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Public splash pads and pools are opening in L.A., but it’s a trickle, not a torrent

A senior swimmer glides underwater at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena.
Swimmer Maurine Kornfeld, 97, glides underwater at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena in May 2019.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County opened 14 free “splash pads” Friday to help families keep cool in the summer heat. However, as public officials struggle to reckon with rising coronavirus infections, many public facilities remain closed. (For many people, the easiest swimming option might be the ocean.)

That said, some public pools have opened in recent weeks, as have many hotels with pools. Some hotels sell day-use passes that grant pool access. (The Andaz West Hollywood has been offering five day passes per day to its rooftop pool, Sunday through Thursday, at $50 each.)

The list below is a sampling from around Southern California.

Many water parks and public pools (including all Los Angeles city pools) remain closed, as state and county officials gradually adjust their COVID-19 guidance. L.A. County’s 30 county-operating swimming pools remain closed with no opening date, and the county “protocols for reopening of public swimming pools” fill six pages.

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In ‘Why We Swim,’ Bonnie Tsui tells extraordinary tales of swimmers who brave sharks, extreme cold and vicious currents around the globe.

Facilities that are now open or soon will be include these.

In Los Angeles County, the 14 splash pads (play areas with water) will be open through Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The openings come with physical distancing requirements, group gatherings forbidden, “face covering[s] required except in the water.”

Peter Gratzinger of Pacific Palisades carries boogie boards and surfboards at Santa Monica State Beach.
Peter Gratzinger of Pacific Palisades at Santa Monica State Beach. Though some public swimming pools have opened, many Southern California swimmers may find it easier to get to the ocean.
(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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The sites include Allen J. Martin Park, Carolyn Rosas Park, City Terrace Park, Carlton Park, Los Robles Park, Mayberry Park, Pathfinder Park, Pearblossom Park, Rimgrove Park, San Angelo Park, Stephen Sorensen Park, Sunshine Park, Valleydale Park and Washington Park.

“A few more will open next week,” said Katie Martel, spokeswoman for the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation in an email.

In addition, the county today opens three swim beaches at Castaic Lake, Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas and Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Baldwin Park. They are to be open through Sept. 9., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

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Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Aquatic Center is gradually resuming operations at reduced capacity; lockers are closed and water fountains have been disabled.

Long Beach’s Belmont Pool reopened June 29 for lap swimming and water exercise; reservations are required and showers are closed.

Journalist Bonnie Tsui, author of “Why We Swim,” joins the L.A. Times Book Club for a July 28 virtual meetup.

In Riverside County, Corona’s Glen Ivy Hot Springs opened June 22 but closed July 14 after the governor tightened reopenings. Glen Ivy has canceled all reservations through Aug. 16, and deposits will be refunded.

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In Orange County, Irvine’s William J. Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center reopened June 15 with lap swimming and water walking offered by reservation only. Irvine’s Northwood Aquatics Center also reopened June 15 with reduced capacity and programming.

Irvine’s William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center reopened June 15 with lap swimming and water-walking, by reservation only.
(City of Irvine)

In Aliso Viejo, the Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center opened June 13, limited to half capacity. Spa, lockers and showers remain closed. The day-use fee is $6 for adult residents, $8 for nonresidents.

In Laguna Beach, the Montage Laguna Beach Hotel’s large seaside Mosaic Pool is open. The spa remains closed. (Room rates can exceed $1,000 per night.)

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In San Diego County, the Hotel del Coronado reopened June 26 but its main pool, fitness center and spa will remain closed until at least July 19.

Check out these bike paths along San Fernando Road, Santa Clara River, Santa Ana River, Aliso Creek and five more local destinations.

In Ventura County, the Ventura Aquatic Center opened June 29 for modified lap swimming.

Then, of course, there’s the do-it-yourself option. Target, Walmart and similar retailers offer inflatable pools for as little as $30 (for a child’s small pool) to $700 (for an inflatable hot tub).

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Wherever you swim, health officials urge you keep at least six feet from people outside of your household, wear a mask when not in the water and avoid high-contact surfaces.

Updates:

7:57 PM, Jul. 13, 2020: 5 p.m. July 13: A prior version of this story indicated that Glen Ivy Hot Springs was open. However, the day spa closed July 14 because of tightened reopening rules in California.


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