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Image: Bay Benjamin
Image: Bay Benjamin

If you’re sick of sizzling in the summer sun, why resist taking a dip in a cool and cleanly pool? Skip out on the sand and dive head first into some of the best outdoor pools in Queens.

Five Freebies

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation offers free outdoor pools that are set to open on June 29 until early September. Each pool will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a pool cleaning break between 3 and 4 p.m. Just bring a secure combination lock and slip into your swimsuit before making a grand splash!

1. Astoria Park Pool (Astoria)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Astoria Park is rich in its outdoor activity offerings, ranging from tennis courts, a running track and basketball courts to a bandstand, several trails and playgrounds, but the park is praised for its sprawling outdoor pool.

The gigantic Astoria pool complex opened on July 4, 1936, and even hosted the swimming and diving trials for the U.S. Olympic Teams in 1936 and 1964.

During the scorching summer days, swimmers of all ages can slide into the spacious Olympic pool with no price attached. Prefer to sit poolside? No problem — recline and capture breathtaking views of the dazzling Hell Gate Bridge at Astoria Park!

2. Fort Totten Pool (Bayside)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Back stroke into the past or front stroke into the future with this historical gem in Bayside. Fort Totten Park is a well-preserved Civil War fortress that allows visitors to enjoy a taste of history while splashing it up in the outdoor pool.

In the past the pool faced a threat of closure several times due to budgetary reasons. Nonetheless, this Bayside pool is still standing strong as the Civil War fortress that it truly is. Fort Totten offers three outdoor pools, including an intermediate pool, diving pool and wading pool.

3. Fisher Pool (East Elmhurst)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Fishing for fun in the sun? Visit Fisher Pool, a relaxing summer spot in East Elmhurst that has an intermediate pool and wading pool. The large pool holds up to 180 swimmers while the smaller one allows 16 children to wade at a time.

The pools were built by community activist Edward Fisher, who sold the property to the city in January 1970 due to Fisher’s lobbying efforts. You will surely enjoy the pavilion with benches and a large comfort station as well. The area has a flagpole with a yardarm and a patch of grass outside the fenced perimeter.

4. Liberty Pool (Jamaica)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Free yourself of stress and sweat at Liberty Pool, a place where swimmers can enjoy the cool waters of an outdoor pool in Detective Keith L. Williams Park. The Jamaica-based property offers an intermediate pool and a wading pool, in addition to an extensive deck that accommodates up to 600 people.

Liberty Park was renamed Detective Keith L. Williams Park in 1991, in memory of the dedicated officer and Jamaica native who was tragically murdered by a prisoner on their way to Rikers Island in November 1989. He started the Keith Roundball Classics, a basketball tournament in Liberty Park and sponsored an after-school program at P.S. 116.

5. Windmuller Pool (Woodside)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

On a blazing hot day, keep the kiddies cool at this mini pool in Woodside. They’ll love to frolic in the sprinklers at Lawrence Virgilio Playground.

The park’s playground was named after Lawrence Virgilio in 2002, a New York City firefighter who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Virgilio, a firefighter with the Greenwich Village-based Squad 18 and utilized the playground as a youth growing up in the neighborhood.

Pools for a Price

If you’re willing to pay as little as $18 for the pleasure of cool, turquoise blue water, our borough offers beautiful private pools as well. Many of these private pools open on Memorial Day, so we hope that your swimsuit is ready!

6.Fairview Swim Club (Forest Hills)

Photo by NYC Parks Department

Photo by NYC Parks Department

It’s only fair that you visit Fairview Swim club this summer, a gorgeous private swim club in Forest Hills that opens this Memorial Day! The exclusive space offers reserved seating and membership plans for adults, children, seniors and toddlers at different prices. A 10 percent enrollment discount is available until June 6, 2016.

Swimmers who prefer not to commit to a membership are welcomed to utilize a day pass for an admission fee ($30, adults; $10, children ages 1-17).

7. Spa Castle (College Point)

QNS Photo

QNS Photo

Say what you want about the infamous Spa Castle in College Point, but it’s an essential summer spot to embrace the waves in its heated outdoor swimming pools and toddler pool. After taking a dip, sip on a cool margarita in the bubbly Jacuzzi or enjoy a soothing spa treatment.

Membership rates apply, but day passes are available for those who are 2 and older ($40 on weekdays/$50 on weekends). Don’t forget to join Spa Castle’s “Chillin Grillin” Memorial Day cookout on May 27 to May 30 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

8. Birchwood Towers (Forest Hills)

Photo by Exit Kingdom Realty

Photo by Exit Kingdom Realty

This seemingly hidden location will be a fun discovery for Queens residents who are ready to release their inner guppy this summer. The Birchwood Swim Club is located in the luxurious Birchwood Towers co-op right here in Forest Hills.

The Birchwood pool, a local favorite among Forest Hills mothers offers a full-size pool, a smaller kiddie pool and a second-level deck for sunbathing. The hours as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., admission rates are $18 for adults and $12 for children on weekdays. On weekends, the price raises to $20 for adults and $15 for children.

9. Skyline Swim and Sun Club (Flushing)

Photo by FourSquare

Photo by FourSquare

As the sun stings your skin, think about the Skyline Swim and Sun Club that awaits you in Flushing. This hideaway spot is pretty clean and affordable for Queens, some say. Adults can swim for $18 on weekdays and for $20 on weekends; while kids aged 3-13 can swim for $13 and for $15 on Saturdays and Sundays. Children under age 2 are admitted for free to enjoy the facility this summer.

10. Tanenbaum Family Pool (Little Neck)

Google Maps

Google Maps

Family fun in the sun is exactly how your summer should be! The Tanenbaum Family Pool at the Samuel Field Y can supply those tender memories with your loved ones, as long as you join this Little Neck Y facility. Their annual memberships are $425 for adults and $225 for children.

Don’t let your summer float by without leaping into one of these amazing outdoor pools in Queens!

 

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