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Portland Indoor Pools

Nothing like a warm pool of water to brighten up a drizzly winter day.  The urbanMamas like the Mt. Scott Indoor Pool.  Melissa asks:

When I was visiting a friend in Fort Collins with my then 5-month old baby girl last month the temperature was about 12 degrees during the day. Brrrr! My friend had a wonderful suggestion - the community pool had a warm pool that was used for scheduled physical therapy but also allowed the public to use. Babies were welcome as long as they were in swimming diapers. It was much warmer than the main pool but not hot like a jacuzzi. However there were jets at one end. My little girl had a ball! She kicked, splashed, and had a great time. This was her first time ever in a pool.

So now for my question - is there something like this in Portland? I have read great things on the UrbanMamas site about the Riverplace Athletic Club but it seems they only offer lessons and in the summer? We are just looking for a place to splash for a couple of hours on a cold winter weekend.


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Children of the Sea on the west side has baby open swim on Sunday at about 4:30 p.m. I think it costs $7.50 a person, or less if you're enrolled in one of their classes. It goes from three months to three years. It's not a giant pool, but it's very warm, and they've got loads of floating toys and a little slide at one end.
It's fun. But one big disadvantage is they don't have lockers - a question of what to do with your valuables. Also, they don't allow disposable swim diapers, so bring a cloth swim diaper or they'll make you buy one there.

Maybe someone can tell me - how can one mama, working alone, get both baby and mama showered and dried and changed at one of these pools without putting the baby on the wet and dirty locker room floor? I haven't seen any playpens or other secure, dry places for mamas trying to shower and change at public pools. But I hate to be limited to when my husband can go, too, which isn't that often.

Any tips, or specific ideas?

If you don't mind driving out of town a little ways, maybe the Clackamas Co. Aquatic park might be fun. I haven't been yet but I've been wanting to. Has anyone else been yet?


I love Mt. Scott's pool. It's really fun, and the shallow end is so shallow that my (almost) 19 month old can walk around on her own. The water is so warm, like bath water, and I hear some of the others are not so warm The price ($3.50 I think?) is really reasonable and you can buy passes. It's probably worth the drive if you are not in the neighborhood. I know folks from Beaverton who drive over to SE to go there!

As for the showering, changing and dressing a squirmy baby or toddler, it just takes an amazing act of balance and creativity! I tend to put my squirmy worm down on a towel on the bench. I am hopeful that her pristine little feet will not touch that slimy floor for a good long time! The showers at Mt. Scott are weird and hard to control the temperature, so be careful of scorching water that turns off after about 30 seconds!

If you can get past the logistics, have great time!

out on the west side, the Southwest Community Center on 45th and Vermont is a GREAT public indoor pool. We've been doing swimming lessons and just family swims there for years. AND they have a cluster of "family changing rooms"- four, individual, larger than bathroom sized changing rooms set just off of the pool for those of us with multiple children of multiple sexes to use. AND they're complete with a changing table for wiggly ones!
its a little bit of a drive and might be hard to find at first but its worth hunting out- once you get used to getting there, being there is worth the drive!
They are located at 6820 SW 45th

I agree about SW Community center. Also, Riverplace has lessons all year, not just during the summer.

I could not decided to post about this because I love our secret swimming spot, but I guess I should spread the word. The Kennedy School on NE 33rd has an outdoor soaking pool that is very warm but not to hot. My son loves it, we have tried some on the community pools but even the heated ones are to cold for him. They are open from 10am to 8pm and it is 5$ for adults, and children (I think 5 and under ) is free.

At Adventist Medical Center in SE they have a heated pool and classes for babies 4 months up to 3 yrs old. The classes are offered on sundays, you can call 503-256-4000 for more info.

I also like the Mt. Scott indoor pool - it's a bit of a drive for us but worthwhile.

Mt. Scott has two family changing rooms, though the floors are usually wet. As for getting showered, dried & dressed while keeping a squirmy baby or toddler away from the wet floor, my solution was to bring a small umbrella folder and have my son hang out in that while I do my quick shower-and-change thing. (I dry him off and change him first, so I put him in the stroller when he's relatively dry -- then give him a toy or a little bowl of snacks to occupy himself with.)

As long as you fold up the stroller, you can leave it in the cubbyhole area while you're swimming. (I don't think they'd appreciate a bunch of unfolded strollers getting in everybody's way.)

umbrella STROLLER. Not "folder." Yeesh.

dolfun aquatics is now housed in the salvation army pool on N williams and N killingsworth and heats the pool so that babies can be in it and learn to swim, i think to about 90 degrees. it is just a regular pool though, nothing fancy or special about it except it is warm. i think there are open swim times - you should call to find out.
amy jo

Wow, thanks for all the wonderful help! Mt Scott sounds the closest to us (we're as SE as SE gets bordering on Milwaukie).

Lisa thanks for the tip - I really appreciate your post. I feel the exact same way about my favorite river swimming holes and hikes!

Just a heads up for the future: East Portland Community Center is planning on putting in a pool, I think construction starts this summer or fall. The designs I've seen look along the lines of Mt. Scott and SWCC. Anyway, I live in that area and maybe some of you do too, and I'm pretty excited about a new pool, by golly.

The salvation army has a pool on williams and killingsworth in north portland and it's highly recommended by all of my mommy friends. I have yet to bring my daughter there, but hope to soon.
I've been told that the water is nice and warm.

I am looking for a Child Psycologist for my 5 yr old. Any recomendatons?

lisa, you're brilliant. That's exactly the suggestion I was looking for. Thanks!

The RAC offers lessons year round. Just call 503-221-1212 or check their website for the current sessions.

DolFUN SWIM Academy offers warm water pools 90 degrees. They have specialized in warm water work/swim lessons for infants starting as young as 2 months old since 1994. they have 3 locations one at The Salvation Army on N.Killingsworth and Williams, one in the NE by the Airport and in Tualatin. Check out more information on their website: www.dolFUNSWIMacademy.com

When I was doing it without the help of grandmama, I'd shower my son off first, wrap him in a towel and put him in his stroller parked right in front of me in the shower.

Just spoke with the Salvation Army pool folks and they say their pool is closed and will not be reopening.

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