Where to go swimming in Manhattan

july28 waterside-pool

The pool at Waterside Plaza

By Sabina Mollot

While the scorching heat wave that baked the Big Apple for over a week has finally come to a close, the summer has still just begun. Fortunately, there are still opportunities to cool off without traveling far since the borough of Manhattan is not without the man-made oases of swimming pools. Read on for a few local options.

Waterside Health & Swim Club, 35 Waterside Plaza

The heated pool at Waterside Plaza is open to non-residents as well as residents through either a membership to the adjoining health club or a day pass. The gym, with its glass walls and high ceiling (and retractable roof), offers views of the East River and Brooklyn skyline.

A day pass is $20 for adults, $10 for children. Current membership is $655 for an adult or $66 a month, a family membership for 3-5 people is $1,425 for a year or $130 per month, and a full-time student membership is $545 for year or $55 for month. Memberships also include fitness classes and access to a sundeck. For more information, call 212-340-4224 or visit gowaterside.com/healthclub/indoor-pool. 

July12 Pool at Hotel Americano

The rooftop pool at Hotel Americano

A Piscine at Hotel Americano, 518 West 27th Street

The pool atop this 10-story hotel in Chelsea opens to non-guests from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends with a day pass. Day passes are $50 on weekdays and $65 on weekends for all swimmers regardless of age.

Along with an escape from the brutal heat, this rooftop pool offers views of the Hudson River and towels are included in the price. Drinks are also available at the nearby bar. A representative for the hotel described the crowd during the weekends as very mixed, hip and fun.

Cash payments are not allowed for day passes and no refunds are given due to inclement weather. Day passes are sold 48 hours in advanced and limited to 15 on weekdays and 10 on weekends. Swimmers will also need a sign a waiver that can be downloaded on the hotel’s website and provide a copy of their ID. For more information, visit hotel-americano.com or (212) 216-0000.

July12 Pool at Chelsea Piers

The pool at Chelsea Piers, accessible to non-members via a day pass

Chelsea Piers, West 19th Street and Hudson River Park

The pool at the fitness club at Chelsea Piers is accessible by memberships, which start at $165 a month or a day pass, which is $50 for a guest of any age. This 75-foot, six-lane pool offers views of the Hudson River, an adjacent whirlpool spa and a sundeck. The center’s locker rooms are in themselves an amenity, Chelsea Piers notes on its website, with sauna and steam rooms, heated tile floors and complimentary use of towels and robes. There are also swim classes available from beginner to advanced.

For more information, visit 212-336-6000 or visit Chelseapiers.com.

The 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street Y

The pool at the Y, heated to 84 degrees, is accessible to Y members as well as those who get a day pass for $25. Membership rates start at $82 a month, with other packages available. For more information, call (212) 780-0800.

Open swim time is scheduled into slots for families, adults, early birds and women only. Through August 26, the pool opens at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends and closes at 9 p.m. on Sundays, 9:30 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and on 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Swim classes start for children as young as six months old, including those with special needs and there are adult aquatics programs as well. An online calendar is available for swimmers who want to know if there is a class going on or open swim, with there being about a 50/50 ratio. The pool will be closed from August 27-September 3 for maintenance. No bottles, food or electronic devices are allowed on the pool deck.

The class calendar and more information about pool policies and programs are available at 14streety.org.

The McBurney YMCA, 125 West 14th Street

The heated 25-yard long pool at the Y will work for early birds and night owls alike since it’s open seven days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The pool is accessible through a membership to the center or a free day pass, which can be downloaded from ymcanyc.org/mcburney. For a membership, the individual adult rate is $102 a month, $82 a month for seniors and $122 a month for a family (one adult and children). Individual children under 11 can join for $275 for a year. The pool, which goes from three feet to nine, has seven lanes, and some are sometimes used for water jogging or other water classes, so swimmers may want to check the schedule online before heading out to see how crowded it will be.

Pool visitors should also take note that swim caps are mandatory, so bring one or purchase one at the Y for $10.

For more information, call (212) 912-2300 or visit the aforementioned website.


July12 Pool at Asser Levy

Pool at Asser Levy Recreation Center

Asser Levy Recreation Center, Asser Levy Place and East 23rd Street

While memberships to the recreation center are $150 a year for adults aged 26-61 ($25 for seniors 62 and up, $25 for those 18-24 and free for anyone younger), use of the outdoor pool is free for all, as well as a nearby kiddie pool. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily with a break for cleaning at 3-4 p.m. and will remain open through September 9. Wading pools will close on Labor Day. As part of a program that began last year, public pools will have sunscreen dispensers available. The Parks Department, which oversees the pools, does have some rules swimmers should be aware of ahead of time. No glass bottles, electronic devices or floaties for the kids are allowed at the pool. While it may seem obvious, Parks also insists anyone in the pool area wear a swimsuit and the website warns, “We may choose to check men’s shorts for a lining if we can’t tell if they are wearing a bathing suit.”

In an addition to open swim, Parks also offers swim lessons, including classes for teenagers, seniors and disabled pool users. Registration is through an online lottery. For more information, visit nycgovparks.org/programs/aquatics or call (212) 447-2020.


Correction: An earlier version of this article had the incorrect adult, non-senior rate for Asser Levy membership.


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