Summer 2023 Recreation Swim is back on June 12, 2023, running through August.
The Robert Livermore Aquatic Center boasts a large lagoon-style pool, a water play structure (7 years and younger), a lap swimming pool, and a 22-foot-long spiraled water slide for older kids (48” or taller). While it doesn’t count as a massive water park per se, I think this 40-minute car drive from Oakland to Livermore is worth the drive for an afternoon of splash time fun for infants, toddlers, and grade school kids.
Pro tip: Follow the heat. On most summer days, it is about 10 to 20 degrees warmer in Livermore than Oakland. This location can also get windy, so pack a cozy layer.
We splashed our way through the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center and I made one mistake — I planned to stay for less than an hour and it was not enough time. My daughter was not ready to go home. She cried when they shut the water off.
The best features of the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center
The water play structure was a blast. There was literally water spraying in almost every direction. I felt like we were contestants on the game show ‘Wipeout.’ The play structure has water cannons, overflowing buckets of water, a mini tunnel, steering wheels that turn on streams of water, and a small water slide.
My four-year-old daughter was intimidated by the water at first, but she got more comfortable over time. There were some areas where I felt the water pressure was too strong for little ones, but we could easily go around those sections. I couldn’t get my daughter to actually go down the mini blue water slide, but if we had stayed longer I think she would have warmed up to it.
Pro Tip: Bring swim goggles for the kids so that they can dump their heads underwater and be okay with water streams splashing at them from the play structure. I forgot to bring ours and my daughter’s eyes started to get irritated from the chlorine.
The lagoon-style play pool was my favorite because it was the perfect lounge area for younger children. The pool starts at zero depth and goes up to 3 ⅕ inches deep — but most of the lagoon is 1 foot 6 inches deep. It was great for wading in the water or to pretend I was a beached whale. My daughter used this area as her “safety zone” to return to when she got overwhelmed at the play structure.
The 22-foot-long water slide was a feature we didn’t get to explore because kids need to be 48″ or taller to use it and my daughter isn’t that tall yet, but it looked awesome. The water slide spirals through a few turns before spitting folks out into a separate water area adjacent to the play lagoon.
Aside from the larger water slide, the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center might not be the best option for older (teen-aged) kids who want a deep swim area — but it’s perfect for younger kids.
Parent tips for visiting the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center
- Careful with your phone. I almost dropped mine in the water trying to take pictures at the water play structure. Twice. I learned that stuffing it into my bathing suit doesn’t help either (yes, I tried — anything for a good photo). Perhaps try one of these waterproof phone pouches.
- Bring water shoes for the kids. My daughter appreciated having hers on especially since the cement can get pretty hot. I was so grateful she had them on when she needed to use the restroom. I’m not down for having her barefoot in the bathroom. Gross.
- Come early and on weekdays, if possible. Weekends are busier and it gets more crowded mid-afternoon. I wished we arrived near opening time to give us more time to play and to snag a prime spot at the shaded lounge chair area.
- Locker rooms, bathrooms, and showers (with warm water) are located right next to the play pool. I was happy to find that they were spacious and clean. They aren’t renting out locks for the lockers at this time, but it appears you could bring your own lock if you want to lock up some valuables. We ended up just leaving our belongings within eyesight at one of the tables.
Pro Tip: There is a swimsuit spinning dryer in the locker room. We appreciated this perk so we didn’t have to drive back with soggy swimsuits in the car (I forgot to bring a wet/dry bag).
- Outside food and drinks are allowed. There weren’t any places to buy drinks or snacks. We brought our own snacks and water bottles. We also saw others bring packed lunches or take-out items.
- Consider bringing lawn chairs and a sun umbrella. Next time I plan on having lawn chairs and a sun umbrella on hand in case I can’t snag a table or lounge chair. I saw others put their lawn chairs and use a sun umbrella on the large grassy hill next to the pool. Smart.
Pro Tip: We loved stopping by Meadowlark Dairy for ice cream on the way home. They have both a drive-thru and walk-up option. We ended up walking up and enjoying our dessert at the park across the street. The pineapple ice cream is my favorite. Possibly even better than Dole Whip (gasp). I regret not getting a large cone during our last trip.
Plan your visit to the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center
- Hours & Prices:
- Toddler Time 6/12-8/17 M-Th 10am-12pm $4 per person
Rec Swim – Weekday 6/12-8/18 M-F 1-4pm $7 per person
Rec Swim – Weekend 6/17-8/20 Sat/Sun 12-5pm $7 per person
Hot Nights Rec Swim 6/16-8/18 Fridays 6-8pm $6 per person
- Drop-in only (no reservations)
- Read the Pool Rules before you go.
- Location: 4444 East Ave, Livermore
- Parking: Free. There are two parking lots and both are within walking distance. One parking lot is located at 4444 East Avenue, but I’d recommend parking at the lot located at Loyola Way & Gerrilyn Way. Don’t go to the location “Aquatic Center” in Livermore that pops up on Google maps. That will send you to Las Positas College.
- Parents with children under 5 years old need to be within arm’s reach of their kids at all times when in the water. I’ll note that I was also very impressed with the lifeguards on staff. There was one attentive lifeguard at the lifeguard tower and another carefully manning the play lagoon area.
- Swim diapers are required for kiddos who aren’t potty trained yet.
Bottom line on the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center
I loved how clean, spacious, and fun the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center turned out to be. We will definitely be back to spend some more time on the water play structure. Next time I’ll bring a second adult so we can switch off keeping an eye out on the kids and I can relax a little bit. Overall, the Robert Livermore Aquatic Center is a fantastic half-day option to splash and cool down with infant, toddler, and grade school kids.