Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a member of the pool?

Visit the Kennedy Pool during any open hours and pay a daily fee. The Kennedy Pool also offers two month passes to the pool. You can purchase this pass for Family Swim (which includes 2 adults and 2 children, $10 extra for additional children); Adult Lap Swim for the Evenings and Weekends, Early Bird Lap Swim, and a Combo Adult Lap Swim Pass that allows members to go whenever lap swim is offered.

During the summer we offer Summer Passes that last for the entire summer.

Check our Family and Lap Swim Schedule to view the prices for passes.

What are your hours?


Please check the calendar for all Kennedy Pool up to date daily school year and summer programming.

The big pool is never guaranteed to be open. When the big pool is open all children must take a deep end test (given at the top of the hour) in order to use the pool, regardless if an adult is with them


During the City of Somerville's  December & February & April School Vacations, the pool runs on a modified schedule similar to the summer pool hours.  Please check pool website's calendar for the specific schedule.

How can I prove that I live in Somerville?

Although you do not need to be a resident of Somerville to use the Kennedy Pool, we have a resident and non-resident rate. Because of this, if you are a resident of Somerville you must bring proof of residency EVERY time you come. Proof of residency includes a government issued ID, mail with your name on it (and of course an ID to match the name), bills, etc.

What forms of payment are accepted?

  • We only accept cash for the pools daily lap swimming and family swim fee.
  • We only accept CHECKS for swimming lessons and pool passes.
  • All checks are payable to the "City of Somerville"
  • In the memo section we ask that you write what the check is for "swimming lessons" or "swim pass."

How do I register for swim lessons?

In order to register your child or yourself for swim lessons, you must register in person and payment is taken in the form of a check. You can only register for a friend’s child(ren) if you are not registering for your own child (or addtional family's child(ren) ) as well, although you can register for that child at another day. Swim lesson registration generally starts the month before the lessons start. 

How big are the pools?

  • The big pool is 6 lanes and 25 yards long. 
  • The small pool is 22 feet by 46 feet with a zero entry ramp.

How is lap swim organized?

The Kennedy Pool has no limit on how many people can be in a lane. If there are two swimmers in a lane, the swimmers can either split the lane or circle swim. Once there are more, the swimmers will most definitely be circle swimming. Any swimmer coming in an occupied lane should make the other swimmers aware of their presence. The lanes are designated slow-fast. Swimmers do not have the right do deny another swimmer access into a lane. All swimmers must wear swim caps.

How busy is lap swim?

It varies. Morning lap swim tends to be less crowded than evening lap swim, but it often changes.

What equipment is available for lap swim?

We offer kickboards and pull buoys. We also have 4 pace clocks. We do not offer goggles, swim caps or towels. If there is pool space, we will also offer water aerobic belts; this is not guaranteed.

When are all the lanes open during lap swim?

During the school-year October - June

Generally, all the lanes are available during morning lap swim. In the evening, it varies based on different programs that are running during lap swim and family swim.  

During the summer End of June - mid-August

Generally, all the lanes are available during morning lap swim. During the afternoons (12-5pm) all the lanes are generally open. In the evening, it varies based on different programs that are running during lap swim and family swim, customarily there are 4-5 lanes open. From 7pm-7:40pm, more lanes are usually open.

Is there any time when a child can do lap swim?

During the school year, no. During that time, we offer swim lessons for children, and if they are looking for something more strenuous, they can look into joining a swim team. In the summer, Monday through Friday from 12/1pm to 3:30pm swimmers under 18 years old can do lap swim with parent supervision or a completed 13-17 year old permission form (and a photo id id).

When can a child come without their parents?

Any child six and younger must have a parent/guardian (21+) with them in the water within arms distance at all times.

Children from 7-13 must have a parent/guardian with them but not necessarily in the water, however they must be actively supervising the child. The parent/guardian (21+) may not swim laps, leave the deck, participate in a swim lesson for themself or another child.

Once a child is 14-17, they can have a form filled out with parent consent that permits them to come without their parents, as long as they bring a picture ID every time.

When can swimmers of family swim go into the big pool?

Ocassionally, the big pool will be available to family swim members from 6:15pm-7:30pm. However, there is no guaranteed access to the big pool during family swim, as there will be times when the big pool is not available due to programs interfering, etc. Generally on Saturdays the shallow end of the big pool only is open for family swim from 12:15-1pm.  If we add additional lessons in the small pool this time could extend up to 3:30pm.  Once lessons end, within the time for famiy swim, swimmers are safely transfered into the small pool which can take from 2-5 minutes.

In order for a child to go into the big pool, they must pass our deep end test given a the top of the hour only. This test includes one length of independent crawl stroke, 1/2 length of backstroke, and two minutes treading water. You can only take the test 1x per day and you only have to take this test once a year.

Am I required to follow the lifeguard’s instructions?

Yes. Anything the lifeguard requests must be followed. The lifeguard has the final say.

Is it necessary to lock up my belongings?

Theft is extremely rare at the Kennedy Pool. However, in order to ensure that your belongings are safe we strongly recommend locking up belongings. We rent out and sell locks, and otherwise feel free to bring your own, as long as you remove your lock and belongings out of the locker each time you leave.

Do I have to wear a swim cap?

During lap swim, swim caps are mandatory for all swimmers. During family swim, anyone with longer hair is required to use an elastic, although caps are recommended.