Outdoor Swimming pools in NYC


The first summer I spent in NYC I was hot and pregnant and just wanted to swim in a pool, but I had no idea where to go and I had been warned off using the free NYC public pools. So, over the past 8 years I have made it my mission to visit different pool options in NYC and a few local beaches within 60 minutes of the city by public transport. So, without futher ado, here is my guide to a few of the pool and beach options in NYC for the whole family.

Brooklyn Bridge Pop Up Pool 150 Furman St, Brooklyn (pier 6)

The small 'pop up' pool (30 X 50 Ft) located along the newly renovated Brooklyn Bridge park area by the East River. The pool takes a maximum 60 people each session which lasts 45mins. It is a first come, first serve basis and is FREE. Open daily 10am -6pm. There is also a great kid’s playground waterlab @ at pier 6 along the same walkway and a casual cafe and

ice cream stand.

We took the ferry across from downtown Manhattan to Brooklyn Bridge Park (3 min ride) and walked along the long path in the park area until you see the pool.

Central Park Lasker Pool, inside the park btn 106-108th st

If you have ever riden a bike around Central Park you would have seen the public pool at the top of the park. So, I was told not to swim at the public pools in NYC, but I was so hot I needed to try them out! To my surprise, they are clean and well managed by the NYC parks. Entry to the pool is FREE, opens 27 June 2018.

They have very strict rules for admission into all NYC Public pools, listed below.

1.You must wear your swimsuit to the park (they check to see you are wearing it under your normal clothes). You can only wear a white T-shirt or white cover up by the pool, no other colored t-shirts or dresses will be permitted.

2.You must bring your own towel and a lock for the lockers. The lock needs to be sturdy/good quality. (My lock was rejected and I had to go and buy another one, in 100F heat, I was not happy!)

3.All personal belongings must go in the locker, no glass, electronics, newspaper or food by the pool area, they only allow a beach towel, sunscreen and water by the pool.

There is a kids pool and a large adult pool. Concrete surrounds the pool and there is no shade or grass ..so it didn't make for a very comfortable day out (but was great for a swim and a reprieve from the heat!)

The Floating Pool, Tiffany St, Bronx

Free admission, the floating pool is a fun day out. Located in Barretto Point Park in the Bronx, this seven lane pool sits on a moveable barge in the East River. The closest subway is a bit of a walk (about 1 mile) but it is a unique experience that you would never expect in the Bronx.

Open daily from 11am-7pm from June 27. They follow the same strict rules as Lasker pool (listed above)

Dry Dock Pool Szold Place, between E10th & 11th St.

There are two large pools at this FREE East Village location. There is also, a kids park just outside the pool area. One pool is for the kids and the other for big kids and adults. Strict rules for entry as listed above. Again, the pools are surrounded by concrete and have no shade, but they are clean and well managed.

John Jay Pool, 77 Cherokee Pl, UES

Nestled in the Upper East Side park, this big 145-foot pool is perfect for swimming laps or just relaxing. This is a very popular pool and lines form early to gain FREE access. The same strict rules apply for entry as above. opened daily 11am-7pm, but closes 3-4pm for cleaning.

Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, 1 Clarkson St, Greenwich Village

This small funky pool in the heart of Greenwich village is a pleasant surprise! It is in the recreation center complex and is a bit old / tired, but fine for a quick swim in the heat of summer. public swim hours 9am-7pm weekdays 9am-330pm weekends

Hotel Americano - 518 W 27th, Chelsea

Leave the kids at home! This small hotel rooftop pool is open for adults only on the weekend for FREE. Weekdays you can buy a pool pass for $40per person - adults only. I have not been here, but I can imagine it gets very busy. Worth checking out if you can get a babysitter for the kids!

McCarren Hotel & Pool - 160 N 12th st, Brookyln

This hotel with outdoor pool is located in Williamsburg and is a popular summer destination!

Even if you are not staying at the hotel you can purchase a daily pool pass and also purchase daybeds.

Mon-Thur pool pass is $45 per person and a double sun-bed is $85.

Fri - Sun pool pass $65 per person & double sun-bed $175.

A pool pass allows access to the pool, a towel and seating on the deck (but not a sunbed unless you pay for it). The passes are first come, first serve so arrive early on a hot day. Open 11am -6pm.

Long Beach, Long Island

An easy 1 hour train ride from Penn Station on LIRR, once you arrive at Long beach station, the actual beach is about ten - fifteen min walk from the station. Once you arrive at the beach you will need to pay a small fee to enter the beach!! If you take the train from Manhattan you can buy a beach getaway ticket that Inc. return train fare plus beach entry from approx.

$24 per adult. kids are about half price.

You can also hire chairs and umbrellas on the beach. There are not many food options on the beach, a few food trucks along the boardwalk but a lot of places to eat or buy take away food near the train station.

Admittedly these NYC pools are not like swimming at the North Bondi pool or Balmain's' favorite Dawn Fraser pool, but we are also not living in Oz so we take what is on offer. Alternatively take a trip to the Caribbean a quick 3-hour flight!


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© 2017 by Kia Gordon