Swimming Lessons & Water Aerobics

Swimming Lessons & Water Aerobics

Knowing how to be safe in and around water is important when you live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Saint Paul Parks & Recreation offers year-round swimming lessons for ages 6 months to adult.

  • Swimming lessons are offered seasonally at Como Regional Park Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center, and year round at 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. 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.

Register Online

For any questions regarding the online registration system, call 651-642-0650.  Click the links below to visit our online registration site. 

Swimming Lessons

Great River Water Park

Register for Swimming Lessons

Class Descriptions and Details

Skill Levels

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*
  • 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*
  • floating
  • 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

*The student will be directly supported by an instructor.

Adult & Specialty Classes

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.

Private Swimming Lessons ($30/person)

Half (½) hour private swimming lessons are offered for individuals and small groups of up to three (3) individuals. Contact you aquatic center of choice for information and scheduling.

Lifeguard Training

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. Click here for more information.

Stroke Clinics

Stroke Clinics are offered for swimmers that can swim laps and want to improve their strokes and endurance. We offer the clinics during regular lap swim hours and are a first come first served basis on the dates listed below. Perfect for triathlon training or anyone looking to improve their swimming technique.

  • September: 12 (11am), 19 (5:30pm), 21 (7am)
  • October: 10 (7am), 16 (11am), 28 (5:30pm)
  • November: 7 (7am), 16 (7am), 20 (11am)
  • December: 2 (5:30pm), 11 (11am), 21 (7am)

Water Aerobics

Now offering additional options for aquatic fitness. Aquatic fitness is a low impact work out. Classes are available for swimmers and non-swimmers.

Deep Water Conditioning

$7 - Great River Water Park
Transition from the shallow end of the pool the deep end in this engaging workout. Use equipment to build
strength and endurance. Call for details.

Power Water Aerobics

$7 - Great River Water Park
Participants will have the opportunity to work with multiple instructors that will introduce different techniques. These classes are offered as a drop in during our regular water aerobic times on the dates listed below. Come join us for a fun, intense and great workout.

  • September: 20 (5:30-6:30pm), 30(9:30-10:30am)
  • October: 13 (5:30-6:30pm), 22 (8:00-9:00am)
  • November: 1 (5:30-6:30pm), 26 (8:00-9:00am)
  • December: 1 (5:30-6:30 pm), 17 (8:00-9:00am), 27 (5:30-6:30pm)

Swimming Lesson Scholarships

Friends of Oxford Pool funds swim lessons for children in Saint Paul whose families are financially unable to enroll their child in lessons. We believe these activities give children important water safety skills and lots of healthy fun!

If you are interested in assistance with lesson fees, would like to make a donation or become involved with Friends of Oxford Pool activities, please fill out the form located at the Oxford Community Center reception desk or e-mail friendsofoxfordpool@gmail.com. You may also write to:
Friends of Oxford Pool
270 N. Lexington Pkwy
Saint Paul, MN 55104

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