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Swimming in Seattle: Insider's Guide to Kid-Friendly Indoor Swimming Pools

Lazy rivers, epic slides, warm-water pools around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Published on: December 31, 2017

People's Pool, Tacoma

People's Pool, Tacoma

Swimming. It wears 'em out. It's fun for babies, big kids and grown-ups alike. And with so many feature-packed, warm-water pools to choose from around Puget Sound, it's easy to indulge in serious water play all year long. And each year, we're seeing more super kid-friendly pools open (such as the terrific People's Pool in Tacoma) that beckon families for wiggle-busting winter fun.

From Everett to Olympia, here’s the inside scoop on top indoor pools in the greater Seattle area, including prices, tips, deals and water temperature. (Did we miss one of your faves? Let us know in the comments.)

North Sound-area swimming pools

Lynnwood Recreation Center

Water temp: 85 degrees (recreation pool); 88 degrees (wellness pool)

Prices: $5.25–$5.75. Family: $20. Ages 2 and under free. Multi-visit passes available. 

Fun features:  The super-popular pool features an inner tube, water slides, sprayers, lazy river, diving boards, wobbly walkway, swirl pool and fountains. (Warning: The sprayers can be a little intense for very young ones.) There are also two hot tubs (one that's perfect for families and one that's an adult-only spa at a higher temp), a lap  pool and a warm water "wellness" pool.

For little ones: During “Beach Swim” times, only the shallow play area is open — water depth is up to two feet.

Pool tips: You can purchase "Open Swim" tickets online, highly recommended on weekends. Or get there at least half an hour early on weekends/holidays. Look for “Rec” and “Open” Swim Times for full use of fun features. Kids have to be at least 48 inches in height to go down the slides. 

Pool deals: If you plan to go often, invest in an annual pass. You’ll have use of all the rec center amenities plus get priority entry for open swim ($73.75/month for family of five for non-residents and $64.17 for Lynnwood residents).

North Shore Lagoon Pool at McMenamins
North Shore Lagoon Pool at McMenamins

North Shore Lagoon Pool, McMenamins hotel, Bothell

Water temp: 88–90 degrees

Prices: $6–$8; kids 3 and under are free and Bothell residents are free. 

Fun features: Located at the year-old McMenamins Hotel complex in downtown Bothell which opened in 2015, this full-size saltwater pool doesn't have slides, diving boards or other excitement, just plenty of very warm, shallow water, pool toys and a killer schedule (it's open 9 a.m.–11 p.m. every day, with two-hour open swim times throughout the day). Depths range range from shallow (4.5 feet) to shallower (around 2.5 feet). Note: Kids under 6 years old must have an adult in the water with them.

Pool tips: After your swim, get snacks and drinks at the tiki-themed Northern Lagoon restaurant above the pool. Or check one of the other restaurants (or movie theater!) on the premises.

Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion

Water temp: 87–88 degrees

Prices: $4.50–$5.50. Family swim $15

Fun features:  This warm-water pool might be the region's best toddler pool, with a large shallow-water leisure pool area with beach-like entry that's perfect for littles, as well as a lazy river, basketball hoops, inner tubes, geysers, flotation rings, pool toys. Also, find a hot tub and sauna a short distance from the pool.

For little ones: The leisure pool ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet deep and is designed for children 6 and under with a parent.

Pool tips: The line for the rec swim starts about a half hour before the session starts. Also register early for swimming lessons as they fill up fast, and add “playtime passport” to swim lessons for a few more dollars which gives kids an extra 15 minutes in the leisure pool (shallow area) after their lessons.

Pool deals: $2.25 per person “Happy Hour” most afternoons and evenings (times vary – check schedule online). Sundays, enjoy just the leisure pool from 8:30–9:15 a.m. for $1 per person.

Snohomish Aquatic Center
Snohomish Aquatic Center

Snohomish Aquatic Center

Water temp: 84–86 degrees

Prices: $5–$6, Children under 2 free. Family: $20. The FlowRider is an additional $15 per session. Check out the fees page for information about multi-visit punch cards.

Fun features: This 52,000-square-foot swim center in Snohomish is one of greater Seattle's most exciting, boasting the region's only FlowRider (surf-simulation machine), as well as an epic water slide that goes outside, Splashtacular water slide, recreational lap pool and lazy river. Depths range from 2-4.5 feet. Note: Guests must be at least 48-inches tall and pass a swim test to slide on the Spectacular slide.

For little ones: There is a splash play area with buckets to dump water, stairs to climb and two slides.

Lessons: Private, semi-private and group lessons offered as well as specialty instruction for competitive strokes. Classes for diving and are also available as are SurfRider lessons. 

Swimming pools in Seattle

Safe N Sound Swimming, Seattle

Water temp: 88 degrees

Lessons: Safe N Sound is a membership-based pool that is known for its one-on-one, 15-minute swim lessons. Cost is $35 for a class in the pay-as-you-go model. You can save by buying multiple lessons, or by paying monthly. Check out membership options here.

Fun features: Pool toys during Family Swim. Super-warm water!

Pool tips: Open swim is available for students before or after lessons in the shallow end (parents not allowed in pool). Most parents purchase a package and enroll in an ongoing lesson spot so that their child can swim with the same teacher at the same time each week. Members can also swim during Family Swim (see schedule).

Keep in touch via Safe N Sound's Facebook page.

Rainier Beach pool. Photo credit: Sharon Chang
Rainier Beach pool. Photo credit: Sharon Chang

Seattle Parks and Recreation Pools

Water temp: Typically about 85 degrees, but can vary by pool

Prices: Admission to Seattle Parks pools is $3.75 youth, $5.50 adult, infants under age 1 free; lessons range in price. Register and find out more by locating your nearest pool

Pool deals: Check individual pool pages for neighborhood deals, fun nights and other offerings.

Note: Be sure to check the All City Aquatics Schedule for an overview of pools' scheduled including details and closures.

Rainier Beach: Opened in 2013, this exciting pool features a lap pool, leisure pool (93 degrees) slide, lazy river, spray and play park, sauna, steam room, spa, diving board, ADA lift, family changing rooms.  

Ballard: Features diving board, rope swing, slide, warm pool/spa, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

Evans (Green Lake): Features diving board, sauna, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

Madison (North Seattle): Features diving boards, teaching pool, ADA lift.

Meadowbrook (Lake City): Features diving boards, rope swing, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

Medgar Evers (Madrona): Features diving board, rope swing, sauna, teaching pool, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

Queen Anne: Features diving boards, rope swing, sauna, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

Southwest (White Center/South Delridge): Features two diving boards, a spa/warm-water pool, sauna, ADA lift, family changing rooms.

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Water temp: 83 degrees at six YMCA locations (Auburn, Matt Griffin and Coal Creek locations have a warmer second pool.)

Prices: Membership required (joining fee + monthly dues), and financial assistance is available at all branches. Lessons: All pool locations feature the comprehensive “Learn to Swim” program that includes personal safety, personal growth, stroke development, water sports and rescue. See individual pools for programs offered and pricing.

Pool deals: The Y typically runs a promotion in January which waives the joining fee for new memberships.

Auburn Valley: Check for open swim times. 

Bellevue: Offers Family Swim everyday.

Coal Creek (Newcastle): Lap pool, activity pool and spa. Mushroom area is less than 3 feet deep and perfect for young children. Offers Family Swim options everyday.

Dale Turner (Shoreline): Adaptive aquatic program for special-needs swimmers; slide, fountain, sprinkler and water basketball.

Matt Griffin (Seatac): Lap pool, warmer activity pool, slide, spa.

West Seattle: Women-only swim, free and reduced fee lessons for afterschool programs. Must submit an application and be approved for free or reduced fee.

Swimming pools in the South Sound area

People's Pool, Tacoma
People's Pool, Tacoma

People's Pool, Tacoma

Water temp: 85 degrees

Prices: Open swim: $3 youth age (4 and under free), $4 adult. Lessons: 8 lessons for $43

Fun features: Tacoma's newest pool boasts an indoor spray pad especially for toddlers, a small lazy river (no tubes), floating pads for walk on water play and poolside basketball hoops.

Pool tips: Adults must accompany children under age 7 and/or under 42 inches in height in the water.

Pool deals: Free open swim on the first Saturday of every month.

Federal Way Community Center pool, Federal Way

Water temp: 86 degrees

Prices: Day pass (to entire facility): $5 youth, $6 teen, $8 adult; age 2 and under free. Lessons: Private, semi-private, group and teen program available for all levels.

Fun features: Federal Way's awesome pool has a two-story tube water slide, lazy river with whirlpool feature and spa.

For little ones: Little swimmers will love the two-foot-deep area with interactive play structure and water sprayers. 

Pool tips: Best bets for young children are the parent-tot swim in the leisure pool during the school year and Family Swim Saturdays. See online schedule for times. Parents need to be in the water with kids under age 7 and for the big slide, kids must be at least four feet tall. Note: The big water slide is currently closed for maintenance. Check website for updates.

Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way

Water temp: 81 degrees (lap pool), 87 degrees (recreational pool)

Prices: A day pass for the recreational pool $3.25 all ages. Lessons: available for all levels.

Fun features:  The centerpiece of the recreation pool is a replica pirate ship with active water shooters and tipping water buckets.

For little ones: The recreational pool has ramped entry for young swimmers.

Pool tips: Certain outside toys and swim equipment are not allowed so call ahead to make sure.  

Pool deals: The two-hour weekend open swims are the same price as the one-hour weekday swims.

Covington Aquatic Center, Covington

Water temp: 85 degrees

Prices: Public/family swim fees: Non-resident $4.50 per person (4 and under free), Family (household) $13.50; Lessons: American Red Cross Swim Program, eight lessons for $58–$80.

Fun features: Diving board, 31-foot water slide, huge inflatable octopus, floating “magic carpet,” rope swing, water basketball, pool toys.

Pool tips: There are special public swims on school early dismissal or vacation days; call ahead to confirm. The inflatable octopus is in the water on weekends during public swim and the “magic carpet” is available during weekday public swims. They also offer special events like the "Spooky Swim" and the "Hollydaze Float In". Check the pool's events page for details!

Pool deals: Memberships available

Norpoint Pool, Tacoma

Water temp: 85 degrees

Prices: $2.50 youth (4 and under free), $3.50 adult; Lessons: 8 lessons for $43

Fun features: Norpoint boasts a mushroom waterfall, water basketball, family spa and pool toys.

Pool tips: There is a community swim time every day.

For little ones: The pool has ramped entry for young swimmers.

Pool deals: The open swim is free on first Saturday of the month. 

Eastside Community Pool, Tacoma

Water temp: 85 degrees

Prices: $3 youth (4 and under free), $4 adult. Lessons: Lessons available at all levels including competitive and lifeguard training. 8 lessons for $43.

Pool tips: During family swim parent must accompany youth in the water.

Pool deals: The 1 p.m. open swim is free on first Saturday of the month. $2 open swim on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Discover Aquatics, Olympia

Water temp: 87–89 degrees (salinated pool)

Prices: Open swim fee $7 person. Lessons: Group $77/month; semi-private $97/month; private $45/lesson plus annual registration fee of $35 individual or $45/family (up to 4 people; additional family members $5 each).

Fun features: This warm, salinated pool offers large floating mats and pool toys. 

Pool tips: Enjoy a date night with “Parents' Night Out” (check online for scheduled dates). $25 per child ($20 for siblings); for ages 5–12. 

Pool deals: Save $2 off open swim if enrolled in lessons. Check Facebook for current deals.

Swimming pools on the Eastside

Bellevue Aquatics, Bellevue

Water temp: 82 degrees (lap pool), 91 degrees (warm-water pool)

Prices: Admission $6 youth, $7 adult. Lessons: Private 1:1 $52.50/half-hour or semi private 1:2 $36.15/half-hour.

Fun features:  Slide, diving board; toys are only available during lessons but you can bring your own.

For little ones: The ramped entry and temperature of the warm water springs pool is perfect for very young swimmers and people with disabilities.

Pool tips: Less crowded times are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9–11 a.m.

Pool deals: Discount swim runs Monday through Saturday before 10 a.m. and Wednesdays 7–8 p.m. ($5.50 per person). 

Samena Swim and Recreation Club, Bellevue

Water temp: 87 degrees (indoor); 80-81 degrees (outdoor)

Prices: This is a membership pool. Non-members can take swimming lessons: four for $56. Members get discounted lessons and access to Family Swim. Check the schedule.

Fun features: Samena has a blow-up jungle gym in the pool once a month, as well as pool toys and water basketball. It also hosts fun events, such as monthly "Float-in" movies (members free; Non-members $8 each; $24 for a family of 4).

Tips: Samena offers a year-round outdoor and indoor pool, plus a wading area in the outdoor pool that's open in summer weather. The least crowded times are family swim (only open to members) from 1–3:30 p.m. or after evening lessons at 7:30 p.m.

Julius Boehm Pool, Issaquah

Water Temp: 86 degrees

Price: Admission $4 youth, $5 adult. Lessons 8 for $80.

Fun features: Rope swing, diving board, water basketball.

Pool tips: Renovated in 2015, Julius Boehm has new changing rooms, lockers, restrooms and showers. Other upgrades include a new pool liner and a deck coating that's gentler on bare feet. Family Fun Nights are themed to activities such as "super soaker night," "underwater adventure" or "movie night" (check Recreation Guide for upcoming events).

Pool deals: Take advantage of the Family Rate ($12) for everyone in a household during the public swim. Save with 30-day, 90-day or annual pass. Call for hours: 425-837-3350.

Mary Wayte Pool, Mercer Island

Water temp: 84–86 degrees

Prices: Drop-in entry $4 youth, $5.50 adult. Lessons: Requires a $25 annual administration fee on top of lesson prices to attend swim school.

Fun features: Mercer Island's only public pool has pool toys and competitive kids' swimming. Also, this is one of the few local pools that books Saturday birthday parties; movies are also shown one night per month ($4 per person).

Pool deals: 10-punch and monthly passes available 

Swimming pools on the Kitsap Peninsula

Bainbridge Island Aquatics Center, Bainbridge Island

Water temp: 80 degrees (lap pool), 85 degrees (leisure pool)

Prices: Admission $5.50 youth, $6.50 adult. Multi-visit passes available at a discount. Lessons available at all levels including parent/tot water adjustment classes as well as specialty classes like diving and water polo introduction.

Fun features: Bainbridge Island's public pool has a water tube slide, frog-shaped slide, lazy river, tipping water baskets, diving boards, steam room, dry sauna, spa and double rope swing (!).

For little ones: Little ones will love the dedicated tot pool with sloped beach entry and play area (ages 6 and under).

Pool tips: Check out the unique classes available or events such as "Float and Float Movie Night,” where kids can eat ice cream floats as they watch a movie in the pool ($7 per person). First Friday is a special open swim with toys and activities for younger swimmers.

Pool deals: Discounted admission passes available for blocks of 10 and 20.


Editor's notes: ParentMap staff contributed this article, which was originally published in 2013 and updated in December 2017.

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