Pop on your mermaid tail and get ready to swim like Ariel
The release of Disney’s newest Little Mermaid movie means a whole new generation of kids crooning to be “part of your world.” And, luckily for wannabe mermaids, there are legions of “mermaid schools” across the country ready to teach kids the ways of the water. So wiggle those pesky legs into a tail and learn how to swim like Ariel (or at least, look the part) at one of these fin-tastic mermaid experiences across the country.
Mermaid Magic at the Hyatt Regency Hotel – Huntington Beach, CA
This on-property experience starts with 10 minutes of sizing (the tail’s got to fit!) and a meet and greet/photos with the resort’s resident mermaids—followed by 30 minutes of swim instruction in the hotel’s tropical lagoon-style pool. Make a day of it by purchasing a day pass to enjoy the hotel’s two pools (one of which has three water slides and a children’s wading pool!) plus a poolside cafe and bar. There’s also an adjacent private beach so you and your little merchildren can dip your toes into the sand and surf.
Note: Kids must be at least 48 inches tall, be able to hold their breath underwater, and be able to swim on their own without the use of flotation devices to use the mono-fin. Those who do not meet this requirement can participate wearing a tail without the mono-fin that restricts their feet but must wear a life vest or puddle jumper and a parent must stay in the water with them the whole time.
Ages: All (must meet height and swimming requirements to wear mono-fin)
Cost: $75 per person. Day passes for the hotel pool & beach can be purchased for $50 for adults and $25 for children via Resortpass.
Mermaid Makeover and Photo Shoot – Myrtle Beach, SC
If your child is more into dress-up than swim lessons, this portrait experience at the Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort offers mermaid and pirate makeovers for kids who want to memorialize their make-believe. Stylists will dress your little mermaid with the perfect tail and top, then adorn her with the jewelry of her choice for the photo. Got a kid who’d prefer to play pirate? Stylists have all the swashbuckling gear to have your little captain saying “Arrrg” for the camera, too.
Note: If you want a photo shoot on the sand instead of the studio, Myrtle Beach Mermaids can arrange a full photo shoot on the beach—an experience that can include your child’s very own mermaid waiting for her, ready to help her with makeup, hair, and dress-up for the photo shoot. (Cost is $175 and up)
Cost: $25 per child (includes the makeover and 1 image); $35 for the makeover and 3 images.
Mermaid School at Walt Disney World Resorts—Orlando, FL
What better place to go Under the Sea than at the place that started it all? Guests at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, or Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts can learn to swim like a mermaid at this hourlong class that teaches kids how to swim through hoops and find lost treasure. Kids ages 4 and up are welcome, but all kids will have to take a swim test to earn their tail (kids who need it will be given a life vest to wear during the lesson).
Reservations can only be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
Read the Disney Parks Blog article here.
Mermaid for a Day at the Kimpton – Vero Beach, FLL
This oceanfront property on the eastern coast of Florida (about an hour and a half southeast of Orlando) is partnering with Vero Beach Mermaid to offer a Mermaid for a Day program that’ll give littles a taste of life Under the Sea. The one-hour guided lesson instructs kids on how to swim in a mermaid tail while unlocking new skills and fun exercises that encourage confidence in the water. For families who want to really go all-out, guests staying at the hotel can book the immersive “Mermaid For a Day” package, which includes admission to the one-hour guided group session, as well as a mermaid-themed welcome amenity and a colorful mermaid tail kids can use during their lesson and take home afterward.
Dates through the summer include May 26; June 24; July 8; Aug 12.
Cost: $150 per person
AquaMermaid Parties & Private Lessons – Various locations (including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Chicago & Miami)
Want a mermaid all to yourself for your child’s birthday party—or just because? AquaMermaids rents “professional mermaids” for all sorts of occasions, from mermaid swim lessons and kids’ events to weddings and bachelorette parties. Mermaids can come as performers to entertain littles, or as teachers to instruct your little swimmers on using their tails. The company also sells a wide variety of fins and tails for merpeople who want to practice long after the lesson ends.
Note: Don’t have a pool to make your kids’ mermaid dreams come true? No problem! You can rent one through Swimply, which is, basically, the Airbnb of pools.
Ages: 7+ for mermaid swim class; all ages for Mermaid Party
LA Mermaid School – Los Angeles, CA
Welcome to Southern California, where professional mermaids aren’t just party performers. At this mermaid school, many of the talented swimmers have actually been hired for film and print productions. Founded under the belief that it’s “important to help people to achieve their dreams” and partnered with event company Sheroes Entertainment, the LA Mermaid School offers certifications for mermaids of all ages and levels. This is some serious mermaiding: All of the school’s teachings are based on the input of lifeguards, SCUBA instructors, and top-ranked mermaid entertainers—and many of the classes are geared for those who want to move on to become professional mermaids for TV, print, and film. For kids ages 8 and up, hourlong classes are taught by professional Hollywood mermaids and include tail-on and tail-off drills and skills; group mermaid games and a chance to just test out your skills.
Kids need to be comfortable in the water. All aspiring mermaids and mermen must pass a Water Competency Test to participate in the class.
Ages: 6 and up
Cost: $125 for private lesson for up to two people; $485 for mermaid parties.
Mermaid Adventures at Atlantis Paradise Island – Nassau, Bahamas
Quite possibly the best place for a mermaid experience is the wonderfully mystical Atlantis in the Bahamas. Here little merpeople can choose from three different mermaid experiences. The Poolside Mermaid Adventure is a 2.5-hour-long experience that includes mermaid crafting, snacks, and your very own encounter with a mermaid in one of the on-property pools. For the All Day Mermaid Experience, kids enjoy two encounters with the Atlantis mermaid, take part in arts and crafts, mermaid storytelling, lunch, mermaid snacks, cookie/cupcake decorating, temporary tattoos, and fancy hair extensions. The Ultimate Mermaid Experience takes the All Day Mermaid Experience up a notch with the addition of a second mermaid!
Cost: $121 and up
Mermaid-In-Training at Hawks Cay Resort – Duck Key, FL
Headed to the Florida Keys? Mermaids-in-the-making can learn how to swim like Ariel in a one-on-one session with a mermaid at this gorgeous island resort. Lessons include a special mermaid makeover and a mermaid swim lesson in the pirate ship pool and Mermaid Grotto. There’s also a mermaid-led storytime around the pool for kids who want to splash around a little more while they war their tails (available for purchase at the hotel).
Available Fridays through the summer.
Ages: All Ages.
Cost: $85 per child; $200 with the purchase of a mermaid fin. (Mermaid Storytime and the family pool featuring a pirate ship and Mermaid Grotto are free for resort guests.)
Mermaid Academy at Turtle Bay Resort – Kahuku, HI
Your kids can become certified Turtle Bay mermaids or mermen at this class, taught by O’ahu’s own mermaid, Kariel, who has been teaching kids how to be a mermaid since 2009 (she has made quite a name for herself, having been featured in People magazine, Elle, and others). The class teaches aspiring merpeople how to safely use a tail in and out of the water, with side lessons in personal development, empowerment, and self-love.
Just want to watch? Younger guests will enjoy The Brave Mermaid Show every Friday at 3:30 pm at the Main Pool; the show is complimentary for resort guests.
Cost: $200 per person (open to both non-resort and resort guests)
Mermaid Photo Shoot & Lesson at The Beach Club Resort – Gulf Shores, AL
Capture your little’s mermaid dreams in a professional photo shoot that’ll get pics of your little merman or mermaid lounging on the beach in front of this Gulf Shores resort. The private photo shoot includes a brand new mermaid tail or shark fin to take home, a digital photo album, and a certificate of recognition as a mermaid. Want to go for a swim? The Club offers mermaid swim lessons as well.
Ages: 3+ (costumes are 3T and up)
Cost: Packages start at $95.
The Mermaid Shows at Weeki Wachee Springs – Weeki Wachee, FL
This magical state park doesn’t offer a mermaid school, per se, but no mermaid story would be complete without mentioning it. The park is the place for professional mermaids, and its infamous 45-minute live aquarium Mermaid Show will mesmerize mermaid lovers of all ages. Staged inside e a 400-seat submerged auditorium, mermaids and mermen perform a musical show entirely underwater inside a natural lagoon filled with real fish and flora. After the show, explore the 12,000-acre state preserve, which includes a swimming hole (with a waterslide!), and a dense network of clear blue waterways where, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a manatee or two.
Cost: $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 12. Ages 5 and under are admitted free.
Mini Mermaid Class at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa – Maui, HI
This property has a number of mermaid experiences available from the Mini Mermaid Class for ages 4-7 where little ones can get 1-on-1 time with a mermaid instructor to the Social Media Mermaid experience that will get you some great photos for IG.
Ages: 4 and up
Cost: $109 and up