Wonderful pool openings – Updated with official schedule


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:

Pool planning


It is really very hot. What would you NOT have given, these past few days, to have glided through some clear cool pool waves?

So many people have asked me when the pools are opening that at this point I feel like I should mention that I am no longer a lifeguard, nor any sort of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation employee. I have no official knowledge or relationship to these most wonderful elements of our city infrastructure. That said, as this site may attest, I do spend a good portion of my free time sniffing around for information about them. And so [drumroll please]:

The pools will start opening Friday, June 19th.

We’ve got six more days to sweat it out. And – more importantly – to plan.

Pool season is brief. All told this year, it will probably be about eight weeks, and some pools might be open as little as four. If we want to make the best use of them, we might as well start thinking about how.

Some questions to consider:

  • What’s your closest pool, from where you can pad home in just a bathing suit and towel? How many days a week can you get there? Will you introduce yourself to the pool staff, maybe even thank them for their work?
  • What other pools do you want to visit this summer? Who will you invite to join you?
  • What reading do you want to get done with your feet in the water? How many laps do you want to swim? How many neighbors would you like to meet?
  • Are your kids ready to be signed up for swimming lessons? Do YOU want to learn how to swim, or how to float, or feel comfortable putting your face in the water?
  • What can you do to help everyone remember that the pools belong to all Philadelphians (including/especially boisterous dark-skinned and/or working-class children and teenagers) – and that taking care of them is all of our responsibility?

Some potentially useful tools and tidbits:

  • Parks and Rec’s list of pools (by section of the city).
  • The best map I know of (though some pools are missing, some are in the wrong location, and others are no longer open). Anyone know any GIS gurus who’d want to work on a new one of these?
  • Some destination pools to consider:
    • Kelly (next to the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park) Our biggest pool, and seven feet deep in the middle. There’s grass to lie on within the pool gates.
    • Francisville (18th and Francis, just north of Fairmount Ave): The poor man’s infinity pool, with a view of the skyline. This year home to a very cool event.
    • O’Connor (26th and South): “The Country Club,” people from other pools would scoff when I told them I worked there. That, or “the Taj Mahal.”
    • Athletic (26th and Master): It’s got SLIDES!!!! Plus a sprayground next door.
  • And once you’ve checked those out:

Risk of getting sick? .0004%

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last week on “Recreational Water-Associated Disease Outbreaks.” You can read it here, or check out this analysis from RealClearScience Journal, which concludes:

The number of disease outbreaks from recreational water is likely far underreported, but even if every instance were documented, public swimming pools would still come out looking squeaky clean. Judging on available evidence, the stereotype that public pools are slosh pits of disease doesn’t hold water. 301 million people over the age of six swim in public pools each year, and a mere .0004% come home with an infection, and a minor one at that.