The pool at Marsh Creek State Park. Photo by Ruhrfisch/Wikimedia/CC BY SA 4.0
The pool at Marsh Creek State Park. Photo by Ruhrfisch/Wikimedia/CC BY SA 4.0

Swimming Pools, Lakes, and Beaches Where Philly Families Can Swim this Summer

When it comes to the swim season, summer 2020 has got everyone in PA asking “Will they or won’t they?” Will Philly area pools and lakes be open for swimming or will these facilities, due to health concerns, be forced to close the beaches and pools until next year? But thankfully, as the state of Pennsylvania moves from the red to yellow phase and yellow to green, news is starting to improve for families looking to cool off this summer with a dip in the pool or a day at the beach. That doesn’t mean it’s all good news, however. So where exactly can Philly area families go right now for a swim? We’ve got the scoop so grab your swimsuits and sunscreen and read on!

For ideas on stay-at-home fun, check out our Stay-at-Home Guide or nab a spot at summer camp with our Phildaelphia Summer Camps Guide.

1. Marsh Creek State Park - Downingtown

Marsh Creek State Park open for the season: June 13, 2020

Note: Capacity is limited to 50%, and reentry is not guaranteed if visitors leave the pool area. Splash and water features are not in use. It is recommended that visitors wear masks when not in the water and visitors must have a mask available to use.

While the lake at Marsh Creek isn’t for swimming, there is an on-site swimming pool open to the public. Get there early - as one of the few swimming pools in the area, parking and space fills up fast! The 1,700+ acre park offers hiking, fishing, sailing, and picnic areas, as well - so plan ahead and make sure you make the most of what Marsh Creek has to offer!

2. French Creek State Park - Elverson

French Creek State Park open for the season: June 13, 2020

Note: Capacity is limited to 50%, and reentry is not guaranteed if visitors leave the pool area. Spray features and slides are not in use. It is recommended that visitors wear masks when not in the water and visitors must have a mask available to use.

French Creek State Park encompasses nearly 7,800 acres of land, including the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington, DC and NYC, meaning there's plenty of wildlife and nature to enjoy. Hike, birdwatch, fish, and then head to the on-site swimming pool for a dip. But remember: With parking lots and pool capacities limited to 50%, it could get busy so plan ahead and get there early.

Photo courtesy of Neshaminy State Park

3. Neshaminy State Park - Bensalem

Neshaminy State Park open for the season: June 13, 2020

Note: Capacity is limited to 50%, and reentry is not guaranteed if visitors leave the pool area. Splash and water features are not in use. It is recommended that visitors wear masks when not in the water and visitors must have a mask available to use.

While one of the smaller state parks (measuring just 339 acres), Neshaminy State Park is a great little family getaway for the day, with picnic areas, marina, and a beautifully situated spot where the Neshaminy Creek meets the Delaware River in Bucks County. And of course, there's a swimming pool! But note: There is a separate children's sprayground, which is currently closed due to the health crisis. 

4. YMCA - Select locations 

The Greater Brandywine YMCA locations at Jennersville, Upper Main Line, and West Chester anticipated opening date: June 20, 2020

The ability to open the outdoor pools this summer at the Jennersville and West Chester YMCA locations are dependent on how many summer season memberships are sold (at least 500 total must be purchased in order for the pools to open as planned). With fun water features, water slides, toddler pools, swim lanes, and concession stands, families around the community can easily maximize everything the outdoor pools at these YMCA locations have to offer so if you're looking for a pool membership, the Y should definitely be in your consideration set.

Photo courtesy of Roslyn Swim Club

5. Private Swim Clubs - Various locations 

Opening date: Varies by location

From Roslyn Swim Club and Wedgewood in West Chester to Tinicum in Delaware County, there are plenty of options for Philly families who are able to purchase a membership to a private swim club. However, due to the limited capacity, the membership availability is limited and many have moved to wait list only so if you want to nab a private swim club membership, better act fast!

6. Jersey Shore Beaches

The Jersey Shore beaches are open and ready for visitors!

As can be expected, tags are required on New Jersey beaches just as in years past (check the beach/town's website to purchase passes ahead of time as pre-purchase is required in some areas), but for summer 2020, there are social distancing protocols that need to be followed, as well. Be prepared to wear masks at the entrance points to the beaches and to keep groups to a minimum unless in the same household/family. And while some of the favorite shore attractions are not operating as we'd hope, families can still stroll the boardwalk, grab some favorite saltwater taffy, and enjoy a day at the beach.
 

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Pool capacity is limited to 50%.
  • Groups are limited in size depending on whether they are in the same family/live in the same household.
  • At many facilities, masks must be worn while entering and leaving the pool, but not while swimming or while sitting so long as a six-foot distance is maintained.
  • Pool hours may vary as the summer progresses and more areas in PA move from the yellow to green phase. 
  • For Jersey Shore beaches, masks may be necessary when entering/leaving the beach. 
Scarecrows in the Village
Peddler's Village - 10:00 AM Pick
Paleopalooza
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - various times Pick
Fishing at Orchard Lake
Linvilla Orchard - 9:00 AM
Scarecrow Walk & Design Contest
Morris Arboretum - 10:00 AM
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