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NYC Swimming Lessons

It's that time of year again, warm weather and the chance to share your love of the water with your little ones.  We have compiled a list of acquatic activities for babies and kids in NYC, including a listing of all outdoor public and private swimming pools in Manhattan where you can take your kids once they have mastered their swimming lessons.  For your guide to free and pay outdoor swimming pools in NYC, click here.

Below are swimming classes held all over NYC for your infant, toddler or big kid trying to make camp life-guard:



Take Me to the Water Aquatics - (212) 794-6646 - Locations for pools on Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Downtown and Brooklyn

"Take Me To The Water swim school was established in 1984 with the goal of providing water safety education in the finest, nurturing environment. Customized method consists of four proven criteria:

1. Swim curriculum is built around having fun through personal challenges. Once children are comfortable in the water, their techniques build on their self-confidence, encouraging them to reach the next swim level.

2. Carefully screened instructors must have many years of teaching experience to even apply for a swim instructor position. Not only must they have excellent teaching skills, they must have an innate ability to communicate.

3. Classes are taught in luxurious, private health clubs with full amenities. With more than 20 locations, you won't have to travel far for swim classes. These calm environments make it safe and non-intimidating for young swimmers. They also keep their pools heated to an ideal temperature for conducting swim lessons (not too cold, not too hot!).

4. Small class size is also an important factor for the growth of a student’s ability. Private and semi-private classes ensure children are given the proper attention based on age and ability."

Below are class offerings for infants and young kids:

Baby and Me - Classes are grouped by age (6 to 14 mos. and 15 mos. to 3 yrs.) and run for a half hour. Your child’s first step in learning to swim will be a fun experience at Take Me To The Water. Class sizes are up to 6 infants, all accompanied by an adult.  Because it is important that classes are held in a warm pool, most of their pools range from 84-88 degrees. Baby and Me classes work on getting infants used to their new aquatic environment, including introduction to balance and buoyancy. The focus is also on teaching the parent, fundamental skills so you can continue to build your baby’s abilities at home.  Creative games are used to teach infants breath control, big arm movements, and leg kicks. Parents are exposed the repetitive movements that become the skill building blocks for the very near future. Classes are structured using songs, floating mats, and toys to help stimulate your child and most importantly, encourage fun!


Physique Swim School, Inc. - (212) 725-0939 - Locations for pools on Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Downtown and Brooklyn

"Every Physique Swim School instructor is educated, dedicated, eager and motivated to teach your child. The head staff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and over fifteen years of experience in teaching and coaching swimming.  All instructors are certified in WSI (Water Safety Instructor,
by American Red Cross), as well as CPR and lifeguarding."

With a wide range of offerings at every level, Physique Swim School can take your little one from a minnow to a shark in no time at all.  You can start your baby in a special Parent and Me class called "Me and My Shadow" where both the parent and child (under 3 years old) participate in class together. The instructor directs the parents on how to hold their own child in the water and getting them adjusted with the aquatic environment. The class is taught through sing along songs. It is suggested that parents may want to purchase a wet suit n case the child is cold in the water.

For registration and schedule contact Physique Swim School.


Asphalt Green - (212) 369-8890 - 555 East 90th Street (bet. York & East End Ave)

With a wonderful selection of swim classes for babies to choose from, parents on the Upper East Side have a fantastic resource in Asphalt Green.  Below are a list of offerings for infant, baby and toddler swim lessons:

Water Babies (ages 4-18 mos)

 This parent-child class is a great introduction for your child to the world of water. Social interaction at this age is key, as is repetition. Our instructors will introduce skills such as floating, submersions, freestyle and backstroke arm movement with songs and games that aim to encourage confident and skilled young “swimmers”. The goal of this class is to encourage exploration and help your child gain confidence in the water.

Advanced Water Babies (ages 4-18 mos)

Once your little swimmer has been introduced to the water, the Advanced Water Babies class is a great next step! This parent-child class is an excellent way for parents to encourage their children to develop their water skills safely while helping them to become more aware of their body movements in the water. The goal of this class is to continue gaining confidence in the water while learning new, more advanced skills.

Water Tots (ages 18-36 mos)

Whether your toddler has been in the water since birth or this is their first class, Water Tots is a great introduction to true “swimming” techniques. With the mindset that each child develops at their own pace, our instructors introduce breath control, streamlines, proper arm movement, and jumping into the pool. Our goal throughout this class is to encourage confidence in water through repetition and patience.

Advanced Water Tots (ages 18-36 mos)

For toddlers that are comfortable in water, this parent-child class offers a great head-start to the world of unassisted swimming. Keeping in mind that toddlers learn best with routine, our instructors lead the class in learning skills such as arm movements with face submersions, breath control, and backstroke.

Water Sprites (ages 3-4)

Our Water Sprites class focuses on parent-child separation. With classes incorporating skills such as breath control, submersions with bubbles, and jumping into the water, the instructors introduce children to class time without parents in the water. Although toddlers at this age still have separation anxiety, this class focuses on easing into the separation by allowing the parent into the water for half the semester, and slowly transitioning to parents being completely out of the water as the class progresses.


Swim Jim - (212) 749-7335 - With the below locations all over NYC, Swim Jim has Manhattan parents covered for baby's first swim lesson:

Pool Locations: 69 West 118th Street , 725 10th Avenue, 333 East 66th Street, 175 East 96th Street, 808 Columbus Avenue

Swimfants (6-15 months)

This class is the introduction to the aquatic environment. Through exploration and age-appropriate games the child learns about water pressure and beginning breath control. This fun, structured class facilitates the learning process through movement, sound and tactile stimulation. The student/teacher ratio is 6 to 1.

Swimbabies (16months - 3years)

Through happy songs and fun games, the SwimBabies learn socialization skills, water safety, gross motor skills, peer motivation and self-esteem. The student begins exploring breath control, balance and buoyancy. The student/teacher ratio is 6 to 1. 

Swimtots (Ages 3 and younger) - Children must have completed SwimBabies or a similar program

Teaching the child swimming safety is the primary goal of this class. They learn positive buoyancy and breath control to achieve comfort in the aquatic environment. The child learns to navigate through the water using elementary locomotion and propulsion. We are teaching the children the necessary skills to progress to SwimJimmers. The student/teacher ratio is 4 to 1.


Imagine Swimming - (212) 253-9650 - Locations for pools on Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Downtown and Brooklyn

The Imagine School of Swimming holds classes all throughout NYC - whether you live in Tribeca, Grammercy, Lower East Side, Chelsea or Upper East Side there is a local pool where your starfish (age 6 months - 3 years) can experience the water with you at his or her side along with a trained instructer.   Lessons are 40 minutes long and are $40 per class.  Not all locations have Saturday classes (a nice way for dad to spend time with the baby and give mom a break to herself, or vice versa).  Below is a description of the different levels for swim classes:



Starfish are children 6-months to 3-years-old who are ready to be introduced to the water alongside a parent or caregiver. Classes are music-centric, with a focus on fun and confidence as both parent and teacher help each child to adapt to a new aquatic environment. The goal of our Starfish classes is to provide a secure environment that fosters each child's social, intellectual, physical, and emotional growth.




MInnows are children 3 years and older who are ready to learn the basics in water comfort. Your child should be ready to swim without the presence of a parent or caregiver in the water. Minnows will work on floating, underwater submersion, and basic water safety skills. A wide assortment of toys and floatation devices will be an integral part of the MInnows lessons.




Seahorses are children 3 years and older who are ready to be introduced to basic stroke fundamentals. Your child will work on an introductory freestyle, as well as a backstroke. Lessons will also include plenty of games - like 'Underwater Frisbee', retrieving rings from the pool's bottom, and balance drills on the surf board.




Goldfish are children 5 years and older who have learned basic stroke skills and water safety. Your child will be introduced to the dolphin and the breaststroke kick, as well as side-breathing. Lessons will continue to emphasize an array of games designed to foster complete comfort in the water.




Marlins are children 7 years and older who are ready to learn every major stroke. Teachers will emphasize swimming each stroke slowly and correctly. Your child should feel totally at ease in the water as they begin to master the butterfly and the breaststroke.




Dolphins are children 7 and older who are ready to perfect all competitive strokes. Teachers will emphasize body position and, for the first time, your child will be encouraged to swim with speed in addition to good technique.







Aqua Skills - (212) 206-6976 - Various locations throughout NYC

Adrian Ginju who swam for the Romanian Olympic team is the founder of Aqua Skills, a comprehensive program of swimming lessons and classes from the very beginner to those wishing to perfect their swimming abilities.  Teaching across all of NYC from private luxury rooftop pools, healthclubs, Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations, Aqua Skills has a convenient class for you.  They do work with small children in a small group class setting, but don't focus on infant swimming lessons.