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 (and learning) all year round. And each year, we're seeing more super kid-friendly pools open (we're looking at you, People's Pool in Tacoma) that beckon families for serious 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? Email email@example.com.)
North Sound swimming pools
Water temp: 85 degrees (recreation pool); 88 degrees (wellness pool)
Prices: $4.25–$5.25. Family: $16.25. 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. You have to be at least 48 inches 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 ($67/month for family of five).
Water temp: 88–90 degrees
Prices: $6–$8; kids 3 and under are free and Bothell residents are free. Lessons: Group and private are offered; find information here.
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, dives 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 (2.5 feet) to shallower (around 4.5 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.
Water temp: 87–88 degrees
Prices: $4.25–$5.25. 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 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.
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 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 (1:1 instruction) and semi-private (1:2/3 ) lessons offered as well as specialty instruction for competitive strokes. You can also take SurfRider lessons.
Swimming pools in greater Seattle
Water temp: 88 degrees
Lessons: Safe N Sound is a membership-based pool that is known for its one-on-one, 15-minute lessons. Cost is $29 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.
Water temp: 85 degrees, but can range by pool.
Prices: Admission to Seattle Parks pools is $3.75 youth, $5.25 adult, infants under 1 free; Lessons range in prices. Register and find out more on the Seattle Parks website.
Pool tips: For a fun family night, try the Friday “Dive-In” and watch movies while you swim or float at Madison, Medgar Evers and Queen Anne Pools. All children under 4-feet tall must have a parent in the water within arm’s reach.
Pool deals: Check individual pool pages for neighborhood deals, fun nights and other offerings.
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 (Greenlake): Features diving board, sauna, ADA lift, family changing rooms.
Madison (Haller Lake): Features diving boards, teaching pool, ADA lift.
Meadowbrook (Meadowbrook/Lake City): Features diving boards, rope swing, ADA lift, family changing rooms.
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.
Water temp: 83 degrees. 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: Usually in October and January the joining fee will be waived for new memberships.
Auburn: 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.
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.
Swimming Pools in the South Sound
People's Pool, Tacoma
Water temp: 85 degrees
Prices: Open swim: $3 youth (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 7 or under 42 inches in the water.
Pool deals: The 12:30 p.m. open swim is free on the first Saturday of every month.
Water temp: 86 degrees
Prices: Day pass (to entire facility): $4 youth, $5 teen, $8 adult; 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 7 and for the big slide, kids must be at least four feet tall.
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.
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 $56–$78.
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.
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, and the supervised, facility-wide ‘Kids Night Out’ lets kids ages 6 weeks to 11 years have fun from 6–9:30 p.m. on the last or first Friday of each month. (Kids 7 and up can swim).
For little ones: The pool has ramped entry for young swimmers.
Pool deals: The 1 p.m. open swim is free on first Saturday of the month.
Eastside Community Pool, Tacoma
Water temp: 85 degrees
Prices: $2.50 youth (4 and under free), $3.50 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 or $20 family. Lessons: Group $70/month; semi-private $90/month; private $40/lesson plus annual registration fee of $30 individual or $45/family (up to 4 people).
Fun features: This ultra-warm salinated pool offers large floating mats and pool toys.
Pool tips: Enjoy a date night with “Parent’s Night Out” (check online for scheduled dates). $20 per child ($15 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
Water temp: 82 degrees (lap pool), 91 degrees (warm-water pool)
Prices: Admission $6 youth, $7 adult. Lessons: Private 1:1 $46/half-hour or semi private 1:2 $31.50/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. ($5.25 per person).
Water temp: 87 degrees (indoor); 80-81 degrees (outdoor)
Prices: This is a membership pool. Non-members can take swimming lessons: six for $72. 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 adult; $6 child).
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) are from 1–3:30 p.m. or after evening lessons at 7:30 p.m.
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 dates).
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.
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
Water temp: 80 degrees (lap pool), 85 degrees (leisure pool)
Prices: Admission $5 youth, $6 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 ($5.50 per person). First Friday is a special open swim with toys activities for younger swimmers.
Pool deals: Family passes available per month, six-month or yearly.
This article was first written in 2013 and updated for 2016.