Best swimming lessons for kids
NYC Parks makes it super convenient to tackle swimming goals for the summer. Thanks to the borough-wide Learn to Swim program, swimming lessons for kids are available at various outdoor pools around the city. The best part? The program's absolutely free! Lessons are broken up into seasonal sessions and by age groups (toddlers 1 1/2–5, children 6–17, even adults) and you’ll want to sign up as soon as registration opens. Those who make the deadline will be entered in a lottery or waitlisted if the session fills up. Once you’re in, you’ll enjoy two weeks of daily lessons. The program also offers lap swim hours, water exercises and lessons for seniors and those with disabilities. Various locations (nycgovparks.org). Free. All ages.
Asphalt Green offers a number of swimming lessons for kids of all ages. You’ll find programs like Advanced Water Babies, where your littlest kids can practice holding their breath and floating on their backs with assistance, or Swim League, where youngsters can refine competitive swim strokes and practice interval training. Private lessons are also offered. Various locations (212-369-8890 or 212-298-2900, asphaltgreen.org). Various prices. All ages.
When it comes to swim lessons for kids, the Y has it all! Some of the highlights—in addition to programs that are divided by skill level—include private lessons and coaching. Special needs classes are also available. Various locations (ymcanyc.org). Various prices. Ages 6mos–14.
At Imagine Swimming, everybody’s in on the action. There are 14 locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn that offer Parent & Me classes (baby swim classes with parents present), classes specifically for three-year-olds, stroke enhancement classes for those ages eight and up and a squad program for kids 10-18 that practice a few days per week. No matter the program, these swim lessons for kids focuses on getting students comfortable in the water. Don't forget to check out the cool polo and splashball offerings, too! Various locations (212-253-9650, imagineswimming.com). Various prices. All ages.
Aquaskills offers swimming lessons for kids that prioritize students' needs. In addition to Mommy & Me classes, the venue also has year-round offerings that cover water safety, beginner strokes and breathing techniques. Once your kiddos are feeling confident to dive right in, consider signing them up for competitive swim lessons that help them prep for triathalons. Various locations (212-206-6976, aquaskills.com). Various prices. Ages 4 and up.
SwimJim's five locations around the city are dedicated to making the water safer for youngsters. For especially little tykes, the venue offers Swim N' Splash for those as young as eight weeks. The kiddie programs accelerate by age to Swimtots for those who are up to 3 years old. Older children are welcome to join the learn-to-swim course and take the advanced program once their skills have been honed properly. Does your little one need a few extra tips? Consider signing him or her up for a private lesson. Various locations (212-749-7335, swimjim.com/new-york-city). Various prices. All ages.
With so many activities to choose from, this UWS institution is many a local parent’s designated go-to for swimming lessons for kids. JCC helps kiddos perfect everything from kicks and backfloats to basic strokes, plus the sessions incorporate fun games and songs! Older kids can participate in the school-age swim program, take private lessons or even try out for the Thunderbirds swim team! 334 Amsterdam Ave (646-505-4444, jccmanhattan.org). All ages.
With locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester, among others, Take Me to the Water's swimming lessons for kids offers a wide variety of programming for all ages. Parents can introduce their tykes to swimming with Mommy & Me classes or send their older kids to group lessons or even private lessons, should they be interested in individualized attention. A swim team is also offered for those little fishies who take their sport seriously. Various locations (888-794-6692, takemetothewater.com). All ages.
Olympians in training are in the right place to perfect their strokes. This swimming school was founded by Olympian Casey Barrett and former NCAA champ Lars Merseburg, and recently counted 2010 Olympian Anthony Ervin as one of its teachers. Kids as young as six months splash around alongside parents in the Imagine Starfish class, eventually picking up water safety tips and stroke skills in subsequent classes before learning competitive strokes in Imagine Dolphins. More advanced students can join the Manhattan Makos swim team. Learn more about the offerings here. Ages 6 months and up.