Summer's here, and hopefully, sunny weather isn't far behind. Sometimes the beach is just too far. Sometimes you just want to know exactly what lies beneath the surface. Sometimes you just want to cool off at a pool. Even if the chlorine turns your hair green. Thanks to the NYC Parks Department, there are many pools in Queens where you can get your Marco Polo on.
The NYC Parks' Citywide Aquatics offers free swim classes for toddlers and older kids at some of these outdoor pools. They also run swim teams for kids ages 6 to 18. For more info, including adult lap swim programs, call 718-760-6969.
You must buy a membership to use the indoor pools ($75 per year for adults; $10 per year for seniors; free for children under 18). The indoor pools are open year-round, and the outdoor pools open June 27, 2009.
Astoria Park Pool
19th St & 23rd Dr, Astoria, NY
This giant pool (330 feet long) has to be seen to be believed. The WPA project is the oldest pool in the city, and oh, the views!
Fort Totten Park Pool in Bayside
338 Story Ave, Bayside, NY
Queens' best-kept secret in outdoor pools is Fort Totten. It's worth the trek to swim in the hilltop pool and dry off on the surrounding grass. There's a big pool with diving tank and a separate small round kiddie pool. (Ongoing construction at Fort Totten will not affect the pool times.)
Open 11am-3pm and 4-7pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Park in the Little Bay parking lot just outside the entrance to the fort. Sometimes there's a shuttle bus. If not, it's about a 10-minute walk.
Liberty Pool at Detective Keith L. Williams Park, Jamaica
173rd St & 106th Ave, Jamaica 718-657-4995 A 3-foot-deep pool and a huge deck that can hold about 600 people.
Fisher Pool, Jackson Heights
99th Street and 32nd Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY
The wait to get in can be long at this medium-sized pool.
Marie Curie Park Pool, Bayside
211th Street & 46th Avenue, Bayside, NY
Small pool named for a winner of a big prize.
Astoria Heights Playground Pool at PS 10, Astoria
45th Street & 30th Road, Astoria, NY
Castlewood Playground (PS 186) Pool, Glen Oaks
Little Neck Parkway & 72nd Avenue, Glen Oaks, NY
Pool and playground in eastern Queens.
Windmuller Playground Pool, Woodside
54th St & 39th Rd, Woodside 718-651-8247
A mini pool was added to this playground in 2007.
Indoor (Year-Round) Pools
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink
Avery Avenue and 131 Street, Flushing, NY
This new Olympic-size pool has a diving tank too.
Roy Wilkins Recreation Center
177th St & Baisley Blvd, Jamaica, NY
For more indoor pools, check out the YMCA's Queens branches.