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Sellwood Pool
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Sellwood PoolWhat’s to Love:  I hope people who live near the pool don’t hate me for writing this article.  Why would they hate me?  It’s simple – they don’t want the best outdoor pool in Portland any more crowded than it already is!  Actually, to think the Sellwood Pool is some top secret location known only to insiders is a bit naive.  Everything you’ve heard (if it’s tremendously positive) is most likely true.  We all know Sellwood Park is gorgeous, and the pool is the perfect extension for summer fun.

Do you have your kids all signed-up for swimming lessons?  If you don’t, you can check-out the Portland Parks and Recreation online registration system.  Let’s get back to all the great things about the Sellwood Pool…oh yeah, the pool offers one of the better toddler areas with some nice spray features.  The cement-border and water level are the same height, so your kids can just stroll right in without going down a ladder or having to jump in.  It’s warm and clean with a decent amount of umbrellas and chairs.  Even though it gets crowded, I still like the smaller size, because it’s easier to keep an eye on my son.

One of the most attractive features – it’s right off the Springwater Corridor Trail!  After your done swimming, you’re a quick ride into the heart of the Westmoreland/Sellwood neighborhood, which has so much to offer.

Sellwood PoolCaveats:  Any public pool on a hot day is going to be crowded.  People may see this as a caveat, but to me, it’s a simple reality.  There are limited amenties at the pool; however, they do have overpriced goggles for sale!  Save your money and head over to Sellwood if you need anything.   

WebsiteSellwood Pool

Distance from Portland:  About 3 miles from downtown Portland

Recommended Ages:  There is a short, tube-slide with about a 3-4 foot drop to the water when you’re launched out of it.  Besides that, the features for older kids are limited.  Therefore, if you have older kids who want a bit more excitment, head to an aquatic park or Wilson Pool.

Parental Stress Factor: Medium to High.  They could have lifeguards standing shoulder to shoulder around the outside of the pool, and I would still be stressed out.  You have to pick your stress-battles, and this is one for me!  I’ve never been a fan of the water, but I do know that my son loves it.  So, I’m happy to bring him there to enjoy some quality time in the pool.  However, that doesn’t alleviate my constant worry about water safety.

Physical Difficulty:  Accessible ramps and bathrooms.

Family Fun Factor:  High with kids 10 and younger.  With older kids, the family fun factor probabl goes down a bit.

Pet Friendly:  If you’re planning on swimming at Sellwood Park, leave the dog at home.

Weather Considerations:  It’s a warm pool, and even on cooler days the swimming is okay.  However, there is nothing like swimming here on a hot summer day.

Sellwood PoolInsider Info:  The pool has a very limited number of fun flotation toys.  Your child might spend most of his/her visit asking you, “…how long ’til I get to play with the inner-tube?” This can be very annoyoing, so my suggestion is to try to bring your own toys, even though many kids will probably try to snag them when you’re not looking!

If you want a seat with shade, plan on getting to the pool at least 15 minutes early where you will probably wait in a line.  If you’re near the front of this line, there is no shade!  Plan on getting baked – bring your sun screen, hat and sunglasses.

Sellwood Park is very close to one of our favorite toy stores.  If you haven’t stopped by, pay the wonderful folks at Spielwerk Community Toy Store a visit.  This is one of the most unique little shops you’ll find for quality, wooden toys and Waldorf-type fun.

Family Tips:  I have heard several parents complain about morning swimming lessons being too cold at this pool.  At that time, the pool is completely shaded.  So, if you have to do morning lessons, consider an indoor pool instead.

Ride the Springwater Corridor and bring a picnic lunch or pick one up at New Seasons Market in Sellwood.  You can make a day of it at Sellwood Park, if you bring along some sporting goods as well (e.g., bat, baseball, Frisbee, croquet, boche ball, soccer ball, etc.).

Get in the water with your kids!  I see so many parents working on their tans, texting, or talking away on their cell phones.  One of the highlights for kids is when parents play with them in the water.  Please, get in and enjoy the water with your family.

Technorati Tags: Sellwood Pool, park, playground, Westmoreland, family swimming, Springwater Corridor, spray feature, toddler area

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11 Comments


  1. We are looking to move to the area sometime this year…hopefully in time for summer! As for your last paragraph–right on!!!!!!!! Thanks for all of your very helpful information.

  2. Great … Have some fun !!!!!!!!!!! ………..

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