• Did you know research found that participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in 2-to-4-year-old children.
  • Did you know drowning is the third leading cause of death worldwide for those aged 5 to 14.
  • 394...the number of rescues Columbia Parks and Recreation lifeguards performed over a five year period.
  • 360,000...the approximate number of people who die from drowning each year according to the World Health Organization.

Swim Lessons and Aquatic Classes

Parks and Recreation offers a variety of swim classes to accommodate a wide range of age groups, abilities, and family schedules. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify.

Swim Lesson and Aquatic Class Schedules are updated in March and August with the publishing of each new edition of the “Leisure Times” program guide.

Adaptive Swim Lessons

Ages: 3+

Designed to provide a safe, enjoyable recreation experience for individuals who have physical disabilities, impairments or are developmentally disabled. The participation of a family member is encouraged and may be required. This course is taught in a small group format. Registration is required.

Location: Indoor Pool @ Hickman High School

116601-01 Tu, Th: Sep 10-Oct 8 6:30-7:15 pm 3+ $52
116601-02 Tu, Th: Oct 15-Nov 12 6:30-7:15pm 3+ $52
116601-03 Tu, Th: Jan 14-Feb 6, 2020 6:30-7:15pm 3+ $52
116601-04 Tu, Th: Feb 8-Mar 12, 2020 7:30-8:15pm 3+ $52
*No class 10/3, 10/31

Columbia Swim Club

Come join the summer fun! The Columbia Swim Club is the oldest and longest running swim team in Columbia. The club is a non-profit organization co-sponsored by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department designed to promote competitive swimming in the community. The goal of the club is to introduce athletes to the fun and excitement of a life sport, improve their stroke technique and self-confidence. CSC swims year round and you can join any time. Contact a coach at Columbia Swim Club at sarah@csctigersharks.org or visit Columbia Swim Club’s website for more information

Deep Water Aerobics

This low-impact session workout is designed to strengthen and tone all muscle groups with maximum aerobic effort. Instructors will use resistance equipment during this class to challenge participants. Registration is required. Must have a minimum of 10 participants.

101205-01 Tu,Th: Sep 10-Oct 8, 2019* 5:40- 6:30 pm 15+ Hickman Pool $40
101205-02 Tu,Th: Oct 15-Nov 12, 2019* 5:40- 6:30 pm 15+ Hickman Pool $40
101205-03 Tu,Th: Dec 3-Dec 19, 2019 5:40- 6:30 pm 15+ Hickman Pool $30
101205-04 Tu,Th: Jan 14-Feb 6, 2020 5:40- 6:30 pm 15+ Hickman Pool $40
101205-05 Tu,Th: Feb 18-Mar 12, 2020 5:40- 6:30 pm 15+ Hickman Pool $40

*No class 10/3, 10/31

Learn to Swim

Ages: 3 – 15 yrs.

Learn to Swim LessonMinimum age – 3 years old by first class. Children will be placed in class levels 1-6 by aquatic staff according to their age and previous swim experience. If your child has taken lessons with Parks and Recreation previously, please give this information at time of registration to ensure proper class placement. Instructors reserve the right to determine your child’s level of performance and adjust class placement accordingly. Pre-registration is required. Registration ends at noon on the Thursday prior to the session.

116901-04 Sa: Jan 18, 2020-Mar 7, 2020 9:10-9:55am ARC 3-15 $52
116901-05 Sa: Jan 18, 2020-Mar 7, 2020 10:10-10:55am ARC 3-15 $52
116901-06 Sa: Jan 18, 2020-Mar 7, 2020 11:10-11:55am ARC 3-15 $52

Learn to Swim Course Descriptions

Learn to Swim
Level One
NONE. The objective of Level 1 is to help students feel comfortable in the water. Introduction to supported floating, immersion of face into water, blowing bubbles, introduction to kicking.
Learn to Swim
Level Two A
Passed Level One or demonstrate equivalent skills. Ability to show some independence in water. Introduction to basic strokes
Learn to Swim
Level Two B
Passed Level Two A or demonstrate equivalent skills. Independently float, demonstrate ability to move through water. Coordinate with support kicks and arms.
Learn to Swim
Level Three
Sea Turtles
Passed Level Two B or demonstrate equivalent skills. Coordinate the front crawl and back crawl. Introduction to elements of butterfly and breast stroke.
Learn to Swim
Level Four
Passed Level Three or demonstrate equivalent skills. Develop confidence in the strokes learned in previous levels. Build on butterfly and breast stroke.
Learn to Swim
Level Five
Passed Level Four or demonstrate equivalent skills. Coordination and refinement of strokes. Increase distances; flip turns.
Learn to Swim Level Six
Passed Level Five or demonstrate equivalent skills. Refine strokes – ease, efficiency, power, smoothness and greater distances

Private Swim Lessons

Fee $96

Swimmers of all levels may sign up for this class. If you’re a beginner or an avid swimmer, our instructors will help you improve your skills with one-on-one supervision. Registration for these classes is on a first-come, first-serviced basis. The lessons are six half-hour sessions. Limited times available. Complete a Private lesson form and send to our lesson coordinator at Megan.Harrington@CoMo.gov.

Semi-Private Swim Lessons

Fee $125 (for 2)

Semi-private lessons are available for two participants. (It is up to the student to locate another participant for semi-private lessons.) Complete a Private Lesson Form and send to our lesson coordinator. Complete a Private lesson form and send to our lesson coordinator at Megan.Harrington@CoMo.gov.

Lifeguard TrainingLifeguard Recertification

The recertification course is offered to those currently certified life-guarding and CPR who need to be recertified. The training and CPR certification is good for one year. Training will consist of a review of the class materials, a final skills test, and a final written test. *The day of the class you will need to bring your certification card. Enrollment in class does not guarantee a passing grade. Please contact us directly at 874-7700 to register.

101201-01 Su: Mar 15, 2020 8am-5:30pm ARC 15+ $100
101201-01 Su: Apr 12, 2020 8am-5:30pm ARC 15+ $100

Make-Up Days

If a cancellation is made the P&R Department staff, registrants will be notified when the make up day will occur. There will be no make up days for the ARC lessons or personal reasons.


Parks and Recreation downtown office in the Gentry Building

Ways to Register:

      • Online
      • Walk in: Parks and Recreation Office, 1 S. 7th St.
      • Call main Parks and Recreation Office: (573) 874-7460
      • Walk in: ARC, 1701 W. Ash St.
      • Call the ARC: (573) 874-7700

Payment at the time of registration is required. Participants may register online, in person, by mail, or over the phone with a Master Card, Visa, or Discover. Registration ends at noon on the Thursday prior to the session. After that day, participants may only register by calling the manager at the facility to determine space availability.

Parent and Child Swim

Ages: 6 months – 3 yrs.parent and child swim lesson

Infant/toddler swim lessons for ages 6 months to 3 years. A parent must accompany the child in the water. Program is intended to help the child develop a comfort level in and around the water, as well as to provide the parent with the necessary knowledge and skills to orient the child. Pre-registration is required.

Location: Water Zone @ ARC

116701-01 Sa: Sep 7-Oct 26, 2019 10:10-10:40am 6 mos-3yrs $48
116701-02 Sa: Sep 7-Oct 26, 2019 11:10-11:40am 6 mos-3yrs $48
116701-03 Sa: Jan 18-Mar 7, 2020 10:10-10:40am 6 mos-3yrs $47
116701-04 Sa: Jan 18-Mar 7, 2020 11:10-11:40am 6 mos-3yrs $47

LifeguardsStarguard Lifeguard Training

Lear first aid, CPR, oxygen administration, and how to handle incidents in a professional manner. Pre-requisites: tread water for one minute using legs only, swim 50 yards w/tube, 50 yards w/o tube continuously (front crawl or breast stroke), retrieve 10-pond object from 12 feet, access Internet (class requires online course). Test must be submitted first day of class. Age: Must be 15 by first day of course. Late fee of $10 assessed: registration deadline is 10 days prior to start of class.

101200-01 Fri-Sun Mar 6-8, 2020

Fri: 5-9pm
Sa-Su: 8am-5pm

Hickman 15+ $135