If the beach is too far out of the way for you, try the community pool.

It’s been hot in California the past few weeks. And not like a bead of sweat falls from your brow after you’ve been outside for 15 minutes, it’s more like “heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely” if you decide you want to go outside kinda heat.

In these kinds of temperatures, you need a way to cool down, and the beach isn’t always an option. So what do you do? Thankfully there are public community pools out there available to those of us who aren’t lucky enough to walk out our back door and into a watery oasis.

Public community pools are a great option for kids and adults. Entry into a public community pool is usually around $5 or less. We love it because there are all the benefits of having a pool without all the upkeep.

Plus, there are plenty of lifeguards around making sure no one is being too rowdy, or in the off chance, someone may be in trouble. Many of them also have snack shacks or places where you can grab a bite to eat.

There are a few downsides to community pools that I should mention, depending on where you live. Sometimes, depending on the season, the pool can be freezing. One of our kids is particularly susceptible to getting chilly in the water and we have to give him what we like to call “warm-up breaks” out of the pool.

Another downside is that community pools can be crowded — incredibly crowded. In places like New York City, you sometimes have to wait outside the pool for hours before you can get inside just to wade in waist-deep water. Other pools also give you wristbands and specific times you can go in for 15-minute intervals. Being in the suburbs has alleviated that issue for us.

It’s nice to go to the pool and see people making a day of it. Families pack a picnic lunch, bring some music and just hang out with one another, not their phones or tablets — because they aren’t waterproof (for the most part).

Tips for Going to the Community Pool

  • Know the rules. Many pools don’t allow floatation devices and other types of pool toys, so save yourself the space. Glass is also a no-no at pools, and alcoholic beverages might be frowned upon.
  • Bring sunscreen and hats. This is a given, but depending on when you get there, all the shady spots might be taken. Another option is a clamp-on umbrella, so you are bringing your own shade.
  • Bring water. Sure, you’ll be in the pool, but you will also be in the sun and should have water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Think about timing. If you go early, you are likely to get a great spot but the pool might be chilly. Mid-day and you might not even get a seat. Later in the afternoon, the pool will be warmer and likely some people may have left. Kids have a time limit in water and sun, so it’s important to keep that in mind as well. They will get hungry and tired.
  • Don’t be gross. Sure, this isn’t really a tip, but I’ll put it on here anyway since that recent video of a woman shaving her legs in a Florida hotel pool made the rounds. It’s important to follow basic rules of human courtesy and kindness. The rule of do unto others is especially important. If you don’t like the idea of swimming in urine, then other people probably don’t like it either. Take it to the restroom before coming back and enjoying the water.

Have fun keeping cool this summer!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or policies of Debt.com.

Meet the Author

Jessica Patel

Jessica Patel


Jessica Patel is an award-winning editor and writer living in Los Angeles. She previously served as deputy editorial director of T Brand Studio at The New York Times and as Senior Editor and Analyst of Bankrate.com.

Family, News

budgeting, Very Personal Finance

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Article last modified on August 10, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: How To Stay Cool Over Summer On A Budget - AMP.