Best Public Pool

Maplewood Family Aquatic Center

We could begin with the slides — the really fast one that leaves you skimming across the surface of the pool four stories below, or that loopy-doopy slide with more twists than a log flume. Perhaps we should discuss the lazy river? How we've spent hours just floating round and round. Then there's the beachlike wading pool that starts out a millimeter deep and gradually drops to a depth of three feet. And the fountains. Did we mention the fountains in the wading pool? We should talk about those. Or the diving boards in the big pool? The high dive is great for cannonballs. And speaking of the big pool, good golly, it's massive. Michael Phelps would probably tucker himself out swimming just one length in the lap lanes. And how about the crowd at this pool? Where else in St. Louis do you see such a diverse mix of people merrily enjoying themselves? Yes, we should probably mention all these things. But our favorite part of this gorgeous swimming pool? The frozen grapes for sale in Ziploc bags at the concession stand. So cool. So brilliant. So satisfying. Sort of like the Maplewood Family Aquatic Center itself.

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