Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Cheap Mom's (That Would Be Me) Guide to Swimming in Utah

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We love the pool. Looooooooooove the pool.  I know people think of Utah as a snowy place but it gets freaking HOT in the summertime.  All of my family in Phoenix and Las Vegas are mocking me right now, I realize. It  does though. Something about the altitude simply melts your face off.

My kids think it's super exciting to explore new pools so we've been to a LOT of them.  (I can't imagine what they would do if we ever went to Seven Peaks or Lagoon-a-beach.  Probably die of joy-induced stroke.  Poor kids.  It's tough to have a really cheap mom.)   Luckily, Utah has some amazing (cheap) pools and pool complexes.  Sometimes I think the various city councils are all staffed by teenagers determined to top each other with the BIGGEST BEST MOST FUNNEST MOST AMAZINGEST pool ever.  And then they try.  Which works out great for me, personally.

Disclaimer:  This is not a list of EVERY swimming pool on the Wasatch Front, it's just a list of some of the pools I think are the most fun.  If I missed any good ones, let me know in the comments because WE WANT TO GO THERE.

I will just apologize right up front for the picture spacing in this post.  I - I just cannot seem to get it together. Bah.  Also, I think all of the pools with indoor components are open year-round but you might want to check before heading out.

Utah County Pools

Lehi Legacy Center 
When we lived in Highland this was our home away from home in the summer.  Indoor lap pool, beach entry pool with multiple play structures (including a huge bucket that periodically dumps a TON of water on the crowds of kids lining up to be drenched), a lazy river, a hydrotube, a separate toddler play structure with mini-water slides, and an outdoor shallow area for toddlers with squirt guns, etc.  $3 per kid.

Lehi Legacy Center Pool

Lindon Aquatic Center
My gosh you guys, I LOVE this place.  It's an outdoor pool complex with a lazy river, a shallow play area for littler kids with a bunch of fun play structures, a lazy river, a huge water slide, a deeper swimming pool, and a Flowrider so you can get your surf on.  We love this place.  (Stupid cost of gas making it impossible to go there right now, grumble grumble.)  $4 per kid.

Lindon City Pool - Aquatic Center

Orem SCERA pool:
Lap pools, several slides, a bubble couch, a splash pad and water playground, a bunch of play structures, a leisure pool, and a beach entry pool, all for about $5 per kid.
Orem Scera Pool

Pleasant Grove Veteran's Memorial Pool
I couldn't find any pictures of the facility and didn't have any on my hard drive. Bother.  Warning:  This pool gets CRAZY CROWDED.  Sometimes they can't let you in because they are already at capacity. $4 per kid.

(Not to be confused with)

PROVO Veteran's Memorial Pool
(Seriously, what's up with the duplicate naming guys?  Were they running out of swimming pool names?)  Two water slides, play structures, splash pad, deeper swimming pool, etc.  $4 per kid.

Provo Veteran's Memorial Pool

Payson Pool 
Waterslides, play structures, lap pool - and an adjacent skate park where your too cool for swimming teenagers (are there such creatures?) can congregate.  Not sure if that is an entirely good thing.  About $4 per kid.

Payson Pool

Davis County Pools

South Davis Rec Center in Bountiful
This is our go-to pool right now, since it's pretty close to us.  The indoor play area (most of the pool complex) is open year-round. They have a lazy river, a lap pool, a huge water slide, a shallow play area with a play structure, and fountains.  And a hot tub for mom.  The outdoor play area has a pirate ship play structure for toddlers with water slides, and a swimming pool that's about 2.5 feet (I think?) in the deepest area.  $3 per kid.

South Davis Rec Center Pool Bountiful

Layton Surf n Swim:
This is so fun.  It's a beach entry pool that becomes a giant wave pool every 15 minutes or so.  Huge hit with the kids.  You can rent tubes there ($3 each) or bring your own.  (I think.  Don't quote me on that.)  We really, really love it.  It reminds me of the old Wet n Wild in Vegas.  Bonus:  It's open year-round.  They have an inflatable bubble dome that they place over the entire pool area in the winter-time.  No kidding. $4.50 per kid.  (Irrelevant side note:  Their website makes me laugh.  It's like someone's cute old grandma made a webpage.)

Layton Surf n Swim wave pool

Salt Lake County Pools

Fairmont Aquatic Center
This aquatic center has a lap pool, a beach entry leisure pool, spilling bucket, a lazy river, and play structures.  This pool is near Sugarhouse (around I-80 and Highland Drive). $3 per kid.

Fairmont Aquatic Center - Sugarhouse pool

Centennial Park Swimming Pool
This is an outdoor pool.  Huge water slides, a lap pool, water geysers, and a water playground.  The lifeguards were pretty grumpy when we went.  Teen hormones, what can you do.  $3 per kid.

Centennial park swimming pool

Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Center
Lap pool, diving pool, an indoor splash zone with slide and tunnel, multiple outdoor pools and diving platforms (some sort of scary).  Super fun.  $5 per kid.

Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Center pool

Murray City Pool
This is an outdoor pool complex wwith a lazy river, a leisure pool, a lap pool, play structure, a four story water slide, a water playground, and diving boards. $3 per kid.

Murray City Pool

Northwest Rec Center Pool
This pool just opened on the west side (sort of around the airport) in 2010 - three slides, play structures, lazy river, beach entry pool, lap pool - you know the drill.  Josh liked the hippopotamus slide, and my kids loved the big red slide. $3 per kid.

Northwest Rec Center Pool


  1. Wow, thanks for the reviews! Looks like Utah County takes the prize. They've got some amazing complexes.

  2. Anonymous8:16 AM

    Aaaaaah! I can't afford Seven Peaks either but I think we can try some of these. thank you for representing all of us broke Utah moms, LOL. I mean $25 to go for 1 day. How do people justify that? Must be nice.

  3. Have you guys gone to the American Fork rec center? They redid it not very many years ago, it has a lazy river and a play structure with beach entry, lap pool, a lot like the others. About $3 or so I think.

  4. WOW! you are lucky. We have one year round pool place (Coco Keys) and it's $30/person/day. $120 for the family + food (cuz of courese you can't bring your own in...)

    Utah is looking nicer and nicer...

  5. Love these suggestions! I especially love seeing the Northwest Rec center. We live near it, and love it too!
    Thanks for making my summer a whole lot easier, since now, I can just look at your list and pick someplace fun to take the kiddos!

  6. I've seen several of these pools because they're right next door to ice rinks (which, by the way, is the best place to be on a hot summer day)
    The Davis rec center pool looks amazing, and once, as a teenager, a group of us ate lunch on one of those scary towers at Cottonwood heights.
    The program director for the Centennial park pool is a friend of mine, I will pass along the grumpy teenage lifeguard comment :)

  7. Ya know. I used to like you. A lot.


    not anymore. What with the abundance of parks and choices of pools surrounding you. The green eyed monster has taken over my soul!

    Our nearest pool is 45 minutes away and the entrance fee is $10 p/person--and it doesn't matter if you're not going in the pool (ie an adult not wanting to get in the water). You enter, you pay. (grumble, grumble)

    I suppose if I wanted, I could dip myself in the Potomac (the most endangered river in America)and come back out glowing. Sounds like a party. :/

  8. Holladay Lions in Salt Lakr City. Remodeled a few years ago. I think pool stayed the same. We had fun there!

  9. You should definitely add the Clearfield Aquatic Center to your list for Davis County. That's our favorite place to go!

    There is also the Roy Aquatic Complex in Roy (Weber County). I haven't been there personally but my kids love it.

  10. You should definitely check out the Clearfield Aquatic Center and add it to your list for Davis County. That's definitely our favorite place to go around here.

    There is also the Roy Aquqatic Complex in Roy (Weber County). I haven't been there myself, but my kids really enjoy it!

  11. Thank you for posting this! I've been looking for year around pools in Utah County, and now I know where I can bring my kiddos. Good reviews!

  12. I know it's a little out of the way if you live in Salt Lake or Utah counties, but I live in Heber (which will hopefully be getting their own pool soon) and we go up to the Kamas Aquatic Center. It has a lap pool, hot tub, slide and play pool (with lazy river and playground). It's a pretty fun one.

    Also, I know that Tooele and Washington City have pretty great ones too if you have readers that either live or vacation in those areas. (I was a swimmer in high school and have been to quite a bit of pools in my day haha)

  13. Anonymous7:23 PM

    I love your advice but we purchased the pass of all passes for $20/person and can get into Seven Peaks in Salt Lake or Provo for free all summer long.

    It also included admission to a lot of other fun places like a trampoline park, Trafalga, and some Real Salt Lake games.