Kids love to play in water and there is nothing better than a dip in the pool to beat the Florida heat! If you’ve been searching for local public pools near me or splash pads near me and you are in Central Florida, we can help you find places to get wet and cool off this summer. We’ve got plenty of local swimming pools and splash pads here in Lakeland and across Polk County that are open to the public. Some pools are open seasonally and others are open year-round.
We often hear from people looking for free swimming and free public pools. Most of the pools in our area require a small admission fee, and season passes are typically available for multiple visits. If you’re looking for free swimming near you, try a local splash pad near you instead – splash pads are usually free.
Looking for a Water Park in Lakeland or Polk County? The largest water park is at LEGOLAND Florida, and there is also a slide and water splash area at the Lake Eva Water Park + Aquatic Center in Haines City. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, head to Peppa Pig Theme Park and check out the amazing Muddy Puddles Splash Pad.
Interested in Swim Lessons? Check out our Swim Lessons Guide.
All pools listed below are outdoor public pools that close during inclement weather and do not offer refunds, call prior to visiting if the weather is questionable. Holiday hours vary, call before visiting on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and any other holidays.
Pools also close for swim meets and special events so ALWAYS call before you head out to a local pool to be sure they are open!
Swimming Pools in Lakeland
City of Lakeland - Gandy Pool
Gandy Pool features a 10 lane, 25-yard short course heated pool with one-meter diving board and a 3-4 foot deep recreation pool. A handicap ramp at 0-depth and a hydraulic handicap lift chair is provided. Open year round, hours vary by season, visit the website for more information.
Cost: $4 per person/visit OR 20 visit pass for $40. Semi-Annual or Annual Activity Pass also available.
2023 UPDATE: Gandy Pool is open year round.
City of Lakeland - Simpson Park Pool
Simpson Pool is open seasonally in the Summer (late Spring through early Fall). Simpson Pool features a 10 lane, 50 meter long course pool and separate diving well with two one-meter diving boards. A hydraulic handicap lift chair is also available.
Located at Simpson Park Community Center, where you’ll find a gym, tennis courts, playground, and a variety of classes for kids and adults.
Cost: $4 per person/visit OR 20 visit pass for $40. Semi-Annual or Annual Activity Pass also available. 17 & under – inquire about dollar days.
2023 UPDATE: Simpson Park Pool opening date is TBD.
Florida Southern College Wellness Center Pool
Florida Southern Wellness Center is home to a 25 yard, 8 lane competition pool with an additional, shallow recreation area. The pool is open to the public during the summer. Visit the website for hours and more information.
Swim Lessons are available from May – July – click here for details.
2023 UPDATE: During the school year the pool is only open to students, staff, and alumni. In the summer, the community can visit the pool for $5 per person, per visit. Call (863)-680-6290 or visit the website for hours and more info.
Swimming Pools in Haines City – Lake Eva Water Park
Haines City - Lake Eva Water Park and Splash Pad
The Lake Eva Water Park and Splash Pad is home to a pool and kids’ play area with a zero-depth entry lagoon pool, water slide, splash pad, and water activities. Open daily during the summer, weekends only in Fall.
For a video and photos of the pool and splash pad, check out our article on the Lake Eva Water Park.
2023 UPDATE: The Lake Eva Waterpark and Pool is scheduled to open for the season on May 6, 2023. Check with the City of Haines City for the most up-to-date information.
Saturday + Sunday Only: May 6 – May 29 | 12pm-6pm
Daily: June 1 – August 8 | 12pm-6pm
(Special Holiday Hours on June 19 and July 4)
Saturday + Sunday Only: August 6 – September 5 | 12pm-6pm
The pool will also be open on Memorial Day & Labor Day. Dates subject to change.
Daily Individual Admission: $5 per person. The daily admission fee applies to all guests, ages 3 and older, entering the facility during open swim. (Ages 2 & under are free)
Hours of operation: 12:00pm-6:00pm
Know before you go: The pool often reaches Maximum Capacity on summer days, arrive early to avoid waiting to enter the pool. There is also a large playground next to the pool at Lake Eva Park. Visit the pool website to see a full list of rules.
Have you been to the Lake Eva Water Park in Haines City? It is a great place to cool off during the summer! The aquatic center has a splash pad, water slide, activity pool and water play area your kids will love, all for only $5 per person.
Swimming Pools in Winter Haven
City of Winter Haven - Rowdy Gaines Pool
The Rowdy Gaines Olympic Pool is an Olympic size competitive pool used for competitive swimming, swim instruction and recreational use. Heated and open to the public year-round for lap swim and open swim.
Cost per person/visit: WH Residents – $2 / Non-residents – $3. Multi-Visit Pass Available.
2023 UPDATE: Spring/Summer Hours for the Rowdy Gaines Pool include Recreational Open Swim from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Mon. – Sun.). Check the website for lap swim hours.
Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center Pool
The Recreational & Cultural Center pool is an “L” shaped pool measuring 25 yards x 25 meters. Open to the public and used for swim instruction and recreational use from mid-May through August. Check website for operating hours & cost.
2023 UPDATE: Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center and Pool is typically open mid-May through August.
Swimming Pools in Polk County
City of Bartow - Sam Griner Pool
2023 UPDATE: The Sam Griner Pool is currently undergoing extensive repairs and is closed until further notice. Check the Bartow Leisure Services Facebook page for updates.
Mulberry Community Pool
The Mulberry Community Pool is open seasonally during the summer months. Admission is free for City of Mulberry residents, or $5 per visit for non-residents. City of Mulberry residents can pick up a free pool pass by taking a Mulberry water bill to the pool. If you don’t have a water bill you can also take a driver’s license or ID. Check out the Mulberry Community Pool on Facebook for all the updated info.
(Student passes are no longer free – new in 2021, free passes are for city residents only)
2023 UPDATE: The Mulberry Community Pool typically opens in late May/early June. Visit the Mulberry Pool FB Page for updates. Summer Splash is held in late May or early June kicking off the opening of the Mulberry Pool.
Splash Pad in Lakeland
Splash Pad at Barnett Family Park
Located at the top of the Lake Mirror Amphitheater, Barnett Family Park includes a splash pad water feature, playground (including the Sunflower Preschool Playground), labyrinth, covered picnic area, restrooms, and a multipurpose field.
The Splash pad is open daily from 10am – 5pm, closed Wednesdays for maintenance.
– No food, drink or glass allowed on the splash pad
– Water re-circulated and treated. Children should avoid drinking the water.
– Water shoes requested
– Persons with Diarrhea should not use the splash pad
– No pets on the splash pad
From time to time the water feature may need to be shut off due to maintenance issues. If the water is ever off during open hours please call Gandy Pool at 863.834.3157 for more information. Water may be turned off due to high winds or low temperatures.
Splash Pad in Winter Haven
Splash Pad - Winter Haven Chain of Lakes Trailhead Park
The Splash Pad at Trailhead Park is a new amenity for families to enjoy together. The Splash Pad is open year round from 10am – 7pm. There are two first-come first-serve shaded picnic tables areas and an on-site bathroom. There is also a playground at the park. Splash Pad is FREE.
Splash Pads in Tampa
The 3,000 sqft play area features colorful, action-packed water features that spray, gush, dump and pour water from a variety of whimsical devices.
1937 Ed Eckert Drive, Dunedin FL 34698 | Website
Water Play at Zephyr Park
This 7,000-square-foot sprayground includes spray jets and soaker cannons.
5039 4th St, Zephyrhills, FL 33542 | Website
Water Works Park
Includes an enormous bucket drop that regularly tips and drenches everyone nearby. Playground available as well.
1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 | Website
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Located next to the Glazer Children’s Museum in Downtown Tampa, water shoots out of the ground in a large water play area.
600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602 | Website
Ballast Point Park
Ballast Point Park features a 600 foot pier, a shaded splash park, playground, picnic areas, a gazebo, a boat dock and an impressive view of downtown Tampa.
5300 Interbay Blvd, Tampa, FL 33611 | Website
Julian B Lane Riverfront Park
The play cove offers a fenced children’s play area with equipment for children ages 2 years old to 12 years old.
1001 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607 | Website
Local Swimming Pools that offer Memberships
Lakeland Family YMCA on Cleveland Heights Blvd.
Fontaine Gills Family YMCA in North Lakeland
YMCA Lake Wales
Eaglebrooke – Lakeland
Grasslands – Lakeland
Lakeland Country Club
Water Parks in Lakeland + Polk County
The Lake Eva Water Park in Haines City is only $5 per person – a perfect way to splash away on a summer day! We’ve got a separate article with photos and video of the Lake Eva Aquatic Center Pool and Splash pad.
LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven is home to a water park that is open seasonally. The LEGOLAND Waterpark includes a wave pool, lazy river, 14 slides, and other interactive LEGO play areas. Annual Passes start at $149, daily admission can be added to your LEGOLAND Theme Park ticket.
Peppa Pig Theme Park has a large splash pad right in the middle of the park with a water dump bucket, slides, and spray features that even the tiniest kiddos can enjoy.
Map – Splash Pads + Public Pools Near You
Pools Near Me – Splash Pads Near Me
If you’re going to be around any kind of water, be sure your kiddos have had swim lessons! We can help you find swim lessons near you with a guide to group lessons, one-on-one swim lessons, ISR swim lessons, and even swim lessons for adults.
Outdoor Activities Guide
Check out our full Outdoor Fun Guide for more outdoor things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida.