We are beach people. Not only that we are “have to be near water or I will never make it people.” When I decided that we were going to join a pool this summer I agonized over which one. My “in town” options got ruled out quickly…I am incredibly thankful for the city pools during the summer but their limited hours and early seasonal shut down have left me stranded on more than a few sweltering days. North Shore Pool Club in my neighborhood but does not allow children so that was out for sure. The Lombard Pool Club has a five-year wait, ridonkulous membership, application and administrative fees and is a pretty boozey culture so that was out of the question.
That meant that my search took me to New Jersey, where I narrowed it down to two options, the Robert’s Pool (20 minutes away) in Collingswood and the Crystal Lake Pool (25 minutes away) in Haddon Township. In the end I chose Crystal Lake and the biggest deciding factor was that it is right next to the high-speed line meaning my husband could meet us there after work. Did I make the right choice? For this post I decided to have four moms (2 city & 2 burban) give you their take on Robert’s and Crystal Lake. You then get to hear two different descriptions and opinions of each pool. I hope this will help you make your decision.
First let’s start with the stats:
Crystal Lake Rates
Kids under 3 are free. So it will cost two adults $425.00 – 1st Member, $150.00 each additional member = $575
Click here for complete season tag information.
Robert’s Pool Rates
Kids under 3 are free. Non Collingswood Adult Residents are $140 each. Making it $280 for two adults.
Click here complete season tag information.
ROBERT’S POOL, Collingswood, NJ
Even when the pools are really, really busy there still seems to be room for everyone. On many occasions I have had to wait for someone to leave to snag a chair but I mean, whatever; I don’t want to carry a chair from my car, so I can wait. The baby pool was a game-changer for me when my kids were smaller. It is separately fenced-in so the little ones can’t toddle away toward the bigger pool. There is a milk crate lashed to the fence piled with toys (in various state of functionality) that is communal and contributed to regularly by members. Parents sit in chairs or around the edge of the pool and the vibe is generally friendly and/or polite. I say this with the following caveat, there are at times, 5-8 year olds that invade the baby pool during adult swim and/or appear to have been abandoned by their parent who is sleeping under a nearby tree. Occasionally, these kids suck and tyrannize the baby pool. This is only a problem if you have trouble yelling at other people’s kids, which I do not.
To read Krystin’s complete review of Robert’s Pool Click Here.
-former Philly Mom turned Collingswood Mom
It’s almost noon! My toddler jumps up for joy as soon as our pool tags clip on. Roberts Park Pool (in Collingswood) is a mere 10 minute walk. It flies by and we’re there: we feel like we’re in South Philly but also on vacation in some undisclosed, tree-lined, cul-de-sac nook. It’s a beautiful mix of lively people and much-needed relaxation! It gives this city family, who now lives in the burbs, the best of both worlds. I once wore a Royal Tavern tee to Roberts Pool and felt right at home after several people reminisced about their own good times on our much-loved Passyunk Avenue. The pros of Roberts Park Pool far out-weight the cons. As my daughter concisely puts it: “The pool’s good”! With our surplus of sunblock and tags rearing to go, we’ll be back tomorrow, as long as it doesn’t rain
To read Magdalena complete review of Robert’s Pool and see more pictures Click Here.
Crystal Lake Pool, Haddon Township, NJ
-former Philly Mom turned Haddon Township Mom
There are so many great things about the pool that I love and I highly recommend it, however, there are a few things I wish were a bit bitter.There is a bathroom, with several showers and a changing area, but there is not an actual baby changing station. Also, the bathroom itself could use a good cleaning. While I appreciate that there is a snack bar, it is super convenient, relatively inexpensive and has awesome ice cream sandwiches according to my son, I do wish there were some healthier options there. It also closes at 6 pm sharp. On a side note however, you can order a pizza/sandwiches from a local pizza shop and have it delivered there. I do wish that they would allow younger kids in the big pool. My son loves swimming around with his swimmies on in deeper pools and I would really like to work with him to teach him to swim, however it’s not possible when you are limited just to the splash /wading pool. Fortunate for us, my sisters both have pools so we do have other options, but if you are interested in taking your little one into the deep pool, this may not be the pool for you.
To read Sharon’s complete review of Robert’s Pool and more pictures Click Here.
When I forked over my big check to join Crystal Lake Pool and they handed me back two little seasonal tags I started to think maybe this was not a good idea. But my boys and I had a great summer at Crystal Lake Pool and now that this urban mom has her first year of “burban” swimming under her belt I would do it all over again. I love how much space and grass there is to set up camp. The main kid pool is awesome and both boys had a great time playing with all the water squirters and fountains. The snack bar is not healthy but has come in handy when the boys hate what I packed. There is a playground which has come in handy when I am trying to stretch the day. The bathrooms are typical bathrooms not great and not the end of the world. The only thing I would change is that kids under 4 are not allowed in the main pool. Parking can also be a bit tricky when lugging little ones. There is no parking lot and you park on the street and on busy day it can be a bit of a haul.