Banneker Swimming Pool (and Tennis Courts)


Well this is sweet! Someone mentioned it in the comments last week and I’d actually never checked it out. (Julian may do a more detailed post later on put I wanted to get something up quick so people could take advantage of it.) Located on the 2800 block of Georgia Ave. the pool is open 1pm-8pm on weekdays (closed on Thursday) and 12-6pm on weekends. It is a huge pool and people seemed to be having a blast. So if you’re looking to cool off in August this seems like a great option. Anyone a regular? Tennis courts after the jump.


26 Comment

  • are the tennis courts are open to the public? if so, does anyone know if they get pretty busy on the weekends?

  • anyone know how busy the tennis courts get on the weekends? would it be smart to get there AT or a bit before 12 to get a court?

  • On the other side of the pool (opposite tennis courts) there is a running track. One could easily train for a triathalon! I love this little-known pool, but now the cat is out of the bag. You have to get there early for a lawn chair, but if you want you can also BYOLC. The pool is free, has a diving board, and is split into 3 sections — the 2 deeper sections are reserved for people 18+ yrs.

    I recently went to the Hains Point pool and this year it is free too. For those of u who don’t know, that pool is large (I think olympic sized), so you too can play at being Michael Phelps and try doing some laps.

  • I really don’t like pools that reserve sections for adults only. If you want to reserve a section for lap swimming only, that’s fine. (And then have lane lines – I’ve seen a pool have lap swimming with no lane lines – a huge mess.)

    I guess this comment pegs me as a parent of young swimmers. But no reason for well-behaved kids not to be able to swim in the deep end with the adults, especially for open swim.

  • I know the public pools are supposed to be for District residents only… do you know if they “card” strictly or not at Banneker? Could a Maryland resident slip by?

  • look at all those kids in the photo taking advantage of the “community centers.” it’s so packed i think we definitely need to invest in more places for kids to hang and not in culturally exclusive restaurants.

  • i like the adult sections at the pool, just like i like the human only parks in dc… why should i have to tolerate kids and dogs every time i want to do something outside of a bar? its great for people who own animals and/or kids to have somewhere to take them for fun and enjoyment, but the whole world shouldnt have to be their playground…

  • I don’t know when that picture was taken, but whenever I’ve been there it has been packed with kids.

  • cristobal said “why should i have to tolerate kids and dogs every time i want to do something outside of a bar? its great for people who own animals and/or kids to have somewhere to take them for fun and enjoyment, but the whole world shouldnt have to be their playground…”

    …. you sound like a load of fun and not the least self-centered.

  • I think it’s totally fair to not want to get splashed at (even accidentally) by kids having a good time in the pool — having an adult-only section seems like a good way to allow adults to cool off AND kids to have a good time. I don’t, however, understand why the adults get so much more space. That’s silly.

  • really really? im loads of fun, ask anyone… and yes, im self-centered, ask anyone. please forgive me for not wanting to step over poorly managed kids everytime i go to the dc usa, or step in dog shit every time i walk through a grassy area, but i guess thats just the self centeredness coming out… you should get over yourself and your dependents… not everyone craps themselves over a cutesy wootsey wittle puppy wuppy or a screaming toddler who will most likely get his way because he has bad parents…

  • Ooooh so much controversy over one little comment. I personally don’t know why those rules apply, and no I don’t have kids AND actually like the division of sides. But I believe it is done to give equal opportunity for those adults who do want to do laps and not dodge kids. I took my nieces to the Hains Pt pool, and they were required to do a swim test before getting into the deep part. Note: they are both in a suburban swim team and have made it to divisionals in their age group and they still found the deep part too deep — so maybe it is a good idea. Ohhhh, u know what I just remember that when the Banneker Pool opens up the diving board they open that section up to kids. So see all is good, equal access for all.

    the Hains Pt pool checks your ID, I have not had someone check my ID at the Banneker or Arkansas Ave pool. But maybe you MD ID peson should become a DC-resident and get an ID and become a REAL DCite — u become a real DCite when you successfully negotiate the DMV 😉

  • Now that I know there’s a diving board I might go today!

  • On the community center front, I often play hoops at the very nice outdoor courts adjacent to the Girard community center, and they are generally completely empty … these are gorgeous weekend summer days we’re talking — no idea where all the kids are …

  • I know where the kids are. They’re throwing rocks at old men. You may doubt this, but I heard it with my own ears today. This man in particular said he’s reluctant to leave the house and walk in the neighborhood because of the teenagers.

  • The sections aren’t divided by age. I’ve seen children in the deeper section. Most do hang out in the north shallow sections, though, because they can survive more easily there.

    The opposite shallow section has never been open since I’ve been swimming at the beginning of the summer. It really is an enormous pool, with plenty of room for everybody.

    And I’ve never been IDed. A much more laid-back pool than that fancy pants one in Foggy Bottom.

  • Banneker is nice, but I definitely recommend bringing sandals for when you change – there’s always a standing pool of water in the locker rooms. I’ve also never been ID’ed when I’ve gone.

    They should start a donation cup for more pool chairs. I’d be happy to contribute.

  • the “fancy pants” one in Foggy Bottom doesn’t card for DC residents either. The staff are extremely laid back there too, although it does have a bit more of an international, gay, and wealthy crowd than probably some of the other pools.

  • When I was growing up in the midwest ‘burbs, our local outdoor pool had “adult only” swim each hour or so for 15-20 min. It seemed to be the perfect solution. The lifeguards blew their whistles to indicate adult swim and we kids got out and took a break at the snack bar, etc. It was a win win for everyone

  • Another reason for the pool sections divide is for safety – a lot of the younger kids just want to jump and splash around and may not be the best swimmers when they can’t reach the bottom. Plus, the “adult”/deep end is right under the diving board…if you do want to use that you’d want to have a clear landng area. I live on Euclid (about two blocks away) and use it all the time – never been carded. Definitely bring your own chair, though; even if you do get a chair it might be junky or broken.

    The tennis courts are free, but as with most free rec facilities they tend to get filled up pretty quickly on the weekends and generally in the AM during the week. It’s a pretty good scene though, and people usually form a line and have to wait 30-45 minutes at the worst to get a court. Howard U (across Georgia Ave) uses the courts for training and matches (I think).

    In addition to all of these facilites, there’s a regulation-sized baseball diamond inside the previously-mentioned track, a couple of better-than-average basketball courts (with nets AND backboards intact!) and a softball field which gets a lot of use by the Howard softball team, HS football practices, and the ubiquitous soccer pickup games. Makes a good dog park in a pinch, too!

  • I mentioned this spot last week 🙂

    Good to see you covering it! It is a great neighborhood pool and the positives far outweigh the positives— I mean how hard is it for you to sling a folding chair across your back and walk there with it? They aren’t going to stop you!

    And one more thing- since when did young children playing around become the biggest hassle to living in this area? Amazing…

  • i totally agree that poorly managed children and poorly managed pets are a hassle. I’ve gone to Takoma Park Pool, Turkey Thicket Pool, Haines Point pool, 14th and Upshur St. pool, Dupont circle pool and have seen a handful of “wild” kids. However–I’ve run into just as many adults that consider the world their “playground” and disregard civilzed norms of behavior. You can be anti-child and anti-dog, but children have an equal claim to DCs resources as you do.

  • In the summer the courts are wide open during weekday afternoons, but can get busy on the weekends and sometimes in the mornings. As mentioned earlier, the Howard University tennis team uses the courts for practice so they’re busier in the afternoons once school starts. These courts are in very nice shape, though, and there are two courts with walls for practicing by yourself.

  • I just wish that instead of dividing into three short, squaty sections, they’d put in just two laps lanes that run the full 15 yards/meters, and leave the rest fpr kids/”open swim”. Don’t most adults want to lap swim if they’re swimming? You can’t lap swim without at least 25 yards. I mean- I guess you could, but it would be kind of pointless.

    Add another item to my “things to do when I rule the world” list 🙂

  • I’ve swum laps at banneker before its short but oh well. i would rather be separated by the diving well than try to swim laps with the kids right next to me creating waves etc. I think the separation works. as far as i know (haven’t been back since the renovation) kids are allowed in the deeper parts with adult supervision or after passing a swim test. The kids play pretty hard in the shallow end and there is also a baby pool. I can enjoy swimming around without doing laps and I think its ok that adults can do so without having to be put in the middle of a splashing war. The adult side becomes a kind of retreat for adults in the evening- couples relaxing with each other- very nice. Your post reminds me to go back soon before the summer is over!

  • im an adult (in stature anyway) and i dont lap swim… my friends and i still like to dive for sinking sticks, play marco polo, or just wade there chatting. keeping kids in their own section isnt just for my comfort, but also their safety… moms get really pissy when their little precious happens to hear me drop the f bomb, nevermind that little precious is splashing and screaming right in the middle of my friends and i…oh, and they also hate it when their kids get accidently kicked in the face, even though the brat has cannon balled into the pool, over my head, and on to my legs. i guess thats my fault too though…

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