Monday, July 28, 2008

Water in the Desert: Aquatics in Temecula

Seems like an oxymoron, but desert Temecula boasts an excellent aquatics program. Which is a good thing, because there are days where a swim in the pool is the only thing that will cool you off. Even if you are forced to do it with your sister:

The jewel of Temecula's aquatics is the Community Recreation Center (CRC) pool, located at Ronald Reagan Sports Park (Funny, when I moved here people thought I was heading to the land of liberals. Hah.). It's a 25-yard pool with 6 lanes ranging from 3.5 feet to 12 feet, ample seating, a friendly staff, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers. There's also a separate toddler pool (though judging by the temperature, I'm guessing it's 70% urine by volume on a busy day), a diving board:

and a thrilling waterslide:

There is lap swimming twice a day during the week (approximately between 5:30-8:30 a.m. and again from 11:15-12:45, but please double-check the hours (on page 36 of this brochure) before going because they vary somewhat with the season) and on Saturdays; a Masters swim program, shallow and deep water aerobics, and adult swim lessons.

There's also an excellent children's swim program offered every summer. Classes range from Parent-n-Me to Level 6 (Personal Water Safety/Fundamentals of Diving), with times throughout the day. Classes are $45/two-week session and take place at the CRC, Temecula Elementary School, and Chapparal High School .

Downside: The registration process is labyrinthine and tedious. If you are a Temecula resident, the only sane way to do it is to mark the dates for mail in registration on your calendar, and get your registration out in the mail *on the first day*.

FREE Public swim is from 12:30-3:30 on M-F and from 1-5 on weekends throughout the summer. It gets crowded, so come early or come late--crowds tend to peak around the middle of the sessions.

Best kept secret? There's also public swim during the same hours at Chapparal High School (corner of Winchester and Nicolas)... And it's typically much less crowded. The CHS pool doesn't have a waterslide or dive, but it does have a zero-depth water play area.

So slather on the sunblock and grab your suit--the water's fine.

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