Summertime in Charlotte can get pretty hot, and probably the best way to beat the heat is to find the closest pool. If you're looking for somewhere to escape the sun or just a pool to work out in for fitness, there are a variety of options in Charlotte.
There are free spraygrounds at several parks, a pair of $1 public outdoor pools, the Aquatic Center Uptown, an indoor water park, and even YMCA water parks.
Outdoor pools are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, while the indoor facilities and spraygrounds are open year round. So where are the best places to cool off in Charlotte?
Outdoor Public Pools
Hours of Operation
Memorial Day to Labor Day
Monday to Friday: noon to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
$1 per day, all summer long
Double Oaks Pool
1200 Newland Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28206
2100 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Both pools offer free swim lessons. Registration is every Wednesday in person beginning at noon and is for the following week only.
Several Charlotte-Mecklenburg parks now have spraygrounds - outdoor playground areas with water features where children can run, jump, or just sit and enjoy the water. Since they're located in public parks, there is no charge for admission.
Hours of Operation
Memorial Day through Labor Day
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cordelia Park, 2100 North Davidson Street
Nevin Park, 6000 Statesville Road
Veterans Park, 2136 Central Avenue
Latta Park, 601 East Park Avenue
West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2400 Kendall Drive
Ray's Splash Planet
215 N. Sycamore St.
Ray's Splash Planet is an indoor water park that began operation in 2002.
It quickly became a summertime favorite for many Charlotte-area kids and has won numerous local awards. The park, owned and operated by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, has a lazy river, a three-story slide, climbing towers, spray stations, water basketball and volleyball, waterfalls, and hours of summertime fun. There's also a full-size fitness room on site with aerobic equipment and weights.
The facility is also available for birthday parties and group outings. If it's your first time at Ray's, there are some things you should know.
Usually, about $8 for a single day pass for kids (county residents). Prices do vary according to age and residency, and there are even "dry tickets" for parents or chaperones that include admission to the facility, but not the water itself.
Discounts are available for non-profit groups, schools, and seniors. Annual and monthly passes are also available. Click here for the most recent pricing information.
Hours of Operation
Open all year, except for federal holidays
Monday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Noon to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Noon to 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
(On weekdays that there's no school for the CMS system, the facility will open at 10 a.m. On weekdays from June 11 to August 24, the facility will open at 9 a.m. Weekends stay the same throughout the year.)
Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
800 East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Daily rates are $3 to $5 for county residents. Annual passes are available.
Hours of Operation (general public)
Open all year, with special holiday schedules
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., 2 to 5 p.m., 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 6 p.m.
Hours for members are different. Click here for member hours.
The county Aquatic Center consists of a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard therapy pool, a fitness center, hot tub and more. Since it is geared more towards fitness, there is a lane swimming schedule. Times when the lanes reserved for lap swimming do change, though. Usually, more of the pool is "lane swimming" in the early morning or late evening hours. Be sure to check the lane schedule to know how to plan your visit.
YMCA Locations With Water Parks
Did you know the YMCA has more than just pools for fitness? Several locations in and around Charlotte have outdoor water parks, complete with towers and slides. Click on each location for more information, including hours, photos of the park, and address.
Harris YMCA (Dickson Indoor Aquatics Center), 5900 Quail Hollow Road
Lake Norman YMCA, 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius
Lincoln County YMCA, 1402 East Gaston Street, Lincolnton
Morrison YMCA, 9405 Bryant Farms Road
Sally's YMCA, 1601 Forney Creek Pkwy, Denver
Simmons YMCA, 6824 Democracy Drive
Siskey YMCA, 3127 Weddington Road, Matthews
University City, 8100 Old Mallard Creek Road
For more information on any aquatic area in the city, visit the county's Park and Rec's Aquatics page. The county offers indoor and outdoor swimming, adult/youth programs, swim lessons, special events, fitness classes and water exercise for all ages.