Learn to Swim
Knowing how to swim prevents drowning and improves your health, fitness, and safety. To help teach New Yorkers to swim, NYC Parks is offering swimming lessons for people of all ages at our indoor pools.
We offer Learn to Swim classes for toddlers (1 1/2 to 5 years old), children (6 to 17 years old), adults (18 years old or older), and seniors (62+ years old).
Free with an NYC Parks Recreation Center membership. All Learn to Swim participants, including children, adults, and the parents of toddlers, must be members of a recreation center. Learn more about becoming a recreation center member
- Winter Session: January 9, 2023 – March 24, 2023
- Spring Session: April 3, 2023 – June 17, 2023
Please note: All 6-17 year-old Saturday lottery winners must attend a water test on Saturday, January 7 for the winter session to determine class level. Swimmers who are absent from two consecutive classes will be dropped. If a child misses the mandatory water test on January 7 and the first day of class on January 14, they will be dropped from the session and replaced with someone from the waitlist.
How to Register
Registration for Learn to Swim is conducted through a free online lottery using a secure site and in-person.
Lottery registration for the Winter Session is open from:
- Noon on Monday, December 12, 2022 to noon on Monday, December 26, 2022
Winners are chosen at random. Applicants who are not chosen will be placed on a waiting list. You must have a valid email address. You will be notified by email of the lottery results by Wednesday, December 28 for the winter session.
Once online registration is complete, any remaining slots will be filled through walk-in registration. We are offering walk-in registration at all Learn to Swim sites on the following dates for:
- All Learn to Swim programs: 9:00 a.m. to noon on January 7 (see all locations in the Learn to Swim Sites section below).
- Afterschool Learn to Swim ONLY: 4:00 p.m - 4:45 p.m. on January 3 and January 5 at Gertrude Ederle Rec Center and Constance Baker Motley Rec Center and January 4 at St. John's Rec Center, Metropolitan Rec Center, and Asser Levy Rec Center.
Online Registration 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.
Learn to Swim Sites and Lottery Registration
Registration has ended for our fall Learn to Swim classes. Please check back in March to register for our spring Learn to Swim classes.
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.
Please note: If you were selected to participate in our Roy Wilkins Fall Learn to Swim classes for tots, children, adults, or seniors, your registration will roll over into the winter session. We thank you for your patience. For more information, please call Citywide Aquatics team at (718) 760-6969 Ext. 0.
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.
Please note: All 6-17 year-old Saturday lottery winners must attend a water test on January 7 for the winter session and March 25 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. 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.
Seniors: 62+ Years Old
The Senior Learn to Swim program teaches seniors ages 62+ basic swimming and safety skills. The program offers seniors the opportunity to become comfortable in the water and prepare to learn to swim. Seniors gain basic swimming skills and learn how to stay safe in and around the water.