It’s a New Year’s Day tradition for many Austin residents to leap into Barton Springs Pool. The city has cancelled this year’s Polar Bear Plunge. Pam LeBlanc photo

Heads up, cold water swimmers. The pandemic has frozen plans for the 2021 Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs Pool.

City officials have cancelled the event “after careful consideration of the local characteristics of the virus and related community priorities.” Barton Springs Pool won’t open at all on Jan. 1, 2021. 

This guy told me he lost a fantasy football bet and had to jump in Barton Springs last New Year’s Day. Pam LeBlanc photo

I rode my bike to Barton Springs Pool last New Year’s Day and jumped into the 70-degree waters. I even met a guy dressed in a red, white and blue onesie, who told me he was there because he’d lost a fantasy football bet. And no, the water itself isn’t that bad. It’s getting out, when a breeze hits your wet body, that gets uncomfortable.

Dozens of other folks gathered to take the plunge.

Austin Parks and Recreation Department officials are asking people who have made the New Year’s Day plunge at Barton Springs in the past to share photos or videos on social media, using the hashtag #polarplungeatx. For more information on city pool schedules, go to

Chris LeBlanc jumps into Barton Springs on Jan. 1, 2020. Pam LeBlanc photo

About Pam

I’m Pam LeBlanc. Follow my blog to keep up with the best in outdoor travel and adventure. Thanks for visiting my site.

Where is Pam?

Click to open a larger map

Follow Pam