May 26, 2023 - Things to Do

D.C.'s pools are opening — Here's a quick guide

Hearst pool in D.C. Photo: DPR

Hearst pool in D.C. Photo: DPR

D.C. outdoor public pools and spray parks open for the season on Saturday with free access for residents.

Why it matters: It’s looking like a hotter-than-average summer, so cool water is a must.

Diving in: Mayor Bowser, who kicks things off Friday at the annual Jump In, DC! party at the Anacostia Pool (3pm-5pm) with free food, music, and giveaways.

What’s next: On Saturday, all 22 outdoor pools operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation will open for the holiday weekend (Sat-Mon, 10am-6pm).

  • Pools will only open on Saturdays and Sundays through most of June, but will start weekday service — schedules vary — on Monday, June 26.

Good to know: Non-District residents can purchase day passes starting at $3 for kids and $7 for adults.

Inside scoop: DPR staff tells us about the top swim spots.

🤸 Busiest: Banneker near Howard (plus it’s the only one with a diving board).

🕶️ Under-the-radar: Woody Ward in Southeast – only in its third season.

👩‍👧‍👦 Good for kids: Upshur Pool has a pavilion with shade and a kiddie pool.

🩱 Back again: Francis in West End reopened after closing for renovations.

🏊🏽 Newest: Hearst in Upper Northwest, which opened in 2022 with a six-lane pool.

Spray it: Some spray parks opened early this month, but all 33 splash grounds will launch on Saturday. The kid-friendly spouts will run daily from 10am to 8pm in every ward.

Go explore: NoVa Parks operates five family-friendly water parks that open for the season on Saturday, including Great Waves in Alexandria and Ocean Dunes in Arlington.

  • The parks have various attractions such as slides and wave pools, mini-golf, and more.

Day passes, purchased on-site, are free for kids under two and range from $13 to $19 for children and adults (times and fees vary).

Editor's note: This story was corrected to say Banneker is across from Howard University, not in the Shaw neighborhood.


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