Roberts Park is closed - where to swim this summer in Oakland?


For the past 5-6 years, when we wanted to swim in the middle of the day during the summer, we went to Roberts Park Pool in the Oakland hills. It's beautiful, cheap, and diverse. Unfortunately, Roberts is going to be closed this summer. I have no idea where we are going to swim in the middle of a hot day this coming summer. We live in Oakland. We don't want to join an expensive swim club or trek out to Lake Don Pedro or Cull Canyon all the time. Aside from Oakland City pools, which usually only have two-hour windows for recreation swim, is there any other option in Oakland for outdoor swimming in a pool that doesn't require a membership? (a cheap, cheap membership might work). Thank you for your help!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Following! We’re in the same boat. Roberts has been our every-Sunday outing in the summer for me and my now13-y-o. No idea where to go now. 

I'm an Oakland resident with an adult child, but I've been to LOTS of pools for lap swimming outside of Oakland during the pandemic. Although it's a drag (and increasingly costly) to go outside Oakland, there are some pools in Contra Costa County that are worth exploring. The City of San Ramon has a couple of wonderful aquatic facilities that include dedicated children's pools and water play areas with slides and other cool things (like a giant bucket of water that fills up regularly and dumps out on everyone). I live by the Rockridge Library, and it takes me 25-45 minutes to get there (and back), depending on traffic, of course. The weather is much better for swimming out there in the summer, and you could picnic and hang out for hours. Closer to home (although it sometimes can take longer to get there!) is the El Cerrito Pool, which also has a kids' pool and a water play area. Clarke Pool at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek also has a dedicated children's pool. These are all public pools.

For the last two years since they closed the Piedmont Pool, we've just been going to the beach in Alameda on summer days. It is quite shallow for a long way out (a really, really long way out when it's low tide), so it feels safe even for young kids or beginning swimmers. Lake Anza in Tilden Park is also a favorite. We used to love Temescal Lake too, although for the past few seasons it's been closed a lot due to algae blooms. Not sure what will be happening there this summer.

Looking forward to hearing others' responses!

Check out Mills College pool.  Their hours have been a little weird with Covid but it's beautiful, outdoors and affordable. 

I know you specifically asked about outdoor pools but if you are willing to try an indoor pool the East Oakland Sports Center has a zero-depth entry pool with water play features and a large slide for bigger kids.