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Make a Splash: Bay Area Indoor Pools for Kids

Outdoor pools abound in the Bay Area – but what about indoor ones? They’re just as much fun for the kiddos and are the perfect place to go on a cold rainy day. All the pools listed below are super-affordable and have been tried and tested by moms, dads, and kids alike and given top marks. One thing — don’t forget the swim diapers if your tot isn’t potty-trained yet.

San Francisco

San Francisco Recreation and Parks Indoor Pools
There are eight indoor swimming pools around San Francisco. Admission to all the pools is just $5 for adults and $1 for kids. Check website for more details.

Online: sfrecpark.org

Charlie Sava Swimming Pool
After a major makeover in 2008, Sava indoor pool is now one of the go-to places to swim. It’s clean and well maintained and has an outdoorsy feel thanks to its glass ceiling and windows; special noise-reducing equipment keeps the echoes down. The water is 4 feet deep at its shallowest. Family swim times are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:30–3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12:30–2 p.m., and Sunday from 1–2:30 p.m.
2699 19th Avenue
San Francisco, Ca
415-661-6327
Online: sfrecpark.org

Hamilton Swimming Pool
This recently revamped indoor recreation center has been voted one of the nicest and cleanest public pools in the city, and the children’s pool is a huge hit with its swirly water slide. Enjoy family/open swim Monday through Friday, 2 p.m.–3:30 p.m., and Saturdays 1–3 p.m. Please note that children have to be at least 48 inches tall to ride the water slide.

1900 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, Ca
415-292-2008
Online: sfrecpark.org

North Beach Swimming Pool
North Beach pool actually has two pools: one cool, for lap swimming, the other warm. The warm pool is the one families love— it’s set at 85 degrees—and at just 3 feet at its shallowest, it’s perfect for even the littlest swimmer. There’s plenty of natural light from the many windows around the pool and skylights on the high ceiling. You can change in one of the private curtained stalls if you prefer, and dry the swim gear in the spinner. The lockers are a decent size, but remember to bring your own lock, and also bring exact change for admission. Family swim times are Monday and Wednesday 3:30–5 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 12:15–2 p.m., with an additional open swim Friday at 5:45–7 p.m., and Saturday 1–2:15 p.m.

651 Lombard St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-391-0407
Online: sfrecpark.org

Giammona Westmoor High Swimming Pool
Wow! This gorgeous new pool opened in 2010, and has been raved about ever since. It’s clean and warm and has a water slide, spacious locker rooms, plenty of showers, and a handy spin dry for all those soggy swimsuits you’ll be taking home with you. Swim times are Friday 5:30–7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:30–2:30 p.m.

131 Westmoor Ave.
Daly City, Ca
650-991-8022
Online: dalycity.org

East Bay

Richmond Plunge
“The Plunge” as it’s affectionately called, was built back in 1926 and locals still remember swimming there as kids. It was closed for ten years, then underwent a complete remodel and reopened in 2010 to rave reviews. Thanks to solar heating and non-chlorinated saline water, it’s proud to be able to call itself the most eco-friendly pool in the U.S. It’s huge, and has a large shallow area perfect for youngsters, just 2 feet, 3 inches deep. Lockers are free, and there’s even soap in the showers, so no need to bring your own.
1 East Richmond Avenue
Point Richmond, Ca
510-620-6820
Online: ci.richmond.ca.us

Marin County

Mill Valley Recreation Center Swimming Pool
Everyone loves this sparkling-clean indoor/outdoor pool with its big windows and removable roof for warm summer days. Little ones feel right at home splashing and playing in the shallow “cove” area (wide steps descend gradually into the water), and for kids 48 inches tall, the water slide is always a big hit. Open swim, including water slide access, is Monday through Thursday 1:30–4:30 p.m., Friday 1:30–6:25 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 12:15-4:55 p.m.
180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, Ca
415-383-137
Online: cityofmillvalley.org

Let us know in the comment section below what your favorite Bay Area indoor pool is and why!

–Annie Sheldon

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