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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Learn to Swim

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

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).


Summer Session

Classes are divided into three sessions.

  • Session 1: July 6 - July 19
  • Session 2: July 21 - August 3
  • Session 3: August 7 - August 18
  • Advance Session: August 21 -August 25

Lottery registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, June 12 for all Learn to Swim Sessions. Registration for Session 1 will end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 25; registration for Session 2 will end at noon on Monday, July 10; and registration for Session 3 will end at noon on Monday July 31. Registration for Advanced Learn to Swim classes will end at noon on Monday, August 14. Classes are held each day while in session. Please choose a class from the Learn to Swim Sites section below to find specific start dates and times.

About Our Registration

Registration for Learn to Swim classes 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.

You will be notified by email of the lottery results no later than Tuesday, June 27 for Session 1, Wednesday, July 12 for Session 2, and Wednesday, August 2 for Session 3.

Lottery and Program Rules

  • You can register yourself or a child for up to three sessions. 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.
  • 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.
  • The age of the participant will be determined as of the first day of class. If your child wins a spot in the Learn to Swim program, a parent must show a copy of a birth certificate or an equivalent document to verify the child’s age on the first day of class. Your child will not be able to participate without proof of age.
  • Swimmers who are absent from two consecutive classes will be dropped.

Learn to Swim Sites

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

About the Classes

Toddlers: 1 1/2 - 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 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.

You must bring a copy of your tot’s birth certificate or an equivalent document on the day of the first class, and must accompany your tot in the water at all class sessions. There must be a ratio of one parent for every tot at each session. Your tot must be 1 1/2 years of age on the first day of class.

Children: 6 – 17 Years Old

Teach your child to be ready to swim. Your child will be placed in one of two levels of classes. A water test will be held on the first day of class to determine your child’s level.

  • Level I: Children at this level are learning 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 are learning how 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. You must bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate or an equivalent document on the day of the first class.

Adult Learn to Swim (ages 18+)

Learn to swim with the help of our trained aquatics professionals. 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. Adults must be at the beginner level in order to participate in Learn to Swim classes.

Advanced Swim Classes (ages 6-17)

Advanced Swim Classes will be held on Mondays through Fridays from August 21 through August 25 for any advanced level swimmer who wants to improve their skills in the water by learning elementary backstroke, breaststroke, back crawl, butterfly, and advanced safety skills.


For additional information, please contact the Citywide Aquatics Office at (718) 760-6969, extension 0.

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