Best indoor swimming pools for NYC families
With two locations—one in Yorkville and the other in Battery Park City—Asphalt Green is one of the most popular recreation centers in the city, and it’s easy to see why. With membership, visitors of all ages receive access to classes and clinics at the indoor pools. Plus, with designated family swim time on weekend afternoons, you won’t get lost in the shuffle with more advanced swimmers. Upper East Side: 555 E 90th St (212-369-8890); Battery Park City: 212 North End Ave (212-298-2900), asphaltgreen.org.
Who knew a high school was home to such affordable (and fun) aquatic activities? Camp Olympia sports club is known for welcoming all ages. At $5 per person, the venue's Family Swim on Sundays (4–5pm)—complete with floats and toys—really makes a splash. Parents will appreciate that the pool clearly separates the shallow end from the deep end. Camp Olympia also hosts birthday parties complete with music, water games and more pool fun. John Jay Educational Complex, 237 Seventh Ave, Erasmus Hall, 911 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn (718-748-7084, campolympiany.com/swimming).
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy the facilities here. Grab a day pass and take advantage of the half-Olympic-sized pool all afternoon. Open family swim is perfect if you're looking for an event for the entire gang. If you join the community center, you can also take advantage of the swimming lessons for all ages. 345 Chambers St (212-267-9700, bpcparks.org).
You will have to splurge on a membership pass to use these facilities, but it’s well worth it (plus, this will entitle you to receive access to every NYC recreation center and pool). Located at the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, the aquatic center’s Olympic-sized pool offers wall-to-wall windows with views of the park as well as skylights, so natural lighting is a plus. Open swim sessions are held in shallow 3.5-foot waters, the perfect opportunity for safe splashing. 131-04 Meridian Rd, Flushing (718- 271-7572, nycgovparks.org).
This Upper West Side family recreation center finally reopened in 2013 after decades-long closure. Its pool might be on the smaller side, but the entire rec center caters toward families. With a membership, adults and tykes alike can sign up for swimming lessons inside the retro Roman-style tiled mosaic pool center. There’s aerobics classes for adults, and everyone can enjoy free swim time. You might even take kayaking lessons in the pool! Yep, we're serious. 232 W 60th St (212-397-3159, nycgovparks.org).
This public recreation center is one of the oldest in Brooklyn and was built nearly a century ago in 1922 by the same architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial. As with most of the NYC indoor pools, you have to buy a citywide membership for access. The draw to this 75-foot-long pool is that there are separate swim classes for the female and male members of the recreation center, and there are also separate swimming lessons for kids who want to test out the waters. 261 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn (718- 599-5707, nycgovparks.org).
You’ll have to travel all the way up to Hamilton Heights to swim at this New York State-run park’s pool. But you’ll only have to shell out a couple of bucks per person to swim for the day. Adults can purchase a refillable lap swim pass for $30 a month. 679 Riverside Dr (212- 694-3600, parks.ny.gov).
One of New York’s best family-friendly indoor pools is pretty unknown outside the community of Roosevelt Island. This venue is complete with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a separate swimming area for children with classes for water-shy “little guppies” and nearby recreational games of ping pong. Come during Open Swim times to sign up for membership, or grab a non-resident pool pass for the day. 250 Main St, Roosevelt Island (212-832-4540, rioc.ny.gov/Sportspark.htm).
When you sign up for membership at this NYC pool, you'll receive access to free courses...plus all 12 indoor pools throughout the five boroughs are yours for the swimming. Little fishies have the option to get involved with the youth swim team, and even younger children can take their first stroke at the Learn to Swim course. Check out the online calendar to see what's scheduled for the season. 430 W 25th St (212-255-3705, nycgovparks.org).