With temperatures hovering somewhere above oppressive these days, we can think of nowhere we’d rather be than in some cool water.
Outdoor public pools in New York City reopen following the last day in session for public school, which means they’re already revved up and waiting for swimmers! There are 15 outdoor pools in Brooklyn that are open through Labor Day on September 1, so you don’t need to go too far to jump on in.
With the forecast for a muggy, warm day today, you might want to get in the water pretty soon, so take a look at the rules, see where are the pools are in the borough, and start planning for a long, refreshing summer.
Here are some of the rules of the pools. We’ve slimmed them down a bit, but you can see the complete list here, and be sure to stick to them, because most pools check before you go in:
Clothing: You have to wear a bathing suit! Men’s suits must have mesh linings. Hats may be worn on the deck for sun protection but are not allowed in the water. Plain white T-shirts may be worn over bathing suits if desired. Sneakers are not permitted, but rubber flip flops or water shoes are.
Children under 16 must be at least eight inches taller than the maximum water depth to enter the pool without adult supervision.
Bring your own padlock! The city takes no responsibility for lost articles.
These are not allowed in the pool or on the deck: radios, cameras, cell phones, or other electronics; swimming aids, water toys, or flotation devices; beach chairs, baby strollers, bags, blankets, or beach balls; smoking, pets, glass bottles.
You can’t get in a pool if you have: skin lesions, sores, or inflamed eyes, mouth, nose, or ear discharge, a communicable disease, or any type of bandage on your body.
You gotta take a shower in the locker room before entering the pool.
No booze allowed! Eating or drinking is permitted only in designated areas.
Reading materials: Books and bound periodicals are permitted on the pool deck. Newspapers are not.
And now for the pools! They’re all free to enter, and hours at all are daily from 11am to 7pm (note that there’s a break for pool cleaning between 3-4pm), except for the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool, which is is open 10am to 6pm.
Betsy Head Park Pool
694 Thomas S Boyland St, Brownsville 718-257-1635
This olympic-sized pool has learn-to-swim programs, a swim team, and exercise programs for seniors. One of two pools in Brownsville, this one was built as a WPA project.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-Up Pool
334 Furman St at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, 718-802-0603
Mini-sized pool that allows swimmers inside in 45-minute sessions, with wrist-bands available 15 minutes prior to each session. They’ve also got swimming lessons for $125 for kids ages 2-8. The beach adds booze from 6-11pm.
Bushwick Playground Pool
817 Flushing Ave, Bushwick, 718-452-2116
An intermediate-sized pool and a wading pool. They’ve got learn-to-swim programs and a swim team. Feels a little small, and because of that, can feel crowded.
Commodore Barry Park Pool
Flushing Ave at N Elliott Pl, Fort Greene, 718-243-2593
They’ve got an intermediate-sized pool and a wading pool, plus learn-to-swim programs and a swim team. Reviews say it’s not too crowded because of its out-of-the-way location.
David Fox/PS 251 Pool
E 54th Street and Avenue H, Flatlands, 718-531-2437
A mini-sized pool without a lot of info about it anywhere. Anyone been who can share what it’s like?
Douglas & Degraw Pool
230 Douglass St, Gowanus, 718-625-3268
AKA Double D, there’s still a threat this may be your last summer swimming here, if the EPA has anything to do with it. There’s an intermediate-sized pool and a wading pool, plus learn-to-swim programs and a swim team. In 2011 reviews said it was gnarly, but in 2012, clean and well maintained, and people seemed a bit more positive in 2013. So what’s the verdict this year?
Glenwood Houses Pool
Ralph Ave at Farragut Rd, Flatlands, 718-531–2480
Pretty much the same deal as David Fox, so if you’ve been, let us know in the comments how it is.
E New York Ave near Mother Gaston Boulevard, Brownsville, 718-385–1023
The Brownsville pool that there’s been talk of closing, it’s got an intermediate-sized pool and a wading pool, and it’s got learn-to-swim programs – plus this year they’ve added a swim team and exercise programs for seniors.
JHS 57/HS 26 Pool
117 Stuyvesant Ave, Bed-Stuy, 718-760-6969
With the large Kosciuszko pool just about a mile away, this mini-sized pool might be a good option if you’re looking for a smaller environment for yourself or the kids.
670 Marcy Ave, Bed-Stuy, 718-622-5271
A popular destination on hot days, there can be a line to get into this spot with an olympic-sized pool and a wading pool. It’s got learn-to-swim programs, a swim team, and exercise programs for seniors.
Lindower Park Pool
E 60th Street and Mill Ave, Mill Basin, 718-531-4852
It’s a mini-sized pool, and much like the others in Brooklyn, there’s not too much going on, though if you get rained out, there is a bowling alley nearby.
776 Lorimer St, Greenpoint, 718-218-2380
After some drama during the beginning of its first season open since 1984, things seemed to settle down, though tales of lines persisted. The rehabilitated olympic-size pool offers the adult lap swim program, which runs 7-8:30am and 7pm-8:30pm (July) or until 8:15pm (August), and you can register online. It’s also got learn-to-swim programs for both kids and adults, water aerobics for adults, a swim team, and an exercise programs for seniors. Additionally, it’s the one of two Brooklyn pools with an Adapted Aquatics program for people suffering from physical ailments resulting from injury, disease, or aging.
Red Hook Pool
155 Bay St, Red Hook, 718-722-3211
It’s maybe the least crowded of the olympic-sized pools in Brooklyn, but can still attract a lot of kids on a hot day. Hard to beat cooling off with a swim, then grabbing some tacos afterwards on weekends. It’s also got the adult lap swim program (register online), learn-to-swim programs for both kids and adults, water aerobics for adults, a swim team, and an exercise programs for seniors.
Sunset Park Pool
44th St at 7th Ave, Sunset Park, 718-972-2180
The park with the best view in the city also has an olympic-sized pool. Another one with the adult lap swim program (register online), learn-to-swim programs, a swim team, an exercise programs for seniors, and it’s the other Brooklyn pool with an Adapted Aquatics program.
Photo by Alexa Hoyer via Brooklyn Bridge Park