Hosting a swimming birthday party is a decadent way to celebrate your child's next big day. Kids can hit the water for an instant taste of summer no matter the season.
While FREE swimming spots abound in the summer months, the rules make it a little difficult to party there. So, expect to fork over some dough if you want to throw a good, old-fashioned pool party at one of these spots that offer packages to the general public—most are offered year round.
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Wading pool and playground on the 92nd Street Y roof.
92nd Street Y — Upper East Side
1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
The 92nd Street Y offers two pool party packages. Children ages 3-6 can party in the outdoor wading pool and playground. Parties for children ages 6 and up are held in a private section of the 25-yard indoor pool. A lifeguard supervises free swim or, if you prefer, leads water games and activities. Finish up in the party room with food, cake, or whatever refreshments you provide.
Aquatic Solutions — Lower East Side
75 Columbia Street
Aquatic Solutions offers a wide range of options for all budget levels. Each party includes at least an hour of supervised pool play, pizza, and beverages for the kids, decorations, and take home gifts for every guest. More deluxe options include extra pool time, food upgrades, food and drinks for the adults, and more.
RELATED: Indoor NYC Swimming Pools with Day Passes for Year-Round Splashing
Opt for inflatables, even water slides, at the Aviator Sports Pool on its outdoor deck.
Aviator Sports & Events Center — Marine Park, Brooklyn
3159 Flatbush Avenue
Head to this Brooklyn sports mecca for an old-fashioned, outdoor barbecue-and-pool party on the newly renovated deck. Parties range in size from 25-100 people and all include two hours of pool time, plus an hour of party time in a tented section of the patio. Add ons include special perks like snow cone makers, inflatable water slides, and more.
Bronx House — Bronxdale, the Bronx
990 Pelham Parkway South at Hone Avenue
Bronx House offers swimming party packages for children ages 1-10, which include an hour in the water with a lifeguard followed by an hour in a private party room. Parents supply everything else—cake, food, paper goods, and decorations.
New York Sports Club — Manhattan and the Bronx
Select NYSC locations offer swim parties for children ages 4 and up. Guests can enjoy free swim or organized water games. Noodles, kick boards, pool toys, invitations, a private room, and host are included.
RELATED: Birthday Party Guide for NYC Kids: Venues, Entertainers, More
The heated pool at the Astoria Sports Complex is always inviting.
Astoria Sports Complex — Astoria, Queens
34-38 38th Street between 34th and 35th Avenues
At the popular Queens athletics center, kids can choose two party activities, including soccer, basketball, inflatables, or swimming in the heated pool. The basic two-and-a-half hour package includes a host, invitations, music, paper goods, pizza and beverages for the kids, goodie bags, and a special gift for the birthday child.
YMCA — Citywide
While every location has different facility rentals, it's worth calling your local Y to see if a pool party is an option. If your Y offers a pool rental, chances are you'll be doing everything else yourself, including providing food, decorations, and cake.
If you have a summer baby and you're determined to party at the local city pool, choose wisely. Some pools are located within vast greenspaces—so one parent can host guests in the water, while the other sets up an apres swim spread outside. Possible options include Lasker Pool, on the beautiful northern edge of Central Park; Van Cortlandt Park Pool, which is surrounded by acres of greenspace; or the city's largest swimming hole, the Astoria Park Pool, located, you guessed it, in Astoria Park. If you choose to go this route, make sure parents are sticking around to help you supervise kids in the water. Another wet-and-wild option is to head to one of the many cool sprinkler and splash pads city wide, and set up a picnic on the side.
Not near any of the pools listed above? If you know of a private pool in your area, at a gym or a hotel, it's worth inquiring as to whether you can rent it for a few hours. You never know! And if you're willing to travel, most indoor water parks near NYC offer amazing birthday party packages, too.
This post, originally published in March 2013, has since been updated.
Top photo via Bigstock. All others courtesy of the respective venues.