The East Valley’s Best Public Pools for Kids


Even if you’ve got a backyard pool, the scenery of your own home can get boring with daily dips in the pool.

I am a third generation Arizona native, and the family joke this that I learned to swim before I learned to walk. I LOVE the water, and it is honestly the most fun way to survive the Arizona summers.

Growing up here, the public pool scene has sure stepped up their offerings of unique, fun play structures for families to play at at a budget that’s doable. Plus fun programming like poolside storytime brings an element of unexpected fun to the pool.

Most public pool admissions are between $2-4/person and open a new realm of play possibilities for kids of all ages. There’s free days, and family passes to make it even more affordable as well.

Plus, it’s nice having the extra peace of mind of lifeguards as a second set of eyes to ensure safety.

If you’re thinking you’re not a ‘public pool person’ I challenge you to think again after you see these pools, and their low price tags for summer fun.

Keep reading for our favorite East Valley public pools!



Mesquite Groves Public Pool: Chandler

The facility boasts a lazy river with a bridge waterfall and a family play pool; an interactive water feature with a 6-foot 725-gallon tumble bucket; two waterslides; water vortex; water spray pad; and an eight-lane competition pool.

This is hands down the best public pool in the East Valley, but heads up, it gets packed on the weekends, so weekdays are recommended. 

Flo Rider at Rhodes Pool: Mesa

Catch the wave and ride the FlowRider® at Rhodes Aquatic Complex! Both older kids and adults can have fun on this simulated wave maker.

A few times over the summer, the City of Mesa offers free ride days; otherwise it’s $10/hour to ride the waves, plus the general public pool admission fee.

Stapley Pool: Mesa

Our favorite Mesa pool for littles, Stapley Pool’s jungle gym water feature is as close to a park as kids can get during the summer months–they’ll love it! Also at this pool is a three-loop water slide for kids 42’’ or taller.

Chandler Fun Float by Swimply: Chandler

Part of the Swimply pool rentals, this private Chandler pool is rentable by the hour (think of an Airbnb type situation). We’ve tried a few, and this is the only East Valley pool we keep re-booking. More about how Swimply rentals work here.

Get $50 in free credits here to swim, which is basically a two hour free rental.

Looking for Swim Lessons?

Swimhaus in Gilbert has been voted ‘best in the Valley’ since 2020 for good reason: they’re making swim lessons easy on parents and fun for kids with their engaging instructors and no headache cancelation policies for parents. Meet the mom and co-owner of Swimhaus here

Try a FREE trial lesson.

A few pool tips from a pool rat mom of three

Pack snacks – most pools have a 10-minute break every hour or every 2 hours to reapply sunscreen and use the restroom. This is a great opportunity to have a snack as well. Most East Valley cities allow coolers and outside food inside, as well as have vending machines (the ones we have visited only take cash). 

Pack extra towels/picnic blanket to sit on – Pool lounge chairs are available at the pools, but they are a hot commodity and typically commandeered quickly. Bringing a picnic blanket or extra towels are super helpful to sit on, especially during those 10-minute breaks. 

Wagon to haul it all in – Consider bringing a wagon to haul all your pool essentials, such as towels, snacks, sunscreen, and toys. It makes transporting everything to and from the pool much easier.

Toys at your own risk – While toys can add to the enjoyment of the pool experience, be aware of the pool’s rules and regulations regarding toys. Some pools may have restrictions or safety guidelines for certain types of toys. They can also be hard to keep track of, so we typically only bring one toy per kiddo.


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