It’s officially Spring, which means we get to do some summery activities while East-coasters are still suffering from winter hat hair. Not to brag (oops!), but it’s pretty rad to break out the tee-shirts, shorts and even…wait for it…swimsuits!  Yeah, we admit we’re spoiled when it comes to sunshine, but why wait for the roasting month of July to dip your toes? Surprise your water babies with a chance to splash around, long before the crowds come calling.

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Here are a few places to get your dive on, early (and without the inevitable summer sunburn):

Staycation, anyone?
At the Sportsman’s Lodge, you can have a hotel holiday at a fraction of the price and enjoy the pool, the lounge chairs, and everything in between (including the tasty on-site café). Let this retro oasis bring out your Mad Men style. Order room service directly to the pool and sip a Sea Breeze while the kids make waves. All ages welcome.
When: Pool open 10:00 am – 9:00 pm daily; Café open 10:00 am – 2:00 pm daily
Cost: $20 per adult, $10 per kid for all-day pool access. Free parking in the lot.

Sportsman’s Lodge
12825 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, Ca 91604
Phone: 818-769-4700
Online: sportsmenslodge.com

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Splashdown in Santa Monica
Enjoy a beachy breeze without all that pesky sand! The clean, bright Santa Monica Swim Center is the perfect solution for water-friendly families who aren’t ready for the chilly sea. The 3-foot deep splash pool is dedicated to youngsters (with a grown-up buddy), and the fitness pool offers a space to Butterfly your stress away.  No café available, but you can pack some nibbles or grab a Twix from the vending machine (caramel counts as a food group, right?). Or if you’re in the mood for burgers & ice cream, grab some grub at Fosters down the block. All ages welcome.
When: Splash pool open 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm weekdays; Fitness & splash pool open 10:30 am – 5:00 pm weekends
Cost: Non-residents $2.50 for kids, $6.50 for adults. A non-resident weekend family pass is $12.50 (see site for resident prices). Free parking in the lot with a swim pass, or metered street parking.

Santa Monica Swim Center
2225 16th St.
Santa Monica, Ca 90401
Phone: 310-458-8700
Online: smgov.net/aquatics/lap_swim.htm

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Luxury Value in the Valley
Beautiful oak trees shading your path, a lake nestled nearby… sounds like the setting of a romance novel. Step into those tranquil pages at the “crown jewel” of Calabasas (AKA the Tennis & Swim Center). The Children’s Instructor Pool is just for kids under 6 years old, so your little fish will fit right in. There’s also a Junior Olympic pool if you feel like a few laps: you might just spot a Fabio look-alike in a speedo (there’s your romance!). All ages welcome.
When: 7:00 am – 8:30 pm weekdays; 7:00 am – 6:00 pm weekends. The café is currently closed, so it’s cool to bring your own snacks.
Cost: $3 per adult, $1 per kid for use of the pool all day. Free parking in the lot.

Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center
23400 Park Sorrento
Calabasas, Ca 91302
Phone: 818-222-2782
Online: calabasastsc.com/aquatic.html

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Wet n’ Wild in Westwood
You can’t beat rec centers when it comes to pricing – for a few dollars you and your kids can bob up and down for hours. Don’t expect fancy changing rooms, but the indoor pool is clean, cozy and comfortable for newbie swimmers. Plus, there’s an awesome park right outside for a post dip dalliance. All ages welcome.
When: Recreational Swim Tuesday – Friday 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm and weekends 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Family Nights Wednesday & Friday 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (closed Mondays)
Cost: Kids 17 and under are free, adults $2.50 (or $2 with a library card). There’s a 1-to-1 ratio rule with kids, so each child must be accompanied by a grown-up. Kids 4 and younger must wear a swim diaper. Free parking in the lot.

Westwood Pool
1350 S Sepulveda Blvd.
Westwood, Ca 90025
Phone: 310-478-7019
Online: laparks.org/dos/aquatic/pdf/poolPrg/westwood.pdf

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Dive Deep in Echo Park
If you’re on the Eastside and looking for a great place to bring your Little Mermaids and Nemos, look no further. This clean indoor pool has a roped off area for tiny feet to kick and frolic. Updated showers, tidy toilets and an awesome pool that offers a day’s entertainment for a few bucks. What’s not to love? Bring flip-flops, a towel, and don’t forget to hum a little Adele while you swim (she knows all about Rollin’ in the Deep). All ages welcome.
When: Tuesday – Friday 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Weekends 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost: Kids are free, adults $2.50 (or $2 with an L.A. City Library card). Small lot with free parking, or street parking (be sure to read the signs).

Echo Deep Pool
1419 Colton St.
Echo Park, Ca 90026
Phone:  213-481-2640
Online: laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/echoParkPool.htm

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Road Trip: Let’s Go to Legoland
Other water parks make us wait for summer, but Legoland opens in time for Spring Break. Whoo hoo! This 5.5 acre water park offers Lego-tastic, soak-filled fun for the whole family. There’s a Build-A-Raft River, where you and your little one can glide in a raft you designed yourselves; a 45-foot-tall tower with water canons; two sandy beach areas, and a giant Lego section where you and the kids can build life-size creations. Beat the rush before the summer months. All ages, but certain rides do have age restrictions.
When: Open daily until April 21st, then weekends only April 29th – May 19th from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost: The Water Park is only accessible through Legoland. It’s $15 extra to add the Water Park to your regular Legoland ticket. “Water Park Hopper” tickets start at $64.80 for kids 3-12, and from $72.80 for adults. (If you buy online you get 20% off and the next day free.) Parking is $12.

Lego Land Water Park
1 Legoland Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Phone: 760-918-LEGO
Online: california.legoland.com/explore/Water-Park

What are your favorite Springtime splash zones? Let us know!

–Elena Wurlitzer

Photos courtesy of Sportsman’s Lodge via Yelp, socialinlosangeles.com, Trekaroo.com,  William J via Yelp , cityofcalabasas.com, moneypit.com