Need to cool off during these hot summer days and looking to learn more about local swimming options? A group of Parent Talk moms put together a list of our favorites in the area. We'd love to hear from you -- where do you take the kids for some fun in the water?
Rosemary Pool, Needham
Rosemary Pool is a conveniently located and economical option for summertime swimming and fun. It is open from June 18-August 24 this year, from 12:30pm-7:45pm. The pool offers ample shallow water areas for smaller children, and a deep-water area with diving board for older children/stronger swimmers. A deep-water test is required before children can use that area. There are also lanes for lap swimming and a lane for water walking. Rest periods where everyone under 18 must be out of the water are the last 15 minutes of every hour. Swimming lessons are offered in the mornings, as well as a swim team. A family pass costs $175 if bought before the end of May, or $210 if bought later [for Needham residents]. There are individual season passes offered as well. Alternatively, if you would rather not commit to a season pass, daily rates are $6 [$3 for seniors], and only $3 after 6pm [a great option, lovely to go have a dip after dinner on a hot night]. Children under 2 are free. There are showers, changing areas, vending machines, grassy areas for sitting, and sandy areas for digging, as well as a volleyball court. There are usually several special themed events throughout the summer. You’re very likely to run into someone you know, so give it a try!
NPRC (Needham Pool & Racquet Club), Needham
NPRC is well worth the wait! It is a private, Needham-resident only swim and tennis club - open Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 9:00am-9:00pm. With 12 clay tennis courts, a baby and "big" pool with two diving boards and a slide, plus a snack bar, playground/swings and basketball hoop, it is the perfect place to spend hot summer days. The Club offers tennis and swim teams - and lessons - and a "teen night," family fun day and synchronized swim show, which are just some of the many highlights of the summer. In order to join, you need two member reference letters. Note, currently, there is approximately a 3-6 year waiting period to get into the Club so get those applications in soon! Additional information can be found at www.nprc.info.
JCC Outdoor Pool, Newton
The Outdoor Pool is a fun, family-centered place to meet, lounge, swim, socialize, and enjoy a kosher lunch, dinner, or snack with family and friends. Enjoy the large zero-depth entry main pool, kiddie pool, inflatable water slide, and lap swim lanes—then take a break in the ample shaded areas and at the picnic tables, playground, and foosball and ping pong tables. Outdoor Pool activities include a member barbecue and staffed programs for kids. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. There are a variety of families that are members and you do not need to be Jewish to join. It is somewhat pricey but comparable to other pools in the area. They also have several different options for membership -- it is worth checking out. Outdoor Pool membership is available to JCC members and nonmembers. Contact 617-558-6411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morses Pond, Wellesley
Morses Pond is exactly that, a pond. It has both a sandy beachfront and a grassy area with some tree cover, alert and active lifeguards (thank you!), a water slide in a roped off deeper section, a swing set, covered picnic tables, charcoal grills, clean bathrooms, outdoor showers, trails in the surrounding wooded area, swimming and sailing lessons, and canoes and kayaks for rent. This gem of a find has been a great place to visit anytime during the day or early evening. Morses Pond opened officially on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 and its hours of operation are from 10 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. It cost $5pp/per day guest fee (children under 1 are free). You may pay per visit or purchase a season’s pass. The pond’s season is a short one as last year it sadly closed on August 21st. Many of the lifeguards are college students so it’s time for them to pack-up and head back to campus even though many of us are still enjoying the beautiful, balmy days of August and September. Whether you go with your children and family, with your playgroup, or by yourself with a good book, you can’t go wrong by giving this place a try. The Pond presents various wanted aspects on a summer day or evening: water, beachfront, swings, clean bathrooms, safety, close proximity to home, easy and free parking (short walk from parking lot to the beach, and yes, it is stroller friendly), low cost, and it is another wonderful place to take the kids and your family once or twice, or perhaps all summer.
Boston Sports Club, Wellesley
Located on the Needham line on Great Plain Avenue in Wellesley, the Boston Sports Club outdoor pool facility offers everything you need for fun in the sun all summer long. The complex features 5 different pools: an 8 inch toddler pool; a heated main pool with swim lanes and a deep water diving well; two kiddie pools- one with a froggy slide and one with a whale slide; and a large walk in pool featuring three water slides, a fountain, a waterfall, and a run-through sprinkler section. There is a poolside snack bar and dining area, sundecks, including an adult-only section with a whirlpool, two outdoor showers, and towel service. There are also men's and women's locker rooms with showers and separate changing rooms. Swim lessons are also available. Memberships are flexible, and a discount is offered to members of the gym.
Hale Reservation, Westwood
This unique private woodland beach on Noanet Pond is just 5 miles from Needham Center and has a large contingency of Needham families. It offers a rustic and relaxed family environment and a wide variety of activities and programs for all ages (starting as young as 2 years old) -- swim lessons, boating (canoes and kayaks, rowboats and sailboats), fishing, nature walks, and hikes (on winding hiking trails thru its 110 acres of unspoiled woodlands), arts and crafts, family parties, cookouts, and campouts. The beach has a large open swimming area, as well as four "pools" (sectioned off by floating docks) of varying depths, so even the youngest family members can enjoy a splashing good time. And its well-trained staff does an excellent job lifeguarding the waters, supervising the activities, and making it all fun. Adjacent to the beach is a picnic area with tables and grills, as well two playgrounds and basketball hoops. One thing it doesn't have is a snack bar, which eliminates the potential endless nagging for snacks and treats, offering parental control on what the family eats and drinks. Weekdays tend to be the busiest -- with plenty of playmates and activities for everyone, meaning parents sometimes even get a few moments to have a conversation, read a few pages, or just relax -- while weekends can be blissfully not crowded. The annual family membership fee is all-inclusive, and membership is limited to 420 families. Hale Reservation swimming is open 7 days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call for 781.263.5700 for more information.