6 indoor swim lessons in Chicago and the suburbs

If cabin fever has already hit your house this season (like it has mine), it’s time to find a fun and energy-burning activity. Swimming is not only a great way to get exercise, but an essential safety tool for kids. Get your kids prepared for next summer by signing up for one of these swim lessons today.


Chicago Park District


If you’re looking to familiarize your kids with the water, the park district has inexpensive classes for ages 18 months to six years and up at many sites throughout the city. Private and semi-private lessons are also offered for those who would like a more one on one experience. Note: these classes are popular and fill up quickly, so register early in order to get the time slot you want.


Various locations in the city


Big Blue Swim School


From the friendly, bright blue sign outside the building to the plush, antimicrobial carpet inside, Big Blue is clearly focused on all things kid. The children-only swim center offers classes for ages six months to seven years and up. Other perks include a waiting room with WiFi and toys for siblings to play with, along with individual changing rooms for each child. And good news for all you city folks: Big Blue is opening a new facility in North Center in spring 2019.


Various locations in the suburbs


YMCA of Metro Chicago


Maybe your child is comfortable with water, but not quite ready to dive head first into the deep end. The YMCA will give kids a swim assessment, free of charge, to help determine which class they should be placed in. Kid’s lessons are offered at several different age and skill levels, from six months to 13 years. In the three years and under group, classes are parent/child, so make sure you’re ready to hop in the water, too!


Various locations in the city and suburbs


British Swim School


With its objective to teach children water safety survival skills, the British Swim School program can start for children as young as 3 months old in their tadpole level. Classes begin with help of the parent to get the child used to water. Once they graduate to a seahorse level, the swimmers can advance in water survival on their own and eventually learn some stroke skills along the way. They can also train pre-team swimmers who crave some competition.


Various locations in the city and suburbs


Chicago Blue Dolphins


Blue Dolphins offers classes for kids from infant to preteen, plus private lessons and lessons for adults. Have a reluctant swimmer in your family? Blue Dolphin’s “endless pools” (swimming in place rather than the length of a pool) are less intimidating for those who have previously been afraid to jump in the water. Even better, with special sound blocking walls, visually isolated pools and water temps set at a cozy 90 degrees, the studio is designed to offer instruction for kids on the autism and sensory spectrum as well.


2222 N. Elston Ave. Chicago


Goldfish Swim School


Offering lessons for children as young as four months old, Goldfish is focused on introducing swimming through guided play, which is also a big factor in cognitive development. Many of their classes are small and have a child to instructor ratio is 4:1, so you’ll feel good knowing your little ones will be given plenty of attention and supervision. Goldfish also offers family swim and birthday parties.


Various locations in the city and suburbs



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