The heat has arrived in Brooklyn, and everyone is looking for a place to cool off. You may very likely be dreaming of diving into a refreshing pool. But pools are not exactly abundant in the city, and this year comes with some added restrictions.  

Gear not, North Brooklyn still has a couple of great options to get your feet (okay, entire body) wet this summer. Some pools are free, some are trendy, and some require a hotel room reservation. But all are guaranteed to cool you down this summer. 

Here’s a roundup of North Brooklyn’s best pools.

McCarren Hotel Pool

The pool scene at the McCarren Hotel.

On the edge of McCarren Park in North Williamsburg sits the McCarren Hotel & Pool (160 N. 12th St.) with one of the trendiest pool scenes in the neighborhood. The McCarren Hotel touts the fact that its pool is the largest heated outdoor saltwater one in the city. An added bonus are the delicious snacks and craft cocktails served poolside.

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If you’re looking to see and be seen while sunbathing this summer, McCarren Hotel’s pool is the place to do it, however it will come at a cost. During the week, a double day bed costs $220, a single day bed is $160, and general seating is $100. Friday through Sunday the price of double day beds rises to $260, single day beds come to $180, while general seating is the same price of $100.

If you’re not staying at the McCarren Hotel, you can reserve tickets to the pool here. Hotel guests can reserve seating by emailing pool@mccarrenhotel.com or calling the concierge.

The pool will remain open until September 20th. It can be enjoyed from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. everyday, weather permitting. 

McCarren Park Pool

Swimmers at The McCarren Park Pool.

At the opposite end of the social spectrum is The McCarren Park Pool (776 Lorimer St.), a free outdoor Olympic size swimming pool run by the NYC Parks department located in the middle of McCarren Park. 

The fact that this pool is free attracts a large crowd along with a list of unusual rules. First, to enter the pool area, you must wear a swimsuit, and the rules are very strict about this. The NYC Parks website states, “We may choose to check men’s shorts for a lining if we can’t tell if they are wearing a bathing suit.” If you want to wear something over your suit, as most people do, you can wear a plain white shirt or white hat. The pool doesn’t allow shirts with colors.

Some good news is that they offer free broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen, compliments of the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT Skin Cancer program. NYC Parks also offers free swimming lessons for both kids and adults throughout the summer.

All of New York City’s outdoor public pools, including this one at McCarren Park, will reopen on June 26th and remain open until September 12th. Outdoor pool hours are from 11:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. daily, with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

Greenpoint YMCA

The Greenpoint YMCA (99 Meserole Ave.) has a large pool, which is currently only open for swim instruction. The YMCA offers a wide range of swim classes for children as young as 6 months old and adults. 

The good news is that even if you are not a member of the YMCA, you can still take swimming lessons, but members get early access to sign up and discounts. The public and family swim sessions, along with the aquatic exercise classes, are currently on hold with no set date to reopen. 

The Williamsburg Hotel Rooftop

Poolside sunset views at the Williamsburg Hotel.

The rooftop at the Williamsburg Hotel (96 Wythe Ave.) has a fantastic pool, however hotel guests have exclusive access this summer. 

Starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, locals and those not staying at the hotel are allowed onto the rooftop for al fresco poolside dining, but unfortunately not for swimming. 

The William Vale

The Vale Pool at The William Vale Hotel.

The same goes for the Vale Pool at the William Vale Hotel (111 N. 12th St.). This season, only hotel guests have access to the popular pool. It might be worth booking a room!

Hotel guests must make a reservation by calling the concierge or emailing pool@thewilliamvale.com. The hotel offers complimentary 3-hour time slots from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Premium seating for the whole day costs extra. A cabana that seats 4 is $600, a daybed for 3 is $400, and a pergola for 2 is $200. The Vale Pool has a bar open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day that serves food and drinks. 

Metropolitan Pool

The Metropolitan Pool (261 Bedford Ave.) is an indoor pool run by NYC Parks. Unfortunately, New York City’s recreation centers and indoor pools remain closed to the general public until further notice to provide free childcare options and other pandemic-related services. 

The pool is normally open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m – 9:15 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m, hosting a range of sessions like adult lap swim, women’s only swim, and aqua boot camp, and water polo.

Greenpoint Residential Buildings

There are two residential buildings in the neighborhood that have beautiful pools for residents if you’re lucky enough to live there or know someone who does.

Otto (211 McGuinness) is a brand-new residential building in Greenpoint. The building features a list of amenities including an expansive rooftop complete with pool, hot tub, and breathtaking views.

420 Kent, a modern residential building in Williamsburg, has its own long list of amenities, including the Pool Club, featuring a gorgeous pool and impressive vistas. 

Join the Conversation

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    1. Really would love to know this as well. And any options of free/low cost lap swimming in this city if Metropolitan and McCarren aren’t open.

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