Need somewhere to cool off this summer? Free public pools, including several Olympic-sized ones, are plentiful in NYC. Follow Red Tricycle’s guide to discover the best choices for splashing around and working on swimming skills with your kids in every borough. From Red Hook, Brooklyn to the Lower East Side in Manhattan, here are eight top outdoor pools where you can beat the heat free of charge.

Need to Know Info

Before we tell you the top pools, here's what you need to know about swimming at NYC pools this summer. The outdoor pool season begins on June 27 and ends Labor Day, September 1. Outdoor pool hours are free and open to the public from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m., with a break for pool cleaning between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Early morning and late night adult lap swim hours are also available at some locations. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pop-Up Pool has different hours and rules. Check their website for their hours.

New York City Public Pool Rules

Before you head to one of the pools to take a quick dip, be sure to read all of their rules carefully - and be prepared to take them seriously. They do have staff (who are often described as militant) checking all pool guests to make sure they adhere to the rules. First, don't be surprised if you have to show your padlock (regardless of whether you intend to put anything in a locker or not, you'll need this to get in the door) and bathing suit before they'll let you in the door.

Other rules include: only white tees are allowed in the pool (over the top of suits), no water toys or floatation devices are allowed and you must take a shower in the locker room before entering the pool. Don't plan on taking more than the essentials (towels, goggles, sunscreen) on the pool deck. Beach chairs, baby strollers ("We make our best effort to secure strollers," they say), bags, blankets, beach balls, phones and cameras are all prohibited on the pool deck. Despite all the rules, we promise a dip in a public pool can be a fun, mini vacation when the mercury rises in NYC.

Images courtesy of NYC Parks

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-Christine Knight & Julie Seguss

Images courtesy of NYC Parks