It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced swimmer or a beginner; there are opportunities to experience water activities and swimming lessons. The Pittsburgh region has a myriad of indoor and outdoor pools with qualified instructors and lifeguards. Families can engage in various water activities and lessons in personal and private domains. There are options to purchase membership and pool passes for many of the CitiPark organizations throughout the city or area swim clubs.
Free-Learn-To Swim Program
Allegheny County Parks Department
County Office Building
542 Forbes Ave., Room 211
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Boyce Park: (724) 327-0338
North Park: (724) 935-1766
Settlers Cabin Park: (412) 787-2750
South Park: (412) 835- 4809
Time: 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.; four weeks in July
The best deal of the swimming season has to be through the networking of the Allegheny County Parks Department system. Part of that experience is the free learn-to-swim days in July at the four county parks. The swimming program is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the dates are arranged in alphabetical order by last names, which are A-K on Tuesdays and L-Z on Thursdays. There isn’t a registration process and all it takes is a phone call to one of the four county parks. The classes are on a once a week basis for a period of four weeks, but there is a stipulation that children must be aged 5 years or older.
YMCA Of Greater Pittsburgh
420 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Suite 625
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The YMCA is a well-staffed facility that has 11 locations in the Pittsburgh region for your swimming classes and lessons for all family members. The instructors will determine the ability level for the classes and will ensure the lessons are suitable to advance from the beginner to advanced stages. Within each class, the YMCA aquatics group focuses on safety and the instructors are trained to understand the swimming skills necessary for individual improvement. There is a chance for advancement to a swim team level, and there is an opportunity to enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools for an experience in all swimming pursuits and classes.
City Parks Aquatics Program
City-County Building, 4th Floor
414 Grant St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 323- 7928
The CitiParks outdoor pools offer a unique opportunity for swimming lessons and classes at all age levels and ability. Classes are arranged from a learn-to-swim program to team swim competitions. Basic skills and water safety issues are taught, and that includes a comprehensive importance for helping with fear of the water. Certified lifeguards conduct the swimming lessons in half-hour and 45-minute sessions. The summer program will commence on June 13, but the Oliver Bath House has an indoor facility for Spring swimming lessons and classes. There are opportunities for non-residents to engage in swimming classes and to purchase a pool tag or daily admission options.
Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center
1551 Mayview Road
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241
The Upper St. Clair Recreation Center has a membership plan for all family members and age groups. The facility is state-of-the-art with indoor and outdoor pools. The staff is Red Cross certified to teach swim lessons and classes for children and adults and ability levels.The aquatics staff has a wealth of experience to teach basic and advanced skills. There are private lessons available and the lessons are grouped by ability levels with a chance of advancement for new programs and non-member involvement. The recreation center is a year-round facility that enhances a healthy lifestyle in and out of the pool. Participants may enjoy a variety of swimming classes at the indoor or outdoor pools, resistance pool and leisure pool to ensure a comfortable and fun learning experience and to ensure suitable placement for each class.
Jewish Community Center Of Greater Pittsburgh
345 Kane Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
The Jewish Community Center has two locations at the South Hills and Squirrel Hill facilities that offer swim classes for participants of all ages and abilities. The swimming program is set up in a progressive level of skills that covers basic water exploration, overcoming fear of the water, stroke technique, basic leg and arm skills and endurance training. The instructors are certified by the American Red Cross to ensure the swimmers adhere to all safety and aquatic skills for a fun, learning experience. The instruction includes a learn to swim program, and there is room for advancement with private lessons and swim team participation.
Sarah Heinz House
1 Heinz St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Sarah Heinz House offers an Olympic-like experience with their Michael Phelps swim school lessons that are arranged in two sessions and are scheduled for an eight-week period. The lessons are curriculum-based under the auspices of the Michael Phelps Foundation and swim school. Swimming classes are open to all age groups and ability levels in the community during the year. The participants are arranged by age and ability and may advance to the next level, and can even make a splash to the swim team. Families are welcome to join the aquatics program and enjoy the expertise of the staff and volunteers for fun or stroke development.
Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.