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 swimming lessons for people of all ages at our indoor pools.
We offer summer Learn to Swim classes for toddlers (1 1/2 to 5 years old), children (6 to 17 years old), and adults (18 years old or older).
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure the safety of our guests and staff, all swim programs, including Learn to Swim, have been cancelled for the summer.
Only 15 pools are re-opening for the summer 2020 season, and pool capacity has been reduced to provide more social distancing for our patrons. Pool hours will remain the same: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Sessions may be split further at the discretion of the pool managers to accommodate more patrons. Indoor pools are closed until further notice. Visit our Outdoor Pools page to find an open pool near you and details on what you need to know before you go.
Free with an NYC Parks Recreation Center membership. All Learn to Swim participants, including children, adults, and the parents of tots, must be members of a recreation center. Learn more about becoming a recreation center member
- Fall Session: October 12, 2019 – December 30, 2019. Mandatory Water Test on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
- Winter Session: January 4, 2020 – March 23, 2020. Mandatory Water Test on Saturday, January 4, 2020.
- Spring Session: March 21, 2020 – June 11, 2020. Mandatory Water Test on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
How to Register
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.
Winners are chosen at random. Applicants who are not chosen will be placed on a waiting list.
Please choose a class from the Learn to Swim Sites section below to find specific start dates and times. Classes are held each day while in session.
- Fall Session: Monday, September 30 at noon - Monday, October 7, 2019 at noon.
- Winter Session: Monday, December 16, 2018 at noon - Monday, December 23, 2019 at noon.
- Spring Session: Monday, March 2, 2020 at noon - Monday, March 9, 2020 at noon.
You will be notified by email of the lottery results by Wednesday, October 9 for the fall session, Thursday, December 26 for the winter session, and Wednesday, March 11 for spring.
- You or your child may register for one class per session. Registering more than once will not increase your chances to win; it will automatically disqualify you or your child from the lottery as a duplicate.
- 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 or your children are not selected in the online lottery, you will be placed on a waiting list for this program, and will be emailed if a slot becomes available. We are not able to tell you your current place on the waiting list.
- If you don't get a spot, we encourage you to apply again for an upcoming session.
- Swimmers who are absent from 2 consecutive classes will be dropped. Children selected for Saturday classes must attend a mandatory water test prior to the first day of classes. If a child misses the mandatory water test and the first day of class, he/she will be dropped from the session and replaced with someone from the waitlist.
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.
Your tot must be 1½ years of age on the first day of class to participate. In order to stay enrolled in class, we must see proof of age on the first day of class. Please make sure to bring a birth certificate, passport, or photo identification with the 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. There must be one parent or guardian for each tot at each session.
Please note: Parents of tots participating in the program must be NYC Parks Recreation center members. Learn more about our recreation center memberships
Children Classes: 6 – 17 Years Old
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 the 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 12 for the fall session, January 4 for the winter session, and March 21 for spring session 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.
- 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 how to 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.
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. Swimmers who are absent from two consecutive classes will be dropped.