Taking the plunge into pool season

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation pools now open in the River Wards

Dive right in: Residents enjoy girls’ swim at Cione Pool in Port Richmond. All the pools in the River Wards are now open.

By Melissa Komar

It’s summertime in the River Wards, and there are plenty of places to cool down thanks to Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

The city is home to 70 outdoor, public pools and a handful of them happen to be located in the River Wards.

Each pool has its own schedule, so whether you’re looking to get in some laps or spend some quality time with your little one, there’s a pool for you.

Check out our guide to the top spots to stay cool this summer and save some space on your phone and hang this schedule in your house instead.

Admission is always free.

Bridesburg Pool

4625 Richmond St.

215–685–1247

For pool updates, visit Bridesburg Recreation Center on Facebook

Schedule:

Tuesday, July 4 : Open swim from noon to 5 p.m.

Regular schedule starts on Wednesday, July 5.

Day camp swim: 11 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday

Swim lessons: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday (ages 5 and older)

Open Swim: 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m, Saturday and Sunday

Swim team: 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

Located behind the brick walls of the recreation center, Bridesburg pool is home to the longest running water show in the city, with staff putting on the splashing spectacular for 57 of the 61 previous seasons. Staff are working hard to put on a show this year, but are waiting for the construction timeline for improvements to the pool. Aside from its annual water show, Bridesburg Pool may have one of the largest swim lesson programs in the city, according to supervisor John McBride. Each summer, upward of 300 youth are taught basic water safety skills and swimming techniques. Signups were held on Friday, June 30, but if you’re lucky, there still may be a spot left. Looking to cheer on the next generation of Olympians? Bridesburg Pool will be the site of the District 2 citywide meet, one of the qualifying meets for the citywide championship. Check Facebook for updates, but the meet will tentatively be held the week of July 24. Children cannot join swim lessons after Wednesday, July 12.

Samuel Pool

3539 Gaul St.

215–685–1246

For pool updates, visit Samuel Recreation Center on Facebook

Schedule:

Day camp swim: 11 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday

Swim lessons: Noon to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Moms and tots: 12:30 to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday

Girls’ swim: 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday

Boys’ swim: 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Swim team: 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

Adult swim: 6 to 7 p.m., M,W,F

Senior swim: 6 to 7 p.m., T,TH

Family swim: noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Reaching a depth of seven feet, Samuel pool is one of the few city pools — along with Bridesburg pool — that has a deep end. Samuel has pool time for everyone, but if you’re looking to take your little one for a swim in the River Wards without the chaos that sometimes comes along with older kids, this pool is the spot for you. Moms and tots swim is scheduled every weekday from 12:30 to 1 p.m. A parent must go in with the child and children cannot exceed 45 inches in height. And there’s something for the older crowd in Port Richmond, too. Senior swim is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. for adults age 55 and older.

Cohocksink Pool

2901 Cedar St.

215–685–9884

For pool updates, visit Cohox Rec on Facebook

Schedule:

Swim for Life camp: 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday

Swim lessons: 11 to noon, Monday through Friday

Day camp swim: noon to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday

Open Swim: 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Swim team: 4 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Family swim: 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

Adult swim: 6 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

Affectionately known as “The Batho” among longtime Port Richmond residents, Cohox pool is making a big change to its schedule this summer. For years, girls and boys had separate swim times. This season, it’s free swim for everyone from 1 to 4 p.m. during the week. The goal is to get plenty of people swimming, and maybe even find some future lifeguards, according to supervisor Karen Curry. Future lifeguards will certainly feel at home at Cohox. The pool is one of two that offer the Swim for Life camp, a six-week program that teaches children ages 9 to 15 swimming, competition and water safety skills. The camp begins on Wednesday, July 5 and the cost is $150. Spots are limited, but if you’re lucky, there may be one left. Be sure to mark your calendars for the weekend of July 28. The pool will be closed from Friday to Sunday due to the Sean Daily Tournament.

Cione Pool

Aramingo Avenue and Huntingdon Street

215–685–9880

For pool updates, visit Cione Recreation Center on Facebook

Schedule:

Day camp swim: 11 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday

Open swim: noon to 4 p.m.

Swim team: 4 to 5 p.m., M,W, F

Swim lessons: 4 to 5 p.m., T, TH

Adult swim: 6 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 4 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Family swim: noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Go for gold: Lifeguard Patrick Flanagan teaches swim lessons to neighborhood youth at Cione Pool.

Located at the cross section of the River Wards neighborhoods, Cione pool is easy to reach for any resident. And, for Fishtown residents, it’s probably the closest pool this summer. Supervisor Dan Walsh is expecting large crowds this summer because Lederer pool, affectionately known as the Swimmo, is closed for renovations. Because of the renovations, Fishtown Rec Day Camp will join the Cione Rec Day Camp for their daily swim. One of the highlights at Cione is the swim team. Every year, a few swimmers make it to the citywide finals, something staff is extremely proud of, according to Walsh. Cione Recreation Center is the location for the Peg McCook tournament, so be sure to mark your calendars that the pool will be closed on July 7, 8 and 9.

Northern Liberties Pool

321 Fairmount Ave.

215–685–1785

For pool updates, visit Northern Liberties Recreation Center on Facebook

Schedule:

Day camp swim: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday

Open swim: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday

Swim team: 4 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Family swim: 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Adult swim: 6 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

Swim lessons: noon to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Green escape: Thanks to a grant, there is a planter bed where there was once a cyclone fence at Northern Liberties pool.

You may notice something different when you walk onto the pool deck at Northern Liberties this summer. Now you can stop and smell the flowers when you go for a swim. Say goodbye to the cyclone fencing that separated the bleachers from the pool and say hello to a green oasis. Thanks to a grant from NRPA’s Parks Build Community, a planter bed was installed this year where the fence stood and additional planter beds are located along the perimeter of the pool. Rec center campers now have a garden classroom space in the back corner of the pool deck thanks to the grant. Swimming not your thing, but still
looking to stay cool? The Northern Liberties Playground has a small sprayground, which will be turned on upon request.

A complete list of pools in Philadelphia can be found here.