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Best Public Pools for Kids and Families in Houston

October 19, 2021

There are three temperatures in Houston: Hot, Hotter, and SUPER HOT! It can be hard to find a way to beat the heat without running the A/C all day long and racking up exorbitant electric bills. Fortunately, there’s another way to stay cool—pack up your bags and hit the pool! Houston is known not just for its heat and humidity, but for its numerous, wonderful public pools.

Of course, when hitting the water, be sure to watch your children at all times and keep in mind that drowning doesn’t look like drowning. In other words, your child may not be able to vocalize or even signal they’re in peril.

If you can’t keep a close eye on your children at the pool, consider hiring a nanny or sitter who is also a licensed lifeguard. And if your kids don’t know how to swim, consider signing them up for swimming lessons. There are even some nannies and babysitters who also double as swim instructors—and triple as lifeguards.

Check out some of the best public pools in the Houston area, so you can make the most of your watery excursion.

Emancipation Park Pool

Located in the Third Ward, Emancipation Park isn’t only the oldest public park in Houston, but in Texas. In the years after the news of emancipation reached Texas (July 19, 1865, commonly known and honored as Juneteenth now), African-American Texans pooled money and resources to establish parks and other memorial spaces for themselves in the state. Emancipation Park, founded in 1872, is one such space.

In the decades since, the park has seen many expansions and renovations, the addition of the public pool being one of them. Emancipation Park Pool is a Houston highlight, as both a community focal point and a piece of city history.

Where its located: 3018 Emancipation Ave, Houston, TX

When it’s open: June 15th through September 5th

What people are saying: “I love it [...] The pool is also super nice. 5 stars for this much needed historic, renovated community center that caters towards the overall health of the Black community.” —Kendra D., Yelp

Swim Houston Aquatic Center (ShAC)

In contrast to Emancipation Park, Swim Houston Aquatic Center (ShAC) is one of the city’s newest pools. Open since 2017, ShAC is a state of the art aquatic center, with a variety of pool spaces for different activities. Check out the nine-lane, heated competition pool outside (which allows for year-round training). Inside the facility is a teaching and therapy pool. Since it is a training facility as well as a recreational space, ShAC is open all year long as well, six days a week—no need to end your swim time just because the summer’s done!

Where its located: 8454 W. Airport Blvd, Houston, TX

When it’s open: Year-round (9am-7:30pm Monday-Friday, with later hours on Saturday)

What people are saying:

“New swimming pool with excellent coaches.” —Alex L., Yelp

“Great place. Staff members are very friendly. The coaches work very well with children.” —Steve L., Yelp

Memorial Park Pool

Once a World War I era military training facility, Memorial Park was acquired by the city of Houston in 1924. Stipulated in the acquisitions was that the space would forever be known as Memorial Park, in memory of the soldiers who trained there and lost their lives in the war, which the strict conditions that it only be used for recreational purposes.

Since then, the park has seen numerous additions, including tennis courts, a 9-hole sand golf course, a fitness center, and of course the pool. The 33-meter outdoor pool serves as a summer gathering point for people from all over the city, and is open free of charge all summer long.

Where its located: 6402 Arnot St, Houston, TX

When it’s open: June 15th through October 29th (also closed when water temp dips below 72 degrees)

What people are saying:

“Probably the best park that caters to all ages. Some highlights include a golf course to talk business, a pool and volleyball court, as well as a tennis court. This place is quite big and a safe area. HIGHLY recommend if you are in the area!” —Steve X., Yelp

Westbury Park Pool

Once a bit worse for wear, District C’s only city-owned pool was recently remodeled in 2007 and is now by far one of the nicest public pools in Houston! Westbury Park Pool is full of child-friendly spaces like a double-barreled slide and a splash zone for toddlers. Lanes for training and even a mechanized handicapped chair for wheelchair users make this one of the most accommodating pools in the city.

Where its located: 10605 Mullins Dr, Houston, TX

When it’s open: June 15th through September 5th

What people are saying:

“Great lifeguards- wonderful people - a nice place to swim especially to do laps. Sign up for the hydro fitness classes...” —Marlo Blue, Google Maps Reviews

“The lifeguards are strict, but it’s only for our safety. However the pool is always clean, the restroom are very clean. Lifeguard are welcoming and a friendly staff. I highly recommend.” —Evelyn Aleman, Google Maps Reviews

Cool Down From the Houston Heat At The Pool!

Houston has a wealth of public pools to choose from to beat the heat—these are just a few best highlights. Of course, it helps to make sure that everyone is safe while you’re there! If you haven’t yet, it may be a good idea to teach our kid to swim before taking them to the pool.

Looking for swim lessons for your kids? Some sitters are licensed lifeguards and can give your kids lessons as part of their babysitting gig—at the public pool or even at home in your own pool.

A reputable babysitter service provider like Nanno can find you a sitter anytime, anywhere. Their sitters are located in cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston—in fact, most metro regions in the U.S.—so there’s sure to be someone to help you out no matter where you are. Nanno rigorously vets all their nannies and sitters with a four-step background check service, so you know your kids are in good hands. And you can filter the options by skill sets! For example, if you need a sitter who can take your kid to the pool or teach them to swim, filter by “lifeguard training.”

Find the perfect sitter today—sign up for Nanno and get started!

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About Zelda Miller
Houston, TX
Zelda is a writer, a world traveler, and a single mother. In a previous life, she was a software developer and startup founder. She is now a travel writer who focuses on traveling with kids.

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