Any time I can get a second or a third opinion for you I do! This review is by two moms. Me a city mom coming over the bridge for a little suburban pool time and Sharon a former city mom that now called the burbs her home.
Sibyl’s (city mom) Review of Crystal Lake Pool
We are fans of Crystal Lake pool and bite the bullet to pay the out of township membership fees. There are three pools: The big main deep pool, the 1 foot deep baby pool and the activity pool that is a great size with tons of water fountains.
What I like:
- Maybe it is because I am a rural kid turn city mama but I love how much grass there is everywhere. Plenty of room to lounge and play.
- I like that they have a grill out where you can buy burgers and dogs that are really good.
- You are allowed to bring toys to play with in the pool. The boys love their kick boards and little boats.
- The kid pool is really well done and keeps the boys totally occupied.
- The lifeguards are really on top of the older kids that come over and rough play during adult swim in the main pool.
- I like how safe I feel at the pool. I give my boys a lot of rope when we are in a contained space like that… meaning I am watching them the whole time but I let them wander a bit. Every single time I notice other parents looking to see where the parent is or if they can help.
What I don’t love:
- I really wish that there was a parking lot and not just street parking but it is not a deal breaker. Lugging two little ones and all their toys and gear and food can be a bit much some days even with a stroller.
- Kids under 4 are not allowed in the main pool. I was super disappointed with this because teaching the boys to swim is huge to us.
- Swim lessons are not offered until the age of 4. Age this is common more places and a huge bummer.
- I always rate the other moms at the places I go. I can’t say that the other moms are overly friendly. Sharon who is also on this post is the only Mom that has talked to me this whole summer. I do feel there is competitiveness between moms at this pool that I never see at the city pools.
- The high school aged lifeguards are nice but some are smaller than me and I am just not sure they would be able to haul me out of that pool in I was in need.
- Toys sharing can be tough. In all fairness Henry is having a tough time-sharing his pool toys this summer. However it is really hard when kids come over and take the boys stuff without asking. I am a share-o-holic but there has to be some etiquette there.
- Getting tags at the Haddon Township building is like a depressing episode of Parks and Recs. You’ll see what I mean. They are so not busy yet “appear” so busy.
Sharon’s (suburban mom) Review of Crystal Lake Pool
We moved to Haddon Township from Fishtown 4 years ago and learned about Crystal Lake pool last year. Growing up in the city left me a little leary of what a “town pool” could be. As a kid in Fishtown, we had the swimmo which I believe is still open, but the Crystal Lake pool could easily be considered a mini splash park in comparison. The entire pool area is situated in a nicely shaded /landscaped area of town and includes the pools, a snack bar, bathrooms, first aid office, a covered pavilion and a playground which is a major plus which my son Evan, who is 3, loves. The pool area has a very large adult pool with several lap lanes, a shallow wading pool that is fenced in and a splash pool with zero entry at a depth less than 2 feet. There are some scattered umbrellas provided along the grass as well as lounge chairs around the pool/s. If you are lucky to get there early or later in the day you can snag a good spot and possibly some shade on the grass.
We hadn’t considered any other local pools as this one is so close to us and very reasonably priced. We decided against a membership this year, as we were not sure how often we would go, however I find myself there quite often this summer and really enjoy it. We chose to just pay as we go which is only $5 per person (resident price) and our son is 3, so he is still free. If you have little ones under 4 you may also consider the individual membership for both parents which is only $70 each, as opposed to the family membership which is $240. Based on this years’ experience so far, I am sure we will be purchasing the membership next year.
We often go in the late afternoon around 4 or 5 which I find to be a great time, it’s not so crowded and the sun isn’t as strong. My son loves the splash pool which has two large mushroom shaped sprayer/fountains along with several other low sprayers scattered around the pool. Although it is shallow and he can play safely, I still put his puddle jumper swimmy on so he can play more freely with the other kids and give me a bit more peace of mind. I think I may be considered a “helicopter mom” so I am usually just steps behind him. However, he seems to prefer playing with the other kids instead of me for some reason, on those occasions I can actually sit along the side of the pool and watch as he has fun. Parking is also a plus, there are always spots up and down the street in front of and across the street from the pool. On a more crowded day, we have walked within a blocks distance and on a great day, we were just steps from the entrance.
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.
I would definitely give the Crystal Lake pool my thumbs up and definitely recommend joining/visiting. The people are super nice, the park/pool itself are very clean and it is overall a great experience for me and my family.