Parks, Recreation and Community Services

Swim Lessons

Youth Class Descriptions

Students are tested on the first day of class. If the student is above/below their current skill level, they will be transferred to another class, provided an opening is available. If you are unsure what class level to register your child in, see our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Big Fish, Little Fish - Parent and Me (Level 1) Age: 6 mos. to 3 yrs. This class is designed as an introduction to the water. Class emphasis is on fun and safety. Under the guidance of an instructor, parents learn how to teach their youth elementary water adjustment, breath control, and swimming readiness skills. Parent participation in the water is required. Class ratio 8:1.

Starfish (Level 2) Age: 3 - 5 An introduction to the water. Class time is spent on water adjustment, floating, kicking, arm stroke, and water safety. Class ratio 6:1. Prerequisite: none.

Seahorse (Level 3) Age: 5+ Students learn the fundamentals of front crawl, back crawl, turning over while floating, and water safety. Class ratio 6:1. Prerequisite: Level 1 or equivalent skills.

Sea Otters (Level 4) Age: 5+ This level is designed to build on the skills learned in level 3 by providing additional guided practice. Participants swim independently and learn more complex motor skills. Class Ration 1:6

Dolphins (Level 5) Age: 5+ Refinement and endurance of skills learned in piranhas. Participants also learn breaststroke and sidestroke kicks. Must be comfortable in deep water and have the ability to swim mulitple lengths of the pool. Class ratio 6:1. Prerequisite: Level 3 or equivalent skills.

Adult Lessons Ages 18+  Participants will be taught floating and basic stroke techniques (front float, front crawl, back float and elementary backstroke). Class ratio 1:8


Thanks to the USA Swimming Foundation, swim scholarships are available for all youth swim lessons.  Please go to your nearest community center to get your swim scholarship today!!

The City of Riverside is excited to offer adult swimming lessons for students 18+ years of age. The classes are designed to introduce the inexperienced adult to the water and gain confidence while improving their swimming skills. Levels 1—3 are offered from the Learn to Swim Program for adult participation. Each level in the Learn to Swim Program builds upon the skills taught in the previous level. 

Level 1 - Adult Beginner Become comfortable in the water, learn fundamental swimming skills and improve swimming strength and stamina. This class is a basic swim course for adults learning to swim. Participants are taught floating and basic stroke techniques (front float, front crawl, back float and elementary backstroke). Class ratio 6:1. Pre requisite: none.

Level 2 - Adult Intermediate Participants are taught how to improve the front crawl stroke and be introduced to breaststroke and sidestroke. Swimmers develop confidence and endurance using the strokes learned in the Beginner Class. Class ratio 6:1. Prerequisite: Adult Beginner or equivalent skills.

Level 3 - Adult Advance In this class, participants establish stroke readiness by building on the safety and rescue skills presented in Levels 1 & 2. The focus on this level is to work on proper technique and stroke refinement in order to achieve more ease, efficiency, power and endurance. The majority of the class is spent in deep water. Class ratio: 8:1. Pre requisite: Adult Intermediate or equivalent skills.

Which class should I register my child? If your child has never had swimming lessons before and is pre-school age, a Parent & Me class should be considered. School-age students with no experience should consider a Level 1 class. For students with some experience who are comfortable in the water, a Level 2 or 3 class may be more appropriate.

I am signing up for several sessions this summer. How do I schedule my child? Can I put him/her in different levels? Generally, it is not recommended that you sign up for each level, as passing a level is not automatic, but based on completion of skills. If your child has little water experience, it is recommended you sign him/her up for the same level over multiple sessions. For students who are comfortable in the water, we recommend starting with the level completed last year as a “refresher” and then moving on to the next level for additional sessions. If your child does pass a level earlier than expected, arrangements can be made with the Pool Manager to transfer classes if class space is available. Lower level classes fill up very quickly; therefore it is much easier to move a child up than to transfer a child to a lower level.

My child is fearful of the water. What should I do? There are many different reasons why children might be fearful of the water. The best thing to do is enroll in classes with low student-teacher ratios, for example: Level 1. Children should be encouraged to learn at their own pace.

My child does better if he/she can swim with the same instructor during the summer. What can I do? Usually, staff is assigned classes depending on schedules and instructor availability. The Pool Manager will accept requests for instructors and will attempt to assign instructors as needed. However, there are no guarantees on specific instructors.

How long will it take my child to learn to swim? Every child will be given individual instruction at their own pace. Children vary greatly in their learning capabilities and motor skills. Repetition, patience, and persistence are key factors in helping to develop water skills and encouraging comfort in the water.

Are students (17 and younger) allowed to sign up for the Adult Classes? No, the Adult Swim Lessons are designed for students 18+ only.

What if I can’t swim? Swimming ability is not required. We can use a variety of flotation devices for support in deep and/or shallow water. Instructors work closely with patrons until they feel comfortable in the water.

There are many options of swim lessons, how can I register for a specific pool, location or time without filtering through all of the swim lessons online? Please see instructions on how to register here.

Session Dates

  • No Class: June 19 & July 4
  • Session 1: June 10 – 20

    Registration: Online & In-Person, 9 a.m., May 31

  • Session 2: June 24 – July 4

    Registration: Online & In-Person, 9 a.m., June 14

  • Session 3: July 8 – 18

    Registration: Online & In-Person, 9 a.m., June 28

  • Session 4: July 22 – August 1

    Registration: Online & In-Person, 9 a.m., July 12

  • Session 5: August 5 – 15

    Registration: Online & In-Person, 9 a.m., July 26

  • Register online at To correctly assign swim instructors, registration must be received at least two weeks prior to the session starting date.

Adaptive Swim Lessons

The City of Riverside PRCSD accomodates all participants regardless of limitations individuals may have. The City of Riverside Aquatics program along with Swim Angel Fish provide a fun and safe environment while developing swimmers abilities based on individual needs providing them with tools and skills necessary to become a successful swimmer. This class is for special needs children and young adults. To apply for adaptive swim lessons, please register at


Lap Swimming

June 10th- August 15th | M - Th | Sippy Woodhead Pool | 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Reserve your lane ( or drop in | $6 | Seniors 50+ swim for free

Senior Swim | Shamel Pool | M-Th | 1:30- 2:30 p.m. 


Recreation Swim

Open swimming is available for anyone wanting to participate in water activities. Youth 7 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times, whether it is on the pool deck or in the water.

June 10 - August 8

Pools closed June 19 & July 4

Available at: *Shamel • Hunt • Islander •Villegas • Reid • Arlington  • Sippy Woodhead Pools 



Mondays & Wednesdays | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

*Excluding Shamel 

Tuesdays & Thursdays |  7 - 8:30 p.m.


Extended Recreation Swim

Only at Arlington, Reid and Villegas Park Pools:

Days of the Week    Hours
Mondays - Thursdays        1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Saturdays    1 - 4 p.m.



0 - 17 | Resident $1.25/ Non-Resident $1.50

18 - 59 | Resident $2.50/ Non-Resident $3.25

60+ | Resident $1.75/ Non-Resident $3.25


Swim passes are available through the OSP Kaiser Permanenete Grant

Youth: $20 | Adults: $40 | Family Pass: $75 (1 adult and 3 children)


Night Swim | Available at all pool sites: Hunt, Shamel, Sippy Woodhead, Reid, Islander, Arlington, Villegas | Tuesdays and Thursdays | 7- 8:30 p.m.


Grants and Scholarships

Operation Splash Grant
The Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department (PRCSD) is once again teaming up with Kaiser Permanente to help residents stay cool and fit during the hot summer months. Scholarships are available for a variety of aquatics programs (swim lessons, Jr. Lifeguard and pool passes) thanks to a generous grant from the Kaiser Permanente. PRCSD and Kaiser will sponsor qualifying low-income individuals in Riverside communities to participate in the above mentioned activities.
If you are interested in applying, please download the application on the forms page or apply at your local community center starting May 1.

Aquatics Scholarship Program
Scholarships are available for a vaiety of swim programs thanks to our generous partners, Kaiser Permanente and American Red Cross. To apply, download an Aquatics Scholarship Application at, stop by a community center or pool. Scholarships are NOT available for Splash Camp.

Subsidized programs are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

1. Must be a resident of Riverside (Area codes 92501- 92508) with valid ID
2. Must submit the Aquatics Scholarship Program application at least 14 days prior to the start date of activities

3. Must show proof of residency and documentation/verification of income

4. Staff will inform applicant of scholarship approval at time of registration


Refund Policy:

Refunds will not be granted unless class is cancelled. Credits will be issued for the amount of the course if the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is notified before the second class meeting. Exceptions – Special Events, Aquatics, Lifeguard Training, Day Camps, and After School programs, due to high demand and limited spacing, credits, transfers or refunds will not be issued.
Refunds will not be granted for Youth Sports programs, however credits will be issued if requested in writing two weeks prior to the first scheduled game.
Online registration transaction fees are non-refundable.