We all could use a dip in the pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for a little more than the basics you'll find at Boston's free or nearly free pools, you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership at one of the splashier aquatic centers around town or the 'burbs. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options, many with slides and spray features that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and a bit of a drive, in some cases—will feel well worth it.
The Underwood Pool has a large shallow end perfect for little ones.
1. Underwood Pool—Belmont
Underwood is a public pool, but it’s one of the more upscale pools around. Recently redesigned, the pool has a large shallow end with a twisty slide for taller kids, as well as a smaller deep end with a diving board and a number of swimming lanes. Note: kids have to take a test to swim in the deep end, but tests are held every two hours in the afternoon. There is always an ice cream truck parked outside, and Stone Hearth Pizza has a stand at the pool all day long if you want to buy pizza. Guests of Belmont residents pay $5/child and $10/adult, or the fees are $20 if you don’t have any friends in Belmont. Family memberships are $500 for the season for non-residents, or $275 for residents.
2. The Clubs at Charles River Park—Boston
While there are no tricky slides, CRP boasts the biggest pool in the city, which is a godsend on a hot and crowded day. Count on a shallow wading pool and great snack bar, too.There are no day passes, but seasonal and even monthly memberships are available, which earn you access to fun classes and socials.
3. Pool Plaza: One Stop Fun—Westford
With a 1.5-foot toddler shallow pool and a 6-foot deep end, Pool Plaza at One Stop Fun will please all the kids in your family. The deep end offers four waterslides, and there is a preschool slide in the shallow end for tiny tots. If your kids don’t like to slide, there is a spraying mushroom and water tables for entertainment. Pool Plaza has a snack shack with table service, as well as an air-conditioned snack bar for those scorching hot days. Day rates for the pool are $16/child for the pool or $12/member child, or $21/child for pool and Gym Mania ($16/member). Adults are free.
4. Lifetime Fitness—Framingham
Lifetime has a lovely pool with two slides in the deep end, a shallow end with water features, and a separate lane pool for dedicated swimmers. Deck chairs with umbrellas back up to a quiet field, allowing parents to watch their kids swim from relative relaxation. Day passes are $35/day or $150/5 passes or become a gym member for varying fees.
Codman has separate pools for tots and big kids.
5. Codman Pool—Lincoln
Codman is a beautiful–and quiet–bucolic option for families. Located behind the town schools, the pool is in an enormous field. With a toddler pool, a lane pool, and a slide, the pool is sure to please the whole family. Codman Pool has entertainment on summer evenings, and a snack bar. After swimming, the kids can run in the field or watch people play baseball. Family memberships are $265/resident or $570/nonresident, with daily rates at $10/person or $5/guests of members.
The big slide and a splashy turtle are highlights at the pool at the Waltham YMCA
6. Waltham YMCA—Waltham
This YMCA pool is a notch above most, with a shallow end and waterslide, a lane pool, a deep end, and a separate kiddie pool with a splashing turtle feature. Guest fees are $15/adult, $5/child or $20/family for guests of members, or you can join the Y for the summer and also access the indoor pool, the gym and the classes.
The Boston Sports Club has multiple pools, from lap lanes to one with colorful animals.
7. Boston Sports Club—Wellesley
This BSC has an outdoor pool open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Club offers multiple pools: two kiddie pools with two slides; a walk-in pool with three water slides, a sprinkler, a waterfall, and a fountain; and a main pool with swimming lanes and a deep water diving section. The pool also features a poolside snack bar and dining area. Entrance is members-only, but summer pool memberships are available.
All photos courtesy of the pools or clubs