is a lot of fun and gives them something to do over the summer holidays, which has to be a good thing! You may often hear them saying that they’re bored, but with swimming, you can do something that will occupy their mind and body at the same time, which is great.

  • Watching kids can be tricky in the summer time so I always love a good pool trip. The cost, however, is not very lovable! I really appreciated the tip about using internet searches to find a free pool and asking neighbors about swimming spots. I’m a newbie in my town so that is exactly what I need to do!

  • There are many ways how to spend summer time. you can either stay at home or go out with your family. the choice is yours. as long as the fun is there then it is very good.

  • Some of my fondest summer memories, are of going swimming. I never knew that there were free swimming pools. I’m going to start looking in my area for some. What is the best way to search for them?

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