There is only one place to go swimming in Central Park and that is Lasker Pool. This popular summertime recreational area is adjacent to the Harlem Meer. Built in the 1960s with the financial assistance of the Lasker sisters, this large pool is open to all New Yorkers free of charge.
Since the pool is popular and busy during the summer, there are certain restrictions to promote public safety. You must bring a lock to use on a locker in which you can store all of your belongings. The only items that are permitted poolside are a towel, shoes, book, and a water bottle. This policy allows you to swim without worrying about the safety of your purse or wallet. Children can also enjoy swimming lessons; please check with the pool for scheduling.
Lasker Pool is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. all summer. It accommodates 1,824 people. During the winter, it is converted to an ice skating rink. The pool is located near 106th Street in the center of the park. Originally, the building of this pool was controversial, as some Manhattan residents felt it would detract from the park's beauty, especially since it was not part of the park's original design. Now the pool is operated by Donald Trump, and is available for private parties and events.