North Fork or South, along the ocean, Sound or bay, the East End is a nirvana to those who love the beach. But there are days when families prefer something other than sand under their feet (or rip currents around their ankles). Luckily, there are several well-maintained public pools to satisfy our urge to swim when we’ve had our fill of salt water.
The public pools below are ideal for families, low in cost and easy to access. All are staffed by certified lifeguards. Some may close for lessons or competitions; check their websites or call for the latest schedule and pricing information. Prices are as of July 2015.
And for the best in family entertainment throughout the East End, be sure to check out our Hamptons & North Fork Family Guide.
YMCA East Hampton RECenter
2 Gingerbread Lane, East Hampton
The RECenter is a collaborative effort of the Town of East Hampton, East Hampton Village and the YMCA and like most Ys requires a membership to have access to its two pools. The good news: Members are entitled to discounts on many Y programs, including swim lessons, which begin at six months. One pool is designated for lap swimming daily, while the other is used for lessons and training. Open, or family swimming, is available Monday through Friday. A word of caution, however: The Y does get busy, servicing as many as 300 swimmers a day, so it might be wise to discuss patience with your young ones. Also, vacationers take note: Members of any YMCA on Long Island can use the East Hampton facility most times; call ahead to confirm.
Montauk Downs State Park
50 South Fairview Ave., Montauk
Best known for its championship golf course, Montauk Downs is a full-service state park with tennis courts, a catering facility, Olympic-sized pool and a wading pool for small children. Locker room facilities are available. Visitors must pay the state park admission fee, which varies by season and which can be reduced through purchase of a season pass. Admission to the pool — open from late June to mid-September — is a mere $5 for adults, $3 for children 6 to 11. Children younger than 6 are free. Take a dip, watch the golfers and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound.
150-154 Kroemer Ave., Riverhead
More instructional than recreational, Saf-T-Swim offers individual, group and baby-and-me lessons at a dozen facilities across Long Island. The Riverhead location is near Tanger Outlet Center and right off Exit 73 of the Long Island Expressway. Lessons begin as early as 2 months old and at 4 years old children can join Saf-T-Swim’s swim team. Saf-T-Swim offers a number of discount options for parents on a budget, and the pool is available for lifeguard-staffed birthday parties. Other specialty programs include storytime hours beside the pool, group lessons, day care and, of course, safety instruction.
Southampton Youth Services
1370A Majors Path, Southampton
This multiuse facility includes an outdoor pool available during the summer months. Membership is required, but includes discounts on some SYS programs, including swim lessons. Most pool time is spent in instruction and training but SYS offers feature nights for kids that include use of the pool at no cost for members. When done swimming, kids are sure to enjoy baseball, basketball, gymnastics, chess and more.
Photo Credit: Southampton Youth Services