When the pool at Rye Playland first opened in 1929 there was a three-day carnival to celebrate the occasion. Aquatic celebrities such as Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel, and Johnny Weismuller, a free-style Olympic champion, made appearances at the grand event. Thousands of onlookers nervously watched as Lucille Anderson made a death-defying stunt dive from 75 feet in the air into a tank of shallow water.

Ever since this opening fanfare, the pool has offered generations of New Yorkers respite from the summer heat when visiting the historic Rye Playland. In 2019, the pool closed for renovations. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend this year, the newly renovated pool and re-opened Playland Beach will become a summer destination once again!

Rye Playland Pool
Photo Courtesy of Westchester County Archives, Rye Playland Pool in the 1930s

Untapped New York Insiders can be one of the first to see the pool renovations first-hand on a free tour of the historic amusement park on June 5th! On this tour led by Barbara Davis, Co-Director of the Westchester County Historical Society, Insider will get to ride original attractions from the 1920s and 30s, learn about their inner mechanisms, and uncover surprising stories from the park’s 96-year history!

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Rye Playland: Rides & Restoration Tour

People on a roller coaster at Rye Plaland

In the 1930s, swimmers were dazzled by the pool’s electric lights that illuminated the water from above and below the water for night swimming. Another feature the pool advertised was that its 500,000 gallons of fresh water were “safe enough to drink!” A newspaper article from 1936 described how the pool water was tested hourly and kept clean with by a filter system, a dose of chlorine, and “a huge vacuum sweeper which is run along the floor without draining off the water.”

When the pool reopens this May, it will have a slew of modern upgrades including a state-of-the-art, zero-depth entry and infrastructure improvements. There will be new lounge furniture to lay on, a dedicated splash zone for younger children, and a sundry shop stocked with everything you need for a day at the pool, from sunscreen, and sunglasses to towels and swimsuits. The historic Art Deco bathhouses have been given a fresh coat of their signature green paint.

Vintage Postcard of Rye Playland Pool
Photo Courtesy of Westchester County Archives

For swimmers who prefer splashing around in the Long Island Sound, you can gain access once again at Playland Beach, opening for the first time since 2021. This summer, guests can enjoy melodic tunes by steel drum bands every weekend, glide down a new 35-foot waterfront slide, play beach volleyball, tan on lounge chairs, and take cover under the shade of umbrellas available for rent. If you’re looking to get a bit more adventurous, there are kayaks available for rent.

Playland Beach
Courtesy of Rye Playland

The pool and beach are open on May 25th! See opening schedules and book your tickets here.

Join Untapped New York Insiders for a rides and restoration tour of the historic amusement park on June 5th when we’ll see the new pool upgrades and ride some of the original attractions!

Rye Playland: Rides & Restoration Tour

Rye playland

Next, check out NYC’s Lost Amusement Parks

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the pool is opening for the first time in five years. The pool re-opened in the summer of 2023.