This article was originally published in 2019 but has been updated with the latest information.

What pool do you go to?

We are about to embark on a new pool adventure. After years as members of the YMCA outdoor pool, we have decided to break off and follow the neighborhood kids to the local swim club. This is a totally new experience for me. Where I grew up we didn’t have swim clubs. This option is a little pricier than the YMCA and there is no waterpark, but I am hoping the opportunity to run around with their school friends (and the peace that comes from fully-entertained kids) will more than make up for it.  

If you are still in the market for a summer pool membership, as I see it, you have four options, join a swim club, opt for a membership at a local fitness center with an outdoor swimming pool, rent an apartment with pool amenities or develop a close friendship with someone that owns their own pool. 

West Chester Swim Clubs

Waterview Swim Club. Photo from Waterview Swim Club.

Where I grew up, we didn’t have swim clubs. You just chose between the public pool and the country club or, for the naturalists, the city’s man-made lake. The whole idea of a swim club feels very Don and Betty Draper to me, which I am not saying is a bad thing.

If you are looking to join a swim club, just make a note to start the process early, like January (or now for next year), as the clubs fill up quickly.

“Most clubs will have waiting lists since there are not that many for such a large area as ours,” said one helpful neighbor on NextDoor. 

As of the writing of this article two of the clubs are at capacity for the 2021 swim season but Waterview still had a few openings available.

Waterview Swim Club

About: Waterview Swim Club is located on a beautiful three acre property in residential West Chester, PA.

Location: 2 Waterview Road, West Chester, PA

Membership requirements: Membership fee is based on family size: $600 for a family of four.

Swim team: Waterview sharks

Facilities: Main pool, wading pool, picnic area with grill, playground, basketball court, shuffleboard, snack bar

Events/activities: Swim team, swim lessons, lifeguard training courses, in previous years they have also hosted onsite events such as, school’s out pizza party, teen party, movie nights, raft night

Pool opens: May 28

Note: Due to the craziness of the past year, all Waterview memberships will be fully refundable through June 8th.  

“This will allow all who purchased a membership to visit the swim club in the first couple weekends and see if being a member of the club is a good fit for you and your family in 2021,” the Waterview leadership team shared via Facebook

Roslyn Swim Club

About: Or as described on their website: “A neighborhood pool where families and friends gather to enjoy the sun, water and companionship.”

Location: 838 Spruce Avenue, West Chester, PA

Membership requirements: Membership is fee is based on family size: $565 for a family of four. In addition to the membership fee, there is also a $75/annual pool improvement fee and for new members an initiation fee is also due. The $400/one time fee is paid out in $200 increments over the first two years of membership.

Swim team: Roslyn Stingrays

Facilities: Baby pool, lap pool, water slide, pavilion. 

Events/activities: Swim lessons, pool parties 

Pool opens: May 29

While full summer membership is full for the season. Rosyln does offer an August-only membership which, at $250 for the entire family, can be a cost effective way to see if the swim club experience for you. As Membership coordinator Stephanie Heron-Birl shared, “you get to try it out and see if it’s a good fit for you and it automatically gets you in as a full member the following year.” 

This is the pool we have decided to join this year. I will let you know if it lives up to all my Mad Men fantasies.

Wedgewood Swim Club

About: Wedgewood is a member-owned and run swim club. They describe themselves as a place “where families come to meet.” A member of NextDoor attested to that saying, “It’s a great community and the swim team is fun!”

Location: 957 S. Matlack Street, West Chester, PA

Membership requirements: Membership is $525/year for a family of four for the season.  In addition to membership dues, members must pay a club improvement fee ($550/billed over the first two years, $50/year there after) and invest in a bond for the pool. The $500 expense is reimbursed when the member leaves the club and the bond is sold to a new family. However, it is an additional upfront cost to consider. 

Swim team: Wedgewood Whales

Facilities: Main pool with diving area; lap pool; Baby pool; Bathroom and shower area; Covered pavilion with TV, deck large picnic area; charcoal grills  

Events/activities: pool parties, bingo, swim lessons, basketball, volleyball and horseshoe pits.

Pool opens: May 29

Fitness Center Swimming Pools

The outdoor waterpark at the West Chester YMCA. Photo from YMCA.

West Chester YMCA

About: Spend the summer “cool at the pool” with your membership to the West Chester YMCA outdoor pool.  Their words, but we’ve enjoyed our time there and as one Next Door contributor described it: “The Y is nice and has slides and other fun things to climb on in the pool.”

Location: 605 Airport Road, West Chester, PA

Membership requirements: To get access to the outdoor pool you must be a member of the YMCA and also purchase a pool membership which is a separate fee. The fee to the pool, $499 for a family membership – and note membership is being capped at 700 for the 2021 season. While many of the area Ys include outdoor pool access with their membership, West Chester does not. 

Swim team:  The Marlins

Facilities: Baby pool, six-lane adult pool, interactive pirate ship with dumping bucket, multiple pool slides, snack bar. 

Events/activities: The pool hosts themed events throughout the summer. Also, gym and class access as you need to be a member to join the pool. Note: they also bring campers to the pool so it can get crowded during the day. 

Pool opens: May 29

ACAC Fitness and Wellness Center

About: The ACAC Waterpark in West Chester offers fun in the sun, or relaxation in the shade! (Their words not, mine.)

Location: 1130 McDermott Drive, West Chester, PA 

Membership requirements: $170-189/month for a family membership but that gets you access to the two outdoor pools, indoor pools, group exercise classes, Kids Zone and towel service (not sure what that entails but sounds fancy). Only caveat – you have to sign up for the year.  

Swim team:  The Dolphins

Facilities: Two waterslides, baby pool, lap pool, café

Activities/events: Pool parties, swim lessons, poolside café offering sandwiches, smoothies and more. Also, gym and class access as you need to be a member to join the pool.

Pool opens: Now. Actually, the heated pools at ACAC been open for several weeks now.

West Chester Country Club

About: According to their website, the club emphasizes family togetherness, enjoyment and relaxation. Sounds like summer to me. 

Location: 111 W. Ashbridge Street, West Chester, PA

Membership requirements:  You can join as a full social member that includes all the amenities (tennis, pool, dining and golf) or you can join just the pool. There are still dining requirements with the pool membership and in addition to the cost of the annual membership and the bi-monthly dining minimums, there are monthly improvement fees, a one time initiation fee, and certificate purchase.  

Swim team: WCGCC Piranhas

Facilities: 25-meter lap pool with diving board, baby pool with fountains, full-service kitchen with wait staff and full bar.

Activities/events: Pool parties and (in case full-service bar wasn’t clear) poolside cocktails.

Pool opens: May 29

Apartment Pools

Pool at Chestnut Square Apartments. Photo: Chestnut Square Apartment

Now, if you have the foresight and the means, perhaps the easiest way to guarantee you have a place to swim all summer, is to rent from a building with a pool.

Try: New Kent, Heather Glen, Heather Glen, The Pointe at Windermere, Chestnut Square, or the newly opened Luxor Lifestyle Apartments – all of which list “swimming pool” among their amenities. 

Or maybe it’s time to pay those neighbors with the beautiful in-ground pool a surprise visit?

Summer is upon us. Enjoy.

Plus, don’t forget West Chester’s splash park.

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