No pool? No problem! You can take your little fishies to beat the heat and take the plunge at public swimming pools all over San Diego. Pay to play for the day and enjoy other fun perks from water slides and diving boards to shallow water zones and splash pads. Read on for where to find a public pool near you.

Poway Community Swim Center

City of Poway

Dive deep into fun with the fam at this recently revamped Pool's Family Swim mornings on weekends from 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Resident families pay just $11 and non-residents pay $15 for admission for 2 adults and 2 kids. The price also includes daily admission to the Swim Center from 1-5 p.m. Families are welcome to bring fins, masks, snorkels, rafts and other swim toys to the pool to use during Family Swim time.

Admission prices outside Family Swim Mornings: Adults/ $4 resident/$8 Non-Resident; Kids (1-17)/ $3 Resident/$6 Non-Resident; Senior (55+): $3 Resident/$6 Non-Resident

13094 Civic Center Dr.
Poway, CA 92064

Ned Baumer Aquatic Center

Heather L. via Yelp

Slide down a whale’s mouth and get splashed with buckets full of water in the knee-deep kiddie pool. Or take a turn on the steep water slide in the plunge pool next door. And if there’s time, there’s a lap pool too. Located in the Miramar College campus, this community pool is a big YES!

Cost: $4/adult; $2/child

10440 Black Mountain Rd.
San Diego, CA 92126

Tierrasanta Community Pool

Danielle R. via Yelp

Swim on over and check out this cool waterhole. Perfect for littles is the one-foot deep tot spot with a tunnel slide and jungle gym. Kids age 6 and younger will get a kick speeding down the 30-foot water slide. The pool is part of a larger park with a playground and basketball and baseball fields to enjoy when you’re ready to dry off in the sun. So grab the goggles and go!

Cost: $4/adult, $2/child

11238 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92124

Carmel Valley Recreation Center

Stefani T. via Yelp

Let it slide for the day at the Carmel Valley Pool. Not only are their two whirling water slides (for kids age 7 and older) complete with their own deep pool, there's also a zero-depth entry pool for littles just learning to swim. Lap it up at the main pool while the water bugs play.

Cost: $4/adult, $2/child

3777 Townsgate Dr.
Carmel Valley, CA 92130

Pardee Aquatics Center

Pardee Aquatics Center

Practice your freestyle in one of the two 25-meter heated pools at the Boys and Girls Club Harper Clubhouse. There's a snack bar with chips and cereal bars, indoor and outdoor showers and spacious locker rooms. Rec swim is in the shallow pool only.

Cost: $6/adult, $5/child

533 Lomas Santa Fe Dr.
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Aztec Aquaplex

Aztec Rec Center

Make a day of it at the Aztec Aquaplex. Splash around in two large solar-heated pools or sit and relax with your little one in the zero entry pool. Kids can jump and shoot water basketball, soak in the hydrotherapy hot tub or float on a water lounge.

Good to know: parking at the pay machines costs about $2 per hour.

Cost: $6/person

5375 Remington Rd.
San Diego, CA 92182

YMCA Pools

Toby Wells/YMCA

Head to a San Diego YMCA for the day. Check your local Y’s website, because some offer a free day open to the public (most holidays). You’ll find indoor (and outdoor pools) and most have a splash zone. The staff is friendly and many have family and kid’s workout classes. Day passes and memberships vary.


Kroc Center Pool

Dan Morgan via Flickr

Kids rule at these pools. You and your wee one (ages 6 -36 months-old) can play indoors in the therapy pool that’s warm for those tiny toes. More experienced swimmers can dive down for rings or practice their freestyle in the 4-foot deep pool. You’ll appreciate that it’s safe and fun.

Check schedule for therapy pool.

Cost: $10/adults, $8/youth; 2 and under free (includes whole facility)

6845 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115

UCSD Canyonview Aquatic Center

Beth Shea

Streamlined, with a few perks. You’ll find that two 50-meter pools create oodles of space to splash about. Plus, you’ll smile at the large number of lounge chairs and in-water mats. Kids can dive off boards, then warm-up in the relaxing whirlpool.

Cost: $10/person

9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037

Alga Norte Pool

City of Carlsbad

There’s something for everyone at this water play haven. For little walkers, there’s a splash pad with benches close by for parents to sit. Little swimmers can splish-splash in the grand pool kept at a warm temp. Bigger kids can climb the obstacle courses, dive off the diving boards and bounce around during Inflatable Zone times. The pizza, pretzels and ice cream are popular at the snack bar and there’s a large (adult only!) whirlpool to relax in.

Cost: $5/adults; $3/youth; $2/spectator; $10/inflatable zone

6565 Alicante Rd.
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Bud Kearns Pool

Tiffany S. via Yelp

Take a dip after a day at the zoo? Close by in Balboa Park, this public pool is historic and clean. There's a large 22-yard long main pool. You'll find a sun deck with lounge chairs and for after the swim, heated showers and day use lockers. There's plenty of parking at this community spot.

Cost: $4/adult, $2/child

2229 Morley Field Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

Loma Verde Aquatic Center

DavidAKeller2012 via Pixabay

Learn to swim with the instruction of good, kid-friendly swim coaches at this local spot. We love the toddler aquatics class, so littles get comfy in the water. The pool is warm and large, with an area for lap swim and rec swim. If you’re just spectating, they have free WiFi.

Good to know: This heated pool is open year-round. No locker rooms are available.

Cost: $4/adult; $2/child (kids under age 4 are free)

1420 Loma Ln.
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Editor’s Note: Check the pool’s website or call ahead to make sure there are no special events or pool closures before you head out.

—Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea

Featured photo: iStock


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