Free Open Swimming Starts July 5 at City Pools

Twelve splash pads are open for cooling off; swim lessons underway at City pools

Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489

Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 4:44 p.m.

SPOKANE – Free open swimming is scheduled to start Monday, July 5, 2021 at the City of Spokane’s six aquatic centers. Pools are currently open for swim lessons; the City is offering more lessons than in years past in an effort to close the gap left by pool closures in 2020. 

“We can’t wait to welcome the community to our pools again this year,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation. “After being closed last year, we know there is an increased need for swim lessons and that’s our focus right now. We anticipate a great turnout for free open swim come July 5, and are preparing our staff for a busy, safe, healthy swim season.”

Later start to the season

The pools opened June 21 for swim lessons only. While the pools normally kick-off open swim and swim lessons on the same day, this year the City delayed open swimming by two weeks to provide more learn-to-swim classes and give new lifeguards and staff more time to train and practice before a busy swim season.

“We saw a significant reduction in lifeguard applications this year, and once we found staff, it’s taken us weeks to get them trained, certified, and ready for what we anticipate will be a very active swim season,” said Jones. “This two-week window of having pools open for swim lessons only is allowing us to offer more lessons and giving our staff additional opportunities to put their training into practice with safety at the forefront.”

The swim season will run until August 27.

COVID-19 guidelines

As COVID-19 guidelines for pools continue to evolve, staff are monitoring for changes. If 50% capacity guidelines are still in place at the time of opening, Parks & Recreation will institute a reservation system for 1-hour sessions of open swimming. This would help ensure everyone has access to visit our pools. If 50% capacity guidelines have been lifted at the time of opening, no reservations will be required and open swimming will be drop-in.

Chlorine shortages

The national shortage of gas and liquid chlorine is not anticipated to impact the opening of City pools at this time. City pools can pivot to using granular chlorine, which is not currently in shortage (but is in high demand) and common for pool use.

Switching to granular chlorine will have minor operational impacts on City pools. It can’t be administered with people in the pool, so slight shifts in swim times may be made to accommodate water treatment. City Parks has a moderate supply of granular chlorine on hand to support pool operations during the shortage of liquid and gas chlorine.

Open swim times

Afternoon Open Swim

All aquatic centers (Comstock, AM Cannon, Hillyard, Liberty, Shadle, Witter)

1:00 - 4:30 PM

Monday - Saturday

Evening Open Swim

Comstock, AM Cannon, Hillyard

6:30 - 8:30 PM

Mondays & Wednesdays


Liberty, Shadle

6:30-8:30 PM

Tuesdays & Thursdays

Note: Closures may occur due to inclement weather, poor air quality during wildfire season, contamination, low attendance, or scheduled swim meets. For updates, call the recorded Aquatics Hotline: 509.625.6960.

Splash Pads Update

Twelve of the City’s 19 splash pads are currently open around town to help the community cool off. Staff are working to get irrigation lines open on the remaining pads, while also working to keep pools running after a year of closure.

Currently, these splash pads are open: Audubon, Chief Garry, Coeur d’Alene, Franklin, Friendship, Manito, Merkel, Pacific, Riverfront (North Bank and Rotary Fountain), Thornton Murphy, and Underhill.  

Until guidelines changed in late May, splash pads weren’t allowed to operate without an attendant; we’re grateful the DOH revised this guideline so we can operate our pads this year.

We’re hiring

Parks & Recreation is hiring in Aquatics and Park Operations, please consider applying to join our team for the summer!


For more details about the 2021 season, please see the Aquatics FAQ at



About City of Spokane Parks and Recreation

City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, conservation lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.