NEW YORK CITY — City pools opened Thursday and kids flocked to the water with parents in tow to celebrate their first day of summer vacation.
"We are so excited the pools are open," Helen Nurse said at the Commodore Barry pool in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Nurse sat in the shade chatting with a friend as her two daughters swam nearby.
"We’ll be here at least three times a week this summer," she said.
Commodore Barry offers free swimming lessons in the morning and free lunches during the week.
Rebecca Curinga of Clinton Hill likes how close the pool is to where she lives.
"We will definitely be coming here a lot," she said as she held her 3-year-old, Quinlan. "And the best part is the free lunch."
On Thursday Commodore Barry was packed with sunbathers, water fighters, frolickers, splashers and swimmers while at least four lifeguards were on duty at all times.
It will be open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
McCarren pool in Williamsburg opened its doors Thursday for the first time since 1983, prompting Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cut a ribbon and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to strip down and jump in.
Astoria Park pool in Queens also celebrated opening day.
The oldest and largest in the city, Astoria's pool has drawn swimmers since 1936.
Amina Derisevic, who has lived in Astoria for 12 years, came with her three kids: Leyla, 7, Emma, 8, and Omar, 11.
"It’s a gorgeous day and kids are very excited," she said. "We come here every year."
In the morning, she said, her kids would take swimming lessons at the pool, and in afternoons they will just have fun.
“It’s great because a lot of our friends come here too, so we can all hang out,” said Omar.