Beat the heat and cool off in Atlanta’s public pools

Summer has nearly arrived, with the tropical scent of sunscreen wafting in the air. Grab your towels, goggles, swimsuit or swimming trunks, a bag full of snacks, beverages and (most importantly) flotation devices for the youngsters. It’s that time of year to dive into your favorite outdoor pool. Don’t have a good standby to beat Georgia’s sweltering weather? Here are a few suggestions around Atlanta and beyond.

Chastain Park Pool

As part of the Chastain Park Athletic Club, this cool getaway was once a broken, condemned and defunded spot formerly known as North Fulton Swimming Pool, according to Jim King, chairman of the athletic club. He said the organization “basically stopped the wrecking ball” in 2002 by forming a public-private partnership with the city of Atlanta. He added the now-gorgeous oasis is well kept-up through the organization and has a unique feature: an industrial tent covering half the pool for summer shade and winter swimming.

10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5; children two and younger are free. 235 W. Wieuca Road NW, Atlanta. 404-841-9196,

Piedmont Park Aquatic Center

Swimming laps at Piedmont Park is apparently a pastime that dates back to 1911, according to the Piedmont Park Conservancy – the organization that operates it through a partnership with the city of Atlanta. Among its features: four-lap lanes, beach entry with a current channel for floating, concessions, pool-level locker rooms and showers, a landscaped deck and ADA accessibility.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5. Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-875-7275,

Adams Park Swimming Pool

With a dunk bucket, big hoops that spray you down as you pass through, water cannons to aim at unsuspecting friends and giant toadstools that rain down torrential amounts of H2O, it's hard to imagine a better way to cool off for kids who visit the Adams Park Swimming Pool and Splash Pad in southwest Atlanta–about a mile from the BeltLine's Westside trail.

2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and closed on Sunday. Logan Lane SW, Atlanta. 404-753-6091,

Murphey Candler Park Pool

In addition to a lake, trails, picnic areas and ballfields, Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park has a community pool which underwent recent renovations, including new bathhouses and a diving board. The location also has a kiddie pool and zero-entry areas, as well as a recently-added “mushroom sprayer.” Brookhaven Communications Manager Ann Marie Quill said the city plans a big summer kick-off celebration there on Memorial Day.

Noon-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; noon-8 p.m. Tuesday and Friday; 1-6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $5; children $3; seniors citizens $1. 1551 Nancy Creek Drive NE, Atlanta. 770-936-5468.

Decatur city pools (Glenlake, McCoy and Ebster Park)

Glenlake is the largest—and most active—pool in Decatur, according to Renae Madison, the city’s communications specialist. There’s snack areas, patios, shade shelters and shallow water for the youngsters. Glenlake is located on Church Street–one block north of Commerce Drive. Ebster offers a large pool deck, lap lanes throughout the day for lap swimmers and the city’s only diving board. Despite being built in 1981, it’s the city’s newest pool. It’s located on Atlanta Ave. and West Trinity Place, behind the police department. McKoy Pool’s zero entry (beach-style entry) access pool aims to make it easier for elderly and other residents to use, as well as featuring a “bubbler” to entertain the youngsters and dedicated lap lanes that can be scheduled for adult-only lap swims.

Glenlake: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1121 Church St., Decatur. 404-378-7671. McKoy: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5. 534 McKoy St., Decatur. 404-378-8084. Ebster: Noon-4:15 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon-6 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 440 W Trinity Place, Decatur. 404-378-4303,

Mountain Park Aquatic Center

Gwinnett County has itself a full-blown, outdoor water park—in addition to an indoor lap pool—at 1063 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. There's a beach-style, zero-depth entry outdoor pool as well as many of the trappings one might expect from similar aquatic playgrounds such as a Lazy River—a sectioned off portion of the pool shaped like a figure-eight with slow current and sizeable water slides into said pool. It's open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. $3.25-$10.50. 678-277-0870,