The wading pool at Seattle's Dahl Playfield opens for summer 2021 on Saturday, June 26. Credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation
Free public wading pools are a dream for families with little kids. Wading pools are shallow — generally safer and calmer than local spray parks and outdoor swimming pools, both popular with a little bit bigger kids. And a new advantage for summer 2021: You can just walk up to a wading pool when it's operating; community swimming pools are requiring advance reservations now. (Important note: Even though wading pools are shallow, always stay within arm's reach of young kids when around water.)
Seattle Parks and Recreation is opening 11 of its wading pools for summer 2021; 10 of them will begin operating Saturday, June 26, 2021. The schedule has changed from what was originally announced, due to a chlorine shortage. Some wading pools will be open Thursday–Sunday and others will be open Saturday–Tuesday (see below, by pool) and all are closed Wednesdays. Once the shortage resolves, all 11 wading pools will operate seven days a week. For now, do double-check the specific days and hours for each wading pool.
Seattle wading pools — and spray parks — operate when the day's forecast calls for temperatures to be at least 70 degrees — without rain. For daily status updates, call the wading pool hotline (after 9:30 a.m. each day) at 206-684-7796 or check the Seattle wading pool Facebook page.
Seattle wading pools open for summer 2021
Bitter Lake Playfield: One of Seattle's northernmost parks, the wading pool has great views of the lake. 13035 Linden Ave. N., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
Soundview Playfield: You can find the wading pool at Soundview on the west side of the park, near the play area. 1590 N.W. 90th St., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Saturday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
Dahl Playfield: This northeast Seattle park has a small wading pool, a fun playground, a woodsy bog to explore, and an exciting bike path encircling the park. 7700 25th Ave. N.E., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Saturday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
Green Lake Park: (Opening July 2, 2021) Green Lake boasts one of the biggest and most popular wading pools in the city. Take a stroll or a bike ride and watch the boats or paddle boarders after wading. N. 73rd Street and W. Green Lake Dr. N., Seattle. Open starting July 2, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
East Queen Anne Playground: Beyond the wading pool, the playground has lots to offer here, plus there is plenty of shade and benches for post-wading relaxation. 160 Howe St., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
Volunteer Park: This park has one of the bigger wading pools in the city. The nearby playground features climbing rocks and a wall, slides, higher swings and a cool sandbox. There is lots of shade to be had. 1400 E. Galer St., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Saturday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
Powell Barnett Park: In addition to the wading pool, this park also features a playground, basketball hoops, fields, benches and picnic tables. 352 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle. Open starting June 26, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
Delridge Playfield: Kids love watching the skaters glide through the skatepark adjacent to the large wading pool at Delridge. 4501 Delridge Way S.W., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Saturday–Tuesday, noon–5:30 p.m.
Van Asselt Playground: Make a day of it wading, playing on the playground and enjoying a picnic in the shade of the trees. 2820 S. Myrtle St., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
Lincoln Park: It’s hard not to love Lincoln Park, with its beautiful views, tide pools and lush trails, plus a large play area and wading pool. 8600 Fauntleroy Way S.W., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Thursday–Saturday, noon–7 p.m.
South Park Playfield: Next to the wading pool, find a play structure, swings and picnic tables in the shade. 8319 8th Ave. S., Seattle. Open starting June 26, Saturday–Tuesday, noon–7 p.m.
More fun staying cool in the water
Editor's note: This article was originally published several years ago and updated most recently with information for 2021. Elisa Murray contributed to this report.