May 24, 2024 - Things to Do

DMV pool guide: Where to swim around D.C. this summer

Illustration of Olympic swim lanes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Surfs up, pool rats: D.C. public pools and splash parks officially open for the summer season on Saturday.

Why it matters: We're expected to have a hotter-than-usual summer — aka the ol' D.C. back sweat look will be out in full force, and the pool will be necessary.

Driving the news: Mayor Muriel Bowser will get the summer party started Friday at 3pm with music, free food, and other giveaways at Anacostia Pool during the annual Jump In, D.C. event.

State of play: All of the Department of Parks and Recreation's 22 outdoor pools will open on Saturday.

  • It's weekend swimming only until the weekend of June 23 (except Memorial Day), after which the pools will be open six days a week.
  • The pools are free for D.C. residents, but those outside the District can purchase day and summer passes (prices vary by age).

All of D.C.'s spray parks — except for the one at Fort Greble Recreation Center, which is currently closed, per DPR's site — will also open this weekend.

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

🤸 Busiest: Banneker near Howard, thanks to its country club summer vibes.

🕶️ Under-the-radar: Kelly Miller in Northeast for a quiet, peaceful hang.

👪 Good for kids: Rosedale has lap lanes, a kiddie pool, and a slide.

👙 Back again: Francis in West End reopened last year with renovations — an updated pool house with new floors, lighting, lockers, and a family changing room has been added.

The intrigue: While D.C.'s pools and splash parks typically close Labor Day weekend, some remained open well into September last year due to high temperatures — something that could happen again this year should we continue to see more unusually warm weather.

More ways to stay cool: NoVa Parks' five water parks open on Saturday — passes are available for varying prices.

  • Residents and non-residents can get day or summer passes to use Alexandria's three outdoor pools and its splash park, all of which open Saturday.
  • Fairfax County's Martin Luther King, Jr. pool — the only outdoor pool operated by the county — opens Saturday (free for residents, with $50 summer passes for non-residents). Also opening Saturday: the county's water park (tix required) and splash pad.
  • Montgomery County's seven outdoor pools open Saturday. Passes are available to county residents and non-residents for varying prices.
  • Prince George's County's outdoor pool, J. Franklyn Bourne Pool, opens on Saturday, as do its many splash parks. County residents and non-residents must purchase passes (prices vary).
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