Pay for the Day: Best Private New York City Swimming Pools
There are plenty of free swimming pools in NYC, but if the idea of putting your kids in a public pool makes your skin crawl, then you need another option. Ideally, you have wisely befriended a family with access to a free pool in their building, but for those of us who are mooch-challenged, don't worry. It's not commonly known, but there are private pools in New York City where you can pay to swim for the day, or even join for a moderate membership fee.
While you can check the websites of the pools for hours, which change by season, I strongly recommend calling before you go since many of them close randomly for events or may suddenly change their policies.
Asphalt Green – Upper East Side
York Avenue between 90th and 91st Streets
This uptown fitness center features a beautiful indoor Olympic-size pool with excellent kids' programs. Annual memberships cost over $1,000, but day passes are $35 for adults and $10 for children, and despite what the website says, we called and were assured that they're good every day of the week, even on weekends.
Asphalt Green Battery Park City – Battery Park City
212 North End Avenue near Warren Street
After a multiyear delay, the downtown outpost of AG is finally opening its doors summer 2013. Like the original uptown location, this 52,000-square-foot complex features a lovely indoor pool. Day passes are $35 for adults and $10 for children.
Manhattan Plaza Health Club – Midtown West
482 West 43rd Street near Tenth Avenue
If you're in the mood for a little luxury, try this hotel rooftop pool with a retractable glass roof. The lap pool has a separate area for kids. Day passes include the use of the gym, saunas and whirlpool but are only offered Monday through Friday, no weekends or holidays. The cost is $35.12 for adults and $10.45 for children ages 6-17. Kids are only allowed in the pool during children's swim hours, Monday and Friday 9am-9pm; Tuesday through Thursday 9am-6pm. Monthly and annual memberships are also available.
Fairview Pool – Forest Hills
6120 Grand Central Parkway near 62nd Avenue
This private outdoor Olympic-size pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Day passes are $15 for adults on weekdays and $25 on weekends and holidays, and $10 for children ages 1-16 any day. Seasonal family memberships are also available.
Spa Castle – College Point
131-10 Eleventh Avenue near 131st Street
We've raved about this Queens oasis in the past. In addition to a variety of spa facilities and services, Spa Castle features a huge Jacuzzi that's not too hot, heated outdoor swimming pools and a separate toddler pool. Day passes are $35 for adults on weekdays and $45 on weekends, $20 for children ages 1-12 on weekdays and $25 on weekends.
Wall Street Bath and Spa – Financial District
88 Fulton Street between William and Gold Streets
This Russian spa has a huge pool that's rarely crowded on weekdays (in fact, you very well may have it to yourself), plus a hot tub, steam rooms and saunas. There's also an onsite Russian restaurant, Matryoshka and various spa services. Although its clientele is mostly adults, it's still family-friendly. Day passes are $35 for adults and $16 for children ages 5-12.
Waterside Plaza Swim & Health Club – Kips Bay
Waterside Plaza, East River between 25th and 29th Streets
Located inside a luxury riverfront residential complex, this heated indoor pool has a retractable skylight roof, which opens up during summer. Day passes are $20 for adults and $10 for children, though occasionally there are promotions when it's even less expensive! Check the calendar for details.
And in case you're wondering about the pool at the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School (which we've recommended in the past), it's currently closed for renovations and slated to reopen sometime in 2013.
Know of another private pool that offers day passes? Let us know in the comments.
Rather go for free? Check out our post on the best free swimming pools in NYC.
Find other ways to cool off in our Summer Fun Guide.