Water play is a favorite family activity, but long after the weather warms, local lakes stay icy cold. You and your little swimmers can enjoy getting wet without turning blue at local and nearby soaking pools and hot springs. Read on to find out more about these heated opportunities where you can relax and soak while your children swim.

photo: Kelly via flickr

Kennedy School Soaking Pool
Grab the kids and a specialty craft cocktail or beer from one of McMenamins Kennedy School’s bars or restaurants and enjoy an afternoon or evening soaking in the outdoor saltwater pool (Note: chlorine is present in the pool). Located in an private outdoor courtyard area, this body of water is less of a swim hole and more of a ceramic work of art. Your tots will love the pleasant temps and friendly atmosphere, which is especially perfect for those new to concept of swimming. The general public is welcome to soak for just $5/person/hour and minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Good news for those living close to the Kennedy school: soaking is free for neighbors. If you have a valid Oregon State ID with your current address stating that you live in the hood, you and your kids can soak all you want without dropping a dime.

If the Kennedy School requires driving a ways, rent a room and enjoy a staycation! Soaking is part of the overnight package.

5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.,
Portland, Or.

Hours: Minors welcome daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: $5/person
online: mcmenamins.com/Kennedy-School


photo: courtesy of McMenamins/Kathleen Nyberg

Grand Lodge Soaking Pool
Located just outside the main building, this pool is surrounded by beautiful rock formations and draping greenery— yet another fun McMenamins offering. While jumping, diving and splashing are not allowed, floating and playing calmly are welcome. Situated in the beautiful Forest Grove area, the lodge also offers rooms, restaurants and entertainment. Families can visit for the day, stay overnight or make a weekend of it.

Along with offering up some good family fun, the pool’s salt water system is said to offer soakers additional benefits including reduced eye irritations (no more tears!) and being soothing to skin and gentle on hair. The pool is also eco and earth friendly.

3505 Pacific Ave.,
Forest Grove, Or.

Hours: Minors welcome daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: $5/person
online: mcmenamins.com/Grand-Lodge

photo: Mike N. via Yelp

Kahneeta
Less than three hours from Portland, Kahneeta is the perfect place to splash and play without getting cold. The warm mineral pool offers young swimmers a 140-foot-long slide to wind their way down or, for the slightly older and braver sort, there is a 184-foot long slide that takes adventurers squealing down twists and curves into the mineral waters of an Olympic-sized hot springs pool.

During the summer, the pool’s temps are cooled to a soothing 88-91 degrees, and during the fall and winter season, you and your family can still get wet and wild and enjoy water warmed to 86-91 degrees.

While Kahneeta is a bit o f a distance from our fair city, it also offers accommodations for a fun overnight stay that includes miniature golf, a picnic day park, basketball and volleyball and more. Rent a room, enjoy fine dining and splash away at this perfect family getaway.

6823 Hwy. 8,
Warm Springs, Or.

Cost: $15/adult (13 & up), $10/child (4-12 years), children 3 & under free
Online: www.kahneeta.com

photo: Wonderlane via flickr

Breitenbush
Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Breitenbush is best known as a hot springs retreat for those looking to get away, but with an abundance of geothermal pools and a family friendly atmosphere, it is perfect for the whole clan. Just two hours from Portland, it is a reasonable trek for a day trip for those looking to soak, relax and have fun in a natural setting. Important note: bathing suits are optional, so families uncomfortable with nudity should consider other options.

If a four-hour roundtrip drive seems too long with antsy little ones, reserve one of their rustic, geothermally heated cabins and stay the night or for a whole weekend. Breitenbush also has more to offer than warm water fun—consider exploring ancient forest trails, wandering through stone labyrinths and and dining on yummy vegetarian meals for a day or two. By the time you are done, you will be refreshed and your little swimmers will be worn out.

Breitenbush Hot Springs
Detroit, Or.

Cost: $18-$32/adult, children 4 & under free
Online: breitenbush.com

Does your family have a favorite local soaking pool? Let us know in the comments below.

—Annette Benedetti