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The Top 17 Public Pools for Families in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

The Top 17 Public Pools for Families in NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

Find the best family-friendly public pool near you to spend a day splashing in the sun—plus how to ensure everyone stays safe post-COVID.


This summer has a halo of optimism around it, and pool lovers across New York City and the surrounding area are eager in their anticipation to (safely) lounge in the sun and splash around. Here is a list of top public pools for families in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, and Long Island. Fill up your pool bag with water, sunscreen, and your favorite read—we’re all ready for some much-needed rest and relaxation this summer. 

Click on your preferred region below to jump to that section:

RELATED: Find 100+ ideas for great summer fun in the Family Fun Guide—download it today!

Public Pools in NYC

The free public outdoor pools in NYC are open June 26-Sept. 12. (At the time of writing, indoor public pools are still closed until further notice). Public pools have free swimming classes and, in partnership with the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT Skin CancerTM Program, will have dispensers with free SPF 50 Sunscreen.

Before heading over, there are a few rules you’ll need to know that apply to all public pools, including the Parks Department’s latest guidelines relating to COVID-19: 

  • Outdoor pools are open daily, 11am-7pm, with a break for pool cleaning from 3-4pm.
  • Guests are required to bring a sturdy combination lock to keep your valuables and belongings safe and secure.
  • Electronic devices (yes, that means your phone) and newspapers aren’t allowed by the pool and outside food or glass bottles aren’t permitted. 
  • You’ll need to have a swimsuit to enter the pool area.
  • If you want to wear a bathing suit cover up it has to be a plain white shirt or white hat. Shirts with colors on them are not permitted on the deck. This applies to all genders, so wear white to the pool or pack a white shirt in your bag to change into at the locker rooms.

Top Public Pools for Families in Manhattan

1. Hamilton Fish Pool 

Pitt and Houston streets, Lower East Side
212-387-7691
Admission: Free

This pool has everything a family could want for children of all ages. There is an Olympic-size pool for the athletes looking to swim some laps, or to hang out with friends. There is also a kiddie pool for parents with toddlers and infants to enjoy, which is a nice perk that can’t be found at all outdoor public pools. Children can also enjoy a playground and basketball court.

2. Jackie Robinson Pool

Bradhurst Avenue and West 146th Street, Harlem
212-234-9606
Admission: Free

This Olympic-sized pool has been recognized by online reviewers for its cleanliness. Children will love the sprinkler park on the deck with hoops shooting water—this is a lot of fun to keep little ones busy in lieu of a baby pool. There is also a playground nearby to burn off some extra energy.

3. John Jay Pool

York Avenue and 77th Street, Upper East Side
212-794-6566
Admission: Free

John Jay Pool had a $5 million renovation in 2019, so come check out this fun family pool while everything is still relatively fresh! There is a diving pool and a playground with a sprinkler play area. The large nautical themed playground boasts a ship’s front to play with, bridges, a large climbing net, and a Whitehall rowboat. The pool is on the edge of the East River with a ramp leading down to the East River Greenway, a beautiful waterfront walk that spans most of the East Side. If you want a change of scenery after your swim you can take a short walk up the Greenway and check out Carl Schurz Park, another popular family destination on the Upper East Side. 

4. Highbridge Park Pool

Amsterdam Avenue and West 173rd Street, Washington Heights
212-927-2400
Admission: Free

How could we leave the pool that was featured in that epic In the Heights musical number? Located in Washington Heights, this pool has an Olympic-sized pool, along with a 2-foot-deep wading pool, perfect for little ones to splash and play. Plus, there is a small shaded playground, featuring a spray shower, next to the pool.

RELATED: These are the Top Playgrounds in the NY Metro Area

Top Public Pools for Families in Queens

1. Astoria Park Pool

19th Street and 23rd Drive, Astoria
718-626-8620
Admission: Free

Astoria is known for being family-friendly, and you can expect just as much from the public pool. This is the city’s largest public swimming pool, and an area of the Olympic-sized pool is sectioned off as a wading area for children. There are also sprinklers to play in. The pool is within a park that contains a playground and other activities such as a running track and bocce courts. There is free parking nearby and street parking. While lounging at the pool you have a perfect view of the Triborough (Robert F. Kennedy) Bridge—what a great backdrop for your summer family photos!

2. Liberty Pool (Detective Keith L Williams Park)

105-31 172nd St., Jamaica
718-657-4995
Admission: Free

This pool, located in Jamaica, includes a kiddie pool, a wading pool, and an expansive deck for sunbathers with lounge chairs. The surrounding park includes a playground, running tracks, and tennis courts.

3. Fisher Pool

99th Street and 32nd Avenue, East Elmhurst
718-779-8356
Admission: Free

This pool complex in East Elmhurst has a smaller wading pool for children and a larger pool for adults and older kids. Overall this is a smaller pool than the other two mentioned in Queens.

Top Public Pools for Families in Brooklyn

1. Douglas and Degraw Pool

250 Douglass St., Gowanus
718-625-3268
Admission: Free

This Gowanus spot is family-oriented with tons of nice perks. There are lounge chairs, a wading pool, and a shaded sundeck for children. Nearby you’ll find a park and a playground with picnic tables and sprinklers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NYC Parks (@nycparks)

2. Kosciuszko Pool

670 Marcy Ave., Bed-Stuy
718-622-5271
Admission: Free

This refreshing pool is known for having more shade than other public pools with its roof-covered concrete bleachers. You’ll find a kiddie splash pool and an Olympic-sized pool.

Top Public Swimming Pools in Westchester County

1. Saxon Woods Park Pool

1800 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains
914-995-4480914-995-4481
Hours: June 25-Sept. 6: daily, 10am-6:30pm (no admittance after 6pm)
Admission: $4-$15; proof of county residency (either a County Park Pass or a valid New York State driver's license with a Westchester County address) is required for admission.

Saxon Woods Park is home to the largest public swimming pool in Westchester County. Plus, the park offers a children’s aquatic playground, picnic areas, and the county’s only accessible playground. When you’re done swimming, head over to the mini golf course for a round of putt putt!

2. Anthony F. Veteran Park Pool

11 Olympic Land, Hartsdale
914-989-1818
Hours: Hours vary week to week; check the website for current schedule.
Admission: Town UniCard: $18; $7 children ages 2-17 and seniors ages 60 and older. Non-cardholders: $9; $7 children ages 2-17 and seniors ages 60 and older’; free for children  younger than 2

In addition to a regular pool for all ages, this park has a lap pool and an interactive kiddie pool with spray features, where kids can play with water toys, use floats, and more. When you’re hungry, stop by the snack bar for some sustenance. Plus, this pool offers swimming lessons and birthday parties.

3. Tibbetts Brook Park Pool

355 Midland Ave, Yonkers
914-231-2870 • Admission, rates, hours, or park passes: 914-231-2865
Hours: June 25-Sept. 6: daily, 11am-6:30pm
Admission: $5-$15; proof of county residency (either a County Park Pass or a valid New York State driver's license with a Westchester County address) is required for admission. Parking:  $5 with Park Pass; $10 without Park Pass.

Your family will find all sorts of water escapades to enjoy at this large public pool.  Little ones will enjoy the spray playground and athletic family members will have a blast with the in-pool volleyball and basketball equipment. Enjoy swimming laps or taking it easy at the lazy river. The 161-acre park also offers hiking trails, lakes, playing fields/tennis courts, playgrounds, mini golf and, new for 2021, a pickleball court.

4. Willson’s Waves

8 Bradford Road, Mount Vernon
914-813-6990 • Group Picnics: 914-231-4575
Hours: June 25-Sept. 6: daily, 11am-6:30pm
Admission: $5-$15; proof of county residency (either a County Park Pass or a valid New York State driver's license with a Westchester County address) is required for admission.

This waterpark is a recipe for a day of family fun, especially after being cooped up for the last year. There are a few water recreation areas: a wave pool with 3-foot waves, an 18-foot water slide, and a water playground for children with fountains and cascading water. There is a pool deck for relaxing and an area for picnicking with a beautiful Tudor-style bathhouse. The water park is located within Willson’s Woods Park. This is a Westchester residents-only park; Willson’s Woods is one of the oldest parks in the county parks system.

Top Public Pools in Long Island

1. Cantiague Park Pool

480 W. John St., Hicksville
516-571-7056
Hours: Opens June 26: daily, 10am-6pm
Admission: With Leisure Pass: $10; $6 children; $5 seniors, public servants, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Without Leisure Pass: $25; $20 children; $6 seniors, public servants, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. 

This park, named by News12 Long Island viewers as the best outdoor swimming facility in Long Island, features an Olympic-sized pool, a diving pool, two water slides, a kiddie pool, a training pool, a sprinkler pool—providing plenty of opportunities for families of all ages to have a blast. Children will love every minute in the interactive water-play area, which boasts a jungle gym with sprinklers that shoot water from ground level, sprays, water guns and wheels! The park also has an artificial turf field that can accommodate a range of sports, a mini-golf course, and tennis courts (with lights, so you can get in a night game!)

2. North Woodmere Park Pool

750 Hungry Harbor Road, Valley Stream
516-571-7800
Hours: Opens June 26: daily, 10am-6pm
Admission: With Leisure Pass: $10; $6 children. Without Leisure Pass: $25; $20 children. $6 seniors, public servants, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. 

The swimming pool at this park will be your young child’s dream come true with three pools dedicated just for them! They’ll enjoy a wading pool, a training pool, and an interactive water-play area. Swimming lessons are available for a cost. The pool includes lockers, dressing areas, lounge/deck chairs, sun shelter, and a concession stand. The park also has a playground with different age-appropriate areas.

3. Phelps Lane Pool

151 Phelps Lane, North Babylon
631-669-4654
Hours: June 26-Aug. 6: Saturday-Sunday and Holidays, 11am-7pm; Monday-Friday, 12-8pm. Aug. 7- Sept. 6: daily, 11am-7pm
Admission: $7; free for children ages 3 and younger. Proof of residency required.

This pool, only open to residents, has an amazing children’s pool. There is a playground in the pool with ropes to climb on, a water slide, and a mushroom shower. There are also double water slides, a shaded area, and lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas. Plus, there is free Wi-Fi access for those who want to get some work done while the kids play.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NB Touchdown (@nb_touchdown)

4. Byron Lake Park Pool 

80 Bayview Drive, Oakdale
631-472-7043
Hours: June 26-Aug. 29 and Sept. 4-5: daily, 10:30am-6:15pm (closed Aug. 30-Sept. 3); Sept. 6, 11am-4:45pm
Admission: $20 non-residents; $12 resident without Recreation Card; $8 resident with Recreation Card; $2 resident senior or individual with disabilities. Pool memberships also available through the town’s Parks Department.

This Olympic-sized pool features a waterslide, a favorite among children (height requirement: at least 3 feet, 6 inches tall). Come for a swim and either grab a snack at the concession stand or you can enjoy the barbecue-pit picnic area in the park. Relax with your family with your meal in the gazebo overlooking Byron Lake. There is a playground and scenic walkway around the park; it’s also a popular spot for biking and includes a basketball court. The town also has nine beaches nearby if you want to hit the waves another day!

Staying Safe at the Pool This Summers

Aslam Jangda, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician at Crystal Run Healthcare, and his daughter Maha Jangda, a recent medical school graduate, compiled some safety tips (with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to separate fact from fiction when it comes to swimming in pools this summer.

The good news is, the CDC has not yet detected the virus in water that is treated with filtration and disinfection (pool water). In other words, it is believed that the chemicals in your pool can kill or inactivate the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If your family chooses to swim in backyard or public pools this summer, here are the answers to some questions that can help you swim in backyard pools as safely as possible.

Can the coronavirus spread through pool water?

There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread from person to person through the water in swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas, as long as the water is well-maintained and cleaned regularly, according to the CDC. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water. 

Pool owners should follow the CDC’s pool safety guidelines before swimming in or allowing others to swim in their pool. You can also download this free poster from the CDC for using and storing pool chemicals safely

Does chlorine kill COVID?

Remember: Well-maintained pools are less likely to spread germs. “The average amount of chlorine that’s in a pool is going to kill the virus,” says Roberta Lavin, a professor and program director at the University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing. So the answer is yes, it is believed that chlorine can inactivate the coronavirus.

But there is something we need to keep in mind, especially with younger kids swimming in pools. Peeing in the pool isn’t only gross (though kids will inevitably do it at least once in their lives), pee reacts with chlorine, reducing the amount of chemical available to kill any viruses in the water, according to the Water Quality & Health Council. So remind your kids of the importance of using the bathroom rather than peeing in the pool.

“Just as you should wear a mask when out in public today, in the pool you should protect yourself and other swimmers by practicing good swimmer hygiene—don’t pee in the pool and remember to shower before swimming,” says Chris Wiant, M.P.H., Ph.D., chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. 

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Safe Summer Fun as New York Reopens

Are hot tubs safe to use during COVID-19 pandemic?

The CDC says there is no evidence to back up the survival potential of the virus in hot tubs as long as they are well maintained and disinfected. 

RELATED: Sun Exposure and Sunscreen Guide for Kids

Is keeping 6 feet distance in the pool enough to keep you safe?

No, it’s not enough. Pool-goers should practice social distance as well as good hygiene when getting in and out of the pool. Keep in mind: While swimming (especially kids), people are often touching their face, mouth, and nose more often than normal, whether it is to rub your eyes after coming up for air or hold your nose. Some tips from the CDC for maintaining good hygiene while swimming are:

  • Follow local and state guidelines that determine when and how recreational water facilities may operate, including how many can be present in a pool in accordance to its size
  • Minimize the amount of surfaces being touched before getting into the pool and after getting out
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not share towels or toys (volleyballs, beach balls, floaties, etc.).
  • Owners of pools, hot tubs, spas, and play areas should follow the interim guidance for cleaning and disinfecting their water facilities

Can we share pool toys or floaties?

It is best for those who are not fully vaccinated to avoid sharing items, especially those meant to come in contact with the face (goggles, snorkels, nose clips), according to the CDC. While disinfecting pool toys does decrease the risk of contracting the viral infection, it is best to avoid sharing pool equipment altogether. Group games that involve floaties, water volleyball, water basketball, and anything that involves multiple people interacting in close proximity should be discontinued as well. Families should maintain an acceptable amount of distance between one another and bring your own pool toys, floaties, and chairs (if allowed at the public pool).  

Remember, when swimming in a pool with friends and family, you need to take responsibility for your own protection and for disinfecting your hands, your children’s hands, and anything you touch in the pool area. You should operate under the assumption that other people are infected and not vaccinated. The virus can hang around in the air in the form of tiny droplets called aerosols for up to 30 minutes. Here are some extra tips to keep safe:

  • If you or anyone in your family has symptoms of the disease (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, loss of taste/smell) do not use the pool. In fact, you should stay home.
  • Wear a face mask when you are not in the swimming pool.
  • Make sure the pool is properly sanitized with chlorine and bromine.
  • Stay socially distanced at all times, both in and out of the water.
  • Keep the pool gathering to a small group of trusted friends/family who you are sure have been following the rules of social distancing.

What COVID guidelines do public pools still need to follow?

Here are the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for staying safe while visiting a public pool:

  • Pool owners and attendants must encourage patrons to wash their hands often and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Encourage those who aren't fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks and socially distance
  • All pools must have a good amount of soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trash cans on-hand
  • Pools should be disinfected often, especially on frequently touched surfaces
  • If someone gets sick after going to the pool, owners must notify health officials and inform anyone in the area who was in close contact with said person to stay home and close off/ disinfect areas used by said sick person

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