Cool Down this Summer: Public Pools to Check out in Philadelphia

July 31, 2022

Things are heating up in Philly — literally! With temperatures in the high 90’s and humidity on the rise, it’s no surprise people are flocking to splash pads and pools to cool down. This year, the city has opened 50 of the 70+ public pools, mainly due to the nationwide lifeguard shortage. 

There’s no better way to spend the summer than by the pool with a book, snacks, and some friends. Whether you’re looking to take up swimming lessons or are planning a family outing, there’s a pool just for you!

Photo: Marian Anderson Recreation Center Aqua Zumba Classes

Planning a pool day? Before heading out make sure to double check your local pool’s schedule and hours. In certain areas where multiple pools are located close to each other, some pools may operate on a split schedule to allow maximum community access. We recommend using the pool finder app on the City of Philadelphia’s website to learn more about pool hours, activities, and parking. You can also find spraygrounds and free swimming lessons through the pool finder app! 

Many neighborhood pools are part of a new city-wide initiative called “Swim Philly”. This program brings communities together through free, family-friendly activities available at select public pools. Pools under the Swim Philly program have been allocated comfortable seating and lounge options, umbrellas and plants to enliven the area and pool experience. These pools also host featured events and extended hours.

Public Pools Near Rittenhouse Square

Whether you’re a Philly resident or visiting us for the summer, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite local pools in the Rittenhouse Square area near The Touraine and The Annex. 

Marian Anderson Recreation Center Pool – 740 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19146
Open regular hours 

The Marian Anderson Recreation Center Pool is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm on a 3.4-acre park and playground. The Marian Anderson Recreation Center Pool offers various summer activities and camps. The rec center has a gymnasium, boxing gym, ballfield, basketball court, and more to keep the family active and entertained! To learn more about activities, programs, and pool details please contact the Marian Anderson Recreation Center at (215) 685-6594

O’Connor Pool – 2601-13 S St., Philadelphia, PA, 19146
Open regular hours 

The O’Connor Pool is an outdoor pool located on a small park. This pool is part of the “Swim Philly” program and has weekly activities and programs for all ages. Throughout the pool you’ll find comfortable seating, benches, umbrellas and plants to keep you cool and comfortable. This pool has a free swim team where children and teens between the ages of 5-15 can join. To learn more about pool hours and activities please contact the O’Connor Pool at (215) 685-6649.

Pools Near Garden Court Plaza in West Philly

For the West Philadelphia residents and those that live at Garden Court Plaza, here’s our running list of local public pools near you. 

Mill Creek Pool –743-81 N 48th St., 19139
Open regular hours

Located in the Mill Creek Playground and near the Middle Years Alternative Middle Scool, the Mill Creek Pool is the perfect place to spend the day with family and friends. To learn more about pool hours and activities, please contact Mill Creek Pool at (215) 685-0260

Shepard Recreation Center Pool – 5700 Haverford Ave., 19131
Open regular hours

The Shepard Recreation Center Pool is located at the Shepard Recreation Center, a 8.2-acre public park. This swimming pool is perfect for families and friends who want to stay active both inside and outside of the water. Shepard Recreation Center pool offers free swimming lessons for ages 6-40. Other than the pool, this park has a playground, sprayground, basketball court, roller rink, and various sports fields. To learn more about hours, parking, and activities please contact Shepard Recreation Center Pool at (215) 685- 1992

Christy Recreation Center Pool – ​​728 S. 55th St., 19143
Open regular hours

The Christy Recreation Center Pool is located at the corner of Christian St and S 56th St. This pool is also located at a park, making it the perfect destiantion for families and children. There is a playground on-site, sports fields, and plenty of space to have a picnic and hang out under a tree. Pool hours vary on certain days, to learn more about this pool’s schedule, please contact the Christy Recreation Center Pool at (215) 685- 1997

Photo: O’Connor Pool (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

How to Plan the Perfect Pool Day

Pack your bags and get ready for a day of fun! We recommend packing your everyday essentials such as sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, water bottles and snacks. Pool accessories such as floatation devices and swimming goggles may come in handy. Depending on the pool you visit, they may have beach balls and accessories available on site (simply give a call and double check before heading out). Certain pools have restrictions and rules in place to keep everyone safe. As you pack and get ready for the day, be sure to brush up on your local pool rules and proper attire here.