Warm temperatures are finally here to stay, the kids are out of school and it’s time for summer lovin’ to begin! What better way to enjoy pool season (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) than to put on your swimsuit and head out for a water-filled adventure with the kiddos? Luckily, there are many awesome options to choose from in Central Ohio. The following is a list of community pools that have been redefined through upgrades and amenities, offering a more family-friendly experience for residents and guests. Below is a list of my favorite pools in different neighborhoods around town. The best part is you don’t have to be a resident (in most cases) and can purchase a guest day pass if you want to check out several of these pools throughout the course of the summer.
1.) Highlands Park Aquatic Center
Designed with a natural, organic-feeling environment for relaxing fun in the sun, the Aquatic Center in Westerville features a speed and body slide tower, a zero-entry toddler pool with a simulated-rock slide, a spray playground, lazy river and eight-lane, 25-meter pool with diving well. There’s enough here to keep a family of any age busy for an entire day—or a whole summer! It was named “Best Outdoor Municipal Pool” in 2014 and 2015 by Columbus Parent Magazine
- Preschool Swim for ages 6 and under (Monday-Friday 9-11 a.m., May 31-August 16, 2107- no July 4th) allows you to enter before the rest of the crowds so your little ones can make it back home for nap time.
Website: Highlands Park Aquatic Center (245 S. Spring Rd., Westerville)
2.) Hilliard Family Aquatic Center
Opened in 2008 and was built to be the premier destination for Hilliard residents and surrounding neighborhoods. It boasts a 15,000 sq. ft. leisure pool with a children’s area, water slide, lap swimming and two 1-meter diving boards; a slide pool with a body slide and raft slide both starting on a 30-feet-high tower; an 8-lane-by-25-meter competition pool; an interactive pool ranging in depth from 0 to 15 inches with a large play feature, including a 300-gallon tipping bucket, two arch jets and other features; and a 500-foot-long lazy river with a pipe fall, tipping buckets, Lemonhead feature and a bridge with a waterfall crossing over the center island. The site also features a dozen shade structures.
Website: Hilliard Family Aquatic Center (850 Veterans Memorial Drive, Hilliard)
3.) Groveport Aquatic Center
The facility opened in May of 2003 and has seen over 35,000 patrons on an annual basis. The facility was named “Best Waterpark” in 2004 by Columbus Monthly Magazine, “Best Outdoor Municipal Pool” in 2012 and 2013 by Columbus Parent Magazine and the Groveport Lifeguard Teams have won the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 American Red Cross State Lifeguard Competition. It features free wifi, two 30-ft. water slies, a zero-depth entry leisure pool with water cannons and in-water playground, a 450 ft. lazy river, diving boards, and a Tots Sprayground area.
Website: Groveport Aquatic Center (7370 Groveport Road, Groveport)
4.) Dublin Community Pool South
The pool complex with its slides and other amazing aquatic-amusement tools make the Dublin Community Pool special, but what makes it stand out are the Ballantrae bunnies and splash pad across the road. It was voted “Best Outdoor Municipal Pool” in 2011 by Columbus Parent Magazine
Website: Dublin Community South Pool *All guests must either be a Dublin resident or go with a Dublin resident.* (6363 Woerner Temple Road, Dublin)
5.) Dodge Recreation Center
The former Dodge pool in Franklinton was originally constructed in 1964. The new pool boasts many modern amenities including a separated ”tot pool”, a zero-depth pool with a playground structure, two water slides, a competitive swimming area, a leisure swimming area and a separated diving well with two springboards. Admission is only $1 with a leisure card, but capacity is limited so make sure to arrive early.
Website: Dodge Recreation Center (645 Sullivant Ave., Columbus)
6.) Bexley Pool
The newly renovated facility is composed of 6 different features including a zero depth entry leisure pool, an 8-lane competition pool, a diving well, two (2) water slides, a toddler pool and a splash pad. This new concept was designed to accommodate all ages and swimming abilities. They also provide a handicap lift into the competition pool for those individuals who are physically disabled.
Website: Bexley Pool
7.) Plain Township Aquatic Center
Pool amenities include an 8-lane competition pool with a channel to the zero-depth entry, two 28-foot water slides; and an interactive play area featuring slides, a waterfall, water guns, a tunnel, tipping buckets and water wheels.
Website: Plain Township Aquatic Center (7650 Swickard Woods Blvd., New Albany)
8.) Reed Road Water Park
Adjacent to Hastings Middle School in Reed Road Park, the Reed Road Water Park in Upper Arlington features heated water, a diving well, lap lanes, leisure area with zero-depth entry, a vortex and current channel, play features, slides, a separate wading pool, changing rooms/showers, outdoor showers, concessions, shade structures and park landscaping.
Website: Reed Road Water Park (2000 Hastings Lane, Upper Arlington)
If you want to give a shout out to your community pool, please post in the comments section below!