If you’re a parent or mentor of a school-aged child who can’t swim, you may be thinking, “Crap! Memorial Day meant pools open, which means my (fill in the blank)-year-old is way behind and is definitely not going to listen to me teach her, so where do I sign her up?”
Here’s a list of options in the Charlotte area based on price:
Cordelia & Double Oaks Public Pools (Mecklenburg County Public Pools)
Free Lessons at County Public Pools – $1 for open swim – YES WAY!!
Location: Cordelia Swimming Pool (2100 N Davidson Street) and Double Oaks Swimming Pool (1200 Newland Road)
Price: Free lessons; Limited number of slots. Swimming is only $1 for public swim.
PERK: Free lessons – sign ups every Wednesday and enrolls you in 30-minute lessons for the following week M-F. Lessons are all beginner lessons – water safety, familiarity, being comfortable around the water. Ages 3-12
Ray’s Splash Planet
A fun environment that includes a Mecklenburg County maintained water park – you could stay after lessons and spend the day here. Monthly lottery for free swimming lessons for children ages 3-12 is held either the first or last Tuesday of the month. The next lottery – June 28th.
Location: 215 N. Sycamore Street
Price: Hosting free swim lessons thanks to the Second Ward HS National Alumni Foundation but spots are limited via the monthly lottery.
PERK: Free swimming lessons for those who qualify via the monthly lottery & nominal fee for open swimming hours and water park.
Like Cheers, they’ll know your child’s name and you can work out during the lesson. Also, your payment will go to an organization committed to serving the Charlotte community.
Locations: Throughout Charlotte. Pricing below for Simmons YMCA (best SEO)
- Members: Eight 30-minute sessions for $81
- Non-members: $113 (Approx. $8 per lesson or $14 per lesson)
- Private (1 Lesson for members is $25 and $35 non-members)
*Reduced rates are based on My Y-Pricing (Income of $0-$20,000) = 45% discount)*
Semi-Private Lessons & Adult Lessons offered
PERK: Other water-related fitness classes offered and some pools have outdoor pools with water features.
Marion Diehl Pool
This place is bound to be packed because it’s only $4 for adults, $2 kids (17 and under) and $3 Seniors for Open Swim times. Run by Mecklenburg County.
Location: 2219 Tyvola Road
Price: Eight lessons 30-minutes long for 3-5 years old and 45 minutes for 6 and older for $80 ($10 per lesson) or four 30-minute Saturday classes for $40
PERK: Arthritis Foundation – Beginner Intensity Class & Deep Water Running; Warmer water catered to Senior Citizens & Beginners
Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center (MCAC)
Located right within I-277 Uptown, they can now boast a newly renovated facility run by Mecklenburg County. You’re sure to be impressed with the new renovations and the degree of expertise these instructors have teaching Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) nationally recognized instructor certified program (SAI also offered at Ray’s Splash Planet & Marion Diehl pools).
Location: 800 E M.L.K. Jr Blvd
Prices: 8 lessons at $10 per lesson
PERK: Newly renovated facility; centrally located
The YWCA is all about fitness AND the community. In addition to lessons, they offer triathlon training and youth after school programs and house formerly homeless women – who knew?! Did I mention they have a beautiful campus on Park Road?
Location: 3420 Park Road
- Group classes offered: WaterBabies (6 months to 3 years); Group Lessons (Levels 1-6); Adult Swim Lessons. Pricing varies but $54 for members and $74 for non-members is standard
- Private lessons (1-on-1) package includes six 30-minute lessons for $175; price per lesson is $29.17
- Semi-private (2-on-1) lesson packages include six 30-minute lessons for $255; price per lesson is $42.50
PERK: Triathlon swim training offered; Teacher-Student Ratio – 1:5
This national chain has this down to a science, but it’s definitely corporate.
Location: 11926 Providence Road West, Ste. E-4, (off of the corner of Providence Road West and Lancaster Highway next to the Animal Hospital and The Little Gym.) There are also locations in Matthews and Myers Park.
- 1 lesson/week – $89 per month
- 2 lessons/week – $168 per month
- 3 lessons/week – $247 per month
PERK: Sibling discount; Separate pool viewing room for family members; 1:4 Teacher Student ratio. Lessons begin at 4 months. They offer a Special Needs Adaptive Program.
Little Otters Swim School
Exactly what it says, this is a true school, and your children will leave school tested, and if you are not happy within the first two months, you can request a refund.
Locations: 8200 Tower Point Drive (Matthews) and 14415 Reese Boulevard (Huntersville)
- Tuition is $73 a month for a half hour class once per week ($18.25 per lesson). If you want to attend two classes per week the tuition is $141 a month ($17.63 per lesson).
- $35 annual registration/administration fee per family
- 30-minute lessons for 16-18 lessons per session
PERK: Sibling discounts and you may request a refund if you are not happy within the first 2 months.
Almost all ages are included. This group offers baby bonding classes for infants as young as 2 months old, whereas most facilities start lessons at 6 months, so if you think you have the next Michael Phelps or you just want your little one to get adjusted to the water right away, this is a great option.
Location: 7835 Little Avenue (right behind Charlotte Catholic High School)
- Group lessons – $154/8 week session; one 30-minute class a week ($19.25 per lesson)
- Private lessons: $180/ 4-weeks or $360/ 8 for 8-weeks ($45 per lesson)
*Summer Session registration opens June 6th. Begins June 20th – August 13th
PERK: Baby bonding class offered (2-5 months old with parent); Group instructor ratio 2:5 ratio; Upper levels 1:5 ratio
Charlotte Swim Academy
The Academy is no joke. This is worth it if you want your child to learn fast as they offer a Rapid Results class.
Location: 9315-A Monroe Road
- $35 family registration fee
- Rapid Results Classes: 20 min for $104 ($26/lesson) or 30 min for $156 ($39/lesson)
- Standard Classes: 8 lessons; average cost is $21.50 for group lessons
- Private 20 min: $208 ($26/lesson)
- Private 30 min: $312 ($39/lesson)
- Stroke I: $160 ($20/lesson)
- Stroke II: $168 ($21/lesson)
- Stroke III: $176 ($22/lesson)
- Gus & Goldie’s Team: $184 ($23/lesson)
PERK: Options for 4 lessons per week (Rapid Results classes), Stroke review/outcomes are detailed on website
Swim MAC (Mecklenburg Aquatic Club)
The goal of lessons is breeding for one of the 60+ swim teams, so if you want your child to swim competitively one day, this could be a great jumping off point!
Locations: Huntersville, Charlotte, Concord and Mooresville
- Group sessions vary based on location and days per week. Monthly charge can range from $60-$120.
- Summer sessions: $110-$150 depending on time-span and location
- Private Lesson Options: Single 30-minute lesson for $40; Package of 4 x 30 minute lessons for $150 or Package of 5 x 30 minute lessons for $185
- Semi-Private (2 swimmers) Options: Package of 4 x 30 minute lessons $175 or Package of 5 x 30 minute lessons $220
PERK: Listed on their website are the Olympic Trials. These people live, eat and breathe swimming, so they’re bound to know their stuff in the Swim School lessons.
We’ve signed our daughter up through the YMCA before and are big fans, but like the Reading Rainbow guy said, “You don’t have to take my word for it!” Ask around or try any of the lessons above to ensure everyone in your family is safe around the water this summer, and if you’re all swimmers, consider donating to the Y to make sure other families are too.