Whether you want to cool down on a sweltering summer day, swim some laps to keep fit or just need an activity to keep the kids busy, Philadelphia overflows with swimming pools and waterparks. From spray-grounds to swim clubs to state parks and theme parks, the Philadelphia area has it all, but these are the best of the best.

O’Connor Pool
2601 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 685-6593

Price: free

Philadelphia maintains more public swimming pools than any other city in the country, and O’Connor Pool may be one of its best-kept secrets. You certainly can’t beat the price. The city-run pool is fully guarded, and bathers may dip and doggie paddle in the open-air facility free of charge. A blend of families, neighborhood kids and medical students share the fun, so expect large crowds, especially on the weekends.

Herron Park Sprayground
250 Reed St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 685-1884

Price: free

Head down to south Philly to visit the urban Herron Park Sprayground. Like a sprinkler system gone mad, the park has five paved splash pad areas. Sprayers spout geysers from the pavement, pour torrents down from poles and shoot arcs of water across space. Sets of splash zones cycle on and off, keeping kids squealing, splashing and on the move. An adventure-style playground shares the space, as do bathrooms, basketball courts, picnic tables and plenty of free parking.

Lombard Swim Club
2040 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-9363

Price: $1,165 per session for adults/$735 for children/$280 for sitters/$275 new member fee

Philadelphia’s first private club, opened in 1961, features open-air construction, but the facility is surrounded by a wall and greenery to shield it from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Blue cabanas and lounge chairs line the perimeter of both a large pool and a kiddie pool. Locker rooms, a baby changing room and a full-service restaurant are on site. WiFi, cable TV, adult beverage services, discount parking, swim lessons, and adult and children’s programs and activities complete the picture.

Neshaminy State Park
3401 State Rd.
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 639-4538

Click here for prices

The swimming pools are one of the most popular attractions at beautiful Neshaminy State Park. This much-loved summer sanctuary is located in Bensalem, just a half hour drive from Center City Philadelphia. After working up a sweat in the park’s 339 acres, visitors are welcome to take a dip in one of its two pools. The main pool and the children’s spray pool are fully guarded by top-notch lifeguards.

Sesame Place
100 Sesame Rd.
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 752-7070

Price: $65.00 at the gate $55 if purchased online

Sesame Place offers a wonderful world of wet entertainment with water slides, raft rides, a lazy river and a splash castle. Located in Langhorne, about a 30-minute drive from Center City, Sesame Place is the only amusement park in the world that’s based on the long-running television show “Sesame Street.” While it caters to children ages 2 to 13, the facility offers 14 acres of waterpark fun for family members of all ages. Patrons may splash and slide on such rides as Bert & Ernie’s Slip & Slide, Slimey’s Chutes, Sesame Streak and Big Bird’s Rambling River. Purchase a 2012 Sesame season pass and enjoy unlimited admission for the season, plus 30 percent off food and merchandise.

Related: Fall Fun At Sesame Place

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.