Philadelphia

The Best Swimming Pools in Philadelphia

From swanky spas and hotels to public pools, here are all the best places to splash around in Philly this summer.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Summertime in Philly is the perfect combination of humid, stinky, and beautiful. Because we live in a concrete jungle, a quick dip to cool off borders on necessary at times, but sometimes a trip to the beach, lake, or river just isn’t in the cards.

If you’re looking to get a little wet and wild without paying for a pricey pool membership, you have some options both in the city proper and out in the suburbs where you can dive in. From fancy hotel pools to waterslides in the suburbs, all you have to do is pop in, pay for a day pass, and enjoy some splish-splashing-just don’t forget your SPF and a towel.

W Philadelphia
W Philadelphia
W Philadelphia

WET Deck at W Philadelphia

Center City West
Even if you aren’t a guest at the new W Philadelphia, just a stone’s throw away from City Hall, you can spend an afternoon at WET Deck. The outdoor heated pool is open year round and non-guests can book a private cabana for up to 12 guests for $100-$200. If you don’t have a room, it’s the only way to get access to the sparkling waters, fresh juices and other delights on the pool menu, and fire pits, all above the bustle of the city.

psc_gym
psc_gym
psc_gym

Philadelphia Sports Clubs Society Hill

Society Hill
While everyone else pumps iron inside, you can soak up the sun at the gym’s outdoor pool. There may be people doing laps even after lap swimming-only window from 6 to 10 am and plenty of families will be hanging out, but it’s still a great option for chill times. You don’t even have to be a member: $15 gets you in for the day.

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club
The Rittenhouse Spa & Club
The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

Rittenhouse Square
One way to get into The Rittenhouse Hotel’s pool? Booking a service at the ritzy hotel’s in-house spa. After your facial or massage, visit the sun-filled atrium and hop into the indoor lap pool or saltwater pool, complete with poolside food and drink service to experience the ultimate luxury. There’s also an outdoor terrace for lounging, sauna, and steam room that come along with your day pass.

Lombard Swim Club

Rittenhouse
This pool club may have a 12-year wait list, but if you’re lucky enough to know a current member, you can score a day pass for $20-30 per person. So grab your fancy friend and check out the watery oasis tucked away in a busy neighbourhood, complete with a bar and tasty food available for purchase.

Neshaminy State Park Pool
Neshaminy State Park Pool
Neshaminy State Park Pool

Neshaminy Swimming Pool

Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Located within Neshaminy State Park, this spacious, 4.5-feet deep outdoor pool comes equipped with two slides, a splash park for kids, and a snack bar with ice cream, refreshing beverages, and more. Since the pool doesn’t offer memberships, technically everyone is a guest and you have to pay $12 to enter.

Oxford Valley Pool

Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania
One of the larger pools in the area, this 50-meter basin also has a water slide and a kiddie pool. Day passes are cheaper if you’re a Bucks County resident ($7-8), but non-residents are also welcome to hang out and cool off for $14-18 per day.

Marsh Creek Swimming Pool

Downingtown, Pennsylvania
This half-acre-sized pool housed in Marsh Creek Park offers plenty of space for sunning and floating. The water stretches 5.5 feet at its deepest, and there’s also a kids’ splash zone for those relegated to shallower waters. Day passes are $11, and there’s also a pavilion available to rent for events and a snack bar for fueling up after a day in the water.

Hatfield Township
Hatfield Township
Hatfield Township

Hatfield Aquatic Center

Hatfield, Pennsylvania
In addition to a lap pool, Hatfield Aquatic Center has a number of wading pools, a lazy river, a water castle, slides, and a sprayground, making it the one-size-fits-all option for groups of all sizes and interests. Daily passes are available for both Montgomery County residents ($15-20) and non-residents ($25-30). Just note: Day pass holders can’t get access to the centre until 1 pm, before that, it’s members only.

Crystal Lake Pool

Haddon Township, New Jersey
Over in South Jersey, the main lap pool sits among manicured lawns that make plenty of room for picnicking and sunbathing, plus there’s a kiddie pool for the tots. Haddon Township residents get discounted $10 day passes, but non-residents are welcome for $25.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Philadelphia Public Pools

Various locations
Of the 63 free public pools in the Philly area, 50 will be open this summer. So check your pool of choice for hours of operation and to be sure you’re not showing up with the family during adult swim hours, for example. Some of our fave public pools include the John B. Kelly Pool, Athletic Recreation Center,┬áBridesburg Recreation Center, and Pleasant Playground, but with so many options, there’s sure to be a spot to cool off in your neighbourhood.

Allie Volpe is a contributor for Thrillist.

Philadelphia

Museum Exhibits in Philly to Check Out Before They Disappear

Get in some culture (and selfies) at the best art exhibits in Philadelphia.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

From the historical to the artistic, Philadelphia is jam packed with museums. Art aficionados of all ages can get lost inside the likes of tourist-friendly museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of the American Revolution or feast their eyes on unique exhibitions at institutions like the Fabric Workshop and Museum and the Museum for Art In Wood.

Between big-ticket exhibitions honouring the House of Mouse to collections showcasing the legacy of a prominent Black family in early America, there’s plenty of material to dig into. After you’ve planned a date night and rounded up friends to explore the city, here are the most exciting museum exhibits in Philly right now-before they’re gone for good.

Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

The Franklin Institute

Exhibition: Disney 100: The Exhibition
Mickey Mouse, you look good for your age. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Disney is a retrospective exhibition, which got its world premiere right here in Philly. Between rarely-seen artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and interactive installations where you can listen to hit Disney songs, the exhibit is a Disney lover’s wish-upon-a-star-come-true.
Dates: Until August 27, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Monday through Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS
Photo by Ramon Torres, courtesy of ANS

Academy of Natural Sciences

Exhibition: Conversations With Birds
No, not an allusion to the Eagles, this exhibition is dedicated to actual birds, their migration patterns, and humans’ relationship with avian creatures. Expect avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers along with an interactive exhibit showing five migratory birds that pass through the Philadelphia region on their seasonal passage between North and South America.
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available online or at the door.

The Barnes Foundation

Exhibition: Sue Williamson & Lebohang Kganye: Tell Me What You Remember
The work of two contemporary South African artists-Sue Williamson and Lebohang Kganye-are shown side by side, offering a cross-generational dialogue. Both artists utilize video installations, photographs, sculptural installations, and textiles “to consider how the stories our elders tell us shape family narratives and personal identities.”
Dates: Until May 21, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz
Photo by Jonathan Horowitz

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

Exhibition: The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz
Exploring the rapid change of societal issues in America since 2020-antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights-Jonathan Horowitz designed installations inspired by recent occurrences. His works explore specific events like the infamous far-right rally from white supremacists in Charlottesville as well as recent themes in American history, like attacks on those within the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Dates: Until July 4, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Friday through Sunday. Admission is available online and at the door.

Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol
Photo by Hoda Tawakol

The Museum for Art In Wood

Exhibition: The Mashrabiya Project
The newly renamed Museum for Art in Wood (formerly The Center for Art In Wood) celebrates the rebrand with a brand new project. Focusing on mashrabiya, the traditional Islamic architectural design, The Mashrabiya Project is a first of its kind effort in the U.S. to examine this aesthetic. As a part of the larger mission, a new exhibition Seeing Through Space features newly-commissioned, never-before-seen works by six female-identifying artists.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are not required.

Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o
Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o
Photo by Carlos Avenda├▒o

Fabric Workshop and Museum

Exhibition: Henry Taylor: Nothing Change, Nothing Strange
Combining painting and sculpture, Henry Taylor utilized recycled objects in this exhibition, the product of an 18-month residency. The entire second floor of the museum houses the large scale assemblages, tapestries, and textiles. Think: 30-foot billowing canvases and towering totems created from compressed blocks of paint buckets, vinyl home siding, and black plastic planters.
Dates: Until July 23, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available but advanced registration is encouraged.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Exhibition: Judith Joy Ross
More than 200 photographs from renowned portrait photographer Judith Joy Ross will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, chronicling her career from the 1980s to today. Her black-and-white portraits are intimate reflections of everyday Americans, and this show features work from all her major projects, plus, never-before-seen images.
Dates: April 24 to August 6, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday through Monday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

American Swedish Historical Museum

Exhibition: Radically Marimekko
Famous for their bright and bold fabrics, Finnish textiles, clothing, and home furnishings, the company Marimekko is showcased at this special exhibit. Drawing attention to Finnish design, the collection traces the brand’s path from industrial art house to fashion icon.
Dates: March 30 to September 24, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Walk up admission is available.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and African American Museum in Philadelphia

Exhibition: Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
A collaboration between the African American Museum in Philadelphia and PAFA, Rising Sun showcases new work from 20 artists examining the question of Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy? With pieces shown in both museums, visitors can reflect on, challenge, and expand their view of democracy through art.
Dates: March 23 to October 8, 2023
How to visit: The African American Museum in Philadelphia is open Thursday through Sunday; admission is available online and at the door. PAFA is open Thursday through Sunday; admission can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution
Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution

Exhibition: Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia
James Forten may not be a familiar name within early American history, but this new exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution is looking to change that. Telling the story of Forten and his family through 100 historical artifacts, Black Founders explores the Forten family’s roles in the Revolutionary War, business in Philadelphia, and the abolitionist movement.
Dates: Until November 26, 2023
How to visit: The museum is open daily. Admission is available online and at the door.

National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center

National Constitution Center

Exhibition: The 19th Amendment: How Women Won The Vote
That lofty document known as the Constitution and its values, interpretations, and amendments are explored in great detail at the National Constitution Center, naturally. This semi-permanent exhibit examines the 19th Amendment-the one which granted women the right to vote-and the road to its ratification. Out of the near 100 artifacts, expect to see a rare printing of the Declaration of Sentiments from the first women’s convention at Seneca Falls, a ballot box used to collect women’s votes in the late 1800s, Pennsylvania’s ratification copy of the 19th Amendment, and various “Votes for Women” ephemera.
Dates: Semi-permanent, no end date announced
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Advanced tickets are recommended.

M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
M├╝tter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

M├╝tter Museum

Exhibition: Spit Spreads Death
Eerily topical, the M├╝tter’s latest special exhibit, Spit Spreads Death, an exhibit about the 1918 flu pandemic, opened in the fall of 2019, less than six months before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The exhibit traces the disease’s spread throughout Philadelphia neighbourhoods a century ago and how the pandemic impacted the city with artifacts like photos, newspaper clippings, and more.
Dates: Now through 2024
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday through Monday. Advanced tickets are required.

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Allie Volpe┬áis a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn’t slept in days. Follow her on Twitter:┬á@allieevolpe.

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