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Milwaukee Recreation
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Lap & Open Swim

Girls Swimming Laps

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  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.

Register for Lap Swim Times

Lap swim locations and times change each season. To find the up-to-date list of available lap swim opportunities, please click here. Participants will be able to to register for specific lap swim dates as needed.

Lap Swim Procedures


Ages 14 and up.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Lane assignments will be provided by the lifeguard on duty upon arrival.
    • A maximum of 2 swimmers may occupy 1 lane.
    • One swimmer will be asked to anchor in the shallow end and the second swimmer will be asked to anchor in the deep end. This means that not all swimmers will start in shallow water.
    • You will be encouraged to only rest at your designated side of the pool.


The safety protocols will not allow for us to use a punch pass system. If you are in possession of a punch pass that has unused punches, you may surrender your card to the lifeguard on duty. Please be sure that the name on your pass matches the name you use to now register for lap swim.

Within 3-5 business days, a credit will be applied to your account, rounded up to the nearest whole dollar for any remaining punches. There will be no cash value for surrendering the pass. Credits on your Milwaukee Recreation account do not expire and can be applied to any activity we offer for any member of your household on your account. Thank you for your understanding.

Open Swim

Milwaukee Recreation offers free, open swim times for families around the community throughout the summer! See below for date, time, and site information.

No pre-registration is required, but there will be registration upon arrival on site. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis (maximum capacities are based on pool size and the number of lifeguards staffed to the site).

Children under the age of 7 are required to have an adult in the water within arms reach at all times, for safety.

Open Swim Locations

  • MacDowell School: Saturdays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Sept. 23 - Nov. 11)

Twilight Swim

At several Twilight Centers, Milwaukee Recreation also provides free, open swim opportunities for Twilight-age students. No registration required. Click here to learn more about Twilight Centers!

Open to ages 12-18

  • North Division HS: Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m. (Sept. 18 - Nov. 13)
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  Height Requirements (6-14 years old)

Students must meet the listed minimum height for each pool.  Children not able to stand in the shallow end of the pool should be enrolled in a Tiny-Tot or Advanced Tiny-Tot class where a parent/guardian must accompany the child in the water.

Gaenslen 36”
Bay View 42”
MHSA 48”
Hamilton 48”
Obama 48”
Riverside 48”
South Division 48”
Vincent 48”

  Water Temperature

Normal water temperature is 78–82 degrees.  The only exception is Gaenslen therapy pool which ranges 86-89 degrees.

  Locker Rooms

Participants may bring a padlock for lockers. All swim gear must be removed after each class. Children of the opposite sex, five years of age or under may accompany a parent in the locker room. Children ages six and above are expected to use their designated locker room — males in the boys’ and females in the girls’ locker rooms.


Phone: 414-647-6050
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:

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