Best Free Public Swimming Pools in DC

Escape the DC summer heat at Langdon Park Pool. Photo courtesy of DC Department of Parks and Recreation
Escape the DC summer heat at Langdon Park Pool. Photo courtesy of DC Department of Parks and Recreation

No matter if it’s the middle of summer and your kids are begging for some pool time or winter has you looking for ways to get out of the house and burn some energy, there are plenty of public swimming pools in Washington, DC that are free for residents. All you need is to show proof of residency for some watery fun free of charge. So grab the pool toys and some snacks and head to the water at our favorite public pools in DC.

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) operates seven aquatic centers for structured programs and lap swimming. These public pools are open to nonresidents as well. Admission, based on the swimmer’s age, ranges from $3 to $7. Discounted swim passes for 30 or 90 days are available. All public pools require a valid ID for entry.

Enjoy one of the 17 lanes at Takoma Aquatic Center. Photo by Maurice A. Butler/Facebook

Indoor Public Pools in Washington, DC

Open year-round, these indoor pools are often part of recreation centers that offer family and children's programming. Check individual websites for hours and closures.

1. Barry Farm Aquatic Center

This recently renovated indoor facility features ;a lap pool, leisure pool, and a large indoor water slide. Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6:30am-8pm; and Saturday-Sunday, 9am-5pm; closed Tuesday and Thursday.

2. Deanwood Aquatic Center

Deanwood offers guests a lap pool, leisure pool with water slide, and plenty of programs for the entire family, from preschool aquatics to classes for seniors. Located within the Deanwood Recreation Center, it is open Monday-Friday, 6:30am-8pm; and Saturday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.

3. Ferebee-Hope Aquatic Center

Ferebee-Hope offers programs and classes for children and adults, some of which are partnered with the YMCA. Hours vary between the summer and school year so be sure to check its website for the most up-to-date schedule.

4. Marie Reid Aquatic Center

Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, this indoor aquatics center offers six 25-yard lap lanes, including a dedicated aqua fitness lane. The entrance is located on Champlain Street NW, on the opposite side of the entrance to Marie Reed Elementary School.

5. Takoma Aquatic Center

This indoor center features a dedicated children's/leisure pool as well as a 17-lane lap pool. There's also a fitness center on site. Takoma Aquatic Center is open Monday-Friday, 6am-9pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.

6. William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center

Located in the Eastern Market, this indoor center offers an eight-lane, 20-by-25-yard pool, a kiddie wading pool, and community room.

RELATED: Family-Friendly Beaches Near DC

Cool off in family-friendly Rosedale Pool. Photo courtesy of DC Department of Parks & Recreation

Outdoor Public Pools in Washington, DC

Open for the summer from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. See the list below to determine which day each specific pool is closed.

7. Benning Park Pool

Located near the Maryland border, Benning Park has a leisure pool that both kids and grown-ups can enjoy, plus a water slide for the younger ones. The pool is closed Thursdays.

8. Francis Pool

The metro area's most popular outdoor public swimming facility, Francis Pool features three separate pools, shady spots, and plenty of umbrellas to cool off under, as well as two 25-meter lap lanes for swimmers looking to get a workout in. Francis Pool is closed on Tuesdays. 

9. Harry Thomas Sr. Pool

Located in Ward 5, Harry Thomas Sr. Pool has been ranked as one of the city's best public pools. With a large outdoor pool and children's wading area, it's perfect for families with both younger and older children. Closed on Tuesdays.

10. Langdon Park Pool

This small comunity pool, also in Ward 5, is set at the bottom of two hills on the east end of Langdon Park. There is a community center on-site and plenty of outdoor activities available in the summer.

11. Oxon Run Pool

This outdoor pool has a unique L-shape, which offers plenty of swimming space for families. Best of all, there's a playground on-site for kids who want to play in and out of the water. Oxon Run is closed Mondays.

12. Park View Children's Pool

Located in Petworth, this wonderful outdoor pool is designed specifically for children ages 12 and younger. So bring the younger kiddos and enjoy. Park View Children's Pool is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

13. Rosedale Pool

Younger children will love the slides and kiddie pool at Rosedale Pool. There's also a larger lap lane and a library and community center on-site. The pool is closed Wednesdays.

Originally posted in 2019. Writer Krystal Alston contributed to this 2021 update.

Play & Explore Mondays at Anacostia Library
Anacostia Library - 10:00 AM Pick
Family Paint Party: Two Cats, One Heart
Eavesdrop Brewery - 6:30 PM Pick
Family Paint Party: Two Birds, One Heart
Eavesdrop Brewery - 6:30 PM Pick
Rainbows, Haloes & Glories
Turner Farm Park - 7:30 PM Pick
Our Sky Tonight
James E. Richmond Science Center - 7:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides