Growing up, I lived in a town on the edge of the Sahara desert. This town did not have one single swimming pool. It did have a lake, but I was not allowed to swim in this lake due to the fact that the water looked something like this:
Yeah, no thank you.
(P.S. A lot of people don’t have a choice. This is their ONLY water source. Swimming in it never even crossed their minds. What does cross their minds is drinking it and washing their clothes/dishes with it. I could go on all day about that topic, but I won’t take over this entire blog post with it).
One thing I loved about being in the States was access to something as luxurious as swimming! My brother and I always looked forward to the ice melting on the pond so we could start swimming in it! I also loved when my Aunt Laurie would take me and the cousins to a swim area in Connecticut. I was pretty convinced that American had the best and greatest options for swimming.
Until I moved to Fairborn, OH. And I discovered to my great dismay that there are almost NO (reasonable) options for outdoor summer swimming.
I decided to do a review of all the local areas to swim. Perhaps you will find a place that you find very reasonable or didn’t know about. I have compiled this list through many hours of Google searches, being on the phone and stopping by several places in person. Most local pools/splash pads open memorial day weekend (May 23), and close Labor Day weekend.
Here are the summer swimming options for those of us who live near Dayton, OH. I have split all the pools into six different categories: Lakes, splash pads, outdoor water parks, indoor pools, private pools and apartments/friends. I hope to lay all of these out in a factual way, without any bias.
1. Lakes and Parks
Outdoor lakes and parks are always a fun place to picnic, hike and swim. The only thing to remember is that you are outdoors, and therefor you will share the space with nature. The water might be murky, their might be fish and their will probably be mud and goose poop all around! However, they are FREE!
- Ceasers Creek State Park. This state park has some beautiful hiking trails, a picnic area and of course, a lake. There is a small beachfront and a cordoned off swimming area. The water is clean (as far as lakes go), and the beach is well-kept (but watch out for goose poop!).
2. Splash Pads
If our area doesn’t have enough pools, it certainly has splash pads! Splash pads are playground like parks that offer a different ways for children to get wet without actually submerging themselves in the water. The Dayton area has a lot of splash pads, and I’m excited to check these out this summer! Splash pads are also FREE!
- Riverscape Metro Parks Interactive Fountains
- McIntosh Park Splash Pad
- Five Oaks Spray Park
- Walnut Hills Spray Park
- Stuart Patterson Park Spray Park
- Washington Park Spray Park
- Fairveiw Spray Park
- Mallory Park Spray Park
- Orchardly Park Splash Pad
- Thomas Cloud Splash Park
- Interactive Fountains at the Greene
- Kennedy Park Splash Pad
- Centerville Activity Center Park
3. Outdoor Water Parks
Outdoor water parks are large and geared towards entertainment, usually for the whole family. I have included some outdoor water parks that are up to 2 hours away, because I find that I like to make a ‘day trip’ out of these parks. Ticket prices are usually high, but include many different activities. Remember hat food prices and parking prices must also be added to the daily cost of going to one of these!
- Kettering Rec Center. Kettering Rec has an indoor pool, a gym, an ice skating rink and an outdoor Adventure Reef (open only from May-September). Adventure Reef is a fun outdoor “water park” that includes slides, waterfalls, a dumping bucket, splash pads and a waist-deep pool. Membership is available to include all the facilities, but I will only mention the pool and outdoor water park. Drop-in fees for a non-resident adult are $8.50, and a resident adult is $4.25. Seasonal passes family passes are $330 for a non-resident and $220 for a resident. Individual season passes are also available. Membership includes benefits, such as early access, Sunday swim (closed to drop-ins) and discounts on other attractions.
- Vandalia Recreation Center. The Vandalia Recreation Center has a large pool as well as interactive water features (for young kids) and a slide. Prices are $7 for a day (per adult) and kids under 4 get in free! This price also includes access to the fitness area, gym and an indoor track. Season passes are also available.
- Kroger Aquatic Center at the Heights. The Kroger Aquatic Center at the Heights is an outdoor pool with splash pads, slides and a lazy river. Similar to the other two, a 1 day entrance free is $8, kids under 2 get in free.
- The Beach Waterpark is about an hour away from Dayton. It is a large waterpark with man-made beaches, pools, kiddie attractions, a wave pool, 22 slides and a lot more fun attractions. A season pass is $69.99 (1 pass). They also offer family packages for season passes. Season passes also include discounts on food, equipment rentals and early admission. General admission to The Beach Waterpark is $23.99 for an adult and $16.99 for children.
- Soak City Waterpark/King’s Island. Soak City includes more than 50 water activities, such as slides, wave pools, lazy river, and surfing waves. Admission to Soak City is INCLUDED with admission to King’s Island. Tickets include all rides, live shows and attractions as well as the water park. Ticket prices are all across the map and vary depending on season passes, what day of the week you are planning to go, if you are taking a group, if you buy online or at the gate, etc. General admission varies from $30-$60 (1 pass), but there is almost always some discount to be found! Season passes are
4. Indoor Swimming
- YMCA. A YMCA is a charitable foundation that offers fitness programs, group exercise, a gym, childcare, personal training and (usually) a pool! Prices for YMCA’s vary based on location and your personal income. A family pass will be somewhere around $30/month. This includes access to all facilities, and often a discount on classes that require fees (such as swimming lessons, spin classes, etc).
- LA Fitness. Of course, if swimming for exercise is your main goal, a local gym is a great option. LA Fitness is our only local gym (besides the one on base) that has a pool. Membership to LA Fitness is a $99 initial fee and then a $30 monthly fee.
- Hotel Pools. Did you know that you can work with a local hotel, and pay to use their gym and/or swimming area? I have not included the details in this post, because almost all of our local hotels have small indoor swimming pools, but if you live in an area that has hotels with outdoor pools, it is worth looking into!
5. Private Pools
These pools require a membership to get in. Each membership includes many benefits, such as any-time access to the pool, as well as access to any other programs that are offered. Private swim clubs use stock. Members buy stock in the pool and money goes to maintenance and upkeep. Stock holders are also able to vote on any changes that the pools plan to make. An additional yearly membership is then paid. I listed the details for several local pools, and then simply listed the remaining pools without the details. The prices are all within the same range, but feel free to call the pool in your area to confirm their stock/membership rates.
- Fairvalley Swim and Country Club. Membership includes access to the heated pool as well as access to tennis, basketball, miniature golf and playground/picnic areas. This swim club offers several different types of memberships. Family memberships start at $325 (a season) IF you buy a share of stock in the swim club. Stock is a one-time buy at $250. You can also get a membership if you do not buy stock, and that rate starts at $400. For more information, you can visit their website at www.fairvalley.org or call 937-454-0305
- Idle Hours Swim Club. Membership includes full access to the pool and facilities and discounts on swimming lessons. Idle Hours has designated “fun days” such as Sunday Sundae’s, which are also included in memberships. Family memberships start at $425 (a season) IF the member is a stock holder. Non-stock holding members pay $525 a season.
- Cardinal Hill Recreational Club
- Greene Valley Recreation Club
- Crestwood Swim Club
- Four Seasons Towne Club
- Oak Creek Swim Club
- Dunsinane Swim and Tennis Club
- Tamarack Swim Club
- Cassel Hills Swimming Pool
- Black Oak Swim Club
- WPAFB Swimming Pools. These pools are a different category than the above “club” pools, but I thought I would mention it here. There are three pools associated with Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The reason that I listed them under “private” is because you must have a pass to get on base and access the pools. WPAFB has one indoor pool and two outdoor pools (one located on base, and one located in base housing, “The Prairies”).
- Apartment Pools. These pools are in a similar category as the military pools. There are several apartments in the area that include amenities with swimming pools.
6. Friends Pools
There is one other option that should be mentioned! There are many people in the area that do in fact have access to a pool because they live in an apartment complex that provides one, or they have one in their backyard! This would not be a complete blog post without mentioning those options!
So what do you think? Where should we go swimming this summer? Where are you going to go swimming this summer? Do you know of any places that I left off the list?