From swim lessons to lifeguard training and more, Iowa City Parks & Recreation’s aquatics program offers year-round fun and learning for everyone. Please read about our aquatic facilities below, and follow the links for more information.
Winter/Spring 2023 Recreation Registration
Iowa City Parks and Recreation Fall Recreation Registration begins at 7am Wednesday, December 13 for Iowa City residents. Non-resident registration opens at 7 am on Thursday, December 14. In person registration is available at the Robert A Lee Community Center and Mercer Park Aquatic Center. Register online here.
We offer swim lessons at all three pools locations. Our American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Levels include the following levels below. Click on a level to register through Activenet. Not sure which level is right for you? View our Swim Lesson Level Guide.
- Swim Lessons
- Water Fitness Classes
- American Red Cross Certifications
- Pool Events
- Pool Parties at Robert A. Lee Rec Center
Additional information regarding Water Fitness is provided below.
- Drop-in: $4
- 2 years and younger: Free
10-Use Pass (non-expiring)
- 10 Admits: $32
- Non-residents: $37
30-Day Pass (valid for 30 days from purchase)
- Individual: $22
- Household: $40
- Non-resident Individual: $33
- Non-residents Family: $60
Annual Pass (valid one-year from purchase)
- Individual: $234
- Household: $450
- Non-resident Individual: $352
- Non-residents Family: $675
Additional family members are $25 per person. A family is defined as up to five persons listed on the current tax return or those registered with the Iowa City Domestic Partnership Program.
Individuals and families who are approved for Rec Assist (the Iowa City Parks & Recreation income-eligible supplemental program) are eligible to receive 50% off of all pool passes.
All hours below include lap swim (with dedicated lanes) and open swim. Additional closures and schedule modifications are possible. Please look for signage, emails, and RainOut Line updates for real-time announcements.
- City Park Pool
- City Park Pool is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day (weather, staff, and maintenance dependent)
- Mercer Park Aquatic Center Pool
- Monday-Saturday: 6:15 am- 8 pm
- Sunday: 11:15 am-8 pm
- Upcoming Closures:
- Jan. 19- Closed at 3 pm
- Jan. 20- Closed at 4 pm
- Jan. 21- Closed
- April 9- Closed
- Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center Pool
- Monday-Thursday: 6:15- 9 am; 11 am- 1 pm
- Friday: 6:15- 9 am; 11 am- 1 pm; 5-8 pm ($2 swim)
- Saturday: 6:15 am- 3 pm
- Sunday: 5-8 pm ($2 swim)
- Upcoming Closures:
- April 1- Closed
- April 9- Closed
Age Requirements: Children 11 and under are not permitted to swim without someone 16+ years or older. Children 12-15 year-old must be accompanied by an adult who will be swimming or walking in an adjacent lap lane.
To read the pool rules in the language of your choice select one of the links below.
Swim Lessons Scholarship
Learning to swim is a life skill of which everyone should have access. Iowa City Parks & Recreation aims to eliminate financial barriers for Iowa City residents needing basic swim instruction to create a community filled with competent swimmers with safety awareness around water.
Apply for our RecAssist program which can qualify you and those in your household for free swim lessons.
Water Fitness Classes
Water fitness classes are offered at Mercer Park Aquatic Center Pool and Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center and seasonally at City Park Pool.
We offer a variety of classes that include different depths, intensities, and equipment.
Participants are able to participate in one of the three ways.
- Monthly Session
- $16 for the four-week session (5 participant minimum required the week before to run session)
- No refunds for missed classes
- Participant will be on the roster that the instructor checks off
- Single Pass
- $6 per class
- The participant will bring a physical card pass to the instructor
- Monthly Fitness Pass
- $50 per month
- Must start at beginning of the month
- No pro-rated dates or staggered start dates
- The participant will show a physical card pass to the instructor
We also offer new Water Fitness Private Lessons, to learn more about Water Fitness visit ActiveNet.
Classes can be canceled due to instructor availability, weather, or pool conditions. Please check the Rainout Line (extension 40) for day-of updates.
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center Pool
Located in the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center
220 S. Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
Pool Temperature: 83 - 85°
The Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center pool is located at 220 S. Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City. This is an L-shaped pool featuring a 25-yard main body, with the water ranging from 3 to 5 feet in this area. The bottom of the ‘L’ is a 10-foot deep diving well that does not have a diving board. There is a wading pool area that requires children to have adult supervision. This pool is in operation on a year-round basis.
Mercer Park Aquatic Center
Located in Mercer Park Aquatic Center/Scanlon Gym
2701 Bradford Drive
Iowa City, IA 52240
Pool Temperature: 79 - 81°
The Mercer Park Aquatic Center is divided into three separate sections. The deep section is on the east end of the pool. This section is 25 yards long; depth ranges from 4'6" to 12' and contains two (2), one-meter diving boards. The middle section is 25 yards long; depth ranges from 4'2" to 4'6". The shallow section is on the west end of the pool. It is approximately 2'6" to 4'. There is an outside wading pool area that requires children to have adult supervision.
The Mercer Park Aquatic Center is equipped with a 12-person spa. The use of the spa is restricted to adults (16 years or older) and children who are directly supervised by a responsible adult (someone 16 years or older). Those with heart conditions, high blood pressure, pregnant women, young children, and others with health concerns should consult a physician before using the spa. To ensure proper function of the spa, the pool manager reserves the right to restrict use by children (15 years and younger) during times of peak use. The spa is not open for use during times reserved for swimming lessons.
City Park Pool
Located in City Park
200 Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52245
Pool Temperature: Unheated
The City Park pool is located outdoors on Park Road in Upper City Park on the northwest side of Iowa City. This is a T-shaped pool featuring a super shallow area on both sides of the ‘T,’ a 50-meter and 25-yard lap swim area, and two (2) one-meter and two (2) three-meter diving boards. The pool depth ranges from 1 to 14 feet. The facility also features a small wading pool for use by young children being directly supervised by a responsible adult (16 years or older). City Park pool is open seasonally through Labor Day.
The splash pads are closed for the year. The winterization process has begun and splash pads are expected to reopen for recreational use in spring 2023.
Iowa City Parks and Recreation manages three splash pads. The features are touch-activated, and the water turns off after a designated period of time. The splash features operate 9 a.m.- 8 p.m., daily, from Memorial Day to Labor Day (weather and maintenance dependent). For more information on pool or splash pad closures visit Iowa City Parks and Recreation Rainout Line. There is no fee to use these splash pads.
Wetherby Park Splash Pad, 2400 Taylor Drive
Fairmeadows Park Splash Pad, 2500 Miami Drive
Tower Court Park Spray Pad, 1124 Tower Court*
Swim Parties are available on select Saturdays and Sundays at City Park Pool during summer months and on Saturdays at Robert A Lee during the school year.
- To view available dates and read policies, visit the pool rental page on Activenet.
- Organized groups of ten or more people (including daycares, school groups, camps, and parties and celebrations) are required to contact the Aquatics Program Supervisor prior to their visit to Iowa City pools to ensure space is available and make a reservation. If pools reach maximum capacity with other group reservations and programs, aquatics staff may not be able to accommodate.
- Groups should contact the Aquatics Program Supervisor, Kate Connell, or 319-356-5100.
Iowa City Parks and Recreation uses Rainout Line to communicate cancellation information. Please refer to Rainout Line for up-to-date notifications regarding pool closures and delays due to weather, or maintenance.
There are three ways to check or sign up for updates:
- Download the free app to your phone by searching Rainout Line.
- Visit rainoutline.com and search for "Iowa City Parks and Recreation."
- Call 319-346-7080 and listen for prompts.
Please note that the app is only updated during regular business hours of operation. This does not include nights and weekends.
Questions? Please contact Recreation Program Supervisor, Kate Connell or 319-887-6127.