The dread of waiting in line to get into a public pool in New York City is enough to send any person running and screaming in the opposite direction however, it does not have to be that bad. With some careful planning and strategic timing you too can be a pool ninja this summer. Here are some tips that you can use to get the best out of your experience without having to wait in line:
Best Time to Visit: 12 Noon
The middle of the day or late in the afternoon is the best time to visit a NYC public pool. Lines to get into the pools are the worst in the mornings for the first swim of the day as many parents bring their kids before the sun gets too strong. The best time to go is actually during lunch/ nap time when the sun is at it’s worst, many people have gone home for food or shade at that point. Be sure to check with your pool of choice, as they are not open all day, pools in NYC close down for cleaning at scheduled times and you do not want to to get stuck waiting even longer.
What to Bring:
Make sure to bring everything you need to the pool or it will cost you. You cannot enter a NYC public pool without the following items and this could cause you to be turned away at the door.
- A bathing suit….. no skinny diping in the NYC pools
- A lock
- Swimmie diapers for babies are a must.
- Some pools require the use of a swim cap so check before you go if that is the case.
Also bring with you an umbrella to shade yourself if you do find yourself waiting, sunscreen, towels, and cash to spend on consession stands inside the pool area.
What NOT to Bring:
These items are not permitted into NYC Pools so bring them at your own risk.
- Pool Toys
- Beach chairs
- Baby strollers
- Beach balls
Have a back up plan
If you get to the pool and it has been shut down for one reason or another (poop in the pool etc. ) have a back up plan of something else that you can do in that area. That way your entire day is not totally shot.
Eat before you go
The NYC public pools do not allow food inside their facilities yet some do sell snacks once you are inside. Make sure to eat before you go so you don’t need to jump off the line for a bite to eat.