10 Fin-tastic Lessons to Get Kids Swimming

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Since pool parties and beach outings are year-round activities in San Diego, it’s essential that kids learn how to swim so they can have fun in the water while staying safe. That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 great swimming lessons San Diego has to offer, so everyone from babies to big kids can build their swim skills. Grab those goggles and slather on the sunscreen––it’s time for your little fishies to kick it out, learn the basics and have fun. Scroll down and make a splash this summer!

Alga Norte Aquatic Center

Ready, set, go to the coolest aquatic center in North County, for a one-on-one lesson with a skilled instructor. There are classes available for 2 and under that require no pre-requisite and focus on building comfort in the water and setting up groundwork for future skills. For older kids, coaches teach at five different levels and swimmers move on to the next class once they pass the pre-requisite. Further, kids learn in an outdoor, very warm instructional pool in 30-minute classes. 

Good to know: The Aquatic Center is part of Alga Norte Park which has tons of sports fields, a playground and a skate park. So there's plenty to do pre- and post-swim lesson. 

Cost: varies, based on age and skill level

Alga Norte Aquatic Center
6565 Alicante Rd.
Carlsbad, CA
Online: www.carlsbadca.gov

Sunsational Swim Lessons

Looking for your babe to learn to swim in the comfort of your backyard? A top-rated instructor will come out to your home and deliver private swim lessons that fit your needs. Whether you have a beginner or a kiddo who wants to up his or her game, your Sunsational instructor will tailor-make a lesson plan that works for your family. 

Good to know: Lessons are private but you can schedule back-to-back lessons for multiple swimmers.

Cost: from $61-$84/hr., depending on class size and time

Online: sunsationalswimschool.com

YMCA of San Diego

Swim lessons for all ages that teach good strokes, water safety and water rescue. You're in good hands at the YMCA––after all, this is where Olympic gold medalists learned how to swim. Teachers promote a healthy spirit, mind and body. 30-minute private or semi-private lessons are now available for ages 2 and up. Group lessons are formed by skill levels. Once your little one passes a class, they move to the next level.

Cost: varies, check website
Locations throughout San Diego County.

Online: ymcasd.org

Floaties Swim School

Safety first is the main goal of a swim class that teaches kids how to pull themselves out of life-threatening situations. Swimming skills are honed in on later. The facility is an impressive 6,000-square feet with a playroom, outdoor patio and huge observation hallway. Games, toys and races help kids to enjoy lessons even more than they already do. Three kids per class are taught by CPR/AED certified instructors. Floaties offers birthday parties plus classes for little swimmers with special needs, adults and water aerobics.

Cost: four group lessons, $98/kid

13180 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA

851 Showroom Pl., Ste. 102
Eastlake, CA

Online: floatiesswimschool.com

Lawrence Family JCC

Kids ages 3 and older will enjoy splashing into swim lessons at this local JCC that currently offers private lessons with certified, highly qualified instructors who teach kids the basics of swim technique and safety. Each month consists of a package of eight lessons (two per week) and must be completed within the four week time period. There will be no rollovers of lessons into the following month. Kids learn in the shallow end of the heated Olympic pool swimming where Olympians and the Barracuda Swim Team also make a splash.

Cost: $360 for group lessons; $290/8-lesson package for JCC members 

4126 Executive Dr.
La Jolla, CA
Online: lfjcc.org

Noonan Family Swim School

Need a place to dip your toes? Try Noonan Family Swim, where your little one can splish-splash in the warm water during lessons that are truly a beginner's best bet for swim and water safety. For wee ones, try the Splash Babies program. For toddlers and older kids, there are six levels. Little swimmers feel a sense of accomplishment jumping to the different levels. Further, there's a play area to keep little hands busy before swim time and a parent watch deck inside with chairs for you. More still, swim-themed birthday parties are available. Restrictions due to Covid-19 may be in place, please call to confirm. 

Cost: available upon request

4S Ranch
10710 Thornmint Rd.
San Diego, CA

6070 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA

Linda Vista
2230 E. Jewett St.
San Diego, CA

Del Mar
5555 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 

Online: noonanfamilyswimschool.com

Swim Labs

Little fishies learn to swim in a tank that has a swirl current to provide water resistance. The cool thing is that tiny swimmers learn in small spaces that include bars and other safety devices that make kids feel secure. Originally developed to perfect the strokes of water polo players and Olympic swimmers, this technology works just as well for developing basic ability in young novices.

Cost: 4 weeks group lesson, $100/kid

519 Encinitas Blvd., Ste. 100
Encinitas, CA
Online: swimlabs.com

Lomas Santa Fe Club

Lomas Santa Fe

Warm up little guppies three years and older in this heated pool that's set between 88 and 91 degrees. No matter what your kiddo's skill level, with only four students per swim teacher, your kid gets personal attention. Instructors teach all levels from blowing bubbles to stroke improvement. Joanne McDonald leads this team of seasoned pros. Parents pull up a chair to watch while Littles jump into the outdoor pool.

Good to know: They expanded their adult/tot classes to prepare kids under age 3 for the group lessons.

Cost: 10 classes, $152/kid

1580 Sun Valley Rd.
Solana Beach, CA
Online: lsfswim.com

Callan Swim School

Bubble-up in the 93-degree custom teaching pool. Teachers let little swimmers learn at their own pace and have a soft-touch and no-fear style. Truly a great place for beginners. Group classes are 30 minutes and max out at three students. Also, half-pints rotate instructors for better learning.

Good to know: They require two classes per week, and encourage three, for best results.

Bonus: This is the only Hall of Fame Swim School in San Diego.

Cost: 8 classes, $170/kid

Pacific Beach Neighborhood
1012 Law St.
San Diego, CA
Online: murraycallanswimschools.com

Peace of Mind Swimming

Your pool or mine? Peace of Mind swim lessons will travel to your pool (May through September only) or have you out to their 86-degree heated pool in Fallbrook. Owner/Instructor Caroline M. is a mom of four and understands that accidents happen within seconds and knows that many accidents can be prevented with preparation. She customizes swim techniques to meet your Little where they are and to make sure that they have fun and you have peace of mind. 

925 E. Alvarado St.
Fallbrook, CA
Online: peaceofmindswimming.com

––Aimee Della Bitta, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea


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