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Join a local pool club

Have you figured out how you and the kids will spend those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? What about a pool club? Seriously, how great would it be to enjoy floating or paddling in crystal clear cool water when the mercury is rising…but not be responsible for maintenance or playing hostess. Sound enticing?

There are many advantages to joining a pool club. If your kids haven’t yet learned to swim, a pool or swim club provides the perfect opportunity to do so, as many offer American Red Cross sanctioned swimming lessons. Swimming is a great way to get the whole family off the electronics and outside to enjoy fresh air and exercise. Pool clubs are also a way to meet new people, form friendships and become part of the community.

Best of all, there are many options throughout Western New York where you can enjoy a dip in a public or private pool setting. Many communities offer public swimming pools that are of no or low cost to residents and their guests. These sites can include other amenities such as wading pools, playgrounds and picnic areas. Check your community’s website for details or ask nearby friends and neighbors.

If public pools aren’t your thing, there are private pool club options as well. Many offer additional activities and amenities — such as tennis, golf or competitive swimming — that add value to the membership. And when compared to day or overnight camps, a pool membership can be well worth the price, especially since the entire family can take advantage.

JCC pool | Join a local pool club | Discover 2018 | Buffalo Magazine

JCC pool in Amherst. (Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo)

If you’re not sure a pool club is the way to go, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo (JCC) in Amherst offers a free seven-day guest pass so you can check out the heated outdoor pool as well as the indoor pool, fitness facilities and more with no obligation. A full individual or family membership at the JCC (which you can purchase on a monthly basis) includes swimming lessons, water aerobics, wading pool, beach volleyball court, locker room facilities and regular family-oriented events all summer long. You can even rent out the JCC’s Grossman Family Outdoor Pool Complex for your private event!

Both the Hickory Hill Swim and Tennis Club and the Eagle Ridge Recreation Association in Orchard Park offer swimming and tennis options, complete with lessons, social events and more. The cost at each pool is $895 per year for a family membership; additional initiation and bond fees apply (see websites for details). In Hamburg, the Willow Bend Club is a great place to play, relax and unwind in the water or on the courts. Special family events take place throughout the season, including cookouts, campouts and movie nights. A new family trial membership costs $500/year. At Brierwood Country Club in Hamburg, Ron Zambito, director of membership, says there are several levels of membership options, including the Swim/Social membership, which gives members access to the outdoor and kiddy pools, as well as tennis courts, bowling alley, restaurant and social events and, new this year, the Social Preferred membership, which also includes 10 rounds of golf. Swim/Social membership is $700 per year; Social Preferred is $1250.

Brierwood Country Club | Join a local pool club | Discover 2018 | Buffalo Magazine

A swim meet at Brierwood Country Club in Hamburg. (Brierwood Country Club)

Farther south, Holiday Valley in Ellicottville offers individual or family swim memberships. Jane Eshbaugh, director of marketing, says they get a mix of nearby and summer residents who join to enjoy the three pools and other seasonal activities. Family membership is $375/year.

Before you make any decisions, be sure you’re informed! Read the membership agreement carefully. Do the club’s hours fit your schedule? Can you bring guests? If so, is there a fee? Can you bring snacks or are you obligated to buy them there? Are there family activities or adult-only hours? Can you have your child’s birthday party poolside? Is the pool heated?

Once you decide where to join, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the warm, gorgeous summer days and nights we so look forward to!

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