Kids of all ages can learn their strokes at these New York City pools.
Wed Jul 1 2009
Water wings and inflatable toys aren't allowed in public pools. So before kids cannonball into the deep end, they need to know how to keep their heads above water. If you haven't gotten around to signing your crew up for swim lessons, don't fret. These classes are still accepting new students.
All Around Aquatics
Students, grouped together by skill level, take to the water to learn movement and breathing techniques. Creatively named exercises—like the "chicken-airplane-soldier" and "superman glides"—help ease a land lubber's transition to the water. Private lessons are also available for hydrophobics or those with special needs. 900 E 35th St between Glenwood Rd and Ave H, Flatbush, Brooklyn (347-526-9927, allaroundaquatics.com). Weekly 30- or 45-minute classes run throughout the summer. Call for pricing. Ages 4 and up.
Boasting a warm-water pool with a floor that lowers as kids become more comfortable, Asphalt Green is a one-stop shop for swimmers at any level. Water Babies (4--18 months) and Water Tots (18--36 months) learn floating submersions and beginner arm movement, while Super Sprites (ages 3--4 years) concentrate on bobbing, freestyle and jumping into the pool. 1750 York Ave between 91st and 92nd Sts (212-369-8890, ext 2246; asphaltgreen.com). Weekly 30-minute classes, June 20--Aug 20. $243--$324. Ages 4 months and up.
Central Queens Y
Kids advancing through the five levels of swim instruction will learn personal-safety, diving and stroke skills through water games. None of the times fit your tot's schedule? Round up two other families and the Y will create a class for you. 67-09 108th St at 67th Ave, Forest Hills, Queens. (718-268-5011, ext 502; centralqueensy.org). Weekly 30-minute or hour-long classes, June 26--Aug 20. $155--$250. Ages 3--12.
FREE Learn to Swim
Sponsored by the New York City Parks Department, this free, citywide program focuses on fundamentals: Classes for younger swimmers (ages 1.5--5) emphasize water acclimation, floating, and pool and deck safety; older kids (ages 6--17) learn basic strokes, treading water and breathing skills. Demand is high, and slots are filled through an online lottery. See nycgovparks.org for list of pools. Three sessions: July 5--21, July 22--Aug 9 and Aug 10--26; 718-760-6969. Online lottery registration for all three sessions opens on Sat June 18 at midnight and ends on Sun June 24 at noon. Winners will be called a few days later. Ages 1 to 14.
Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center
Comfortably warm water (86 to 88 degrees) puts newbies at ease, and the Olympic-length pool's 3.5-foot depth reassures parents. Class size ranges from three to six swimmers per group. 120 Warren St between Greenwich and West Sts (212-766-1104, manhattanyouth.org). Seven weekly 40-minute classes, Jul 5--Aug 20. $250. Ages 2 to 12.
From beginning water exploration and primary skill development to advanced swimming techniques, Physique offers classes for every kid. The littlest swimmers (ages newborn to 3) can join a parent in the pool for the Me and My Shadow class. Older kids yearning for a little competition—and a whole lot of camaraderie—are encouraged to join the swim team. Physique is currently offering a 10 percent discount if you register online. Eight locations throughout Manhattan (212-725-0939, physiqueswimming.com). Class times and prices based on frequency and location. All ages.
Though this comprehensive school offers basic classes for adults, it specializes in teaching children and infants. To relax kids, the experienced instructors—all certified by the United States Swim School Association and trained in CPR and first aid—incorporate jokes, songs and games into their drills and water-safety lessons. Private and semiprivate lessons are also available for children with special needs. Locations throughout the city (212-749-7335, swimjim.com). Four weekly half-hour classes run throughout the summer. $112. Ages 6 months and up.
Take Me to the Water
With a rolling admissions policy and two summer sessions, Take Me to the Water is perfect for families who have vacations already planned. Classes concentrate on confidence building and basic technique. Locations in Manhattan (Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Downtown); Park Slope, Brooklyn; and Forest Hills, Queens (888-794-6692, takemetothewater.com). Weekly 30- or 45-minute classes, June 20--July 31 or Aug 1--Sept 2. Prices start at $25 per class. Ages 6 months and up.