Arlington, which was recently named the healthiest city in the U.S. for the umpteenth time in a row, has always known how to spend money on health. In this case, its parks and recreation department has created the indoor pool to end all indoor pools.
The Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Center is a $60 million, 92,000-square-foot water-complex, with indoor waterscape, competition pool, and exercise room. If you want to drop off the kids and go work out, you can. If you want to join them in the lazy river, no one will blame you.
Because the indoor water play-place is pretty crazy. A lengthy lazy river runs through the space, with whimsical looping fountains spraying passersby. The “spray-ground” concept is taken to the limit, with an actual little play-place amid the fountains. For kids looking for a little more of a thrill, they’ll want to try the multi-rotation tube-slide.
Adults can feel ok letting the kids entertain themselves, thanks to an 8,000-square-foot fitness center that overlooks the Arlington pool, with options for cardio, strength-training, and group classes. Adults can look out the windows of the gym at their kids having fun in the pool while they themselves get to jog. Lucky!
For the wannabe Phelpses of the world (presumably there’s a more recent notable swimmer coming out of the last Olympics that I could reference, but if they don’t get a Subway commercial I don’t know them) the center also hosts the only 50-meter pool in Arlington, separate from the not-quite-a-water-park thing. It’s competition level, with 1-meter, 3-meter, and 5-meter diving boards, with tiered spectator seating surrounding the pool. It’s all set for a race, but it’s open to the public.
Which all goes to say, this isn’t plain lap swimming. Grab your stopwatch, and it’ll make building that swimmer’s body a lot more fun.
The pricing system is kind of complicated, so you can read about it here, but topline: You need to pay $9 if you’re a non-member Arlington resident, $11.25 if you’re a non-member non-resident. Which I mean, it was a $60 million pool, so I get it.
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