Pool time.

10 08 2010

So, earlier in the summer I started meeting Burghseyewife at the pool in the afternoons. Recently, we decided to try out some other pools. And since we Tweet about it all the time, someone said we should write reviews. We laughed it off, but after today’s debacle, I decided I should do this. Also, I was out of ideas for a blog post. So, here we go.

Moore Park – Brookline

Cost: $4 ages 16 and over; $3 ages 3-15

Hours: Monday – Friday 1pm – 7:45pm; Saturday & Sunday 1pm – 5:45pm

This is the pool we go to the most. Occasionally accompanied by Shellrenee and varying numbers of children. For $4, it’s a good deal. There are three small slides (which can hurt when someone my size goes down them) and a roped off deep end. They also have lap swimming from 5-6pm.

The only drawbacks to this pool is that there is no grass to sit on. Just a cement patio type thing. Also, there is no concession stand, but you can bring in whatever you want – we saw a family bring in buckets of KFC one day. There is also no separate baby pool, but the shallow end is not very deep and little kids seem to be just fine up there.

Overall Grade: B (mostly for the lack of grass and tiny slide)

Avonworth Community Pool – Avonworth

Cost: $6 for adults; $5 for kids over age 2; $3 after 5pm; $2 for Wed. 8-10pm

Hours: Monday – Saturday. 11:30am – 7:30pm; Sunday 11:30am – 7pm; also open Wednesday from 8-10pm.

We met some Twitter friends here the other day. Besides being a tad on the expensive side for a few hours at the pool and being a bit far away for Burghseyewife and I, it’s a good pool. There is a decent sized slide and there is a diving board. There is also a separate, fenced in baby pool that the little kids with us seemed to love.

They also have a concession stand, and the prices were not bad. But we also found out that some things are “smaller” than at other pools with concessions – more individual sized as opposed to food the size of your head (ex: warm pretzels & funnel cake).

Really the only drawback besides having our friends in the gated baby pool area while we were seated by the slide (which does NOT matter, really) was the grass. It was super dry and had all kinds of rocks & pebbles in it and was so painful to walk on.

Overall Grade: C (mostly for the cost, distance and the stupid rocky grass)

North Park Pool – North Hills

Cost: $5 for adults; $4 ages 13-17; $3 ages 6-12; $1 ages 0-5

Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:30am – 7:30pm

This pool is enormous. I went and tried to swim laps one night. Yeah, I nearly passed out halfway across. I made it across, rested for a long time, and then back, and said “forget this lap thing!”

I love this pool because it has multiple roped off areas, including multiple lap lanes. Occasionally those are reserved for a swim team practice, but not often. (I’ve been here a few times – weekdays and weekends)

There is a separate baby pool, with one of those mushroom fountain things in the middle. All the kids that we went with last week seemed to love the baby pool.

This pool also has a really awesome slide. Really. We loved it. ALL of 8 of us that went last week.

There is also a concession stand, and the food that comes out of it is the size of your head. Burghseyewife’s kid got chicken fingers & fries. Three giant chicken fingers and an entire paper basket of fries. Three of us tore into that food and made a small dent. Small. Prices aren’t bad.

The bonus here is that they also have inner tubes you can rent. Big yellow ones. They are $5 to rent, but you get $1 back when you return it.

I really can’t think of much that is wrong with this pool. It helped that we were there early on an overcast day and the pool was empty. And it only started getting a tiny bit busy when we were all getting ready to leave.

I know, I grew up in the North Hills area – just down the road for a while – but I had never gone to this pool until this summer. So I’m not biased from going there my whole life.

Overall Grade: A

Dormont Pool – Dormont

Cost: $5.50 ages 19-64; $4 ages 3-18 and 65+

Hours: Daily: noon – 8pm

I think we’ve all heard the amazing things about the Dormont Pool. They closed it, and the community rallied around it and it’s now open again. And it’s also enormous. But I will never go to this pool again.

The problems began when we walked towards the pool. Burghseyewife’s son, N, and I walked directly from where we set up camp to the pool. We were immediately stopped by the nearest lifeguard who asked if N had passed his deep test. Huh? N, being a good kid, said, “No, not here.” And we were told he had to pass the deep test.

(Point of Information: I’ve gone swimming with N approximately ellebentybillion times this summer. I’ve never – not even in Avonworth’s 12ft deep diving area – worried about his swimming to me or his mom. NEVER. And we all know I LOVE kids and worry about my small friends all the time.)

Okay, fine, so we moved to the “shallow end” – which, I have to add, is as deep as where we tried to enter the “deep end.”

We made our way to the slide, which at this pool is in the MIDDLE of the pool. Kinda neat. We get to the top, and N is measured by this post, that I swear is somewhere near 5′ tall. And N is too short. So again, he’s asked if he passed the deep test. He says no, so back down the stairs we go to find Burghseyewife and get this test sorted out.

So we go to First Aid and ask for the test. The “test” is that he has to swim across the pool and back. And he can rest on the other side. Not a problem. Except that he MUST, I repeat MUST swim freestyle and his arms must leave the water entirely. Huh?

What happened to treading water to within an inch of your life? That’s what we did when I was a kid. (A zillion years ago, I know.)

Are we testing to join a swim team? No? Didn’t think so.

So N gave it a try. Personally, I thought he wasn’t doing too bad. Yes he swam off course… who doesn’t do that if you aren’t a competitive swimmer? Or if you’re used to swimming laps along a lane (lane wasn’t roped off, btw.) But if you’re EIGHT years old? Understandable. The lifeguard jumped in about 1/3 of the way across. And told him to come back tomorrow and try again. Not likely.

I totally get WHY they wanted a swim test. But I don’t think I could have swam across that pool and back without getting off the lane since it wasn’t marked, or nearly dying mid-pool! (It’s about the same width as North Park, and you read how that worked out for me…)

The other issues I have was that the floor of the pool was gross. Dirty. Sand, dirt, rocks etc. And very uneven. I know a pool of that size is ridiculous to care for. I get it. But all the hype I heard, and the overzealous lifeguards made it just not fun.

They do have a concession stand, and the prices aren’t bad – I had a “Combo” of a hot dog, large fries (not very large) and a Coke. $4.50. Good deal, I think, especially since they had Coke. In CANS. I love my pop in cans vs. fountain or bottles. (I’m a pop freak. I know.)

There is also no separate baby pool, but the good thing about this pool is there is no “ledge” to get in/out. The whole thing, except the end of the deep end, slopes. There is also one of those mushroom fountain thingies, and a nifty looking volleyball net inflatable thing.

Overall Grade: F (I’m sorry. I wanted to like this pool. Really. But it was a terrible experience compared to the other 3 pools I’ve visited.)




2 responses

10 08 2010

Thank you for doing this!

11 08 2010

Thanks @TwinMamaTeb! After yesterday, I HAD to! Before that it was kind of a joke on Twitter!

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