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Swimming Lessons
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Living in the capital city of the Land of 10,000 lakes means knowing how to be safe in and around bodies of water. To provide this knowledge, Saint Paul Parks & Recreation offers a variety of swimming lessons, taught by qualified instructors, for almost every age group through its Aquatics program.
  • 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.
  •  Water aerobics, junior lifeguarding, diving, adult classes, and private lessons are also offered. See the bottom of the page for more details.  
 Register for Swim Lessons

Summer Swimming Lesson Schedules
Como Regional Park Pool Great River Water Park
Highland Park Aquatic Center

Skill Levels

 Finn Buddies Icon.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg 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.

Junior Lifeguard Program (ages 10–15)
This program develops water safety skills for aspiring junior lifeguards. Participants will gain valuable first-hand experience, including how to enforce pool rules and regulations, how to scan the water for potential trouble, how to use safety equipment, how to follow emergency action plans, and how to operate and maintain the cleanliness of a pool. Click here for more information.

Deep Water Conditioning
Transition from the shallow end of the pool the deep end in this engaging workout. Use equipment to build strength and endurance.

For more information, contact:

    Como Park Pool: 651-489-0378
    Highland Aquatic Center: 651-695-3773
    Great River Water Park: 651-642-0650

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