Seeking a Swim Club in Lamorinda
Archived Q&A and Reviews
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We are looking into joining a club in the Lamorinda area (most likely Orinda). We've looked into the Moraga Valley Swim and Tennis Club and the Orindawoods club. Anyone have any experience with either of these? We live in Oakland, but are likely to move through the tunnel and would like to meet some people and just get to know the area a little better. We can't spend a fortune, so finding an affordable club would be an important factor. Any info would be helpful. Thanks! club seeking
Many Orinda residents join the club in their neighborhood, as that's easiest for schlepping kids to and from swim & tennis practice. Personally, our family belongs to Meadow Swim & Tennis, even though we have non-swimming kids. I highly recommend it: the people are nice, the pool is new, and they have fun social events for the grownups. We like to head up there on hot summer nights, BBQ our dinner, and let the kids splash in the pool. Most of the other clubs in Orinda offer similar activities. Oak Springs Pool has no swim team, and Orinda Country Club has a golf course. Edna
We have friends that have a membership at Orindawoods and it sounds like it fits the bill for playing tennis and recreational swimming. To my knowledge, they do not have a swim team (but I'd double check to be sure). If you are interested in swim team, that might be a consideration.
Moraga Valley Swim & Tennis Club (know locally as MVP) has a great neighborhood feel and community; however they have been struggling for the past few years to get the members to approve (and fund) a major and much needed remodel. The pool is in need of some major repairs and the membership is really divided about how to go about managing the process (major vs. minor upgrades). Dues are quite reasonable now; however are very likely going to go up along with a fairly significant assessment should they move forward with remodel plans.
There are other pool options out here too. Depending on where you are aiming to live. I'd recommend spending some time checking them out in person, talking to the people that go there - they all definitely have a different vibe from one another - some more casual, some more country-clubby feeling. Also, most of the pools are dominated by kids from the most local schools (Meadow/Glorietta, MVP/Del Rey, SleepyHollow/Sleepy Hollow, Rancho Colorado/Burton Valley, and then OCC and MCC - the two country clubs, which have a wider 'base' but definitely more of a country club feel).
If you are moving to this side of the hills, you will be amazed at how pervasive the swim team culture is out here - a very large percentage of the kids, especially in elementary school, participate in swim team for the summer. It is a big commitment with meets most Wednesdays and weekends, as well as significant 'work' commitments for the families. OrindaSwimMom
I live in Moraga, and even though we don't belong to a swim club, most people I know in Lamorinda just join the club in or close to their neighborhood. You mentioned Moraga Valley and Orindawood. I know people who also belong to Orinda Park Pool and the Moraga Country Club. If you haven't moved yet, you might want to decide based on how close the club is to your house. Orinda Park Pool and Orindawoods seem to the closest to Hwy 24, since it sounds like you'd be coming through the tunnel or over the hill.
Has anyone had experience at the Orinda Park Pool? We are thinking of joining but don't know much about it. Are the facilities good for a 1 1/2 and a four year old? How crowded does it get during the summer? Were members generally friendly and welcoming? Thanks for any advice or thoughts you can offer. Maggie
My children are now 3.0 and 5.5, and we've been members of OPP for 2 years. First of all, taking non-swimming children to any pool, especially if they are in diapers or need help changing/dressing, is a challenge. Given that, OPP is a fabulous place for young children, especially now that the pool has been renovated. There are very gently sloping sides or easy stairs around most of the pool, and the ''baby pool'', which is really just a large area for non-swimmers, is great. At its middle it is 3 feet deep, not great for kids until about age 3, but there is lots of other space in the toddler area for the youngest kids.
On hot days and on the weekend it can get crowded. But we've often been there with the pool to ourselves, especially after early August when the swim team season finishes up and kids go off on vacation before going back to school. It has definitely not been too crowded for us.
I have not made good friends there, but families there are very friendly, especially the moms hanging out around the ''baby pool''. The pool community is organized around the swim team. I think when my kids are old enough for swim team (and they can join the Little Stingers as early as age 4 or 5) we will meet a lot more people.
I definitely recommend OPP! I can't wait until the season starts. Liz O.
We've been members of OPP for about four years, come over the hill from Berkeley, and have been pretty happy with it. People are friendly, the snack bar has gotten more healthy, the pool is great and the weather warm. A few things we didn't know before joining: OPP is very focused on the swim team (as most of the pools in Lamorinda are), and closes at times for swim meets. There are funny ''adult only'' swim times (15 or 30 minutes on each hour, and rules about non-swimmers that you might want to check on having two little ones. However, the lifeguards and staff are super responsible and nice. There are swim lessons too, which are free for non-swimmers. See you there. Can't wait for the season to start
Can someone recommend a pool/rec family swim club in the Lafayette, Orinda or Moraga area where: 1) It's fun to hang out and swim for the whole family - tot pool to lap swim for adults. 2) Not too pricey. 3) Not too snobby. 4) Any with a snack bar, BBQ grills or other amenities besides the pool?
What are these clubs really like? Casual? Friendly? How do you find one to begin with and join one? Thank you! Loves to swim when it's hot
There are plenty of swim clubs in the Lamorinda area, even Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. Most of them have a waiting list. We moved 3 summers ago and chose the pool closest to us. There was a year's wait list so by the following summer we were in. During the summer when we didn't have membership I found a community pool in Pleasant Hill near the Lindsay Museum. It was ok but It wasn't a chance to meet people from our neighborhood. If you are in Lafayette, Sunvalley Pool doesn't seem to have a wait list this summer. It's small and very family orientated. Ours is too which is Las Trampas. They all seem to have a grill (ours has 2) which you can use anytime they are free or for a party you can reserve them along with the tables and benches. There's no fee, well I think it's $1 for the gas! We've had numerous parties at ours, the last one a lesbian family one on Mother's day where close to 100 lesbians/children came. No one seemed to mind, well not that I heard! Guests are very welcome so long as you are there with them and for a very small fee ($1) Most of the pools have a rest period of 15mins on 1/4 to the hour where the lifeguard takes a break and it's adults only and kids under 5 with an adult. There is always one lane open for lap swim. With our pool there is a diving area, a basketball and paddle ball area along with a toddler pool. Some of the swim clubs are more elaborate with slides etc. Pretty much all of them have grass and shade. They all have a snack shack but hours can vary as it's all volunteer. Most families bring food and drinks and hopefully the Ice-cream truck will appear every couple of hours.
Since we've been there everyone has been very friendly, we are lesbian transplants from NY and also members were a gay family from Boston. I don't see any snobbery and not really sure what you mean by it, the kids all play together and the parents just hang out chatting, eating and drinking! These swim clubs are definatley not THE CLAREMONT or THE OAKLAND HILLS clubs. Most poeple we are meeting these days are transplants like ourselves from Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, East Coast, generally anywhere but Lafayette!
Compared to the Claremont/Oakland Hills clubs, we have a bargin. Of course all the swim clubs vary but generally they are around $650-$1000 to join (with our club you get that money back when you give up your membership) then there is the yearly fee of about $450-$700 for a family of however many you are and other guests like grandparents/nannies etc.are included.
I found ours by driving around and also looking in the phone directory under 'private swimming pools'. Calling the one closest and getting on their wait list. The one thing I would like to change with ours is that it doesn't open to the membership until 12noon as the swim team is in practice before then. I wouldn't mind just one lane to cool off in on those toastie mornings! Most are open until 8pm and later if you want to host an event and will pay for the extra time of a life- guard. Gosh did I cover every thing? Good luck with your search. If I can be of any more help please feel free to e- mail.
Lesbians loving Lafayette
We recently became members at The Orinda Park Pool. It is perfect for our family. It is in a beautiful (but not fancy) setting. The pool has a large area designated for toddlers and beginning swimmers. Our two kids are taking lessons in small classes (3 kids max) from really talented, energetic swim coaches. OPP is a very laid-back, friendly place. It is just a pool, with a ping pong table, 1/2 basketball court, sandpit for volleyball, grills and picnic tables. There are few amenities (i.e. you bring your own towels). Everytime we leave the pool, we marvel at our good luck in discovering it. We rave about it all the time. Go for a visit. Happy at OPP
I'm not sure where in Lamorinda you live, but Burton Valley has a really nice pool out past Burton Valley school -- Rancho Colorados. I have a friend who belongs and we have been there several times. It is right up against the hills and just beautiful. They have a snack bar and always have a lane roped off for swimming laps, plus an area for volleyball. Not sure about BBQ grills? People seem to be very friendly. We belong to Forest Hills pool . It is on the PH/Martinez border and sort of the same setting, but no snack bar -- very pleasant with plenty of shade. In the evenings, you often see deer on the hillside as you swim. Both very nice. laid-back places! Good luck -- Trish