Resources to help your family develop the skills they need to stay safe near water
Water safety is no joking matter and we know you want your kids to have the swimming skills they need
Some skills come in handy, like knowing how to knit. Others, like swimming lessons, could help save your life. If you feel that being comfortable in water is a must for your children, below are some options in the area that can help teach you or your children valuable water safety and swim skills. Note that many classes fill up quickly. Some facilities listed below offer classes throughout the year, while others only offer lessons in the summer. It is important to register early to secure your spot in class.
Chambanamoms thanks First Strokes Swim Academy for bringing us this list of where to find swimming lessons.
First Strokes is dedicated to help prevent infant & child drownings by teaching Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) swimming lessons. ISR lessons teach children ages 6 months to 6 years how to roll over and float should they come into the water unattended. First Strokes also offers maintenance lessons for children that have completed ISR, regular swim lessons, triathlete conditioning, and stroke analysis. All of the lessons are private lessons – just the instructor and the student in the water. First Strokes is located in a heated indoor facility in west Champaign.
Location: West Champaign
Dates of programming: Year-round
For more information: website or Facebook
Champaign Park District offers outdoor swim lessons during the summer season. Water and exploration classes for parents and children ages 1-2 are available as well as classes for preschoolers, youth, and even adults. Junior lifeguarding courses are available for teens who desire to become lifeguards upon turning 16. Private lessons for children are also available.
Location: Sholem Aquatic Center, 2200 W. Sangamon Dr., Champaign
Dates of programming: Seasonal (June-August)
For more information: website or call (217) 398-2581
Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center
Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center offers four sessions of summer classes, each for two weeks per session. Parent/tot, youth, and adult swim lessons are all available. Private lessons also available.
Location: 320 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul
Dates of programming: Seasonal (June-August)
For more information: website or call (217) 893-5700
Indian Acres offers swimming lessons for three to four swimmers per instructor, starting at age 3. Indian Acres members receive a discount on lessons. Instructors assess swimmers on Mondays and work with your child to determine their swim skill level. Classes are offered on nine consecutive days, Monday-Friday, with the second Friday reserved for makeup in case it is necessary to cancel class.
Location: 1 Arrow Road, Champaign
Dates of programming: Typically June-July
For more information: website or call (217) 352-9538
You do not have to be a member of the Stephens Family YMCA to participate in its swim lessons but a member discount is available. The Stephens Family YMCA has three pools of varying size, privacy and temperature, zero-entry accessibility, and a highly qualified and experienced aquatics staff. Programs are offered for parent and children over 6 months of age up to 12 years of age. Private and semi-private lessons are also available. Nemo swim lessons and/or aquatic therapy for individuals that need additional assistance, accommodations, and more individualized instructions are also available through Larkin’s Place at the YMCA. Lifeguard certification course, advanced techniques, and teen/adult swim lessons are also offered.
Location: 2501 Fields South Dr., Champaign
Dates of Programming: Year Round
For more information: website or call (217) 359-YMCA (9622)
University of Illinois Learn to Swim Program
Sessions are available for both members and nonmembers of Campus Recreation programming. Parent/child lessons are available for ages 6 months to 3 years, youth graduated lessons, swim conditioning, beginner adult lessons, and adult swim for fitness classes. Private lessons are also available. Lifeguard instructor training as well as water safety instructor training is also offered through the University of Illinois campus recreation department.
Location: Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), 201 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign and Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE), 1102 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana
Dates of Programming: Year-round
For more information: website, email, or call (217) 333-3806
With both indoor and outdoor swimming facilities, Urbana Park District offers swim lessons year-round. Parent-tot lessons are available for children ages 6 months – 36 months. Progressive classes are available for preschoolers 3-5 and youth ages 6 and up. During the first week of swim sessions, instructors will evaluate and place children in the appropriate swim group. More information on the skills required for group lessons can be found in the current program guide (click here). Private and semi-private lessons are also available for children and adults. Discounts are available for those enrolling more than one child.
Locations: Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, 102 E. Michigan, Urbana and Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center, 1401 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana
Dates of Programming: Seasonal (June-August) at CLPFAC, rest of year at UIAC
For more information: website or call (217) 384-7665
Looking for more information on Champaign-Urbana Area Swimming Pools? Please see our list of swimming pools. We also have a rundown of the swim teams in the C-U area and special toddler swim times. All coming soon!