The Salvation Army Kroc Center4200 Wissahickon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129
My dinner at Ela (review to come) last week is a bit of a blur because apparently two cocktails is my limit (I don’t get out after hours much). But my kid activity seeking ears DID perk up when local mom friend Krystin started talking about the Kroc Center in Nicetown (North Philly above Kelly Drive). Krystin’s endorsement and description was enough for me. I went up there to get my membership…sight unseen. I mean we arrived with our bathing suits on. This is what I saw…Picture an oasis in North Philadelphia and it would be the Kroc Center.
If you live in Philly here is the history lesson that you actually want to hear:
Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, had a clear vision in mind: build state-of-the-art recreational and arts facilities in underserved communities throughout the nation to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to grow their natural gifts and talents. In 2003, Mrs. Kroc bequeathed to The Salvation Army the largest gift ever given to a private charity with the express purpose of building and endowing Salvation Army Kroc Centers. The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Philadelphia is a fulfillment of her vision and provides an unprecedented opportunity for you to do the most good for yourself, your family and your community.
You know what that means. This is not only a million dollar facility but they have the funds to maintain it. Which is key. On arrival you will be greeted by Theresa who is more than happy to give you a tour and tell you everything you need to know. The facility is gorgeous with one gorgeous thing after another. Yes the gyms are amazing and state of the art. Yes the basketball court impresses even me who does not care about basketball courts. But it is the pool…the miles and miles of chlorine bliss that had me hooked. The family water park has zero elevation entry, water slides, toddler slides, their own version of a lazy river and dumping buckets. There is even child care included in your membership so you can swim a few laps on your own. The locker rooms are clean and big. And there are even 4 family changing rooms. Besides a four door car …when was the last time you saw 4 of anything for a family. Worth mentioning that there is also a playground and a cafe. *Tip from Theresa (our guide): The hot dog platters at the cafe are huge and one is enough for us to share. Everything is clean and everyone there is nice. From the staff to the other members. Even the after school teenagers tone it down.
Click here for the weekly class schedule. The Kroc Centers membership rates are reasonable. Kids 4 and under are FREE. Which is awesome because they are the main reason I am going. There is an enrollment fee of $99 (which I hate) but One Adult membership is $40/ month. Monthly that is much cheaper than the YMCA. I am really looking forward to using this membership.
Membership Rates are not on-line so here you go:
adult $99, household $149, senior $89, youth $49
adult (19-61) $40, Household (3-4 ppl) $103, Household (5-8 ppl) $125, Senior (62+) $34, Youth (5-18 y.o.) $26
*slight deal on all if you do an annual membership
Worth noting :
The surrounding area is rough. I went to college at Phila U so I am a little familiar with it and it does not bother me.
Outside food not permitted
You can book birthday parties
Swim lessons for a 6 week class are $50 per child for members
The pool area was empty. I heard that it is rare that it gets busy
There is a parking lot with plenty of parking
It took me 15-20 minutes to get to from No Libs
They just opened a preschool and have open enrollment