Sometimes at this point in summer we can feel a little…uninspired. We’ve hit our fave playgrounds, concerts, beaches and fountains. We’ve ridden our bikes a-plenty, boogied in farm fields and city blocks, vacationed, camped and eaten our weight in s’mores. At the same time, a sense of panic hits every year when the calendar flips from July to August. We call this time Late Summer Double Jeopardy and it’s curable. Fear not, well-intentioned parents! The antidote is here. It’s as simple as Wilson Pool.

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Summer Dreams
Wilson Pool is a fab place to freeze time. Spend an afternoon here with your littles knowing everybody in the clan will be happy. It is the public pool of their dreams and it is the public pool you would have loved as a tadpole yourself. What did we really need to love the public pools of our youth? Maybe a diving board and a slide, a cute lifeguard or two… and some baby oil (natch). This public pool, courtesy of Portland Parks & Rec, has turned it up a mega-notch. Game changer anyone?

For the littlest polliwogs, there is a zero-entry kiddo area with tiny bubbling fountains and warm water. Even the wee-est of babes can splash and play. For the preschooler set the adorbs green frog slide will delight for hours. Yes! Hours!

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Legit swimmers and kids over 48” can rock an enormous curvy water slide. Ducking under splash pad-style buckets keeps the middle of the pool humming. A lazy river and whirlpool of glee makes for superb workouts and hangouts.  For the big kids and ‘tweens the deep end calls with a basketball hoop and plenty of space for antics away from the tiny tots.

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Some-fin for Everybody
Wilson Pool is stocked with free kidlet-sized life preservers. They sell swim diapers, sunscreen, and nose- and earplugs. They even outfit the pool with monster-sized, animal shaped floats. Polly wanna float on a frog? Yep!

Not to be overlooked is the concession stand. What is a summer pool adventure without the requisite trip to the snack bar? Wilson’s rocks a lengthy list of flavored slushies, Luna bars, sodas, bottled water, ice cream and of course – popcorn! Just try and get out of there without craving some. At $1 for a small bag, it might just be the best buck you spend all summer.

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Things to Know Before You Go
Wilson Pool is located right next to Wilson High in super-cute Hillsdale. The school is under construction this summer and access is only from the rear of the building on SW Burlingame.  The parking lot is uneven and it’s a bit of a walk to the pool so keep your gear as condensed as possible.

Wilson Pool is your BFF for fantastic open swim hours every day of the week; none of this 1:20 – 2:40 the third Tuesday of the month business. Their open swim is 12:30 – 8:20 pm Monday-Friday and 12:00 – 6:00 pm on weekends. There is often a line as the gates open and it can be uber-crowded in the early afternoon. Going later on, like after 4 pm, is muy quieter. For one swim, Wilson Pool costs $5 for adults and $4 for kiddos ages 3-12. Twos and under are free.

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It’s Cool To Love Your Pool
Grab your Late Summer Double Jeopardy by the hair and throw it under a sun hat. You’re heading to Wilson Pool for a superb August afternoon with your tadpoles. You’re recalling the raddest public pools of your youth and celebrating your kiddos future nostalgia for this one. You’ve got a handful of cash and the beach bag’s ready for go time. It’s shaping up to be a tremendous trip down memory lane.  And to the snack bar.

How do you beat the end of summer blues? Wilson Pool? Hike? Quick road trip? Let us know below!

— Liz Overson

Thanks for the photos Portland Parks & Rec and Liz Overson.