When Memorial Day arrives, that means one thing, summer is officially on the horizon. There may still be a few days of school left, but the local pools are opening and readying for a summer filled with swim lessons, diving and floating.

After the summer of 2013 saw the village of Oak Park reduced to one pool, Diane Stanke, Park District of Oak Park director of marketing and customer service, expects that many residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of the newly remodeled Ridgeland Common Pool.

“The grand opening is planned for Saturday June 14 from noon to three p.m.,” Stanke said. “There will be free admission to the pool and ice arena. We’ll have a luau-themed celebration with food and ukulele music.”

When the pool opens for regular hours the following day, Stanke says there will be plenty of new items to explore.

“We have new locker rooms, a new pool deck and a new wading pool with a penguin slide for the little ones,” she said. “You no longer have to go indoors to get to the pool. We will have pool lockers outside.”

Rehm Pool, which opens for the pre-season on May 24, also got some upgrades over the off season. A new, approximately ten-foot high climbing wall in the diving well will be sure to draw crowds. Stanke says it’s not just for kids. “You can climb up it and jump in the pool. I think everyone will love it.”

The Park District has plenty of special events planned at both pools over the summer. On July 18, Ridgeland will host a Flick and Float showing of Happy Feet. Three teen pool parties are planned: at Rehm on June 6, and on July 11 and August 1 at Ridgeland.

Early indicators point to a busy pool season according to Stanke.

“We absolutely expect more visitors this summer,” Stanke said. “In our pre-registration period we surpassed our projected numbers.”

Forest Park’s Aquatic Center is also gearing up for a busy summer. With a zero-depth 367,000 gallon pool, two drop slides, two flume slides, an interactive play area, a spray ground, and diving board, the center has plenty of room for water fun.

Two flick and float nights are planned. On July 16, prepare to swim with the fishes with Finding Nemo. On August 13, relive the past winter with a showing of Frozen. Four themed nights at the pool offer family fun from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday June 25 is Circus Night at the pool with circus-themed entertainment, games and food. Pirate Treasure night returns on July 9 with a pool key toss and a sand-themed treasure hunt for children under 4. Wednesday July 23 is game night at the pool featuring swimming, favorite board games and characters from your favorite games. The Hawaiian Luau returns on July 30 featuring a traditional pig roast, Hawaiian themed dancing and music.

The Forest Park Aquatic Center opens for the season at 10 a.m. on Saturday May 24, and more information about the season can be found at www.pdofp.org/aquatics.

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