Cool off in NYC on the cheap at one of the FREE Olympic-size swimming pools and pop-up mini-pools in city parks in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, including some with picture postcard skyline views.
NYC public pools are now open for the season, daily through Labor Day. Also unless otherwise noted, pools are open 11AM to 7PM with a one hour maintenance break between 3PM and 4PM. to 7PM. Some pools are open earlier for lap swimmers, and nearly all offer FREE swimming lessons.
NYC Public Pool rules:
- Bring your own lock for the lockers,
- Floatation devices, even “wings” for kids are not permitted
- Food, beverages in glass bottles, electronic devices, newspapers and magazines are not permitted in the pool area
- Go early or late to avoid the biggest crowds and the noisiest kids
Here are the largest and most popular public pools in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island:
McCarren Park, Williamsburg: This historic Olympic-sized pool re-opened in 2012 after a major renovation. It’s huge, with 37,571-square-feet of water that can hold 1,500 swimmers, and often does. There’s also plenty of deck space for tanning. Expect lines to get in on weekends.
- McCarren Park Pool website
- Location: 776 Lorimer St. Tel: 311 (no phone listed on the NYC Dept. of Parks website)
Brooklyn Bridge Park: You get just 45-minute increments to swim at this popular pop-up pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is just 3.5 deep, so grown-ups can teach toddlers and pre-schoolers to swim like a fish. The pool is open 10AM to 6PM daily. There’s also a sand beach to enjoy before or after your dunk.
- Brooklyn Bridge Pool website
- Location: Pier 2, (718) 222-9939
Sol Goldman Pool, Red Hook: Another Olympic-size pool that offers swim lanes during regular hours if the pool is not busy. On weekends, local food trucks are parked outside the recreation center.
- Red Hook Pool website
- Location: 155 Bay St., (718) 722-3211
Astoria Park Pool, Astoria: This popular Olympic-sized pool is the largest in the city, built to hold 3,000 people. There’s a large wading pool for younger kids and non-swimmers, and a knock-out view across the East River to the Manhattan skyline, and plenty of deck space for tanning.
- Astoria Pool website
- Location: 19th Street and 23rd Drive. (718) 626-8620
Van Cortlandt Park, Riverdale: Its location within a few minutes walk from the last stop on the #1 train (242nd St.) makes up for its relatively small size. There’s also a wading pool.
- Van Cortlandt Pool website
- Location: W. 242nd St. and Broadway, (718) 548-2415
Baretto Point Park, Hunt’s Point: This is a seven-lane pool on a movable floating barge, which you enter via a gangplank. Like other outdoor city pools, the barge offers features a locker-room, bathrooms and showers. Plus, there’s a great view.
- Baretto Point Floating Pool website
- Location: Tiffany Street and Viele Avenue, (718) 430-4601
Crotona Pool, South Bronx: This is the largest pool in the Bronx and one of the largest in the city, crowded on weekends with as many as 5,000 people. But there’s ample deck space to wait your turn for no room in the water, or head to the outdoor spray showers to cool off.
- Crotona Pool website
- Location: 173rd Street and Fulton Avenue, (718) 760-6969
Lyons Pool, Tomkinsville: Another two-fer combination of Olympic-size swimming pool and wading pool. It’s the only Olympic-size pool in Staten Island,and it’s just a 15-minute walk from the St. George Ferry terminal. Remember, the Staten Island Ferry also is FREE.
- Lyons Pool website
- Location: Pier 6 and Victory Boulevard. Tel: 718-816-9571
Link to additional NYC public outdoor pools in all five NYC boroughs.