I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools. The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 4 - August 12 (in the 2017 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 13 - Sept. 5 on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Some important rules are that children under 8 must be accompanied in the pool by an adult, toddlers and babies are required to wear swim diapers, and appropriate swim wear is required; no shorts or t-shirts. There are swim lessons from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. I found out the hard way, with an excited toddler who was ready to swim and didn't understand why we had to go back to the car after we had changed into our swimsuits. Next time, I will definitely make sure we get to the pool earlier so we can cool down when its hot outside. Here is a list of some of the best FREE pools with great features and amenities, and be sure to check out our recommendations for Houston splashpads and playgrounds.
And for more posts like this, check out our Summer Fun Guide, which has water park recommendations, parks with shade, and more.
Agnes Moffitt Park Pool
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.
Love Park Pool
1000 West 12th
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.
RELATED: Splash and Play in Houston's Unique Noah's Ark Pool
Oak Forest Park Pool
1400 Du Barry Lane
This pool with two slides is known for being quiet, clean and well-maintained. There is also a fun kids playground area, basketball courts, baseball fields, and tennis courts.
Stude Park Pool
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.
T.C. Jester Park Pool
4205 T.C. Jester
This pool has two slides with a deep end and lots of seating with tables, chairs, and loungers. The park also has a splashpad 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.
View of Moody Park Paved Trails with One of the Play Areas in the Distance/ Photo by Kate M.
Moody Park Pool
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.
Memorial Park Pool
Memorial Park is not just for jogging, there are 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 but can get crowded
Finnigan Park Pool
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.
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center Pool
1475 West Gray
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, hand rails, 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 open year round, hours vary, call for schedule.
Top photo: Enjoying the View at Stude Park Swimming Pool while the Lifeguard Cools Off/ Photo by Kate M.