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Know the rules at NYC pools

Get to know the rules at NYC pools with our helpful list of info! Don't forget to leave the pool toys home and bring a sturdy lock!

Allie Early
Written by
Allie Early
Dorkys Ramos

Summer in NYC means public swimming pools across the city are finally open. But in your excitement to pack up those flip flops and the crew, don’t forget to run through the NYC parks department pool rules. (For example, don’t run around the pool!) You don’t want to schlep all the way out to your NYC pool of choice only to find out you can’t even get in because you brought along a trunk of pool toys and no lock. Read on for other pool rules that will have you and your little fishes ready for some splish splashing once pool opening day arrives on June 27, 2017.


You must be wearing bathing suits on the deck and in the water. Plain white T-shirts can be worn over suits if desired, and men's suits must have mesh linings. Hats can be worn on the deck, but not in the water. Sneakers are not allowed, but rubber flip flops or water shoes can be worn.

Kids under 16 need to be eight inches taller than the max water depth to enter the pool without adult supervision (though we'd recommend supervision regardless).

Everyone must take a shower in the locker room before entering the pool. And be sure to head to the bathroom whenever nature calls.

Unfortunately, floaties and other swimming aids (tubes, paddleboards) and water toys are not allowed in the pool.

You MUST bring your own padlock/combo lock with you (not a small luggage lock). This is a biggie, since you're not allowed to bring purses, bags or electronics like phones and cameras on the pool deck. Pack LIGHT or bring more than one lock to stuff your belongings in multiple lockers.

You can't bring your beach gear with you. Leave the beach chairs, bags, blankets and beach balls at home. Strollers aren't allowed on deck either, and you'll probably end up having to park them out of sight. If you can, avoid bringing a stroller.

There's no eating or drinking allowed except in designated areas, so you may not want to pack a picnic. Also, leave glass bottles (and the alcohol) at home. If you want to quench that thirst, bring plastic bottles or use the water fountains by the pool.

Books and mags are allowed on deck, but sadly newspapers are not...

Be sure to check out the NYC Parks Pool Rules page for more information, and if your tykes aren’t quite pool ready, check out our list of swimming lessons and splash parks so they can still make the most of those hot summer days!

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