One of the hallmarks of summer is going for a swim on a hot afternoon or relaxing with friends near a pool as the sun sets. But having a pool in your backyard or joining a local swim club or neighborhood pool can be expensive.
Here are seven ways you can enjoy cooling off in the water this summer without spending a fortune:
Head to Public Pool
While swim clubs, neighborhood pools and country clubs typically require an initiation fee and monthly membership fees, most public pools allow anyone to visit for a small admission charge. Many even sell season passes at a much lower cost than private pool memberships. Be sure to inquire about any discounts for town or county residents.
Create Your Own Mini Water Park
Head to the store and buy some water toys for your backyard. If your kids are young, a small pool, squirt guns and a sprinkler will most likely entertain them for hours. Slip n’ Slides are typically a big hit with older children. You can also often find larger above ground pools for a discounted price at the middle or end of the season. Be sure to supervise all children carefully since it is possible to drown in a small amount of water.
Go Jump in a Lake
Spend an afternoon on the shore of a local lake. Many state parks also offer swimming areas with lifeguards. Be sure to swim only in the designated swimming areas and watch children carefully since lake bottoms sometimes have steep drop-offs. If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, bring a life jacket to make sure that they stay safe, especially if there are no lifeguards.
Buy a Season Pass at a Water Park
Some local water parks offer discounted season passes for residents while others offer late afternoon/evening season passes for a significantly reduced price. Be sure to include any parking fees when determining the overall cost of purchasing a pass. Ask if you can bring your own food and drink to the park to save money during your visits.
Go to a Fountain or Splash Playground
If you have kids, they could most likely play in a fountain or splash playground for hours. Check to see if any nearby malls or museums allow children to play in their outdoor fountains. Many towns also have public splash playgrounds that are either free or have a small admission charge. Be sure to bring a towel and change of clothes.
Find a Friend with a Pool
One of the cheapest ways to find a pool to swim in is to score an invitation from a friend or neighbor with their own pool. Consider cleaning their pool, purchasing supplies or buying pool toys in exchange for being to use their pool. Be sure to not impose or overstay your welcome.
Snag a Guest Pass
Neighborhood pools and swim clubs often give members a limited number of guest passes for the season. Other pools have free guest days on certain days of the week or a few times during the summer. Offer to pack a picnic lunch or a buy a meal from the snack bar in exchange for being given a guest pass.