Swimming in Grand Rapids, Michigan

by Jamie Farber
Grand Rapids has a variety of options for swimming.

Grand Rapids has a variety of options for swimming.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan, is on the west side of the state and is less than 45 miles from Lake Michigan. But for people looking for a more local place to swim, Grand Rapids has several different options. There are several choices for swimming enthusiasts, including public pools, private pools and inland lakes.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park (accesskent.com) is a 1,500-acre park on the southwest side of Grand Rapids. The park also includes a six-acre beach on a 100-acre lake with a marked swimming area. The beach area at Millennium Park features a splash pad with more than a dozen sprayers, buckets and other water features. At the time of publication, Millennium Park's beach is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through the final weekend in August. Admission fees to enter the beach area are $4 for ages 16 and up, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for children ages 3 to 15 and free for children 2 and younger. There are also yearly memberships available that include unlimited access to the Millennium Park beach for one year. There is no lifeguard on duty at the Millennium Park beach.

City Pools

From early July through late August, there are three city owned pools that are open and ready for swimmers. The City of Grand Rapids pools (grand-rapids.mi.us) are located at Briggs Park on the city's Northeast side, Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids and Richmond Park on the Northwest side. Each of the city's pools include a diving board and slide and feature changing areas and showers. At the time of publication, residents are charged a $2 admission fee and nonresidents must pay $5 to enter. The pool hours vary based on location. Lifeguards are on duty at each of the city-run pools.

Health Club Pools

There are several different health clubs with one location or several that offer indoor pools for members. The YMCA (grymca.org), MVP Sports Clubs (mvpsportsclubs.com) and East Hills Athletic Club (ehac.com) all have pools for swimming laps and also fun swimming. At the time of publication, the YMCA offers 11 locations around Grand Rapids and the surrounding suburbs, all with indoor pools. MVP Sports has six locations in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas with indoor pools. One of the MVP locations also offers an outdoor pool that is open in the summer. East Hills Athletic Club and sister property Michigan Athletic Club each offer indoor pools for member use. The clubs have varying membership fees.

Outdoor Private Pools

There are lots of neighborhood pools in back yards, apartment complexes and housing developments. But before you bring you lay down your towel in someone else's backyard, you might want to check out private swim clubs that offer summer memberships that allow you to use a large, community pool. Ridgemoor Swim Club (ridgemoorswimclub.org), Heather Downs Pool Association (heatherdownspool.com) and Orchard Hills (ehac.com) are some of the more popular options in Grand Rapids. Ridgemoor and Heather Downs both offer summer swim teams for children and adult lap swim time at night. Orchard Hills, which is a sister property of East Hills Athletic Club, features water features and a wading pool for younger children. The membership fees for each pool vary but are good just for the summer.

Photo Credits

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