The latest update for this article was written by Lindsay Podolak.
Young or old, swim lessons are an important prerequisite for living in a state that calls the Jersey shore “home.” Enrolling your child in swim classes builds confidence and provides the basic skills needed to create strong swimmers. Here is a rundown of NJ’s best aquatic schools to help your little fish stay safe in and around water all year long.
Dosil’s Scuba, Swim & Surf
Address: 261 Route 36, Middletown
Details: Dosil’s offers private and group swim lessons for kids of all ages. Children from six months to two years old can join the Waterbabies program to start kicking, scooping and floating. Beginner, intermediate and competitive level classes for older children are available all year long. Private and semi-private sessions are another option for both children and adults. Looking for a fun party location? Rent out their pool for your kid’s next birthday bash.
Why I like it: Reinforce what your child learned during his lesson by attending an open swim session, usually held on Friday evenings or weekends during the day.
More info: www.dosils.com or call 732-787-0508
Five Star Swim School
Address: 1 Corbett Way, Eatontown
Details: A wide range of classes for all ages and skill levels are available at this indoor pool facility. Their unique teaching style focuses on repetition of drills to build confidence in young swimmers. Year-round lessons mean new students can join at any time and classes are small, with an emphasis on personal attention and development. The pool stays at toasty 90 degrees so little ones won’t get cold feet.
Why I like it: With 24 different swim classes based on both age and skill level, there’s a perfect fit for every child.
More info: www.fivestarswimschool.com or call 732-380-1140
Goldfish Swim School
Address: 327 Franklin Avenue, Wyckoff
Details: Goldfish Swim School was founded by Jenny & Chris McCuiston in 2006 after researching swim programs across the country. Today there are schools in over 17 states teaching more than 50,000 students every week. The school focuses on building strong, confident swimmers and providing parents with detailed communication on a regular basis. Swim lessons, Jump Start clinics, water safety training and baby classes are among the programs offered.
Why I like it: The emphasis at Goldfish Swim School is on building confidence and helping kids accomplish new skills…while also learning water safety and how to swim.
More info: www.goldfishswimschool.com or call 201-254-3474
Address: 2903 Route 138 East, Wall Township
Details: The swim program here is offers lessons for children ages three to nine years old. Guppies are taught important beginner skills such as pool etiquette, face submersion and basic kicking. Stingrays learn intermediate skills such as proper breathing techniques and deepwater exploration. Three sessions, consisting of eight lessons each, are available this summer.
Why I like it: A week or two of summer classes in an outdoor pool is a great way to brush up on swim skills before going on a beach vacation or joining the swim club.
More info: www.goodsportsusa.com or call 732-681-8898
Monmouth County Park System
Address: 353 County Route 537, Colts Neck
Details: Is your child a crab, oyster or sea lion? The Monmouth County Park System helps beginners get their feet wet in an outdoor pool setting. Located at the scenic Dorbrook Recreation Area, the program offers over a dozen swim classes and levels. The 40-minute courses start with children exploring the water and learning how to float, kick, use basic arm strokes and properly return back to safety.
Why I like it: Several of the classes for younger children allow a parent to join the child in the water, which may help ease anxiety for nervous swimmers.
More info: www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call 732-842-4000
New Jersey Swim Schools, Inc.
Address: Locations in Florham Park, Lakeside, Manasquan, Sparta & Warren
Details: Continuity and repetition are key to this popular school’s safety courses. Most NJswim locations offer year-round private and small group sessions, along with Summer Intensive Programs. Swimming lessons are available for all ages and levels, along with lifeguard certification courses.
Why I like it: NJswim teaches the Stop Drowning Now Water Safety Curriculum, specifically designed to show kids how to recognize various drowning risks and how to protect themselves.
More info: www.njswim.com or call individual locations
Seashore Day Camp & School
Address: 345 Second Avenue, Long Branch
Details: Seashore’s schedule features a range of classes from novice level (think doggie paddle) through competitive swimmers. Summer sessions are held on weekends at their large outdoor pool, just a block from the beach. Parents can relax poolside and watch their child’s progress.
Why I like it: If you love the atmosphere at Seashore, you can always enroll your child in their summer camp or private school after completing swim lessons
More info: www.seashorecampandschool.com or call 732-222-6464
Silton Swim School
Address: 1701 Atlantic Avenue, Manasquan
Details: With its half day (3 hours) or full day (6 hours) summer sessions, Stilton provides high-quality swim training for your children. The drop-off program is available for children ages 3 to 14 years and there is a two-week minimum. In between lessons, children can play in the sandbox area or enjoy various sports activities.
Why I like it: Check the website for the list of discount weeks, which feature reduced rates for two weeks of swim lessons.
More info: www.siltonswim.com or call 732-223-4181