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Outdoor Fun: Ann Arbor Pools: Buhr, Veterans, and Fuller

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After spending 7 years in Arizona, summer is synonymous with swimming…outdoor swimming. The most affordable option, if you live near Ann Arbor, are the public pools. We spent countless hours at all of them last year, so here is a quick run down. All pools are open now, but the the hours I list begin on June 14th.

ALL POOLS
*The pool is open for 50 minutes per hour, then all kids have to get out for 10 minutes during adult swim. The first time this happened I had no idea what was going on. Just a heads up.
*You can purchase a family pass to all Ann Arbor Public Pools. Depending on the amount of times you plan on swimming and your family size this can be a great deal. The pass goes on sale for half price sometime around the mid-end of July if you think you can make it until then. Click here for more details.
*There are vending machines for drinks and snack items but you are welcome to bring in your own food and small coolers. No alcohol or glass.
*In order to swim in the deep end, you MUST pass the deep end test. This happens a few times each afternoon, usually close to the time it opens (check the pool when you arrive) and requires the kids to swim front crawl 50 yards without stopping to rest or putting their feet on the ground. They must also be able to tread water for 2 minutes. It’s a relatively intense feat for younger kids, so you may want to practice with them first.

VETERANS MEMORIAL

Image via MLive Original Caption Ann Arbor NewsMadeline Johnson, 11 months, gets a ride toward the sky from her mother Sara Johnson in the pool at Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor on Monday.”

Address. 2150 Jackson Road Ann Arbor, MI

Hours.
M,W,F: 12pm-1pm Tot Splash, 7 and under
M-F 12pm-1pm: Adult Lap Swim
M-F 1pm-8pm: Public Swim
Sa-Sun 12pm-8pm: Public Swim
Daily: 5-6:30: Family Swim, children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult

Cost.
$5 adults
$4 youth (17 and under)
$4 seniors (55 and over)
Free (3 and under with paid adult)

Swim team. Yes. Begins June 17th.
Swimming lessons. Yes. We enjoy signing up for private or semi-private lessons. We don’t need as many to be just as competent in the water.
Saturday Splash Days. June 29, July 27,and Aug. 24 from 2-4p.m Totally worth attending. So much fun!!

Positives.
We like Veterans Pool the most of all the Ann Arbor Pools. There is a large shallow area where toddlers and children can easily touch and play with a few water features, but it is not too shallow for them to have fun. The entrance to this area is zero entry in some areas…perfect for babies and mothers to splash. This is the perfect pool for moms with kids of varying ages. I felt I could stay with my baby in the zero entry area and still see my kids in front of me in the slightly deeper areas. Lots of places where they can touch and roam on their own safely.

There is a little deeper area where some of the older kids (older meaning elementary school age) swim and hang out. The slide is a pretty fun diversion, but you must be 42 inches. There is also a deep end. It wasn’t often that large day care groups came to swim, which was nice for crowd control. Veteran’s was rarely too crowded to have fun, although on some hot afternoons or Saturdays it could get pretty tight. I also love that there is always plenty of parking.

Negatives.
There are a good amount of places to place your stuff, but the chairs and shady areas are taken quickly and the grass surrounding the pool is usually rough, so bring a blanket. If you leave the pool around 5pm, be prepared for traffic. If you hang around until after 5pm, the pool gets really empty and is a lot of fun.

BUHR PARK POOL

The Deep Pool
Image via Yelp

 

image via Yelp

Address. 2751 Packard Road Ann Arbor, MI

Hours.
M,W,F: 10am-1pm Tot Splash, 7 and under
T, Th: 12pm-1pm, Tot Splash, 7 and under
M-F 12pm-1pm: Adult Lap Swim
M-F 1pm-5pm and 6:30-8pm: Public Swim
Sa-Sun 12pm-8pm: Public Swim
Daily: 5-6:30: Family Swim, children 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult

Cost.
$5 adults
$4 youth (17 and under)
$4 seniors (55 and over)
Free (3 and under with paid adult)
$40 10 visit punch pass

Swim team. Yes. For more info, click here
Swimming lessons. Yes. We enjoy signing up for private or semi-private lessons. We don’t need as many to be just as competent in the water.
Saturday Splash Days.  2 to 4 p.m. on June 15, July 13, and Aug. 10. Totally worth attending. So much fun!!

Positives. The toddler splash area here is fantastic: shooting water plus a large, shallow pool with lots of fun water toys to keep the little ones busy. Plus, it is great that they open before nap time. You will find it steadily busy but not unmanageable most mornings. Buhr Pool also has a large area that is not too deep for kids that are able to swim fairly well on their own, plus a deep end that requires a deep end test. There is also plenty of parking and a beautiful park, tennis courts and softball diamonds that surround the pool. I also enjoy that you can usually find a chair or a place in the shade, plus there are shaded tables for eating, which is nice. 

Negatives. Large day care groups seem to attend this pool more than the others. They usually arrive around 1:30 and the big pool gets pretty busy and wild until they leave around 3 (but you may want to ask what the plan is this year). It is also not the ideal pool if you have kids in a larger age range that you want to keep an eye on, as the older ones are supposed to stay away from the toddler area and in order for the little ones to get in the big pool you have to hold them.

FULLER POOL

image via Ann Arbor

 

Image via Trip Advisor


Address1519 Fuller Rd Ann Arbor

Hours.
T, Th: 11am-1pm, Tot Splash, 7 and under
Often: Adult Lap Swim, click here
Daily: 1pm-8pm, Public Swim

Cost.
$5 adults
$4 youth (17 and under)
$4 seniors (55 and over)
Free (3 and under with paid adult)
$40 10 visit punch pass

Swim team. Yes, but it is for adults. Click here.
Swimming lessons. Yes. We enjoy signing up for private or semi-private lessons. We don’t need as many to be just as competent in the water.
Saturday Splash Days. Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. June 22, July 20 and Aug. 17.

Positives.There are a few good things for families about Fuller Pool: it has the best, fastest and most fun water slide for children and adults, it offers adult swim during most hours and it is on the U of M bus line which is convenient for families without cars. There is a large medium depth shallow end. There are lots of reclining chairs, many in the shade and a very nice little park, sand volleyball, and picnic areas outside the entrance. There are also not a ton of little kids if that is what you prefer. 

Negatives. This is the pool that most of the U of M students attend, which means it is mostly full of college age kids sunbathing. It is often very crowded (though I have heard differently from others) and I would say is the least kid friendly of the three. There is no place for toddlers or babies, except a ramp that you feel kind of bad for sitting on and no zero entry, so it is definitely a pool for the older crowd. Also, if you visit on a very hot day, it can be difficult to find parking. We have had to sit in the lot waiting for someone to walk to their car in order to get their space. We do like the slide and the variation, so we still visit Fuller Pool a few times each summer. 

Where do you love to swim in the summer?

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3 thoughts on “Outdoor Fun: Ann Arbor Pools: Buhr, Veterans, and Fuller

  1. I generally don't go to public pools but when I do, I love the Rolling Hills water park in Ypsi. It's super fun and has a lazy river, water slides, and a wave pool!

    The downside is they don't let you bring food. :/

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