Making reservations is most likely the biggest obstacle to families wanting to visit public pools this summer, so I’m here to walk you through the process, and tell you about our experience so far at 3 beloved swimming sites so you know what to expect.
Reservations are required at Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, Bartholomew, Walnut Creek, Garrison, Northwest, and Mabel Davis Pools. The reservations fill up fast, so I recommend thinking ahead through the next few weeks and taking care of those tickets quick, with these simple instructions:
- You’ll want to start HERE and create an account for your family, adding each family member separately (this is the mistake I made).
- Once your account is made you can make reservations HERE. Start by searching for date range, then clicking “search”. Available pools and parks that require reservations will then pop up. You can select the pool you want to visit by clicking the + sign.
- From there you can select a 2-hour time block and the number of tickets you need.
- On the next page you’ll select a ticket number for each member of your family (this is why you need to start by creating an account for your family, and adding all of your family members).
- Then proceed to checkout! There is no fee, and your tickets will be emailed to you.
Upon arrival at the pool you’ll be required to don masks and line up at the entry time on your tickets for screening. These lines are short and move fast, so there is no need to arrive early! When we visited Bartholomew, I brought printed tickets but discovered that was unnecessary as our names were already on the list. At Garrison, and Mabel Davis I had my e-tickets ready on my phone, just in case. Each member of your family will have their temperature taken and you’ll be asked questions to make sure no one is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus.
Inside the gates you’ll notice lifeguards are wearing masks at all times and have areas taped off around the lifeguard stands. You will not need to wear a mask when swimming (that’d be awful), but signs are posted reminding you to put one on if you need to use the public bathrooms.
With the limited number of people being permitted during each reservation slot, there is plenty of space for social distancing and more room for fun than ever! We’ve had a delightful time at each pool. Bartholomew, was well worth the drive, a definite favorite among my four big kids, and the two shallower pools have shade for you mommas who spend most of your time wading with toddlers and babies. Garrison Pool is nestled toward the back of Garrison Park, has a separate kiddie pool for the littles, and lots of big shady trees in the park if you want to bring a picnic for before or after your swim! Mabel Davis feels like a hidden gem- surrounded by trees and trails, it felt exceptionally peaceful this Friday afternoon, and kids of all ages can enjoy the fountain in the shallow end.