Wonderful pool openings – Updated with official schedule

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If you’ve spent much time at Philly pools, or any public pools really, you’re probably familiar with the buzz of manic anticipation in the moments when everyone’s standing along the edge of the water, just waiting for the lifeguards to blow their whistles.

Thousands of people around the city are experiencing that right now, and they’re scouring the internet for news of when their pool will open. I know this because a lot of them end up here, and my blog analytics show me their desperate search terms.

Parks and Rec has not yet announced the opening schedule. (I know this because I stalk their social media.) But below is the word on the street. It’s probably about 90% correct. Any errors in it, any pools you show up at to have your hopes dashed, should incite annoyance at me, not at the City, and certainly not at any innocent human beings on site. PPR will probably release the final schedule soon, and I will update this accordingly.

UPDATE: There was one change to the original schedule posted here (Pleasant and Belfield switched opening days); the schedule below should now be correct.

A few other notes: A pool’s opening day sometimes includes it getting filled with water, so it’s wise not to show up too early. A pool’s first week or two is a learning and adjustment period for all involved; please be patient, flexible and extend staff the benefit of the doubt. On that: The pools still need more lifeguards. If you know anyone (conscientious, 16+, able to swim, interested in $12.33 an hour), send them here. If you’re looking for a beginner’s guide to the pools (map, schedules, what to wear, etc.), check this out.

And now, the most wonderful list in the world, when Philadelphia’s public pools are scheduled to open this year:

Tomorrow — Friday, June 19th:

  • Kelly (next to the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park)
  • Mander (33rd and Diamond, East Park/Strawberry Mansion) – opening-day event
  • Max Myers (Hellerman and Horrocks, Northeast Philly)
  • Vare (26th and Morris, Gray’s Ferry)

Monday, June 22nd:

  • Awbury (Ardleigh and Haines, Germantown)
  • Bridesburg (Richmond and Buckius)
  • Feltonville (Wyoming between A and B)
  • Fox Chase (Rockwell and Borbeck, Northeast Philly)
  • Francisville (18th and Francis, just north of Fairmount Ave.) — home to the inaugural Pop-Up Pool Project
  • Lee (44th and Haverford, West Powelton) — home to Swim for Life Camp
  • Vogt (Unruh and Cottage, Northeast Philly)
  • The five indoor pools also (re)open today:
    • Carousel House (Belmont and Avenue of the Republic in Fairmount Park) — for people with disabilities
    • Hartranft (8th and Cumberland, North Philly)
    • Lincoln (Ryan and Rowland, Northeast Philly)
    • Pickett (Wayne and Chelten, Germantown)
    • Sayre Morris (59th and Spruce, West Philly)

Tuesday, June 23rd:

Wednesday, June 24th:

Thursday, June 25th:

  • American Legion (Torresdale and Devereaux, Northeast Philly)
  • Barry (18th and Bigler, South Philly)
  • Cobbs Creek (63rd and Walnut in Cobbs Creek Park)
  • Gathers (25th and Diamond, North Philly)
  • Lackman (Bartlett and Chesworth, Far Northeast)
  • Lawncrest (Comly and Rising Sun, Northeast Philly)
  • Ziehler (B and Olney, Olney)

Friday, June 26th:

  • Anderson (17th and Catharine, South Philly)
  • Hancock (Hancock and Master, Fishtown)
  • Heitzman (Castor and Amber, Harrowgate/Kensington)
  • Mitchell (Whitehall Lane and Chesterfield Road, Far Northeast)
  • Morris Estate (16th and Chelten, West Oak Lane)
  • Francis Myers (58th and Kingsessing, Southwest Philly)
  • Penrose (12th and Susquehanna, North Philly)

Saturday, June 27th:

  • Dendy (10th and Oxford, North Philly)
  • Jacobs (Linden and Jackson, Far Northeast)
  • Kingsessing (49th and Kingsessing, West Philly)
  • McVeigh (D and Ontario, Kensington)
  • Murphy (3rd and Shunk, South Philly)
  • Piccoli (Castor and Cayuga, Lower Northeast)
  • Pleasant (Boyer and Pleasant, Mount Airy)

Monday, June 29th:

  • Amos (16th and Montgomery, North Philly)
  • Athletic (26th and Master, North Philly)
  • Chew (19th and Ellsworth, Point Breeze)
  • Houseman (Summerdale and Godfrey, Northeast Philly)
  • Hunting Park (9th and Hunting Park, North Philly)
  • Mill Creek (47th and Brown, West Philly)
  • Sacks (4th and Washington, South Philly)
  • Shepard (57th and Haverford, Haddington)

Tuesday, June 30th:

  • 39th and Olive (just north of Fairmount Ave., Mantua)
  • Ford (Snyder between 6th and 7th, South Philly)
  • M.L. King (22nd and Cecil B. Moore, North Philly)
  • O’Connor (26th and South)
  • Scanlon (Glenwood and K, Kensington)
  • Schmidt (Howard and Ontario, North Philly)
  • Shuler (27th and Indiana, North Philly)
  • Tustin (59th and Columbia, Overbrook)

Wednesday, July 1st:

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4 thoughts on “Wonderful pool openings – Updated with official schedule

  1. This is a great website- thank you!! I wanted to ask- are the pools consistent with scheduling camps in the morning, and then open swim from about 1- 4? Right now the Philly website mostly points to facility info but not the daily schedule for each pool… Also, can you speak to some pools, like Awbury, where at times everyone has to get out and then get in line to get back in?

    Thanks again- I am excited to check out other pools this year!

    • On schedules: They do vary. I’d estimate about 80% of pools have some form of camp swim in the morning. Other things I’ve seen in the 11am-1pm time frame are senior swim and mother-tot swim, but I’m not aware of any open/free swims then. (Kelly Pool is open for lap swimming, though.) And the 1-4pm slot can vary too. Are there any particular pools’ schedules you’re wondering about?

      On everyone having to get out: Some pools take a break every hour (often from quarter of until the next hour begins); I know Max Myers does this — sounds like maybe you’ve seen it at Awbury too? Many pools take a break between different sessions (so, for example, family swim will end at 5:45pm, and no one will be allowed back in the pool until adult swim starts at 6pm). The breaks always involve everyone leaving the water — at some pools they can also involve everyone leaving the pool deck and needing to line up outside again. On really hot days, when there’s a line already, this lets other people get a chance to swim. On other days, I do not know what the rationale for it is — maybe that it gives the lifeguards more of a true break so they can stay as alert as they need to be for the next session? From a pool-user side, repeatedly having to line up definitely makes the experience less enjoyable.

  2. Thank you for this helpful post (and website) to kick off another fabulous swim season in Philly! Your site has an excellent Google search ranking and provided far more useful information than the city’s websites.

    Alas, after just 6 short weeks (shortest season so far?), pools are starting to close for the season. Do you have any news on closing dates as we scramble to squeeze in a few more swims? Thanks!

    What I’ve heard… O’Connor closes Wednesday, August 19 and is unsure whether or not they’ll be open the full day. I’ve heard Marian Anderson and John B Kelly are open longer? Others? Also, where are the 4 indoor, year-round pools the city claims to have but fails to name on their website? Thanks for your help!

    • Such key questions at this time of year!!

      But actually, this year’s swim season is a week LONGER than it has been for at least the past two years. Last year, the first pool opened on 6/20, and the last one closed on 8/21 or 8/22. This year, the first pool opened on 6/19. While most will be closed by this Friday 8/21, the City is keeping a handful open through Friday, August 28th. AN EXTRA WEEK OF SWIMMING!! I am very excited.

      I have heard that the pools that will be open the extra week are Max Myers and Vogt in the great Northeast, Awbury in Arbury Arboretum in Germantown, Feltonville in neighborhood of same name, Mander at 33rd and Diamond in East Fairmount Park, Waterloo near Front and Lehigh, Christy at 56th and Christian, and the crowned jewel, Kelly, by the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park. I suspect that Vare in South Philly might also be in this group. But I need to see if I can find out some more up-to-date info; thanks for the nudge to do so! (I’ve heard Marian Anderson closes Friday. And yeah, it’s generally not wise to get your heart set on swimming on a pool’s closing day (though by all means, give it a shot) — the plumbers could come drain it at 5pm, or they could come drain it at 11am.)

      The four indoor pools are Lincoln at Lincoln High School in the Northeast, Pickett at Pickett Middle School in Germantown, Sayre-Morris at the eponymous rec center at 59th and Spruce, and (serving people with disabilities) Carousel House in Fairmount Park. Of these, Lincoln may be the most user-friendly for people not in the immediate neighborhood, as they maintain a voicemail with the pools hours. I’ve never found a working phone number for Pickett, but the pool seems to keep pretty regular hours, akin to Lincoln’s. Sayre-Morris is one of my all-time favorite pools, mainly because I trained to be a lifeguard there and adore a few of the staff people (who, mind you, are not warm and fuzzy!), but they have the most rickety infrastructure of the three and sometimes need to close for repairs; if you call the rec center after 2pm, someone should be able to give you the current status of the pool. Let me know if you need help finding phone numbers.

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