Cool Down in Central Park’s Lasker Pool

  Last modified on April 11th, 2019

During the summer, this Central Park Ice Skating Rink transforms into an Olympic-sized swimming pool – Lasker Pool. As the temps heat up, the pool’s clean and cold water offer some pleasant relief and a chance to exercise outdoors. Enjoy this popular spot now that summer’s in full swing and enroll in one of the free swimming classes offered to people of all ages.

Lasker Pool in Central Park

Lasker Pool opened in 1966 and was founded by the philanthropic Lasker sisters. You can find the large pool on the north end of Central Park by the Harlem Meer. The space used for the pool operates as a rink during the winter months.  In the warmer months, the pool becomes a popular spot where people of all ages come to cool down and seek relief from the oppressing heat!

The pool features a kiddy wading pool and an enormous oval-shaped swimming pool that’s 3 ft 8 in deep. There’s also a deck area and lockers to store away your belongings (don’t forget to bring your own lock!). Since children can get hungry swimming, the Department of Education offers free breakfast and lunches to kids under 18.

Lasker Pool comes with a special schedule from July 5 to September 2 to those dedicated swimmers who want to complete their daily round of laps before or after the pool gets crowded. The “Early Bird” and “Night Owl” hours offer are from 7am to 8.30am and from 7pm to 8.30pm.

You can register on the pool’s website or in person. You’ll then receive a seasonal pass card that will allow you enter the pool at the times allotted above. At the end of the summer, those swimmers who’ve completed more than 25 miles worth of laps will receive a free t-shirt. And, the top three swimmers in the male and female category will each be presented with an award!

Novice swimmers can participate in free “Learn to Swim” classes that are taught according to age and skill level. The classes promote active living and physical well-being through swimming as an aerobic sport. Children between 6 and 17 years of age can enroll in an aquatic course to learn how to control their breath, move underwater, and enter and exit the pool. In the more advanced courses, students learn to move their arms and legs in a synchronized manner without an instructor. In level 2 lessons, students will also receive the information needed in order to aid a fellow swimmer from harm’s way.


Kids between the age of 6 and 18 can also join a swim team and participate in citywide competitions. Each member of a swim team learns about sportsmanship while engaging in a series of endurance and speed training sessions. The team’s overall efforts culminate in the Five Borough Swimming Championship at the Hamilton Fish Pool.

Classes are also available for toddlers under the age of 6 as long as a parent is present. During the course, the parent will assume a teaching role with the help of an aquatic specialist. Toddlers will become comfortable floating in the water while the aquatic instructor will teach them how to control their breath.

Lasker Pool also offers adult water aerobic classes. You can check Lasker Pool’s summer class schedule by clicking on the following link: Lasker Pool is operated by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreations Department and is open 7 days a week from 11am to 3pm and from 4pm to 7pm. Admission is free!

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