When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved better than swimming outdoors in the summertime. Heck, any opportunity to get wet outside was the most fun thing ever! When I had my own child, I couldn’t wait to take him swimming, and now that summer weather has finally arrived, we get to take advantage of all the fantastic Vancouver outdoor pools.
Vancouver has five public outdoor pools located throughout the city, all ideal for families and kids.
Kitsilano Pool - 2305 Cornwall Avenue
Located just off Kitsilano Beach, Kits Pool is the longest, biggest salt-water pool in all of Canada. While half of the pool is partitioned for lap swimming—this is the best outdoor pool for serious swimming exercise—the other half is a family-friendly free-for-all that’s great for toddlers and older kids alike.
Second Beach Pool – Stanley Park Drive
Stanley Park’s outdoor pool is great for families and kids. (It’s actually better for kids than adult swimmers.) Not only is it situated near the famous Stanley Park Seawall, it’s close to the free Variety Kids Water Park.
Hillcrest Aquatic Centre – 4575 Clancy Loranger Way
Vancouver’s newest outdoor pool—it opened just last summer—is part of the elaborate pool complex at the giant Hillcrest Aquatic Centre (near Queen Elizabeth Park). The Centre boasts multiple indoor pools, including a hot-water pool, indoor “river”, diving facilities, and a separate pool for swimming laps. The outdoor pool—which is dominated by kids—features water jets and a kid-operated “water cannon”. This is a great option for families with younger kids, because you can move indoors if the outdoor sun gets too intense.
New Brighton Pool – North Windermere Street, in New Brighton Park
East Vancouver’s New Brighton Pool, in New Brighton Park, can accommodate both kids and adults, with a kiddie area and free-form, 25-metre lanes for actual swimming. In addition to the pool, the park also has a playground, complete with baby swings.
Maple Grove Pool – 6875 Yew Street
More wading pool than traditional swimming pool, the Maple Grove Pool is perfect for younger kids, toddlers, and babies. (This is not a pool for adults without kids.) Located in southwest Vancouver, near the McCleery Golf Course, the surrounding park has both a playground and picnic sites.
Don’t forget, you can always get the kids wet for free at a Vancouver spray park or water park. The biggest free water park is the Granville Island Water Park, open for summer through September 5, 2011.
Have an opinion on which Vancouver outdoor pool is best for kids and families? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!