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VALLEY WEEKEND | FOR THE KIDS

Valley's Pools Can Take the Heat off the Fourth

Many community facilities will be open on the holiday and through the weekend. Many charge a fee, so don't forget your wallet.

July 04, 1996|RICHARD KAHLENBERG | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you don't have a pool of your own, but want to provide the family with a wet and wild Fourth of July, you don't have to schlep over the hill to the ocean.

Here's a guide to Valley "swimming opportunities," as Sheilah Ortega, a spokeswoman for the County Parks, calls them. These are open to the public through Sunday.

Surprisingly--and mercifully--rather than being closed for the official holiday, many of the sites operated through taxpayers' funds are open today. The YMCA's pools, however, are not open--but will be Friday through Sunday. Also, there's a privately operated camp in Reseda, which is offering free swimming, plus a watermelon eating contest, on Friday.

Regardless of which day you decide to take your clan to the pool, it's a good idea to phone ahead--you certainly don't want to arrive there to find that the volume of visitors in the pool is greater than the volume of water.

There is a wide enough choice of pool sites, between Woodland Hills and Glendale, North Hollywood and Sylmar, that you should be able to find something. Most of these pools charge a small fee ranging from 75 cents to a few dollars, so take some money along. At certain sites there are age restrictions.

You can get information about neighborhood pools that are operated by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks by calling the office of their Regional Aquatics Facility at (818) 756-8859. For further information on operating times and addresses, you can call the following pool sites directly (all sites are in the 818 area code).

Cleveland Pool, Reseda: 756-9798; Fernangeles Pool, Sun Valley: 767-1020; Granada Hills Pool: 360-7107; Hubert Humphrey Pool, Pacoima: 896-0067; Lake Balboa Pool, Van Nuys: 756-9743; Lanark Pool, Canoga Park: 340-9378; North Hollywood Pool: 766-8212; Northridge Pool: 886-8896; Reseda Pool: 881-2145; Ritchie Valens Pool, Pacoima: 834-5176; Sun Valley Pool: 768-6626; Sylmar Pool: 367-6727; Valley Plaza Pool, North Hollywood: 765-3553; Sherman Oaks Pool, Van Nuys: 981-6614; Verdugo Hills Pool, Tujunga: 353-1365; Woodland Hills Pool: 340-6099.

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Other cities in the Valley--all in the 818 area code--that have public pools open today through Sunday are: San Fernando, Recreation Park, 898-1290; Burbank, McCambridge Pool on Glenoaks Boulevard, 238-5381.

Glendale offers professionally staffed wading pools for kids 8 and under. They can be found at Brand, Dunsmore, Glenoaks, Fremont, Pacific and Palmer Parks, 548-3785. All are free.

John McGrory, aquatics director for Burbank parks, says, "Don't worry about crowding, the more the merrier. Give your kid a chance to cool off and mom a chance to cool her feet."

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The County of Los Angeles Parks System operates two pools in the Valley that will be open over the holiday. They are at Knollwood Golf Course in Granada Hills, 368-4758, and El Cariso Park in Sylmar, 362-4686.

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The YMCAs in the Valley area have five pools open for the holiday beginning Friday: Burbank, 845-8551; La Crescenta-La Canada, 790-0123; Glendale, 240-4130; East San Fernando Valley-North Hollywood, 763-5126; and West San Fernando Valley-Reseda 345-7393.

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Swimming will be one aspect of the Fruit Festival Open House, at Camp Buonara in Van Nuys on Friday. In addition to the swimming, which is a sort of free sample of the camp's summer-long "Mommie & Me Swim Classes" program, there will be wagon rides, sack races, square dancing and a watermelon eating contest.

The camp is a business, not taxpayer supported, but the festival is free to the public. The address is 19325 Sherman Way, 885-6200.

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Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys operates a weekend lap-swimming program for adults and a weekday "Splash Club" for kids throughout the summer, but the pool is closed today. Call 785-3000.

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