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The best swimming lessons for kids in NYC

Prep your little fish for splish splashing fun this summer with these amazing swimming lessons for kids in NYC.

Photograph: Shutterstock

With warm days upon us, it’s time for poolside fun! If you’re searching for the best places offering swimming lessons for kids, you'll be delighted to find that we've rounded up the best in NYC. These programs offer group and private sessions for tots, teens, even infants just months old!

RECOMMENDED: Summer activities for kids

Kiddos can cool off this summer while squeezing some fitness into their play, but it’s also important to think about water safety. This is why knowing how to swim is such a useful skill for kids to learn when they’re young. Once they get their little fins at these fantastic swimming lessons for kids, they’ll enjoy practicing their new techniques at all the public swimming pools, water parks near NYC and NYC beaches so much more this season.

Best swimming lessons for kids

Free Learn to Swim at NYC Parks

NYC Parks makes it super convenient to tackle those swimming goals this summer. Through its Learn to Swim program, you can sign up for swimming lessons at various outdoor pools around the city. The accessibility is great, but best of all is the price for participating in the program—it’s absolutely free! Lessons are broken up into sessions and by age groups (toddlers 1 1/2–5, children 6–17 and adults) and you’ll want to sign up as soon as registration opens for each session. 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 adaptive aquatics for people with disabilities. Various locations (nycgovparks.org). Free. All ages.

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Swimming lessons at Asphalt Green

Asphalt Green offers a number of classes for kids in the 0–4, 5–8 and 9–14. You’ll find programs like Advanced Water Babies, where your littlest can practice holding their breath, blowing bubbles or floating on their backs with assistance, or Swim League, where kids can refine competitive swim strokes and practice interval training in two age groups. Private lessons are also offered for kids in the facility’s 50-meter Olympic pool and Teaching & Exercise Pool. Various locations (212-369-8890 or 212-298-2900, asphaltgreen.org). Various prices. All ages.

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Swim lessions at JCC Manhattan

With so many activities to choose from, this UWS institution is many a local parent’s designated go-to. JCC leads excellent swim classes for kids 6mos to five years, offering everything from kicks and backfloats to basic strokes, plus the sessions incorporate fun games and songs! Ages 6mos–5 years.

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Upper West Side

Swimming lessons for kids at the YMCA

When it comes to swim lessons, the Y has it all! It’d take forever to list all of its amazing offerings, but some of the highlights include private and semi-private swim lessons and private and semi-private swim coaching. Aquatics classes for little kids include Shrimp (6–18mos), Kipper (9–12mos), Inia (13–18mos) and Perch (19–36mos) divisions, and special needs classes in most age groups. Various locations (ymcanyc.org). Various prices. Ages 6mos–14.

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SwimJim swimming lessons for kids

SwimJim is dedicated to making the water safer for kids with swimming lessons at five locations around the city. Sign up for half-hour of 1-hour group sessions or get undivided attention during a half-hour private session. Swimfants (6–15mos) and Swimbabies (16mos–3) teach little guppies how to feel comfortable in the water while learning safety techniques. Graduates of these programs can move on to Swimtots where they can learn how to move around in the water and control their breath without a caregiver in the pool with them. If your baby is 8wks–5mos old, SwimJim offers Swim N Splash, a free 20-minute class to introduce your littlest to moving in the water and get some back and tummy time in the pool. Various locations (212-749-7335, swimjim.com/new-york-city). $44 per month for 30-minute group sessions, $59 per month for 1-hour group session; annual registration fee of $35 per calendar year applies. All ages.

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Swimming lessons at Imagine Swimming

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 8 and up and a squad program for kids 10-18 that practice a few days per week. Various locations (212-253-9650, imagineswimming.com). Various prices. All ages.

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Swimming lessons at Aquaskills

Aquaskills offers hour–long private or semi private (up to four children) classes and group classes (one instructor to 3–4 students) for kids. Small instructor-to-student ratios offer an amazing opportunity for swim education in three age groups (ages 4–6, 5–8, 8–15) and they offer fun Mommy or Daddy & Me classes on weekend mornings and weekdays until 4pm, which can be especially great for those bringing young children for a class. Various locations (212-206-6976, aquaskills.com). Various prices. Ages 4 and up.

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Meg L

I have been wanting to put my kids into swimming lessons. Not only is this a great skill to have, but I think that this would be a fun way to get my kids out of the house. The swimming lessons at Imagine Swimming really caught my eye. In the description, it talks about how they learn basic swim lessons that is timed to music. This is such a unique method to teach kids how to swim, but it is engaging and fun for everyone involved. I will definitely look more into this place for my kids. Thank you for the insight! http://www.cincinnatiymca.org/swim-lessons