Splashing & Swimming at the San Leandro Family Aquatic Center - 510 Families
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Splashing & Swimming at the San Leandro Family Aquatic Center

The San Leandro Family Aquatic Center is an East Bay summertime gem offering a splash pool, water play structure, free-swim pool, lap lane, a spray park, and a 17-foot high waterslide. It’s open seven days a week from 1-4:45 pm from mid-June to mid-August. It’s spacious enough to where every family is able to carve out their own space at a table or on the grass to relax and soak up those summer rays. There are also many friendly lifeguards on watch.

kid on a splashy play structure
My son loved controlling the spray levels throughout the water play sprayground structure. | Photo: Nick Williams

On a warm Monday afternoon, my six-year-old and I met up with another family at San Leandro’s Washington Manor Park Pool. My son loved controlling the water-spray features to soak his pals and daddy. I couldn’t get him to stop splashing down the small enclosed slide right into the water. The deeper free-swim pool, which requires passing a swim test, was perfect for extra swim practice. And even though my son was just shy of the 48” required to ride the waterslide, we enjoyed watching the bigger kids take their rides.

The Lowdown on San Leandro Family Aquatic Center

Activity Pool and Water Play Structure: This is the main event for the younger kids and families. I appreciated how many features were spread throughout the pool. There were levers and wheels all over that allowed kids to control where the water sprays. I have to admit I enjoyed watching unassuming adults being sprayed by their children. There are three slides located off of the water play structure. My kids’ favorite was the enclosed slide that has the kids sliding and splashing right into the shallow pool.

Swimming Pool: If you want to swim in the deep free-swim pool you’ll need to pass a swim test in the lap lane. The test requires one to swim on their stomach for about 30 feet without stopping or touching the sides or bottom. I couldn’t believe my six-year-old passed the test – those Aquatech swim lessons finally are paying off! If your child doesn’t pass the test, NBD since they can still accompany you in the pool as long as you stay within arm’s reach of them.

swimming pool with lanes for swim test
This deeper pool requires a swim test to enter. Kids may be accompanied by an adult who passes the swim test. | Photo: Nick Williams

Waterslide: The waterslide looked awesome, but my kiddo was just shy of the 48” required to ride it. It opened up about every hour for 15 minutes.

water slide at the san leandro pool
You must be 48” tall to ride this water slide, which opens about once an hour. | Photo: Nick Williams

Spray Park: The spray park has three structures with buttons kids can press to be sprayed (more like misted, really). This part needs some updating as many of the buttons weren’t working when we were there.

Lifeguards: There are three lifeguards always on duty, and they seemed attentive and friendly. It’s always a good idea to remind your kids before they enter that there’s no running anywhere inside the facility.

Tables: There are six small tables with umbrellas and ten larger tables, some covered, that can fit larger parties. The tables tend to fill up right away, so if you’re hoping to snag one you should get there a bit before they open.

Bathrooms: There are large, clean bathrooms with showers located just outside the pool areas. The door to enter is pretty heavy, so I recommend assisting and staying with your child at all times.

Parent tips for enjoying San Leandro Family Aquatic Center

Watch the Capacity on Hot Days: Max capacity is 250. This was not a problem during our visit, although I have heard that on the hotter days people start lining up an hour beforehand.

BYO Shade and Snacks: If you’re like me and don’t make it in right at 1 pm you likely won’t snag one of the tables, but fear not! There is a large grassy area that’s perfect for shade tents, umbrellas, and beach towels. Set up your own space and bring your own picnic. You can bring in outside food and drinks. Maybe you’ll want to pick up a pizza at nearby Porky’s Pizza Palace on your way over.

Sunscreen, Goggles, Dive Toys, and Swim Vests: Don’t forget your sunscreen, and if your kiddo isn’t swimming yet you’ll want them in a swim vest, for sure. My kid really enjoyed having his goggles and dive toys when we swam in the deeper free-swim pool.

water slide and activity pool
He wasn’t quite tall enough for the “bigger kid” water slide, but this slide inside the splash pad worked out just fine. | Photo: Nick Williams

Plan your visit to San Leandro Family Aquatic Center

Location: 14900 Zelma Street, San Leandro in Washington Manor Park, just a few minutes off of the Beatrice Exit on the 880 Freeway in San Leandro.
Parking: There is a parking lot in front of the aquatic center and also plenty of shaded street parking.
Hours: Open seven days a week from mid-June to mid-August from 1-4:45. For the summer of 2022, they are open June 13-August 14. Check the website for more information.
Cost: Babies under 1 are free. Everyone else is $6. They take cash and cards.
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The Bottom Line on the San Leandro Family Aquatic Center

We loved it. The San Leandro Family Aquatic Center is the perfect East Bay retreat for hot summer days. Kids of all ages will find something they’ll love be it the water play structure, swimming pool, or waterslide. Get there early to secure a table or stake out a spot on the spacious lawn. Don’t forget to pack towels, snacks, goggles, sunscreen, and shade!

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