New York City provides free access to spray showers in 584 parks and to 79 pools at 56 different locations throughout the five boroughs. With summer in NYC comes warm weather and the need to cool down and have fun in the sun. For children, fun means running through sprinklers, or as the City calls them: spray showers, and swimming in pools.
The Department of Parks and Recreation website allows users to enter their ZIP Code or Borough to determine which parks nearby offer free spray showers. In general, spray showers operate when it is 80 degrees or higher outside, and only during park hours. NYC park hours are from 6:00am through 1:00am every day, unless other operating hours are posted outside the park. To report a broken spray shower/sprinkler or any other park issues simply call 311 or fill out a Park Maintenance Complaint here.
Throughout the five boroughs, the City provides access to free spray showers. Brooklyn has the most parks with access to free spray showers amounting to 191 parks, of which eleven have more than one spray shower, six of which have more than two spray showers. Queens has the second most parks amounting to 165 parks, of which eight have more than one spray shower, four of which have more than two spray showers. Bronx comes next with 102 parks, eleven of which have more than one spray shower, six of which have more than two spray showers. Manhattan follows closely behind at 100 parks, twelve of which have more than one spray shower, seven of which have more than two spray showers. Staten Island has the least parks with spray showers with a low of 26 parks, of which only three have more than one spray shower.
The Parks website also lists various water sports and public pools for City residents and visitors to enjoy from. Before visiting any of the free outdoor pool locations be sure to comply with the dress code and be aware of the rules. In determining what outdoor pool location to visit consider the following things: does the pool provide a wheelchair accessible ramp or lift, is the location temporarily closed, and does the location provide the pool size that is desired.
Outdoor pool hours are from 11:00am through 7:00pm every day, with a break between 3:00-4:00pm for pool cleaning. The mini pools are unavailable on Tuesdays. Outdoor pools officially opened on June 28, 2022. Generally, outdoor pools are open from late June through early September.
Throughout the five boroughs, 79 pools of various sizes are offered at 56 different locations. Manhattan has the most pools amounting to 22 pools at fourteen different locations, twelve of which are accessible pools. Brooklyn follows closely behind at 21 pools at fourteen different locations, ten of which are accessible pools. Bronx has the third most pools amounting to 14 pools at five different locations, eight of which are accessible pools. Queens and Staten Island have the least pools amounting to 11 pools at seven different locations, four of which are accessible pools.
NYC Parks also offers indoor pools through recreation centers. Membership is free for children under 18 years of age. For veterans, disabled persons, and people between 18 and 24 years of age or 62 years of age and older, membership costs $25. Otherwise, membership costs $150.
With so many spray showers and pools available for children and adults alike to enjoy, summer can be fun for everyone.
Other Fun Water Sports
NYC Parks offers a wide range of water sports and fun things to do over the summer. For those who like to fish, NYC Parks offers a guide on the locations, rules and regulations, and requirements for fishing. Brooklyn and the Bronx each have five fishing locations: three are saltwater and two are freshwater. Queens has five fishing locations: one is saltwater and four are freshwater. Staten Island has five fishing locations: two are saltwater, two are freshwater, and one is both saltwater and freshwater. Manhattan has four fishing locations: 3 are saltwater and one is freshwater.
For those who are interested in kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boating, NYC Parks offers an interactive map where viewers can search out locations near them. The New York City Water Trail connects many of the water sources within the five boroughs, creating an area where NYC residents and visitors can kayak, canoe, paddle boat, and do other forms of fun water sports.
A previous CityLand post covered beaches in detail for those interested.
By: Malka Amar (Malka is a CityLaw intern and New York Law School student, Class of 2023.)