An error (Object reference not set to an instance of an object.) was encountered trying to format content from PageUrl=/rec/Static-Content/alert.htm Close Message
Milwaukee Recreation
Main Content


Open AllClose All
  General information for Milwaukee Recreation swim programs

What to Bring — Swimsuit, towel, and swim cap. Swim caps must be worn by all individuals entering the pool. Each participant will recieve a swim cap with their swim class registration.

Height Requirements (Ages 6-14) — Students must meet the listed minimum height for each pool. Most pools have a 48” height requirement. For youth who are 42”-48” a six-inch booster step may be available. Children not able to comfortably stand in the shallow end of the pool (with or without a booster step) should be enrolled in an Infant, Lil’ Squirts, Tiny-Tot or Advanced Tiny-Tot class where a parent/guardian must accompany the child in the water.

Water Temperature — Normal water temperature is 78–82° F. The only exceptions are North Division, Vincent, and Marshall therapy pools which range 86-89° F.

Locker Rooms — Participants may bring a padlock for lockers. All swim gear must be removed after each class. Children five years of age or under may accompany their parent/ guardian in the locker room. Children ages six and up should use the locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. Pre-Testing — A pre-test is given to swimmers in levels 2-6 on the first day of class to ensure that the swimmer is in the appropriate level. Instructors reserve the right to recommend alternate classes for those students unable to complete pre-tests.

Testing — Testing of swim skills learned generally occurs during the second to last lesson, and last lesson. Parents/caregivers will be given certificates on the last day indicating which level to enroll in next.

Infant and Tiny-Tot Requirements — Diapers: Regular disposable diapers are not permitted as they disintegrate in the pool. Either disposable“Little swimmers” or reusable swim diapers are required.

Parent Attendance — Parents/caregivers must accompany their children in the water for all Tiny-Tot and Adv. Tiny-Tot, and is encouraged but not required for Lil. Lv 1, Lil. Lv 2, Level 1, and Level 2 classes. Second Child in Class — If a parent/caregiver has more than one child enrolled in Tiny-Tot or Advanced Tiny-Tot classes, the second child must be accompanied by a- responsible person 16 years of age or older.

Make-up Policy — Milwaukee Recreation works diligently to ensure that our pools stay in working operation to offer consistency in our programs. In the event that more than one class is cancelled due to circumstances we cannot control, we will work to make-up the missed class at a later date. When a make-up date is unavailable, credits for the missed class will be applied to your Milwaukee Recreation account.

  Parent/Adult Participation

We want you and your young swimmer to feel comfortable and to get the most out of each class. You know your child best and are encouraged to make the decision of how to support them during their swim experience. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to speak with the instructor to develop a plan or call Milwaukee Recreation's aquatics staff at 414-647-6053.

When is Parent/Adult involvement REQUIRED?

Parent child classes require an adult or responsible person for each child (16 year or older) to be in the water supporting the child. Required: Infant, Tiny-Tot, Lil’ Squirts, Advanced Tot. Recommended: Little Level One.

During OPEN SWIM, Children, age 7 and under and required to have an adult with them one-on-one, in the water, within arm’s reach AT ALL TIMES.

Parent/Adult IN WATER:

Benefits of being in the pool with your young swimmer: Increased encouragement and repetition of skill practice.

Increased comfort and support, this is a great time to help your child grow their listening skills and practice their swimming skills.

Time to bond and have focused time together.

Parent/Adult in POOL ROOM/ OBSERVATION AREA (Not in Water):

Benefits of being in pool room / observation area:
- Watching from a distance allows some students to develop a trusting relationship with the instructor.
- Allowing students more independence while still having you in the room for support/confidence.

Parent NOT in Pool Area or in water:

Some students might be distracted by their adult being in the pool area and, like school, dropping your child off and leaving the pool area might be what creates the best learning environment for your swimmer.

two people swimming

Register here for all swim programs this season!

Milwaukee Recreation understands how important swimming is as a lifelong skill, so we make sure people throughout the area are afforded every opportunity to learn. Each year, Milwaukee Recreation serves over 7,400 kids and adults in the community with a wide variety of acquatic lessons, activities, events, and more.

Swim lessons and other aquatics-related activities not only improve one's level of personal safety in the water; they can also reduce stress, increase mobility, and promote self-confidence.

We invite you, your friends, and your family to take advantage of the many aquatic activities available through Milwaukee Recreation. Check out the right side of this page for additional swim sessions and aquatics job opportunities!

For additional aquatics opportunities in the Milwaukee area, please see the Milwaukee County Parks website.

Open AllClose All
  Children's Swim Lessons

Milwaukee Recreation is proud to be an authorized provider of the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. Lifeguards and swim instructors are Red Cross-certified, and trained to provide quality swim instruction. Class size is limited to 10 students per instructor to ensure a quality experience. Our semi-private lesson program offers more individual attention with only four students per instructor. It is the goal of Milwaukee Recreation to offer affordable opportunities to every family. Our eight-lesson, youth swim program is offered for just $36; this price is reduced for those families who qualify for free/reduced lunch programs. The semi-private program has a premium non-reducible fee. Please see the current program guide for details.

  Parent/Child Aquatic Programs

Milwaukee Recreation offers aquatic classes for those as young as six months old! Infant classes - for children six to 18 months - orient your little one to the pool environment through songs, games, and activities. For toddlers 18-36 months, check out our Lil' Squirts class that will start to teach primary aquatic skills. Preschoolers ages 3-4 are ready to learn more in Tiny-Tot and can graduate to Advanced Tiny-Tot (ages 4-5) when they can submerge their head and kick independently with a board. All parent/child courses require a parent or person 16 years or older to accompany the child in the water for each swim class. Our affordable eight lesson program will only cost you $32* and again is eligible for discount if your family qualifies. Please see the current program guide for details.

*The Advanced Tiny-Tot class has a $36 fee.

  Lifeguard Training

American Red Cross Lifeguard Training will give you the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. This course includes water rescue skills, first aid, and CPR PRO. Several prerequisites will be tested on the first day of class, such as: swimming 300 yards non-stop (using breaststroke and front crawl), submerging 10-12 feet underwater to retrieve a 10-lb. brick, and treading water for 2 minutes without your hands. Successful participants from this class may be considered for immediate summer employment opportunities. You must be at least 15 years old to particpate. Register here for American Red Cross Lifeguard Training. Read here for more Lifeguarding information

  Competitive Swim

Competitive swim is a great way to become a team player, meet new friends and have fun while working out. Our age-group swim clubs offer the beginning and experienced swimmer opportunities to compete against other swimmers of similar ability throughout the Milwaukee area. Our youngest competing category is 8 & under while our oldest category serves youth all the way through high school. Competitive swim is currently being offered at MacDowell, South Division and Riverside High Schools. You are welcome to try the program for one week before joining.

For those who are interested in joining a swim team but lack experience, you will want to join the swim academy for your first season. Swim academy starts those interested in swim team as early as age 4. The only requirement for the academy is to be able to kick (with board or noodle) one 25 yard length of the pool on both the front and back. Older students (through age 12) will work on strokes, starts, turns and learning the "lingo" of the competitive swim world. Please see the current program guide for details.

  Masters Swim

Adults who miss the competitive swim ambiance from earlier days or are simply looking for a program to stay in shape or train for a triathlon should join the Master's Swim Team. Currently coached by an extraordinarily talented team of professional swimmers, the masters’ program will give you the chance to work on refining your strokes, build endurance, and compete if you are interested in doing so. We have several options to accommodate your schedule; 1, 2, 4, or 5 days a week in the early morning or join one of our “weekend warrior” options and swim on Saturday mornings. Click here for more information.

  Triathlon Training


Milwaukee Recreation is excited to have a group of triathlon focused adults train at Riverside High School 3 seasons per year.  Join Triathlon Cross-Training in the winter to work on strength and endurance through stair climbing, weight lifting, indoor cycling and swimming.  Continue into the spring with our Triathlon Prep course which gets athletes outdoors running and biking while continuing to improve swim skill in the pool.  The summer allows the program to meet twice a week for TRI-TRAINING and works all 3 sports in different combinations.  Classes are best suited for novice and amateur level triathletes. Click here for more information.


Experienced coaches will personally train and teach each student (11-18 years old) based on their ability and comfort level on how to swim, bike and run in preparations for a triathlon.

We work with every pre-teen and teen based on their personal levels of ability.  T2 (Teen Triathlon) Training will also include the following dry-land fitness exercises, not limited to: spinning, jogging, core strength, bosu ball, jump rope, and stair climbing. Coaches will incorporate other exercise to meet the abilities of all participating youth.  Click here for more information.

  Adult Lesson Program

In a current California study, almost half of 1000 adults surveyed said they did not feel comfortable in, on or around water.  More so, less than 5 percent of all adults surveyed indicated they could swim a continuous 400 yards.  Milwaukee Recreation is pleased to offer lesson programs that teach hundreds of adults each year how to swim. Choose from a standard course which offers one instructor for every 10 participants or select a "fear factor" semi-private lesson which can give you the personalized attention needed to overcome anxiety of being around water.  Both beginners and intermediate adult swimmers are encouraged to enroll. Please see the current program guide for details.

  Aquatic Fitness Opportunities

With multiple pool locations on all different sides of town, you won't need to travel far to attend your favorite water aerobics class. Choose from shallow water exercise, aqua-ZUMBA, cardio splash, deep-water aerobics, aqua boot camp or YoQUA Fusion.  We also offer aquanatal classes for expectant mothers. Each one of these classes will help you get in shape, or stay in shape without the impact of land aerobics. We provide the equipment and instructors; you bring your energy and enthusiasm!  Please refer to current Activity Guide for course descriptions and offerings.

  Lap Swim

Keep yourself in shape by logging your miles in the pool. Available at locations across the city. Click here for more site-specific information and costs. Click here for more site-specific information.


Phone: 414-647-6067
Email: Swim [at]

(When emailing our staff, please replace the "[at]" with a traditional "@" symbol. Ex:

Aquatics Training and Job Opportunities

If you would like to earn extra money and advance your swimming skills while protecting the safety of others, sign up for one of our Lifeguard Training Classes. Or, if you think you'd like to teach others to swim enroll in a Water Safety Instructor Course. These American Red Cross courses are typically offered in Fall, Winter and Spring. Employment opportunities are available for individuals who successfully complete each course and become certified according to the American Red Cross criteria. Join the Milwaukee Recreation aquatics team!

For more information, call 414-647-6075 or email: Denzel [at] (When emailing our staff, please replace the "[at]" with a traditional "@" symbol. Ex:

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2022
To top