Best Swimming Lessons for Kids Near DC

This four-year-old is practicing her strong kicks at SafeSplash Swim School. Photo courtesy of SafeSplash.
This four-year-old is practicing her strong kicks at SafeSplash Swim School. Photo courtesy of SafeSplash.

There’s nothing better than splashing in a pool on a hot day. To help your children stay cool and safe in the water, plenty of places in the DC area offer swimming lessons for kids. Whether you’re looking for mommy and me swim classes for babies and toddlers or lessons to help older swimmers improve their strokes, there’s a swimming lesson that's perfect for your family on this list. 

Dive into our list of 11 schools that offer swimming lessons for kids in the DC area. Be sure to call the school or visit its website for the latest updates on COVID, as some local swim schools are cancelling group swim classes or adopting other safety requirements.  

Find more kids classes and programs in our guide to the Best Kids Classes and Activities Near DC

Best Swimming Lessons for Kids Near DC

1. AquaMobile Swim

Are you lucky enough to have your own backyard pool? AquaMobile will send an experienced, certified instructor to your home to give your kids private simming lessons! Their experienced, certified instructors  offer a variety of lessons for ages 6 months and up.

2. Big Blue Swim School 

This nationwide chain recently acquired the popular local Tom Dolan Swim Schools, giving it three locations in Northern Virginia—Chantilly, Dulles, and Falls Church. The pools are shallow throughout and kept at 90 degrees to keep little swimmers comfortable and safe. The continuous weekly lessons offer great flexibility for families to start and stop whenever they please, and to pick the lesson times that work best for them.  

3. British Swim School

This global swim school has been teaching kids and adults to swim for over 40 years, with a strong emphasis on water safety skills. It has six DC-area locations in Maryland and Virginia. One signature feature of its swimming program is “Survival Week,” where kids are encouraged to come to lessons fully clothed and practice swimming.  

4. Brookland Swim Academy

Does your child feel anxious around water? This swim school in northeast Washington specializes in teaching students of all ages with extreme cases of aqua-phobia. There are classes year-round for infants, children, adults, and families.

5. Fairfax County Park Authority

Baby and Me swim classes at Fairfax County Rec Centers help the littlest swimmers feel comfortable and have fun in the water. Photo by the author.

Local recreation centers are a great place to find swimming lessons in your area, and Fairfax County boasts over 30,000 swim lessons every year at its nine rec centers. They offer beginner lessons starting at 6 months old, advanced strokes for bigger kids, and private and semi-private lessons. There’s also an adapted aquatics program for kids with special needs.

6. Goldfish Swim School 

This popular local swim school, with nine locations in Northern Virginia and Maryland, offers swimming lessons to kids ages 4 months to 12 years. The pools are all kept at a balmy 90 degrees, and the student-to-teacher ratio for all classes is 4:1 so that kids get personalized attention. Goldfish Swim School also hosts birthday parties and open family swim sessions.

7. KIDS FIRST Swim Schools

KIDS FIRST has five DC-area locations—four in Maryland and one in Springfield, Virginia—that offer group and semi-private swimming lessons for ages 3 and up using their trademarked KIDS FIRST /Kick First® Learn to Swim System. Private lessons are available for ages 2 and up, as well as Mommy (or Daddy!) and Me classes for babies and toddlers 3 months and older. KIDS FIRST also offers a developmental swim team for ages 6-13, family swim sessions, and birthday parties. Pools are kept at 90 degrees. 

8. Nation’s Capital Swim Club

Do you think you have a future champion swimmer? Nation’s Capital Swim Club—which operates 14 locations throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia—has trained incredible Olympians such as Katie Ledecky in its 35 years of operation. Whether your child is just learning to swim or looking to improve their strokes for competition, this is one of the best clubs in the country. USA Swimming ranked it number one in the nation in 2019-2020.

9. SafeSplash Swim School 

This family-run swim school owned by a local former Olympian focuses on teaching swimming as a life skill so that children can be safe, strong, and confident in the water. Its eight locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia offer group lessons as well as private and semi-private lessons.

10. YMCA

The YMCA has six locations in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia that offer a wide variety of aquatics classes for every age and ability level, from 6 months old to adults. Their different stages based on water skills allow you to pick the right level of challenge for your child, building from water safety to advanced stroke mechanics. Some locations also offer water fitness classes and private swim lessons.

For more classes for kids in the DC area, check out our classes guide!

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