Can I swim in Central Park?

Looking to cool off in Central Park on a hot day? While there are several bodies of water located in the park, it is illegal to swim in the ponds and the reservoir. The only option for swimming is Lasker Rink and Pool. Unfortunately, the infrastructure was failing and the site is currently under construction for a massive $150 million renovation. Construction began in the spring of 2021 and the estimated completion of the new facility is the summer of 2024.

Where can you swim in Central Park?

Lasker Pool was the only place to go swimming in Central Park. The pool was located between 106th and 108th streets mid-park and overlooked Harlem Meer. The massive rink and pool facility was completed in 1966.  There were two pools for patrons to enjoy, a wading pool and an Olympic pool. There was also a large deck area along with lockers and a concession stand. When open, the facility accommodated up to 1,824 people.

How much does it cost to swim in Central Park?

In the summer, the pool itself was free of charge as well as free lockers, free sunscreen, and free swimming lessons. In the winter during the skating season, the park did charge for admission and rentals.

When does the pool re-open in Central Park?

Currently, Lasker Rink and Pool is closed while the Central Park Conservancy rebuilds the facility. In the past, the Lasker Pool would open in summer from the end of June until Labor Day. Then pool would re-open in winter as an ice rink from late October to mid-March. When the new development is completed in 2024 Lasker Rink and Pool will be open year-round and include community-focused programming for the spring and fall.

Swimming Central park

What will the new Lasker Pool and Rink be like?

The original facility was plagued by chronic flooding ever since its construction. And the facility refrigerant used for the ice rink has been banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The overlarge facility has also been a barrier between the Lock and Meer and cuts off broader access to the rest of Central Park. The new facility will re-establish the broken connection between North Woods and Harlem Meer as well as provide the largest possible rink and pool while remaining compliant with the current environmental standards and regulatory codes. The new design will support all existing uses. But instead of a wading pool, the new facility will feature a splash pad to expand the season, be universally accessible, and serve a much broader age range.

Where can you swim near Central Park while the facility is under construction?

There are several local pools swimmers can use while Lasker Rink and Pool is under construction, including: Highbridge Pool in Washington Heights, Jackie Robinson Pool in North Harlem, John Jay Pool on the Upper East Side, Marcus Garvey Pool in Central Harlem, Riverbank State Pool in West Harlem, Sheltering Arms Pool in Manhattanville, Thomas Jefferson Pool in East Harlem, and Wagner Pool in East Harlem.

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