Need to knows:
Stroller or sling? Recommended stroller
Baby friendly restrooms? Yes – changing table in the ladies’ room
Parking validation? No need — free parking lot out front
The Austin Parks & Rec department is outstanding. According to their website (definitely bookmark — they’ll have the most up to date info about what’s open and during what hours) they oversee 34 public pools, which are classified as neighborhood pools, community pools, and regional aquatic centers. I’m not entirely sure what differentiates one body of a water from another and how one gets the ultimate bougie title of “regional aquatic center,” but I guess it has something to do with which are free.
In 2021, at least, they’ve all been free.
One of the best pools around is Govalle Neighborhood Pool. I get the feeling the pool is that neighborhood’s best kept secret, but secret’s out! It’s too good to keep to myself.
The pool is tucked neatly inside the entrance to the park, so it’s a very easy stroll from the parking lot to the pool. There’s an adult pool with lap lanes, so if you’ve come with a friend or your partner it’s obviously possible to get a workout away from the kiddie pool. The kiddie pool, however, is the gold standard for kiddie pools.
Let’s talk shade, shall we? That pool has it in spades. The sails you see over the top cover the majority of the kiddie pool, so it’s perfect to take a baby when they’re too small for sunscreen. There are a couple of water spouts at the entrance that toddlers love, however, but it’s easy enough to find another spot if it gets too splashy for younger babies.
This pool is very comfortable for breastfeeding moms, because there are ample benches under the shade and it’s easy to spread out and get comfortable. Or you could easily feed in the pool if that’s your style or perched on the side and dangling your feet in the deep end.
There is a changing table just inside the ladies’ room, but there isn’t one in the handicapped stall. I’d make sure and bring a changing pad to put over the top since I’m not certain how often it gets cleaned.
Get out to Govalle Pool before it closes for the season! Last day is Friday Sept 3 so time’s a ticking.