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My son turned four a week ago and about a month before that, my mother encouraged me to sign him up for swim lessons this summer. Around the same time, a thread popped up on a local moms Facebook group with the same query – where to take swim lessons locally? Well, like most things in 2014, there are options – lots of options.

So we began our hunt and settled on semi-private lessons with a pal at Hopewell Tennis & Swim Club, which we joined for the summer. Lots of our friends are doing lessons at their summer pools and many also started earlier this spring at some of the locations mentioned below. Deciding at what age to begin swim lessons can also be a question. The Washington Post did a story a few weeks ago on that topic, and a lot depends on the individual child and family’s relationship to water. Back to the local swim lesson scene, prices and times vary depending on private versus group lessons, frequency and membership level. Check individual websites for specific information, and if you know of others, please add to the list in the comments below!

Swim Clubs

If you’ve joined a pool or swim club for the summer, chances are they offer swim lessons. Even if you haven’t joined one of these local swimming spots, you can still inquire about lessons.

Penn Brook Swim Club, Pennington

Available for swim club members and with limited sections for non-members ages preschool through intermediate, swim lessons have limited space and members have priority registration. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis (Limit 8 per class).There is a $50.00 fee per individual, per session for members, and a $100.00 fee for non-members.

Contact Pool manager, Anthony Bartolone, for more information at 737-8930 or visit http://www.pennbrookclub.com.

Penn Brook also offers group swim lessons for adults or people beyond the intermediate level of swim. Taught by Pennington School swim coach George Ward, swimmers gain information on perfecting strokes, building endurance and generally increase efficiency in the water. Visit the website for more information.

Hopewell Tennis and Swim Center, Pennington

Private, semi-private and group swim lessons are available for members and non-members ranging in ability levels from young students with a parent present to intermediate levels. For more information, visit: http://www.hopewelltennis.com/swim-center/lessons/.

The Quarry Swim Club, Hopewell

Available to passholders and non-passholders, private and group swim lessons are available for children over the age of two catered towards a number of different levels of skills and proficiency. Lessons are available either in the pool as well as the Quarry itself for those children looking to pass the Quarry Swim Test or simply develop their skills in deeper water. Flexible schedules (usually weekday afternoons and/or weekend mornings) are offered. Visit http://www.quarryswimclub.com/swim-lessons.html for more information.

Colonial Sportsman’s Club, Hopewell

Ranging from beginner to advanced levels, group lessons are $25 per child and take place over the course of three weeks. More information is available at: http://www.cscpool.com/swim_lessons_11.html.

Local Schools

The Pennington School

The Pennington School Aquatics Program offers swimming lessons for preschool children ages 9 months to 6 years, at levels ranging from first water experience to intermediate swimming. There are three sessions offered – Fall, Winter and Spring — each with a separate registration form that lists the times for each session. 2014-2015 dates are yet to be posted, but check online for more information: http://www.pennington.org/athletics/aquatics-program/swimming-lessons/index.aspx.

The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey Aquatic Center Swim School program is designed to promote aquatic safety through caring instruction in a small group environment. All classes are taught by experienced instructors. This group oriented program covers techniques and knowledge in a steady progression for aquatic skill development. Swim school classes are held once per semester and those lessons usually occur in October/November and March/April. Weekday classes consist of five (5) 40 minute sessions and weekend classes consist of five (5) 40 minute classes. The April classes are offered in the afternoon after school (4 pm) as well as on Saturday mornings (9:30am, 10:20am and 11:10am). October classes are offered on weekend mornings only, where are spring lessons are offered on both weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Classes range from Mommy and Me to adult levels and we hear registration fills up quickly! For more information about the upcoming year’s schedule, visit: http://aquaticcenter.pages.tcnj.edu/programs/swim-school/.

Local Community Organizations

Princeton Family YMCA

From Parent/Child to Adult swim lessons, the Princeton Family YMCA offers a range of swim lessons throughout the year. More information is available at: http://princetonymca.org/programs/aquatics/.

YWCA Princeton

The YWCA Princeton also offers swim instruction through the American Red Cross Aquatic Program, reflecting the latest research in hydrodynamics, stroke mechanics, and motor learning. Lessons are for members only, check http://www.ywcaprinceton.org/Princeton_AQ_Information.cfm for more information.

Hopewell Valley YMCA

The Hopwell Valley YMCA offers a pre-summer session of swim lessons for children ages preschool through older elementary ages. Group swim lessons are $105 and private swim lessons are $199 during the session. Bookmark the aquatics page for next year at: http://hvymca.org/youth-sports/aquatics.

Local Gyms and Sports Clubs

CanDo Fitness

CAN DO Princeton features not one, but three pools – a lap pool, a therapy pool and a spa pool with two waterwalls. No membership required for swim lessons. Sessions are offered during winter and spring. In addition to private and group swimming lessons, the aquatics program is suitable for all ages and levels with a variety of classes that include fitness, physical therapy and other specialties. For more information visit: http://www.candofitness.com/princeton-club/programs/acquatics.

Princeton Health & Wellness

Princeton Fitness & Wellness also offers swim lessons. Not much information is available on their website, but check here or call directly for more information: http://princetonfitnessandwellness.com/services/aquatics/.

Private Lessons

Making Waves Swim School

Since 1998, learning to swim at Making Waves Swim School offers one-on-one instruction, easy registration, convenient hotel or private home warm water pool locations, and flexible schedules. Continuous, year-round lessons are designed to accommodate any schedule. Available at locations across Mercer County with open enrollment, visit http://startmakingwaves.com for more information.

Rob Orr, Princeton University Swim Coach

Princeton University Swim Coach Rob Orr quietly offers lessons in a program called “Swimorr”from his home on Woodsville Road in Hopewell Township. So quietly, in fact, that specific information about his program is only available by word of mouth. So ask around, see if a friend of a friend who has taken his lessons and can get you his contact information. Sign up as early as March on the day registration starts because it fills up quickly.

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And no matter where you end up doing swim lessons, the most important thing is to, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

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Andrea Fereshteh has been writing for as long as she can remember. An avid journal-keeper as a child, she dabbled in dramatic notes to her parents and designed her own stationary. With a zest for small talk and meeting new people, she pursued journalism in college and worked for nine years in PR, writing and media relations for the higher ed and nonprofit sectors. She has a mousters and ducktorate from Disney University and is a mother to two lively boys who inspire her to just keep writing, just keep writing.

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