Free Outdoor Public Pools in NYC

Make Way for Manhattan Swimming Pools this Summer

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••• A refreshing dip awaits at Manhattan's Hamilton Fish Pool. Photo credit: Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

With the mercury rising, opt to cool down at a watery oasis set in the midst of the urban jungle. Manhattanites have a dozen outdoor public pools—along with four additional "mini-pools"—to choose from, run by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and best of all, they're free. Note that NYC's outdoor public pool season runs from June 29 to September 11 in 2016 (with additional indoor pools that are open year-round); pool hours are from 11am through 7pm (though keep in mind that the pools break for a cleaning between 3pm and 4pm).

Venture out to channel your inner Olympic swimmer at several Olympic-size pools (our favorite is the massive Hamilton Fish Pool on the Lower East Side), or perfect your dive at designated diving pools, like the one at John Jay Pool, set along the East River in Yorkville. Or, take a dip in the midst of Central Park, at the Lasker Rink and Pool (which transforms into a ice-skating rink every winter).

The Parks Department even runs a slate of free swim classes, courtesy of their "Learn to Swim" program for both kids and adults (apply for enrollment via the online lottery system). Plus, early-bird and after-hours lap swim hours are available at certain sites.

Some perfect pool day tips include bringing a combination lock to keep your belongings safe in the on-site lockers while you go for a swim (though it's an even smarter move to leave your valuables at home altogether). Note that food, glass bottles, electronic devices, and even newspapers (which tend to blow around on windy days) are not permitted at any NYC public pools.

Here's the lowdown on where to dive in on the fun as the dog days of summer set in:

1. Abe Lincoln Pool
Where: 5th Ave. & E. 135th St.
What: Outdoor mini pool (dimensions: 40' x 20' x 3')

2. Asser Levy Pool
Where: Asser Levy Pl. &  E. 23rd St.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 120' x 45' x 4'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 41.67' x 25' x 1.5')

3. Dry Dock Pool
Where: E. 10th St. btwn Aves. C & D
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 75' x 60' x 3'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 30' x 20' x 1.5')

4. Frederick Douglass Pool
Where: Amsterdam Ave. btwn 100th & 102nd Sts.
What: Outdoor mini pool (dimensions: 40' x 20' x 3')

5. Hamilton Fish Pool
Where: Pitt St. & Houston St.
What: Outdoor Olympic pool (dimensions: 165' x 98' x 3.5'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 67' x 98' x 2.5')

6. Highbridge Pool
Where: Amsterdam Ave. & W. 173rd St.
What: Outdoor Olympic pool (dimensions: 220' x 162' x 10.5'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 220' x 92' x 2')

7. Jackie Robinson Pool
Where: Bradhurst Ave. & W. 146th St.
What: Outdoor Olympic pool (dimensions: 235' x 82' x 3.5')

8. John Jay Pool
Where: East of York Ave. on 77th St.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 145' x 49' x 4'); outdoor diving pool (dimensions: 60' x 40' x 8')

9. Lasker Pool
Where: 110th St. & Lenox Ave.
What: Outdoor Olympic pool (dimensions: 240 'x 190' x 3.75'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 63.5' x 14.5' x 1.25')

10. Marcus Garvey Pool
Where: 124th St. & Fifth Ave.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 165' x 75' x 4')

11. Sheltering Arms Pool
Where: W. 129th St. & Amsterdam Ave.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 75' x 60' x 3.5'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 30' x 20' x 1.5')

12. Thomas Jefferson Pool
Where: E. 112th St. & First Ave.
What: Outdoor Olympic pool (dimensions: 239' x 97' x 4'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 48' x 97' x 1.5')

13. Tompkins Square Pool
Where: Ave. A btwn E. 7th & E. 10th Sts.
What: Outdoor mini pool (dimensions: 40' x 20' x 3')

14. Tony Dapolito Pool
Where:
Clarkson St. & Seventh Ave. S.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 100' x 50' x 9'); outdoor diving pool (dimensions: 35' x 47' x 9')

15. Vesuvio Pool
Where: Thompson St. btwn Spring & Prince Sts.
What: Outdoor mini pool (dimensions: 40' x 20' x 3')

16. Wagner Pool
Where:
E. 124th St. btwn First & Second Aves.
What: Outdoor intermediate pool (dimensions: 75' x 60' x 3.5'); outdoor wading pool (dimensions: 24' x 24' x 9')