Photo Credit: KDKA

There are great outdoor pools within the city and some neighboring communities just waiting for the first splash to welcome in the swimming season, and it comes with a long wait after a lingering cold spell. The Citiparks swimming program offers a host of activities, including swim teams, learn to swim and water aerobics. The pools are equipped with kiddie pools, water slides, spray fountains, sprinklers and sandboxes for kids to make their best sand castle. The lifeguards are ready with all safety precautions in order, and now it’s time for families to enjoy the pool and plunge in with a huge cannon ball or an Olympic dive to start the swimming season.

Highland Park Pool
151 Lake Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3637

Highland Park offers a treat for families with an Olympic-size pool and a children’s pool that will fit the needs of all aquatic exploits. The pool area is equipped with a soothing sprinkler for the kids, while the parents practice their swimming strokes in a series of laps, or just treading water for a relaxing respite in the sun. Highland Park has a playground area, picnic benches and walking trails to accommodate any post-swimming exercise for a wonderful family experience. There are activities and events scheduled throughout the summer, and being close to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium makes for a return trip to enjoy a double dose of fun, a great way to explore the scenic atmosphere of the park and surrounding area.

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Schenley Park Pool
1 Overlook Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 422-4266

Schenley Park is a viable part of the Citiparks Recreation Program, and all it takes is to view the scenic park and realize the green spaces and outdoor pool offers myriad of activities. Being part of the Citiparks swimming program, families may engage in the learn-to-swim program and, on the advanced level, the opportunity to participate on the swim team. The official day to start the swimming season is June 9, but in the meantime families can walk or bike throughout the park, and the scenery is the perfect fit to enjoy all the available activities.  The pool, playground and natural areas are the ideal match for a fun-filled day of exercise, then kick back and enjoy movies for the Cinema in the Park series sponsored by the Citiparks.

Sue Murray Pool
301 Cedar Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 323-7914

Venture over to the North Side and near the Allegheny Center neighborhood you will find the Sue Murray pool. The pool is an integral part of the Citiparks system of recreation, and swimming season is in full force at the pool, which is large enough to accommodate swimmers safely. There are lanes to separate experienced swimmers from those learning the skills. Try out the slides for more excitement and fun for all the children to splash away the heat of a summer day, and then cool off at the play area or settle in the grassy area for rest, snacks or refreshments.

Magee Pool
745 Greenfield Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-4265

If you’re looking for learn-to-swim classes, then Magee Pool, which is part of the Citiparks swimming program, is the place to learn basic and advanced swimming skills for children and adults. The pool has a large area to navigate, and the lanes are divided at different depth levels. There is enough space away from the pool in the grassy areas to spread out a towel and catch a breath of rest before returning for more pool action. The play area is near the pool and welcomes families to enjoy an extra added activity to make for a swinging and swimming day of fun. Sign up for the swim team, too, and compete against teams from other Citiparks pools.

North Park Pool
Pearce Mill Road
Allison Park, PA 15101
(724) 935-1951

This pool offers not only swimming, but immediately-accessible baseball diamonds, hiking or biking trails and picnic spots in a multifaceted county park that will provide a full day of fun. Bring the kids equipped with their water wings to check out the kiddie pool and maybe even work up their courage to give the water slide a try. If the kids love it, swimming lessons are offered for ages five and up while mom and dad can enjoy a leisurely sun soak or hike nearby.

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Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at