Ideas for an empty & drained swimming pool

Updated February 21, 2017

Drained and emptied swimming pools are heartbreaking. No one wants to see a summer pool tangled with weeds, leaves and mosquitoes come autumn and winter. To makeover an unused space, converting a swimming pool into a recreation space is ideal. To come up with ideas, look at the empty pool space as a potential outdoor, environmentally-conscious entertainment venue.

Sunken Flower Nursery

You can make your emptied and drained pool into a flower nursery. Fill the drained pool with at least 12 inches of soil. Test the pH level to check the acidity. Plant flower, coffee, vegetable or fruit seedlings that only need small space for extending their roots before you transplant them to a larger, deeper garden. Azaleas, for example, have shallow root systems. You can then either water the flowers or other plants by hose, or install a small irrigation system in the pool basin. By laying in perforated pipe or draining tiles in the garden, you can monitor the amount of water the plants receive daily. If you wish to reopen the pool the next season, haul out the dirt with wheelbarrows. Hire a professional pool maintenance team to ensure the soil gets removed from all parts of the pool basin.

Temporary Deck

Make a temporary deck to cover the drained and emptied pool. Instead of wasting the space or filling it, you can purchase or construct a hardcover device that slips over the top of the pool, similar to how a ping-pong table slides across a billiard ball table to change the game. You can use this space to entertain, place a dining table on it or set up a gazebo. Know the weight specifications for the cover before putting any objects on the cover or inviting friends to socialise there. Uncover the area when it returns to pool season, and invite friends back for a swim instead.

Dance Floor

The empty and drained pool does not have to be a totally functional place. Use the empty pool for entertaining. You can line the bottom of the pool with carpeting or a temporary linoleum flooring. Get people together for a party. Play music around the pool, and let the pool act as an outdoor dance floor. String coloured or white lights above the pool for twinkling lights. Flip on the one or two pool lights when everyone starts dancing. When it turns pool season again, take out the flooring and lights, repair any damages (cracks or chipped paint) and you can fill the pool again with water.

Roller Skating or Ice Rink

You can use the pool as a makeshift roller skating or ice rink. If you want to go all out for a skating rink, and you do not plan to reopen the pool the next season for swimming, line the pool bottom with linoleum flooring, which will make for smoother skating, though a concrete floor is also fine. An ice skating rink takes more time, money, effort and a larger pool if you want it to be enjoyable for guests. You can line the pool with thick ice, like the Lasker Rink and Pool in New York City's Central Park. You can play music on outdoor speakers and host skating parties at home. See to it that every guest has a helmet, knee pads and other safety gear if they wish to skate.

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About the Author

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.