SUMMER 2021 UPDATE: We are preparing to open our splash pads, Highland Park Aquatic Center, Como Regional Park Pool, and Phalen Beach on June 12, 2021. Please note, Great River Water Park will be closed during the summer 2021 season.
Summer Swimming Lessons
Registration for summer swimming lessons is now open. Advance reservations will not be required for summer lap swim, water aerobics or open swim.
Summer Lap Swim, Water Aerobics and Water Walking
- Advance reservations will not be required for summer lap swim, water aerobics and water walking.
- Fee is $8/day or included with an all-access summer aquatics membership. Aquatics memberships will go on sale May 15.
- See Highland Park Aquatic Center and Como Regional Park Pool webpages for hours.
Spring (Great River Water Park)
Great River Water Park will remain open throughout spring 2021, but will close for the summer. Reservations can be made online or by calling 651-642-0650. Reservations are required to be made 24 hours in advance for lap swim and water aerobics.
Details & Descriptions
- Swimming lessons are offered seasonally at Como Regional Park Pool, Highland Park Aquatic Center, and Great River Water Park.
- Registration can be done online, over the phone or in person.
- Unless otherwise noted, lessons start on the hour and last for 50 minutes.
- There are eight (8) classes per session, or (4) classes per mini-session. In the event of a canceled class, make-up days will be held if possible.
- Children with disabilities or specific needs are encouraged to participate in our lesson program. Call the Adaptive Recreation office at 651-793-6635 for more information.
- Skill Level Descriptions
- Adult & Specialty Class Descriptions
- Lifeguard Training
Fin Buddies (6 months to 3 years of age)
An adult must accompany the child. Adults and instructors work together to develop the child’s comfort in the water. Adults learn basic safety practices for working with children in and around water. Skills Obtained:
- ability to adjust to the water
- basic swimming skills
Jellyfish – Water Exploration (3 to 5 years of age)
Offers swimmers their first opportunity to learn basic swimming skills from a qualified instructor without direct accompaniment from a parent or guardian. Skills Obtained:
- basic water safety skills
- basic swimming techniques such as kicking and floating
- ability to enjoy and be comfortable in the water
- ability to safely and fully submerge the body underwater (3 seconds)
Sunfish - Primary Skills
Helps swimmers hone fundamental swimming skills. Swimmers must be comfortable in the water without a parent at their side and must have completed the Jellyfish course. A demonstration of equivalent skills will also suffice. Skills Obtained:
- floating and gliding
- front and back crawl basics
- combined stroke (5 yards)
- deep water orientation
- ability to retrieve objects under water
Moonfish - Advanced Primary Skills
Give swimmers more success with fundamental skills learned from Sunfish level above. Skills Obtained:
- rhythmic breathing
- additional deep water orientation
- the elementary backstroke
- the combined stroke (5 yards)
Catfish - Stroke Readiness
Builds on skills by coordinating strokes and increasing endurance. Swimmers must have completed Moonfish or have equivalent skills. Skills Obtained:
- coordinated front crawl (15 yards)
- coordinated back crawl (15 yards)
- elementary backstroke (10 yards)
- ability to tread water (30 seconds)
- poolside diving basics
- whip kick basics
Parrotfish - Stroke Development
Develops endurance in strokes learned and introduces the breaststroke and sidestroke. Swimmers must have completed Catfish or have equivalent skills. Skills Obtained:
- front and back crawl (50 yards)
- elementary backstroke (25 yards)
- breaststroke basics
- breaststroke kick (25 yards)
- sidestroke basics
- scissors kick (10 yards)
- ability to tread water (90 seconds)
Rainbow Trout - Stroke Refinement
Refines coordination and increases endurance of key strokes. Butterfly is introduced. Swimmers must have completed Parrotfish or have equivalent skills. Skills Obtained:
- front and back crawl (75 yards)
- breaststroke (50 yards)
- elementary backstroke (50 yard)
- sidestroke (25 yards)
- butterfly basics
- diving board basics
- ability to tread water (3 minutes)
Tigerfish - Skill Proficiency
Polish strokes so swimmers swim them with more ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Skills Obtained:
- front crawl and back crawl (100 yards)
- breaststroke (75 yards)
- sidestroke (50 yards)
- ability to tread water (5 minutes)
- ability to recover a 10 pound brick in deep water
Adult Introductory Level
This class is for adults and teens that have little to no experience in the water. The objective is to introduce fundamental skills essential for safe swimming, including front and back floats, front and back crawls, the elementary back stroke, the ability to recover submerged objects, and basic first aid and safety skills.
Adult Intermediate Level
This intermediate level class, for adults and teens, is intended for those who have passed the Introductory Level course or those who have prior experience in water but are still uncomfortable with their swimming ability. Participants will increase their endurance, refine basic strokes such as the front crawl, back crawl, and elementary back stroke, and be introduce to the sidestroke and side stroke. Participants will also learn how to tread water.
Beginning Springboard Diving
Participants must have at least Parrotfish-level swimming abilities. Divers will gain an understanding on how to be safe on the diving board with the four step approach, how to perform basic front and back dives, how to tuck and pike, and, upon ability, how to execute front and back flips/spins.
Developmental Swim Team
This introductory competitive swim program takes place at Highland Park Aquatic Center and is designed for swimmers ages 7–18. Participants will learn about competitive swimming at every level and will develop and maintain swimming skills needed to remain competitive. This program is coached by STAR Swim Club, a club with a national reputation for producing Olympic-caliber swimmers.
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation offers junior lifeguard programs for youth ages 10-14 and lifeguard programs for ages 15 and up. Registration can be done online, over the phone, or in person. Visit the Lifeguard Training webpage for more information.