With the weather getting colder and the kids still wanting to swim, this is the list for you. Gear up in goggles and head to one of the Bay Area’s indoor pools where it is always swim season. Book some time for your guppy in swim lessons or spend some family time on the indoor slides. Your water oasis awaits!
photo: PoolSafely via flickr
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Indoor Pools
There are nine indoor swimming pools around San Francisco. Admission to all the pools is just $7 for adults (save with a 10-pass) and $1 for kids. Most are detailed below but check the website for more information.
After undergoing a $17 million improvement project to rebuild the Recreation Center, swimming pool, playground and athletic courts, it’s time to enjoy it. The 75-foot long pool is great but the fact that this is the only pool in the city with water slides is certainly the big draw. One of the two enormous corkscrew water slides deposits you into the kiddie pool and the second drops stronger swimmers seven feet above the water at lightning speed, into the big pool’s deep end. Please note that children have to be at least 48 inches tall to ride the water slide. Enjoy family/open swim Tue.-Wed. and Fri. 2-3 p.m. and Sat. 1-3 p.m. The waterslides are open on Saturday.
1900 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
photo: Charlie Sava Pool
Charlie Sava Swimming Pool
Sava indoor pool is now one of the go-to places to swim. It’s clean, well maintained and has an outdoorsy feel thanks to its glass ceiling and large windows. Special noise-reduction equipment keeps the echoes down. The water is four feet deep at its shallowest. Family swim times are Mon.-Wed. 2-3:30 p.m., Friday 2-3:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. from 12:30–2 p.m.
2699 19th Ave.
San Francisco, CA
Bakar Fitness and Recreation Center
This pool is not part of SF Park and Recreation Centers and thus is slightly more expensive than the ones mentioned above but is totally worth it, as the facility was designed with kids in mind. The 25-yard-long indoor pool is particularly shallow. The deepest part is 4.5 feet deep and the shallowest is 2.5 feet deep. Family times are very frequent, so check the schedule for a time that works for you. Entrance fee is $20 per adult, $10 for kids above three and free under three. A single-day pass includes pool, basketball court, squash, racquetball, towel service and locker rooms. Kids under 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. And teens (15+) and adults may also use fitness equipment, sauna and group X classes. Ask for the family locker room where you’ll find two private showers, a changing table and an open locker area. Locks are available for rent at 50 cents, or you can bring your own. Best of all, there is a new grit finish on the tiles in the pool area to help combat slipping.
1675 Owens St.
San Francisco, CA
JCCSF Aquatics Center
The JCCSF Aquatics Center is not as cheap as the city pools but it has pretty much everything an indoor pool should have: a 25-yard lap pool (80°), a warm-water recreation pool (90°) and a heated spa (100°). There’s recreational swim but also lessons, exercise classes and activities for new and experienced swimmers through their Aquatic Concepts® curriculum. The pool offers parent/child swimming, competitive teams, adult classes, lap swim, family swim time and more. Access for non-members is $20 for adults (who come with kids) and $10 for children.
3200 California St.
San Francisco, CA
photo: Hao L. via yelp
Silliman Aquatic Center
After undergoing major renovations, the Silliman pool is open and we are thrilled. With a combination of large slides, a lazy river, spa (currently closed for renovations), open lap pool and a children’s activity pool, kids of all ages will have a blast and parents can relax poolside or join in the fun. Check here for recreation swim hours as they vary by season. Fees are: $3 for kids 0-2 and all others are $9.
6800 Mowry Ave.
Richmond Swim Center
The Richmond Swim Center is a beautiful indoor pool with lots of natural light and a retractable roof that can be opened on warm, sunny days. The shallow end is ideal for little ones with a water feature in the one-foot depth section. The Richmond Swim Center offers recreational swim options and lessons for children and families. Pool hours vary by season, check here for the current schedule.
4300 Cutting Blvd.
“The Plunge” as it’s affectionately called, was built back in 1926 and locals still remember swimming there as kids. The actual name on the building says “Municipal Natatorium” which is the old-fashioned term for a big, public indoor pool. The Plunge still retains its original hand-painted signs, beautiful tile and its stunning mural. The water is a saline/chlorine hybrid. The main sanitizing agent is salt, with chlorine as the backup method. Most patrons who dislike chlorine prefer the Plunge for this reason. Kids especially love Tot Splash, which is Mon., Wed., Fri. and Sun. from 10-11 a.m.
1 East Richmond Ave.
Albany Aquatic Center
The 136,000 gallon indoor pool at the Albany Aquatic Center is a balmy 84-86 degrees year round. Hours include daily rec swim. The shallow end is 3’6″ deep and it goes down to 7 feet in the deep end so make sure you bring your floaties for the little mermaids. Kids four and under are $3, ages 5-17 are $4.25 and parents are $7.
1311 Portland Ave.
photo: Jean E Brink Pool
Jean E. Brink Swimming Pool
The pool was named after Jean, a community fixture, volunteer and an avid swimmer who has been coming to the pool since its opening in 1978—and we understand why! It is extremely spacious: ten lanes, 25 yards long each. It’s one of the very few indoor pools in the Peninsula and one of a handful of pools with diving boards for deep diving; the pool’s depth ranges from 3 to 12 feet making it great for older kids to practice diving and big splashes and shallow enough for little kids during family swim times. Monday and Friday 7-9 p.m or Saturday and Sunday 1-3 p.m. Adult $6 and kids $5, don’t forget to bring your own lock and towel.
photo: Giammona Pool
Giammona Westmoor High Swimming Pool
This gorgeous pool is 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. There are open swim hours and an Afterschool Swim Club for 6 to 12-year-olds where they can do homework, recreational activities and swim. Open 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
Orange Memorial Pool
How nice would it be to play in the pool with your little ones while looking at some gorgeous nature? Well at Orange Memorial Pool it is possible! The huge bay windows almost make you forget that you are in an indoor pool. There is also plenty of natural light coming from the ceiling. Spectator seating is available, this way you can also enjoy the view of the trees when you need a break from the pool. Come Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9:30–10:30 a.m. with your kids under 5, and for all-ages recreation on Friday 7-8:30 p.m., Saturday 1:30–3 p.m. and Sunday 12:45–2:15 p.m.
781 Tennis Dr.
South San Francisco, CA
Waterworkds is a swimming pool ideal for kids as well as the harried parents who have to pack their bags. Just inside the front door next to the front desk, a shop carries anything you may have forgotten or didn’t know you needed: snacks, swimsuits, swim diapers, goggles, kickboards, inflatables, sinker toys and more. The water is a toasty 93 degrees and there is a 2.3-foot pool just for little ones to play in. The place is clean and well equipped, offering private showers and changing rooms, plus several changing stations and a swimsuit dryer.
Recreation swim times are Friday 6–7:30 p.m. and Sunday 3-4 p.m. with a fee of $6 per person. One Saturday per month, they organize Family Swim nights where they play music over their pool deck sound system, offer complimentary snacks and juice and lend their inflatable pool toys. Entrance fee $15/child, $12/adult for a maximum of $55/family and pre-registration is required.
There are other Waterworks Aquatics centers at City Sports Clubs around the Bay Area as well, including Hayward and San Francisco.
1120 S. Bascom Ave.
San Jose, CA
photo: Mill Valley Pool
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. The pool also offers sinker toys. Day-use passes include the use of the fitness center and prices vary from $7-10, depending on age and residence.
180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, CA
—Kate Loweth & Erika Milvy