Philly Wants to Make Sure Kids Are Dressed to Jump Into Free City Pools This Summer

Free Philadelphia pools will open on a rolling basis from June 17 to 28.

What to Know

  • Philadelphia's 72 free pools will open to the public on a rolling basis from June 17 to 28.
  • The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department is holding its first-ever swimwear drive to get children ready to jump in.
  • Donations of swimsuits, swim diapers, flip-flops, goggles and towels are now being accepted.

Philadelphia pools are set to open in June just as schools let out.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department wants to make sure every child is ready to jump in with its first-ever swimwear drive.

"Our free public pools are a treasured resource for residents across Philadelphia," Parks and Rec Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said Thursday in a news release announcing the plan to open pools. "Every child in this city deserves to stay cool and learn to swim in a safe, free, city pool. My aim for this swimsuit drive is that no child has to be turned away from the pool this summer because they don’t have a swimsuit."

The Suit Up to Summer swimwear drive is kicking off Thursday ahead of the opening of the city's 72 outdoor public pools and spraygrounds. The neighborhood pools will be opened on a rolling basis from June 17 to June 28.

The swimwear drive is giving children a chance to swim but the City also wants to make sure they learn how by offering free swim lessons at each city pool over the summer.

"Each swimwear donation we receive will give one more child the chance to learn lifelong swimming skills, and get to cool down and stay active this summer," Ott Lovell said.

The swimwear drive starts Thursday. Parks and Rec "will collect new swimwear in all youth and adult sizes; swim diapers and flip-flops in all sizes; towels; and goggles."

Here are the drop-off sites (open from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday) for those looking to make a difference in a child's summer:  

  • Center City - One Parkway Building, 1515 Arch Street, 1st Floor
  • West Philadelphia - Carousel House, 4300 Avenue Of The Republic
  • Northeast Philadelphia - James Ramp Playground, 3300 Solly Ave
  • Northwest Philadelphia - Kendrick Rec Center, 5822 Ridge Ave
  • South Philadelphia - Guerin Rec Center, 2201 S 16th St
  • North Philadelphia - Athletic Rec Center, 1400 N 26th St

"No kid should be turned away from a pool on a hot summer day," Ott Lovell said. "The swimwear drive is a citywide effort to let all kids know that they matter, they are welcomed, and that their city cares about them."

The St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children gave a $5,000 donation to get the swimwear drive going. Anyone outside Philadelphia wanting to donate can email

The pools offer free fun for the entire family and serve as a way for people to cool off during hot summer days drawing thousands of visitors each summer.

Besides children swim lessons, some pools will offer adult lessons, poolside yoga and aqua Zumba, the city said.

The City is also hiring trained lifeguards with a starting salary of $13.65 an hour.

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