Who needs sunshine when aquatic centres in Seattle and swimming pools offer up the coolest water play in town? With everything from lazy rivers, surf machines and twisty slides that end with a splash they’ll keep your kids busy and wear them out for the drive home. It’s easy to make a splash with our picks below.
Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information, keeping in mind things can change quickly. If you’re looking for nearby open pools, the pool at McMenamin’s Anderson School is open for public swimming and the Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island is open for family swim. Both locations require reservations. A few other pools on our list are open for lap swim or swimming lessons.
Lynnwood Recreation Center & Pool
Editor's note: The Lynnwood Rec Center remains closed.
If you need a reason to head north of Seattle, the Lynnwood Recreation Center & Pool is it! This super popular pool includes two big water slides, sprayers, a lazy river, inner tubes, diving boards, water playground, spray fountains and a family hot tub. Plus, there's a lap pool and warm-water therapy pool. Little ones will especially love "Beach Swim" when the shallow play area is open with a water depth up to two feet. If you're thinking this place sounds a lot like Great Wolf Lodge, but a lot closer and a lot cheaper...you're absolutely right!
Good to Know: The pool gets extremely busy on the weekends, so plan on arriving early (at least a half-hour before an open swim session) to guarantee a spot or go during the week and avoid the crowds. Better yet...pre-purchase tickets to guarantee your entrance into an open swim. Advance tickets are available by calling Customer Service at 425-670-5732 up to two weeks in advance.
18900 44th Ave. W.
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Snohomish Aquatic Center
If you're looking for an indoor pool with tons of bells and whistles, the Snohomish Aquatic Center is your one stop destination for family fun. Opened in February of 2014, this ginormous indoor facility boasts a giant corkscrew water slide, lazy river, spray area and FlowRider surf machine, so your kids can hang ten year-round. The facility also has a recreation pool with lap lanes and basketball hoops, an open area for kids to play or tots to get their toes wet and a Wibit floating obstacle course. The best part? The water here is kept at a toasty 84-86 degrees. Not only is it heaven getting in, but it feels so nice you may never want to get out. Looking for something a bit warmer? The warm water pool is even toastier at 102 degrees. Who says you can't soak away the winter blues?
Psst! The weekends can get really busy, so plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the start of the swim session you want to attend. Check the pool schedule before you go. And view the current rates here.
Good to Know: If you’re looking for a place to throw your kiddo's next birthday bash, the Aquatic Center offers a variety of party packages on Saturdays and Sundays. Packages start at $199 and include one hour and 45 minutes of pool time and 45 minutes in the party room for up to 12 party-goers.
516 Maple Ave.
Snohomish, WA 98290
Mountlake Terrace Pool
Editor's note: The Mountlake Terrace Pool is open for lap swim and water fitness classes with a reservation.
There’s a good reason the Mountlake Terrace Pool is a favorite birthday party spot. Where else can your little ones take a trip to "Toddler Island," float along a lazy river or splash in a shallow end filled with geysers and built-in spray toys? No need to wait for a birthday party though—just go during one of their recreation or leisure pool swim times. During recreation swim, the leisure pool, lazy river and main pool are all open which includes amenities like flotation devices, water toys, life jackets and basketball hoops. The lazy river is great fun, with a gentle current to push you along and plenty of inner tubes and noodles are available for your ride. Psst! During leisure pool swim, only the leisure pool is open. But with a depth range of 6 inches to 3 feet, a beach-like entry and padded floor, the leisure pool is perfect for the 6 and under set.
Good to Know: Children under 4 years of age must be accompanied in the pool by an adult. Riders must be at least 40” tall for the body slide and 48” tall for the inner tube slide.
5303 228th St. S.W.
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
McMenamins Anderson School Pool
Editor's note: The pool at McMenamins is now open with limited capacity for one-hour sessions with an appointment.
Take your little fish for a dip in the The North Shore Lagoon, McMenamins Anderson School's on-site pool, that’s open to the public every day from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Swim sessions are broken up into two-hour time slots where families can splish and splash around the tiki-themed pool before changing into street gear to grab some delish eats at the restaurant upstairs. We love that the pool has plenty of shallow play areas where even the most timid toddlers can test the waters with ease. And the deepest point is only 4’6”, which means you won’t be treading water as you make the Marco-Polo rounds with your big kid sidekick.
Good to Know: Hotel guests and Bothell residents (with a valid Washington state ID and Bothell address) are free.
18603 N.E. Bothell Way
Bothell, WA 98011
Seattle Parks and Recreation Pools
Editor's note: All Seattle pools remain closed.
All Seattle Parks and Recreation pools have public swim times, where at least a portion of the pool is open for all ages recreational swimming and family swim times, which are more focused on family play and often include flotation devices and pool toys. Some pools also have special features and events, like Dive In Movie Fridays, where you can swim with the lights down low while watching a family-friendly flick.
At Meadowbrook Pool, the pool is open for family swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1:30-3 p.m. and 7:30–8:30 p.m. with water toys, slides and noodles. Of course, the highlight of this pool is the rope swing, which will send your kiddos soaring over the water before they come splashing down. The Queen Anne Pool has diving boards, a rope swing and family changing rooms to make it easy for your crew to stay together.
If you're in South Seattle, be sure to check out Rainier Beach Community Center Pool (pictured above). This awesome pool, which received a remodel a few years back, includes a water slide, baby pool, lazy river and spray and play park, plus a six-lane lap pool and additional space for birthday parties.
Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center
Editor's note: This facility is open for lap swim and water exercise classes only for people over 15, with a reservation.
For families on Bainbridge Island or Seattle families looking for a fun island adventure, the Bainbridge Aquatic Center is loaded with bells and whistles. Built in 2001, the pool includes a 180-foot water slide, lazy river, sloped beach entry, tot pool, water features, a toddler frog slide, one- and three-meter diving boards and four 25-yard lap lanes. The facility also boasts a spa and steam and sauna rooms. And in addition to open swim times, the pool hosts swim lessons and special events, including Float Movie Nights.
8521 Madison Ave.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Goldfish Swim School
Editor's note: Both locations are open for swim lessons only.
Goldfish Swim School, a water safety and swim lesson school offering infant and child swim lessons, just opened a brand-new location in Redmond. The 8,500 square foot swim school offers a wide range of swimming classes for children ages 4 months old to 12 (of all skill levels) at times that are convenient and flexible for every family’s schedule as well as family swims (for both members and non-members) in their 90 degree heated pool and fantastic party packages.
Good to Know: Facility highlights include an air conditioned viewing gallery for parents to watch lessons, dry private family changing huts and private family showers, a snack bar, retail shop and warm, tropical décor.
7330 164th Ave. N.E., Ste. E105
Redmond, WA 98052
15901 Westminster Way N.
Shoreline, WA 98133
Safe N Sound Swimming
Editor's note: Safe N Sound Swimming is open for swim lessons and private pool rental. Free Swim and Family Swim remain unavailable.
With a location in downtown Seattle, Safe N Sound Swimming offers $7 family swim times on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for their monthly members (free for ongoing lesson package members). Pay-as-you-go memberships start at $16.50 per month per swimmer and give you and up to two kids access to enjoy a lazy day at the pool, rain or shine. Safe N Sound also offers an awesome one-on-one swim lesson program that will get your tykes comfortable in the water as well as great birthday party packages that include one hour in the pool for up to 12 swimmers ages 6 & up.
2040 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Wave Aquatics Center
Editor's note: The Juanita Aquatics Center is currently open for lap swim only with a reservation.
A shallow swim and play area is open during public swim at the Juanita Aquatics Center, and for a big splash, both diving boards are available as well. Families love this pools because of its great amenities, including their birthday party packages which include pool time, pizza and everything you need for your party.
Juanita Aquatics Center
10601 N.E. 132nd St.
Kirkland, WA 98034
Mary Wayte Pool
Editor's note: Mary Wayte Pool is open for family swim again (with reservations).
On Mercer Island, the Mary Wayte Swimming Pool offers family swim, lap swim and swim lessons. The pool's schedule changes seasonally with the school year and competitive seasons, so it’s a good idea to check the schedule before you go. Families can also rent the pool on Saturdays or Sundays (following public swim) for birthday parties or private events. Each party includes at least two lifeguards to keep an eye on little swimmers and rental of the pool for up to 35 people. Pizza party packages include the pool for one hour, the party room for one hour and two large pizzas. Bring the cake and the pool staff will set up the rest!
8815 S.E. 40th
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Bellevue Aquatic Center
Editor's note: The Bellevue Aquatic Center is open for lap swim with a reservation to the general public, ages 13 & up.
This one-of-a-kind aquatic center was built for therapy and rehabilitation, but is available for public open swim. The Bellevue Aquatic Center has two pools with six lap lanes, a diving tank, a 10-foot slide and a 5-foot mini slide for little tadpoles. The Warm Springs pool has a wheelchair ramp and average waters temps of 91 degrees. Now, that’s what we’re talking about on a cold winter’s day. The Blue Lagoon pool and party room are available to rent on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, so if a birthday bash is in your future, this would be a great option.
601 143rd Ave N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98007
Editor's note: This pool remains closed.
Little water bugs looking for a place to splash around on a cold, rainy day can find tons of fun at Tacoma’s newest indoor pool. After undergoing a major reconstruction project that was eight years in the making, the facility reopened in the fall of 2016 and quickly became the go-to indoor pool for South Sound families.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with tons of natural light, giving it a nice outdoorsy feel compared to the basement-like atmosphere you get with some indoor pools. And the unique L-shaped design that divides the pool into three distinct sections: a shallow area, a current channel and a lap lane area, that transforms into two basketball courts and a water-walk play area during open swim sessions, are a hit among parents and kids alike.
Good to Know: This awesome pool is also home to Tacoma’s first indoor splash pad loaded with ground sprayers galore and plenty of run-around room for big imaginations to roam free. The pool is available for open and private swim parties. Open swim parties can accommodate up to 25 guests and include time in the pool and in the party room.
1602 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tacoma, WA 98405
Federal Way Community Center Pool
Editor's note: The Federal Way Community Center Pool will re-open Jan. 18, 2021. Reservations are required for lap swims. Parent/Tot swim lessons are open for registration.
The Federal Way Community Center Pool boasts an impressive two-story water slide, complete with three twists and turns (riders must be at least 48 inches to ride and they do have someone at the top to check), two smaller slides and plenty of inner tubes and noodles to ride along in the lazy river. For those who want a real workout, jump into their whirlpool and try and run against the current or hit the six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with one-meter diving board. At a $5 to $8 admission fee, your kids will get unlimited access to the pool, the Center’s 27-foot climbing wall and three athletic gyms which all equals hours of fun without breaking the bank!
Good to Know: The weekends can get really busy, so plan accordingly. Also, check the pool schedule before you go. All children 6 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult (16 years of age or older), in the water and the adult must be within arms reach of the child at all times.
Bonus: Both pools are available for private rental. The pool's most popular party package is a birthday party for up to 30 swimmers and time in the party room and gym.
876 S. 333rd St.
Federal Way, WA 98003
Julius Boehm Pool
Editor's note: The Julius Boehm Pool is open for lap swim with a reservation.
The Julius Boehm Pool is anther public pool that offers open swim times during the weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays. Families can purchase a daily pass or membership pass to use at both the Issaquah Community Center and the pool. In addition to public swim, the pool also offers great 90-minute birthday party packages on Saturday and Sundays, swim lessons and special events throughout the year.
Good to Know: In 2015, the pool received a remodel which included new changing rooms, locker rooms, restrooms and showers, plus a new pool liner and deck coating that's gentler on bare feet.
50 S.E. Clark St.
Issaquah, WA 98027
Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
Editor's note: WKCAC is currently closed.
Known as the venue of the 1990 Seattle Goodwill Games, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center (WKCAC) is a 2,500-seat facility that hosts more than 50 events annually. It has been the site of Olympic Trials, top national and international competitions and the Pacific Northwest's premiere events. But in addition to prestigious swimming and diving events, WKCAC is also open to the public for lap swims, family swims, swimming lessons and more. View the current pool schedule and swim lesson schedule here.
Good to Know: The recreational pool is available to rent for private events and has a banquet hall available for large parties and company events.
650 S.W. Campus Dr.
Federal Way, WA 98023
featured photo: iStock