Swim lessons are on pause but kids can still enjoy a dip at the Memorial Park Pool. Photo courtesy of Houston Parks & Rec
Swim lessons are on pause but kids can still enjoy a dip at the Memorial Park Pool. Photo courtesy of Houston Parks & Rec

Top Free Swimming Pools in Houston Open for Summer 2021

No swimming pool in your back yard? No problem. Enjoy a FREE swim at these pools around Houston.

Normally, there are dozens of FREE pools near Houston open every summer, and we've made a list of some of the best pools with great features and amenities—like play areas, shade, picnic areas, and great views. In 2021, the city of Houston is reopening its free swimming pools in phases. About 10 of these pools are open NOW, and more are opening in July. Read on for the details, and don't miss out on our recommendations for Houston's splash pads, as well as our Summer Fun Guide, which has water park recommendationsswimming lessons, and more ideas.

There are 37 FREE community pools in Houston, usually open Tuesday through Sunday until mid-August, and then on Saturdays and Sundays until September. Summer 2021 is a little different; not all pools are open yet. About 10 pools are open now, and the rest of the free swimming pools in Houston are expected to start opening based on staffing by July 6, according to the city. We've put together a list of our favorite free pools around Houston, along with the expected opening date.

Top Free Swimming Pools Open Now in Houston    

1. Mary Jo Peckham Aquatic & Fitness Center — Katy

The Mary Jo Peckham Aquatic Center is open to residents of Katy and Harris County, and has the benefit of being indoors, which offers a nice respite from the relentless heat of summer. The Center offers both recreational pool time for children and adults alike and splash time for children 5 and under. All children visiting the pool must be accompanied by an adult and any children 4 and under must be within arms-reach of a parent or caregiver at all times. Both recreational swim time and splash time are by reservation only. Reservations may be made one day before the swim if you reside in Harris County or the city limits of Katy. Other counties must call the day of the recreational time. There is no Splash Time during June, July, and August.

2. Agnes Moffitt Park Pool — Spring Branch 

This park has a swimming pool and a kiddie pool and there is also an updated playground area, ball fields, covered basketball courts, and a disc golf course.

3. Memorial Park Pool — Memorial

Memorial Park is not just for jogging; there are also tennis courts with a Smoothie King in the pro shop, a golf course with a Beck's Prime, lots of play areas and fitness areas, and of course, a pool that is a popular spot for athletes and families! The pool has some shade from trees, a slide, and is known to be clean, though it can get crowded.

RELATED: Splash and Play in Houston's Unique Noah's Ark Pool

Enjoying the View at Stude Park Swimming Pool
Enjoying a slide or just a city view with a swim at the Stude Park swimming pool. Photo by Kate M.

4. Stude Park Pool — Heights

This large pool with a slide has a great view of downtown and is usually well-maintained, although there is limited seating and shade. There is also a park with a large playground, a community fitness center, a bike rental station, running trails, baseball fields, and a famous big, red sculpture that is great for photo ops or climbing.

5. Moody Park Pool — Northside Village

This pool is in a park with lots of open fields with downtown views and picnic tables, as well as basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, and a fitness center. There are multiple playgrounds and you can see the famous Vaquero sculpture while there.

6. Emancipation Park Pool — South Central

Emancipation Park was the only municipal park that African Americans could utilize in 1918, however today the park stands as a monument to the pride and hope that came from the founding members of the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association turning their backs on slavery. The pool is a Houston favorite, boasting two slides, shaded picnic tables, and attentive lifeguards.

RELATED: Hotel Pools around Houston that Offer Day passes for Families

After a swim, enjoy the rest of the grounds at Moody Park. Photo by Kate M.

Top Free Pools in Houston Opening This Summer

7. T.C. Jester Park Pool — Northwest Houston

Opening July 16, 2021
This pool has two slides with a deep end and lots of seating with tables, chairs, and loungers. The park also has a splash pad with plenty of shade and a playground. Additionally, there is a baseball field, fenced dog park with separate areas for big and little dogs, picnic tables with shading, and a disc golf course. The White Oak Bayou runs through the park and is great for biking, walking, and jogging.

There is a lot to love at Love Park Pool. Photo courtesy of Houston Parks & Rec

8. Love Park Pool — Heights

Opening July 16, 2021
Great playground and park with a community fitness center located nearby to the swimming pool, which has a slide and kiddie pool. There is some seating around the pool but not much shade.

9. Finnigan Park Pool — Fifth Ward

Opening July 16, 2021
Finnigan Park Pool was recently updated and has a long slide. It is located next to tennis courts, basketball courts, a community center, and baseball fields.

10. Metropolitan Multi-Service Center Pool — Hyde Park

Opening July 16, 2021
The MMSC pool provides a great environment for people with disabilities to exercise. The five-lane heated pool is fully accessible and is equipped with a zero-depth entry ramp, handrails, and three chair lifts. Changing and shower facilities are available adjacent to the pool area. Participants are required to have independent functioning mobility skills or bring an adult attendant to assist. The pool is also open year-round. Hours vary, call for schedule.

Houston Pool Rules to Remember

  • Children under 8 must be accompanied in the pool by an adult
  • Toddlers and babies are required to wear swim diapers
  • Appropriate swimwear is required; no shorts or T-shirts. 
  • Swim lessons are canceled for 2021. (In other years, lessons typically take place from 5-7pm Tuesday through Friday.)
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