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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, we’re offering free swimming lessons for people of all ages at our indoor pools.

We offer summer Learn to Swim classes for tots (1½ to 5 years old), children (six to 17 years old), and adults (18 years old or older).

All Learn to Swim participants, including children, adults, and the parents of tots, must be members of the recreation center. To learn more about becoming a member, please visit our Recreation Center Membership page.

Schedule

Fall Session

Class dates: October 17 , 2016 - January 5, 2017
Registration opens on Monday, October 3, 2016 at noon and ends on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 11:55 p.m.

Winter Session

Class dates: January 9, 2017 - March 23, 2017
Registration opens on Monday, December 26, 2016 at noon and ends on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.

Spring Session

Class dates: March 27, 2017 - June 10, 2017
Registration opens on Monday, March 13, 2017 at noon and ends on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.

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 by Thursday, October 13 for the fall session, Friday, January 13 for the winter session, and Friday, March 31 for the spring session.

After the lottery is drawn, any remaining spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through a walk-in registration on Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 a.m. to noon for the fall session; on Saturday, January 7 from 9:00 a.m. to noon for the winter session; and Saturday, March 25 from 9:00 a.m. to noon for the spring session.

Lottery and Program Rules

  • 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.
  • 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

Toddler Classes: 1½ 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.

Toddler classes are held on Saturdays. Parents or guardians must accompany tots in the water at all class sessions. There must be a ratio of one parent or guardian for each tot. To participate, your tot must be at least 1½ years old 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 first day of class. Documents will be returned after verification is completed.

Child Classes: 6 – 17 Years Old

Child classes are available at two different times: on Saturdays and afterschool from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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’ve learned in Level I. They'll be able to understand dangerous water conditions and how to assist a swimmer in a water emergency.

To determine class level, six- to 17-year-old Saturday lottery winners must attend a water test on Saturday, October 15 for the fall session; Saturday, January 7 for the winter session; and Saturday, March 25 for the spring session. 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.

Your child must be at least six years old 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 first day of class. Documents will be returned after verification is completed.

Adult Classes: ages 18+

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.

Contact

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

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