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Learn to swim for free in New York

All you need to swim is a place to splash around, so it's perfect that NYC Parks offers free swimming lessons at its pools throughout the city.

Never learned to swim? Learning how is no problem with NYC Parks' learn to swim program. Credit: Getty Images Never learned to swim? Learning how is no problem with NYC Parks' learn to swim program.
Credit: Getty Images

With tragediesincreasing awareness of the need for water safety, swimming lessons are in greater demand than ever. Since all you need to swim is a place to splash around, it's perfect that NYC Parks offers free swimming lessons at its pools throughout the city.

Available to swimmers of all ages and at all levels of expertise, registration for the Learn to Swim program is held through an online lottery in three separate sessions through the summer. Each session runs for about two weeks - session I from July 7 through July 22, session II from July 23 to August 7, and session III from August 11 to August 22. Those who aren't lucky enough to win a spot will placed be on a waiting list, in the case that someone doesn't show up to two or more sessions.

Lessons are divided by age into tots(1 ½ - 5 years old), children (6 – 17 years old) and adults (18 years old or older), as well as by level. For example, children at level 1 must learn basic aquatic skills like getting in and out of the water before they can move onto a level 2 class, where they can learn to move arms and legs in a swimming motion. Adults may also sign up for water aerobics classes to enjoy a cool muscle workout in shallow waters - no swim experience necessary.

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If you want to learn to swim, location is no problem. From Dry Dock Pool in downtown Manhattan to the Crotona Olympic Pool up in the Bronx, the program is sprinkled throughout dozens of pools in all five boroughs. Different time slots are also available, morning or evening, from two to five days a week. It's easy for busy parents to fit kids' swim lessons into a packed schedule, but don't wait too long - registration for the first session has already ended, leaving two more until this summer comes to a close. Registration for session 2 will end at noon on Monday, July 14 and at noon on Monday, August 4 for session 3.

And if you're fine with how you swim, feel free to arm yourself with a swimsuit and some SPF to show up at any one of NYC Park's free outdoor pools, which are open until September 1.

 
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