Swimming Lessons for East Bay Kids - 510 Families

Swimming Lessons for East Bay Kids

It’s that time of year: parents are looking for swim lessons. We’ve rounded up some of the swimming schools and pools currently offering lessons to children.

Thank you to our sponsor, Patti’s Swim School in Castro Valley. Founded by Patti O’Brien, mother of six children, Patti’s Swim School reflects her insightful parent perspective on what is important to and for children of all ages and their parents.

If you don’t see your local favorite, it’s likely because of staffing and logistical issues. The schools that are open may limit registrations to comply with Covid-19 protocols, so be aware it may be difficult to find a spot unless you’re flexible on days and times. Our best advice is to sign up early!

adult and child swimming
Every expert started as a beginner | Photo: Patti’s Swim School

East Bay swimming programs that will help teach your child how to swim

We arranged our East Bay swimming lesson list roughly from the South to the North.

Fremont Swim Lessons

American Swim Academy, Fremont

Swimmers as young as 4 months old learn through a structured, consistent program that builds progressively through basic swimming techniques to more advanced and challenging skills. Five East Bay locations including Newark in the (510). Find out more >

Happy Fish Swim School, Fremont or Livermore

Swim lessons for water babies, children, and adults. They offer a free trial class for all new students. Summer swim team and Spring swim clinics also available. Find out more >

SafeSplash Swim School, Fremont

Super close to Rockin’ Jump, this swim school offers lessons for babies through adults in session-based classes. They also offer a cute medal progression program highlighting kindness, dedication and passion. Visit website.

swim lessons
Registration at Patti’s Swim School is always open. Free trial classes available. | Photo: Patti’s Swim School

Swim Lessons in Hayward

Hayward Plunge, Hayward

An indoor pool that offers lots of swim lesson options, from tots to advanced. Lessons fill up quickly though, so sign up early! Check the recreation guide for more information >

SafeSplash Swim School, Hayward

This swim school offers lessons for babies through adults in session-based classes. They also offer a cute medal progression program highlighting kindness, dedication, and passion. Visit website.

Waterworks Swim School, Hayward

Parent and me classes, as well as tot classes, are available at the Waterworks Swim School. They also offer more advanced stroke clinics and adult classes. Register here >

Swim Lessons in Castro Valley

Patti’s Swim School, Castro Valley

Swim lessons at this private pool are effective, efficient, and fun! At Patti’s Swim School, students are instructed in a supportive, compassionate, focused environment with lots of individualized attention and success in learning and mastering new swimming skills.

A warm saline pool and low teacher-to-student ratios are highlights at this swimming school in Castro Valley. Patti’s has developmentally appropriate classes for ages 5-months-old through adults and specializes in students with anxiety disorder, learning differences, and Autism. Professional instructors are highly trained and effective. Register for a free trial class by calling (510) 331 – 6610 or signing up online. Find out more >

Fun fact: Swimming is fantastic for brain health! The bilateral cross-patterning movement of swimming helps cognition, eases learning, and benefits overall academic performance.

mom and baby swim
Parent and child swim lessons | Photo: Patti’s Swim School

Chabot Swim Academy

Chabot Swim Academy serves swimmers aged 3 to 16 years old. They offer very small semiprivate classes with never more than 3 swimmers per instructor and believe in creating an atmosphere where the kids feel safe but also understand they are there to achieve. Find more information here >

Swimming Lessons in Alameda, CA

AquaTech Swim School, Alameda

AquaTech has parent/child lessons and bigger kid lessons, available on both a perpetual (for a monthly rate) and drop-in basis. Perpetual lessons are ongoing year-round; a child can join at any time. Drop-in lessons are also available for those who cannot commit to a full set of lessons. Note that there is usually a waitlist for these lessons. Private lessons are also available.  See details >

Encinal and Emma Hood Swim Centers, Alameda

The City of Alameda offers youth and child swim classes at Encinal Swim Center. From Baby and Me classes to tot and more advanced lessons, you’ll sign up at either Encinal or Emma Hood depending on the class. More information here >

Swim Lessons in Oakland

Oakland Hills Tennis Club

Nestled in the Oakland Hills, the Oakland Hills Tennis Club has an outdoor pool and typically offers 30-minute private, semi-private, and private classes. They also have a swim team. Pricing is different for members/non-members. For 2022, you’ll want to call or email to arrange for registration. Find out more >

Ohana Aquatics, Oakland

This independent swim school in a tranquil forest setting offers sessions for babies and toddlers, plus an 8-session group and private lessons for all levels and ages. Sign-up online and they’ll send you an email with available days and times. No drop-in sessions are available at this time. More information here >

Downtown Oakland YMCA

Session-based swim lessons for children start every couple of months. All swim lesson sessions run on either a Monday / Wednesday schedule, or a Tuesday / Thursday schedule. Swim Lessons are offered at Downtown Berkeley (indoors), Oakland (indoors), and Pleasant Hill (outdoors) branches at different times throughout the year. More information here>

City of Oakland community pools

The City of Oakland operates a bunch of pools with swimming lessons that are in various levels of re-opening: Defremery PoolFremont Pool (at Fremont High), Lions Pool, and Temescal Pool (at Oakland Technical High School). Visit the Oakland Parks and Rec activities catalog online and use the pulldown menu to filter by Swimming and then by Age to find kids’ classes. Summer 2022 classes are available for sign-up now. More Information here>

Piedmont Swim Team Swim School at Montclair Swim Club, Oakland

Families can join Montclair Swim Club as a seasonal activity and enjoy the pool at their leisure, or register for swim lessons through Piedmont Swim Team. For ages 4+, with emphasis on a pre-competitive program. More information here>

swim lesson for little boy
Patti’s loves their second-generation families! Little Cayden, had his first lesson and Patti taught his mom to swim when she was just a little girl! | Photo: Patti’s Swim School

Swimming Lessons in Emeryville

Emeryville Community Pool

Lessons at Emeryville Community Pool are a 25-minute group or private 1:1 sessions with a certified American Red Cross Instructor. Available Monday-Thursday and Saturdays. Upon completion of all swim levels, Emeryville Swim Center also has a swim team for kids that want to take it to the next level. More information here>

Swimming Lessons in Berkeley

Swimming lessons at UC Berkeley

The Strawberry Canyon Recreation Area offers lessons for babies, toddlers, and big kids as part of Cal Recreation. Babies from 6 months to 3 years will get in the pool with their parents. Open for 2022 summer registration. More information here >

King Swim Center, North Berkeley

Parent and me swim classes available, all the way up to advanced and swim team level. 2022 registration has begun for Summer. FYI the pool is not often as warm as some of the other swim lesson-only pools. (Planned closure for construction from mid-April through mid-May).  More info >

YMCA (Berkeley, Oakland, Pleasant Hill)

Session-based swim lessons for children start every couple of months. All swim lesson sessions run on either a Monday / Wednesday schedule, or a Tuesday / Thursday schedule. Swim Lessons are offered at Downtown Berkeley (indoors), Oakland (indoors), and Pleasant Hill (outdoors) branches at different times throughout the year. More information here>

kids swim lessons
Canyon Swim School pool is warm and comfortable | Photo: Julie Herson

Swimming Lessons in El Cerrito

El Cerrito Swim Center

Offers classes in an outdoor saline pool. Includes opportunities for infants and preschoolers as well as big kids. The class schedule and registration info are managed by the City of El Cerrito. Spring and Summer sessions will be released soon (check the second week of April). There will be limited spaces this season, so sign up early to reserve your spot. More information here >

Swimming Lessons in Richmond

Richmond Swim Center & Richmond Plunge

Both pools now offer swim lessons, with the Richmond Plunge also offering more recreational swim times. Regular swim class is expected to resume in Summer 2022. The current Little Splashers tot class is currently enrolling. Details about Richmond Swim Classes >

El Sobrante Swimming Lessons

Canyon Swim School, El Sobrante

This institution is a (510) Families’ favorite, where several of our children willingly put their faces in the water for the first time. Here’s our review. 2022 Registration begins April 1. More info from them here >

Swimming Lessons Wherever You Want

Sunsational Swim School connects parents with swim instructors who will meet you wherever you like: Grandma’s pool or your community pool. It is wise to check with your local pool to see if instruction during open swim time is allowed; a Berkeley parent told me that the Albany pool staff asked her to stop giving instruction to her daughter in the water.

Favorite swim lessons in the (925)

Fellow parents tell us that for those whose schedule permits a longer commute, it may be worthwhile to seek swimming lessons in warmer parts of the East Bay. Carol recommends Harriet Plummer Aquatic School in Lafayette. She also likes American Swim Academy with facilities in Dublin, Walnut Creek, and Livermore. Another option we’ve heard about is the British Swim School, with locations in Richmond and Concord (do you think they teach kids how to swim on the other side of the pool??).

There are still many public and private swimming pools not yet offering swim lessons in 2022. We strive to update this article when new information becomes available.

swim lessons
Swim lessons and water safety skills are fun, build confidence, and save lives | Photo: Patti’s Swim School

Thank you again to our sponsor, Patti’s Swim School in Castro Valley.

pattis swim school logo


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1 thought on “Swimming Lessons for East Bay Kids”

  1. Thank you for this great list! This note is a caution about Sunsational Swim School. I registered on the Sunsational website and, when I discovered that their lessons actually weren’t ideal for our group, I cancelled. I should have read the fine print because I was charged a $50 cancellation fee. Even though the lessons I inquired about weren’t for another month and a half. They say that it’s the charge for the quick matching process they do. Ok. But that probably took 5 minutes to look in their database, so a $50 fee seems exorbitant.

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