Learn to Swim

The City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs offers lessons taught by Red Cross certified instructors, year-round. Registration is offered in September, December, March, June and July. 

How much does it cost?

  • City Residents - $10 
  • Non-City Residents - $35 


Step 1.Create an account on our program registration portal.

If you already have an account, just sign in with your username and password. If you do not remember your password click 'Forgot password?' on the sign-in page.

Create an Account

Step 2.Select your swimming lessons.

Swimming lessons are listed as individual activities under 'Programs' on our registration portal. Click on the program to see details. Lessons are offered in the fall, winter, spring, and summer.

Summer 2024 Swim Session Dates (subject to change without notice):
A summer session is 30-minute morning classes, five days a week for two weeks.

  • Session I: July 1 to July 12 (No class 7/4), Monday - Friday at Burnet, Schiller and Thornden pools
  • Session II: July 15 to July 26, Monday - Friday at Burnet, Schiller, Thornden and Upper Onondaga pools
  • Session III: July 29 to Aug. 9, Monday - Friday at Burnet, Schiller, Thornden and Upper Onondaga pools

Summer 2024 Registration Dates
Session I: City residents: Thursday, June 27 at 4 p.m.
Session I: Non-residents: Friday, June 28 at 4 p.m.

Session II: City residents: Thursday, July 11 at 4 p.m.
Session II: Non-residents: Friday, July 12 at 4 p.m.

Session III: City residents: Thursday, July 18 at 4 p.m.
Session III: Non-residents: Friday, July 19 at 4 p.m.

VIEW CLASSES HERE (when available) 

Youth Lesson Levels
Class level requirements are a combination of both minimum age and swimming ability. Pre-testing is available during any open swim.

  • Little Swimmer: 14 months to 3 years old; an adult is required in the water with the child.
  • Seahorse: 3 to 5 years of age; no swimming experience.
  • Goldfish: Minimum of 5 years old; no swimming experience.
  • Bullfrogs: Minimum 6 years old; able to float on front and back, kick 15 feet on front and back.
  • Blue Whales: Minimum 7 years old; able to swim 30 feet on front and back.
  • Starfish: Minimum 8 years old; able to swim 45 feet on front and back and perform the elementary backstroke.
  • Eels: Minimum of 9 years old; able to swim 25 yards front and back crawl; 15 yards elementary backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Adult Lesson Levels

  • Beginner
  • Advanced

Step 3.Checkout and pay online.

Click the swimming program you'll be registering for and add it to your shopping cart and checkout. During the checkout, you will be asked to sign a waiver.

Step 4.Attend your classes.

Please note classes are cancelled when the Syracuse City School District closes school or cancels after school activities.