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Bay Explorers

My vision is to inspire families of all backgrounds to explore, be present, and have fun with their children in the Bay Area.

Best of Summer Swimming

Summer is here and the weather has finally caught up! It is hot outside and if you and your family are looking for some fun places to go swimming I have got the perfect Summer swimming guide for you! Me and my girls stay in the water so I'm going to give you the run down of our favorite places to go. Swimming is also a very cheap way to spend the day, most of these places range from $2-$6, making it a super affordable way to spend quality time with your kids. Click on the underlined names for more details. All of them are pretty spread out over the East Bay so no matter where you are or want to go there is a pool there for you...

1. Cull Canyon: This may be our favorite spot to relax and swim at on a hot Summer day! Cull Canyon is located in Castro Valley and is a man made lagoon. So it has all the ambiance of swimming in a lake- the towering trees, the glistening lake water, and the sandy beach. Without all the other components of a lake- the murkey water, the duck poop, random fish, etc. The water is filtered and very clean.

Address: 18627 Cull Canyon Road, Castro Valley 94552

Hours: 11am-6pm daily

Fees: Free under 1, $2.50 ages 1-15 & disabled or 62+, $3.50 ages 16-61

2. Strawberry Canyon Pool: Located behind the Cal Football stadium in Berkeley is one of our favorite pools to swim at. This pool is also located in what feel like nature with lots of trees and out of the way of the city, The pool is pretty spacious and children are allowed on all sides of the ropes which is nice because some pools block children from deeper ends even with life vests or if they can swim which ends up confining them to a smaller space that usually gets overcrowded. But not this pool, you can really get the lay of the land here. Plus a nice grassy area for drying off and eating your lunch on.

Address: UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley

Hours: 3-6pm M-5, 12-6pm Sat & Sun

Fees: Children under 3 are free, $5 for children over 3, $10 per adult

3. Mills Pool: We love this pool for three reasons 1) they offer Friday evening swimming until 8pm in the Summer. 2) The water is warm and heated seemingly 3) We get in free because I went to Mills. If you do not have a valid Mills student ID you can still take advantage of the first two reasons that we love Mills pool.

Address: 5000 MacaArthur Blvd. Oakland

Hours: M-Th 1-4pm, F 1-8pm, Sat & Sun 12-4:45pm

Fees: Public $8, Alum $6

4. San Leandro Aquatic Center: This pool is especially fun for the whole family! The center features a shallow children's section with a play structure in the water with slides for the kids. There is also a big water slide for older children and a deeper pool for people who pass the swim test. Lawn chairs, picnic benches, and a giant rolling lawn make this the perfect place to bring in food for your hungry swimmers as well.

Address: 14900 Zelma St., San Leandro

Hours: Weekdays 1-4pm, Weekends 1-5pm

Fees: Free under 3, $4 for kids, $6 for adults

5. Don Castro: Don Castro is similar to Cull Canyon in that is a man made lagoon plopped in the middle of nature. Featuring a sandy beach, filtered water, and lake like swimming. They have free life jacket rentals and all kids can go in the deep end by passing the swim test or wearing a life vest with an adult. They also have very vigilant lifeguards on duty

Address: 22400 Woodroe Ave. Hayward

Hours: Every day 11-6pm

Fees: $2 ages 1-15, $3 16-61, Free under 1, $5 parking fee

6. Silliman Aquatic Center: Silliman is an indoor pool and family fun facility. This place has so many different options for kids of different ages. There is a lazy river, two towering big kid water slides, a shallow pool for younger kids with a basketball hoop, another deeper pool for lap swimming and bigger kids, and a shallow end with a fun play structure and slides.

Address: 6800 Mowry Ave. Newark

Hours: M-Th 12:30-4:30, Fri 12:30-8pm , Sat 12:30-6:30pm, Sun 12:30-5:30 pm

Fees: 0-2 $3 includes swim diaper, general admission $9

7. Clarke Memorial Swim Center at Heather Farms: This pool is totally awesome especially for older kids. You can purchase an extra splash pass for children who can swim in deep water for 25 feet. They have two different inflatable obstacle courses that they can use with the wristband plus a diving board. My oldest daughter was having a so much fun all day. For the younger kids there is a shallow pool plus they can use the rec pool with an adult. There's lots of grassy areas for laying out or eating a snack. Plus it is right across from the greatest kids playground at Heather Farms, so full day of play!

Address: 1750 Heather Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Hours: M-F 1-4:30pm, Weekends 12-5pm

Fees: Children 6 & under $3.50, youth $4.50, Adults $6, Splash Pass $2

8. Albany Aquatic Center: Albany Aquatic Center located at Albany High is a great pool for year round swimming! They have both an indoor and outdoor pool both with lap swimming and a rec swimming area. The indoor pool is pretty heated so it is warm whatever the season. In the Summer on Saturdays they have out their inflatable obstacle course. You have to pass the swim test to use it so for the more advanced swimmers but still lots of fun!

Address: 1311 Portland Ave.Albany, CA 94706

Hours: M-Th 1-3pm, T & Th 7-8pm, F 4-6pm, Sat 1:30-4:30pm, Closed Sundays for rec swim

Fees: 4 & under $3, youth $4, adults $6

9. El Cerrito Swim Center: El Cerrito swim center is fun for the whole family and has numerous attractions that are extra fun for children of all ages. There is a splash pad park perfect for kids of all ages to run & play through. There is a section of the swimming pool that is shallow with a water tower that is fun for little kids. For bigger kids there is a small water slide that they can go down that lets them out into the pool. The swim center is across the street from Cerrito Vista Park so you can have two fun activities in one day.

Address: 7007 Moeser Ln, El Cerrito, CA 94530

Hours: M-F 1:15-3:15 pm, Weekends 1-4pm

Fees: ages 1-6 $3, youth $4, adults $6, non swimmers $3

10: Roberts Pool: Admittedly this is not my favorite pool. I don't know if it was just the experience we had there, we ended up going on a really crowded day when lots of camps were coming and going or what but I'm going to focus on the pros of the pool for now. So pro it is in the Oakland hills surrounded by trees and has a wonderful nature vibe. There are lots of rolling lawns to spread your stuff out on. Pros: It's cheap, free life vests, clean, and pretty shaded in the trees.

Address: 10570 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94619

Hours: 11-6pm

Fees: Ages 1-15 $2, Ages 16-61 $3

Other Pools:

King Pool (Berkeley)

Willard Pool (Berkeley)

Lake Anza (Berkeley)

Hayward Plunge (Hayward)

Castro Valley High pool (Castro Valley)

East Oakland Sports Center (Oakland)

Temescal Swimming Pool (Oakland)

Lake Temescal (Oakland)

Lions Pool at Dimond Park (Oakland)

Piedmont Community Pool (Oakland)

Castle Rock Recreation Area (Walnut Creek)

Larkey Park Swim pool (Walnut Creek)

Contra Loma Regional Park (Antioch)

Del Valle Regional Park (Livermore)

Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area (Fremont)

Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area ( Pleasanton)

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