NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Learn to Swim

Knowing how to swim  prevents drowning and improves your health, fitness, and safety. To help teach New Yorkers to swim, Parks is offering free swimming lessons for people of all ages at our indoor pools.

All Learn to Swim participants must be members of a recreation center. This includes adults, children and the parents of tots. If you are not already a recreation center member, please visit your local recreation center, or visit our Recreation Center Membership page for more information.

Classes

Fall Session: October 20, 2014  - January 3, 2015
Registration Opens: Tuesday, October 7

Winter Session: January 20, 2015  - March 28, 2015
Registration Opens: Wednesday, January 7

Spring Session: April 6, 2015  - June 13, 2015
Registration Opens: Wednesday, March 25

About Our Registration

Registration for Learn to Swim is conducted through a free online lottery using a secure site. You must have a valid email address to register.

Registration for the fall session begins at 4:00 a.m., on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October  13. Winners are chosen at random. Applicants who are not chosen will be placed on a waiting list. You will be notified by email of the lottery results by Friday, October 17.

  • After the lottery is drawn, any remaining spots will be available on a first come, first served basis through a walk-in registration at the center on October  18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
  • Do not enter the lottery more than once per session. Doing so will not increase your chances to win. It will automatically disqualify you or your child from the lottery.
  • Parents should submit one application for each of their children. Parents applying for their children can rank their preference for Saturday or Afterschool classes. Lottery selections are non-transferable. If you or your child has won a spot, you cannot give this spot to another person, even if it's another family member.
  • If you don't get a spot, we encourage you to apply again for an upcoming session.
  • The waiting list will be used to replace anyone who drops out of the program. Replacements are chosen from the waiting list randomly.

Learn to Swim Sites

There are currently no programs available for registration at this time.

About the Classes

Toddler Classes: 1 1/2 to 5 years Old

Teach your tot to be ready to learn to swim! In this class, we'll get your tot used to the water, with the help of one of our Aquatic Specialists. Parents or guardians help their kids get familiar with the water, become comfortable floating on front and back, and be able to control their breath by blowing bubbles or submerging under water.

PARENTS OF TOTS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM MUST BE CENTER MEMBERS.

There must be one parent or guardian for each tot at each session. In order to stay enrolled in class, we must see proof of age on the first day of class. Your tot must be 11/2 years of age on the first day of class to participate. Please make sure to bring a birth certificate, passport, or photo identification with date of birth listed for the child on the day of the first class. Documents will be returned after verification is completed. Toddler classes are held on Saturdays.

Child Classes: 6 – 17 Years Old

  • Level I: Children at this level learn basic aquatic skills. They'll learn how to safely get into and leave the water, how to control their breath by blowing bubbles, how to float and kick on front and back and move through the water. They'll also learn how to stay safe around the water and what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Level II: Children at this level learn to move their arms and legs together in a swimming motion. We'll work on teaching children to swim without assistance, and improve on skills that they learned in Level I. They'll be able to understand dangerous water conditions and how to assist a swimmer in a water emergency.
  • Your child must be 6 years of age on the first day of class in order to participate in the children's program. Please make sure to bring a birth certificate, passport, or photo identification with date of birth listed for the child on the day of the first class. Documents will be returned after verification is completed. There are classes available at two different times: on Saturdays, and afterschool from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • All 6-17 years old Saturday lottery winners must attend a water test on October  18 to determine class level.  Missing the water test will result in a first absence.
  • If a child misses the water test and the first day of class they will be dropped from the session. 
  • Participants who miss two consecutive classes will be dropped from the program.

Adult Classes: 18+ Years Old

Adults must be at the beginner level in order to participate in Learn to Swim classes. A water test will be conducted on the first day of class to determine eligibility. Adults learn basic level swimming and safety skills including the development of breath control, floating, gliding, kicking on front and back, rotary breathing, arm strokes on front and back, safety skills, and entries and exits.

Was this information helpful?