Back to Outdoors

Local swim spots

Keep cool this summer with a variety of public pools, swimming holes and splash pads

Jaxon Poston tests the water at the JBLM Splash Park. Photo courtesy of JBLM

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Swimsuits, flip flops and sunglasses ... hello old friends. It's that time of year. The sun is starting to shine and the pools will soon be open. Luckily, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and its surrounding communities have many fun spots to swim and splash.


JBLM has two pools for recreational swimming. The McChord Outdoor Pool is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day from noon to 7 p.m. It features a 25-meter lap pool with a small slide and baby pool. Kimbro Pool on Lewis Main hosts open swim times throughout the week. The best part of this indoor pool is its two slides that rocket swimmers into the deep end.

There are no fees to use JBLM pools, and adults may bring two non-DoD guests. Youth ages 15 years and younger must complete a swim test or stay within arms' length of an adult. Swim lessons are offered at Kimbro Pool. Sign up for lessons via RecTec at

Off post, Metro Parks Tacoma offers several fun public pools. Ride the waves at Kandle Pool, the first wave pool in Pierce County. Its beach-like entry makes it easy for all ages to join the fun, and toddlers can splash around in a separate shallow pool. Another favorite is Stewart Heights Pool, a large outdoor pool with a zero-depth entry. Features include a 150-foot water slide, lazy river, bubble pool and tumble buckets.

Both Tacoma pools will be open daily June 18 through Sept. 3 this year from noon to 5 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Full-day, half-day and evening swim sessions are available from $6-$10 per person. Kids age 4 years and younger swim for free.

McChord Outdoor Pool, 736 5th St., McChord Field; Kimbro Pool, 2161 Ligget Ave., Lewis Main, jblmmwr.comKandle Pool, 5302 N. 26th St., Tacoma; Stewart Heights Pool, 5715 Reginald Gutierrez Lane, Tacoma,


Nothing says summer like a good old-fashioned swimming hole. Sometimes it's nice to ditch the chlorine and jump in a lake.

JBLM has two beaches for swimming on the shores of American Lake. Both are open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Summer Cove is a scenic waterfront park with a shallow wading area, sandy beach and huge playground. Shoreline Park has a swimming area with floating dock, volleyball court and small playground. Lifeguards are on duty at Shoreline Park from noon to 7 p.m.

For a great day trip, take a ferry to Anderson Island to dip in the "Ol' Swimmin' Hole" at Lowell Johnson Park. This island "secret" has a grassy picnic area, sandy beach, floating dock and shallow kiddie area with a slide.

Summer Cove, San Antonio Pl., Lewis North; Shoreline Park, Shoreline Beach Rd., Lewis North, jblmmwr.comLowell Johnson Park, 9717 114th Ave., Anderson Island,


Kids have a blast at Lewis Main's Splash Park with its spraying fountains and squirting frog. It's open from noon to 7 p.m. in summer months -- but hours are weather dependent.

Metro Parks Tacoma provides many spraygrounds at parks throughout the city. All are open to the public and free of charge. Learn more at

In front of Olympia's Hands on Children's Museum, the East Bay Public Plaza features an artificial wading stream with water-themed art. Open to the public, this urban park is operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance.

The Grand Plaza at Point Ruston in Tacoma is home to a spray park with amazing waterfront views and a colorful, evening light show. This state-of-the-art splash pad mimics the motion of salmon swimming upstream.

Lewis Main's Splash Park, 41st Division Dr., Lewis Main, Bay Public Plaza, 414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia, lottcleanwater.orgPoint Ruston, 5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma,

Read next close

Spouse magazine

SPOUSE magazine - April 2018

comments powered by Disqus