• 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. 

Private swim lessons are available, please see information below. 

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


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.

Learn to Swim

Ages: 3 – 15 yrs.

Learn to Swim Lesson


Minimum 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. 

116901-05 Tues, Thur: Jan 12-28, 2021  6:30-7:15 pm Hickman  3-15 $40
116901-06 Sat: Jan 30-Feb 27, 2021 9:10-9:55am ARC 3-15 $40
116901-07 Sat: Jan 30-Feb 27, 2021 10:10-10:55am ARC 3-15 $40
116901-08 Sat: Jan 30-Feb 27, 2021 11:10-11:55am ARC 3-15 $40
116901-09 Tues, Thur: Feb 9-25, 2021 6:30-7:15 pm Hickman 3-15 $40
116901-10 Tues, Thur: March 9-25, 2021 6:30-7:15 pm Hickman 3-15 $40

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 formopens PDF file  and send to our lesson coordinator at Megan.Harrington@CoMo.govcreate new email.

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 formopens PDF file and send to our lesson coordinator at Megan.Harrington@CoMo.govcreate new email.

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.

116701-01 Sat, Jan 30-Feb 27, 2021 10:10-10:40 am ARC 6 mos-3 yrs $40
116701-02 Sat, Jan 30-Feb 27, 2021 11:10-11:40 am ARC 6 mos-3 yrs



Swim lessons at Hickman PoolDay Care Swim Lessons

Designed to provide a safe, enjoyable recreation experience for the day care groups that wish to come all at once. This course is taught in a small group format

Location: Hickman Indoor Pool @ Hickman High School





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. 

101205-05 Tues, Thurs: Jan 12-28, 2021 5:30-6:20 pm 16+ Hickman Pool $30
101205-06 Tues, Thurs: Feb 9-25, 2021 5:30-6:20 pm 16+ Hickman Pool $30
101205-07 Tues, Thurs: March 9-25, 2021 5;30-6:20 pm 16+ Hickman Pool $30



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.