Simpkins Family Swim Center
Frequently Asked Questions






Below are some commonly asked questions concerning the Simpkins Family Swim Center operation PRIOR TO March 2020 closure and re-opening due to COVID-19. We look forward to returning to a 'drop-in' pool usage schedule, and resuming of regular aquatics programming when health and capacity limitations are lifted. Please feel free to call our front desk at 831-454-7960 for more information.


Who is a RESIDENT and who is a NON-RESIDENT?

For County programs, you are considered a non-resident if you live outside of Santa Cruz County , or in one of the following cities or special recreation districts:  City of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, City of Watsonville, City of Scotts Valley, Alba Recreation District (Ben Lomond Area), Opal Cliffs Recreation District, La Selva Beach Recreation District

Residents of all other unincorporated parts of Santa Cruz County are considered a RESIDENTS .

Why is the 50-Meter Pool not currently scheduled to have more laps swimming lanes available?

The County of Santa Cruz Parks Department schedules the 50-Meter pool for a variety of community programs which run concurrently. At times, these programs impact the different user groups which share the pool. Because the lap swim program is in very high demand, it is offered throughout the day. Our goal is to always have a minimum of five lanes reserved for this program.

When are the most lap swim lanes available?

Availability may vary according to seasonal programs. Generally, more lanes are available Monday through Friday in the morning, during Recreation Swim, after 6:00pm and Saturday and Sunday after 10:30am .

When are the fewest lanes available?

Between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, lap lane availability is extremely limited.

Who can I talk to about the pool hours of operation?

(831) 454-7960

How is maximum capacity determined?

Capacity is determined by the ratio of lifeguards to program participants, pool space allotted for the program, and the swimming skills and ages of the swimmers participating Recreation Swim.

Why do I have to pay to enter the swim center when I’m not going to be swimming?

There is a general admission fee for all persons entering the pool deck for Recreation Swim, Lap Swim and Warm Water Swim. The pool is staffed to guard all customers, those in the water and on the pool deck. Parents bringing their children to swim lessons are not charged a fee to stay on the pool deck and watch during class. They will be charged if they swim while they wait for their children.

What chemicals are regularly used in the pools?

Liquid chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite, .08%) as a disinfectant; and muriatic acid (HCL) and carbon dioxide to adjust pH.

Do the pools close when it rains?

Generally, No they do not. The pools are required to close during periods of thunder and lightning-- 30 minutes from the last occurence.  As well, the pools may be closed temporarily in the event that rain, fog and wind obstruct the lifeguards’ field of vision-- Lifeguard staff must see swimmers under the water as well as swimmers on the surface of the water.

Why do the hours change for the warm water pool?

The pool is scheduled seasonally based upon attendance and programming. In the summertime when area schools are out of session there are expanded youth recreational programs and swim lessons, and so 'open swim' times are more limited. Please pick up a current schedule from the Swim Center today.

May my child use a floatation device?

No. Children who are non-swimmers must be accompanied by an adult in the water and be within arms' reach at all times. During Summer recreation swim, swimmers may use the swim center’s inner tubes after they pas a swim test administered by the lifeguards.

Why do water aerobics and adult fitness participants have to sign-in?

Sign in sheets allow instructors to double check that participants have both paid and signed in. Contracted instructors are paid according to the number of students officially attending each class.

What are the temperatures of the pools?

The 50-meter pool is maintained at 78° F, the warm water pool is 88° F, and the “splash-down” pool at the foot of the water slide is maintained at 88 ° F. The swim center strives to maintain these averages but the temperature may fluctuate according to the weather.

May I rent the Live Oak Community Room for a meeting?

YES! The County Parks Department offers rentals to the public. Call (831) 454-7938 Monday through Friday 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to check availability and receive information on our affordable rate.

May I rent a portion of the pool or the entire pool for a private party?

YES! Pools are available for private rentals March through October on Weekends after the pool closes to the public. Please call (831) 454-7964 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to check availability.

Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831)