In NYC, you can buy a day pass to swim at Le Parker Meridien for $100 or you can swim in one of the seasonal outdoor pools for free. I say, save the $100 to spend on great food or a Broadway show, and get wet for free.
The YMCAs in New York City also just had their annual Splash Week, a free week of swimming and water safety classes at 19 Y facilities around the city. There are two new YMCAs, in Coney Island and the Rockaways, both near free city beaches.
If your kids aren’t quite ready to jump in a pool, check out Brooklyn Bridge Park, with its extensive water play area. And Prospect Park transforms its ice skating rinks, LeFrak Center at Lakeside, to a large water play area called Splash Pad.
The NYC Parks Department has free Learn to Swim camps during public school vacations, at eight city-run indoor pools. Both these programs and the YMCA Splash Week tend to fill up quickly, so mark your calendar for next year.
But in summer, NYC residents and tourists alike can swim with little advance planning. There are pools all over the city, and though rules are strict – no floaties, no jumping, no food – facilities are clean and well, free. What better way to celebrate summer?