Friday 11 December 2020

Melbourne City Baths Today- Just Keep Swimming

“Oh look! My swimming place!” That’s my four-year-old, exclaiming excitedly every time when we drove past this stunning 19th century Edwardian-style building. I previously blogged about the City Baths and its "filthy" origin. Today, I am going to talk about the City Bath and what it is TODAY.
Facade wise, the City Baths reminds me of the magnificently solemn Supreme Court, the vintage architectural design of the Old Treasury Building, and other classic Melbourne’s structures with signature meticulousness and grandeur. No, you won’t be able to look past this place without pausing your footsteps. You won’t miss the screaming bright-red bricks, the unique arched entrance, and the elaborate steps leading to the front door from two directions along Swanston Street. I love its boldness, its pride, its unspeakable endurance. In the older times, men and women were required to enter the public bath building through separate entrances. Today, there is no more gender segregation, but we can still see the “men” and “women” signages at the front facade (a great conversation starter with your older kids!)
This heritage-listed and elegant building today houses the largest swimming pool in the city, a modern gym, spa, sauna and (a best-kept secret) squash court. Prior to Covid (and hopefully in the near future), you would see kids and parents walking up the steps to their weekly swimming lessons from early in the morning. The last time we checked, the Melbourne City Baths offers one of the lowest-fee swimming lessons for kids around the CBD area. There are two swimming pools at the ground floor: a 30-metres long “adult” pool divided into several swim lanes (kids are welcomed to join in the splash with supervision of parents); and a kids pool (reserved for lessons’ use) equipped with colourful range of swim-noodles, kick boards, float mat, sinking toys, bath duckies, mirrors and everything an instructor needs to conduct a fun-filled class.
Sometimes, the kids have water-safety week where the boy could wear his pyjamas into the pool with fluorescent-yellow life vest. The boy loves the “diving” training with his special floating vest on. The kids have loads of giggling throughout the class. Taught by AUSTSWIM and ASCTA swim instructors, the lessons place paramount importance on water safety awareness. There are some really cute changing cabins at the edge of the kids pool with vintage swinging doors. I love the warm sunlight permeating through the roof and windows. After the swim, we usually enjoy our croissants and coffee at the TV area (cartoons time!), slumping on the comfortable couch, having causal chats with other parents and making some new friends from the neighbourhood.
If you are wondering where is the best place to get your sweet treats and caffeine-boost, there is a Poolhouse Coffee at the basement, or alternatively, you have a wider choice from Melbourne Central or Victoria Market, both within walking distance. Location: 420-438 Swanston Street Melbourne VIC 3000 / For Covid-19 restrictions and facilities access, VIEW HERE.

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