Indoor pools of Chicago: 16 places to swim all year long

December 12, 2014                 4m read time
Ashley Henshaw


Winter blues got you down? With a dip in one of these pools, Chicago locals can enjoy a taste of summer at any time of the year. Because let’s face it—it’s not just the polar vortex that’s keeping you out of Lake Michigan. For all those cool, rainy and windy days, check out the city’s best indoor swimming spots. Come on in, the water’s fine!

1. LA Fitness

Low membership fees and a convenient location make this a favorite indoor pool for Northside residents. The gym’s lap pool has tons of lanes for swimmers to get a full body workout, and the water is kept at the perfect temperature for warming chilled bones. If you need a bit more heat, step into the sauna, steam room, or hot tub afterwards.

Lakeview: 2828 N. Clark St.

2. Chicago Athletic Clubs

Both members and non-members can sign up for lessons, including adult beginner, intermediate, and masters classes. Members of the masters swim program have the option to compete with the CAC masters swim team throughout the year, including at state and national championships. Swimmers of all levels who want a more personally tailored experience can sign up for one-on-one instruction.

West Loop: 1380 W. Randolph St.
Lincoln Park: 1019 W. Diversey Pkwy.
Lakeview: 3212 N. Broadway Ave. (With an outdoor rooftop pool for warmer months)
Lincoln Square: 4662 N. Lincoln Ave.
Evanston: 1723 Benson Ave.

3. East Bank Club

Celebs, pro athletes, and politicians sweat it out together at the East Bank Club, which has two indoor pools (two more are outdoors). Members can dive into the 25-yard-long pool for laps or the traditional pool for aquatics classes, both of which are bathed in natural light. The club offers a range of programs, including adult swim lessons and water aerobics. Plus, you'll get access to the club’s upscale amenities, which include a spa, salon, pro shop, dry cleaners, and onsite dining.

River North: 500 N. Kingsbury St.

4. Equinox

Chicago’s Gold Coast Equinox offers a junior Olympic pool (seen above) situated within their upscale 30,000-square-foot facility right on the Magnificent Mile. While there’s space to swim laps, the pool fitness classes tend to be a hit. No grandma water aerobics here. Instead, you’ll have hip, high-energy options like Aqua Boot Camp and Hydro Evolution.  

Gold Coast: 900 N. Michigan Ave.

5. Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness offers one of the city’s most scenic indoor pools. Situated along a large wall of windows next to an outdoor seating area, the rooftop pool opens to the outdoors in warmer weather and hosts group fitness classes. In addition, you can check out the larger indoor pool geared towards training and swimming laps.

Lincoln Park: 1320 W. Fullerton Ave.

6. XSport Fitness

Known for being open 24/7, 365 days a week, XSport is popular with college students and young professionals. Four of the gym’s nine Chicago locations feature a lap pool. In addition, certain locations offer Aquafit and AquaZumba classes for a fresh take on the pool workout. Either way, XSport Fitness offers some of the most affordable membership rates in the city—as low as $10 a month at some locations.

East Lakeview: 3030 N. Broadway St.
Logan Square: 2310 W. Logan Blvd.
Old Town: 230 W. North Ave.
South Loop: 819 S. State St.

7. Four Seasons

If you want something a little more relaxing than a gym pool, then you must check out the indoor pool at the Four Seasons. With an ornate domed glass ceiling, grand Roman-style columns and a wall of windows that allow natural light to stream in, it’s like a luxury winter getaway right in the heart of the city. You don’t even have to book a room—locals can get a membership for access to the spa, fitness facilities, and pool. Several other downtown hotels with glamorous pools offer a similar deal for residents, including the Trump and the Intercontinental.

Near North Side: 120 E. Delaware Pl.

8. Chicago Park District

Few people realize there are actually 28 indoor pools in the Chicago Parks system, many of which offer lap lanes, swim lessons, and group fitness classes that rival those of pricey gyms. Here are two of our favorites:

Designed by architect Jens Jensen, the Eckhart Park natatorium features a gorgeous wall of colored windows and a high arched ceiling. 

Eckhart Park: 1330 W. Chicago Ave.

The pool at the Lincoln Square facility is consistently well-maintained and warm. Plus, two stories of windows make it feel bright and cheery, even on dreary winter days.

Welles Park: 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.

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When you need a break from the cold weather doldrums, escape to one of these great indoor pools. They’ll have you feeling swimmingly in no time.

Ashley Henshaw

A Chicago resident since 2004, Ashley is a freelance writer with a passion for the Windy City. In the past, she has covered Chicago's lifestyle, dining, and drinking scene for a number of websites, including The Huffington Post.

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