Families

Here are the best places to get your kids ready for the water this summer

Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham offers a variety of swim lesson options for people of all ages, as well as parent/child classes for youngsters 6 months to 3 years old.
Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham offers a variety of swim lesson options for people of all ages, as well as parent/child classes for youngsters 6 months to 3 years old. The Bellingham Herald file

It may be March, but learning how to swim is a year-round activity. Here is a list of some local venues that offer swimming lessons that will prepare your family for the water this spring and summer:

Bellingham Golf and Country Club

3729 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360-733-3450

Hours: Swim lessons run from 7-11 a.m. and one night session with a time to be determined. Last year’s night session ran from 4:45-8:15 p.m.

Registration starts May 1, and swim lesson sessions run for two-week periods starting after Memorial Day through mid-August. There are six sessions.

One session includes 10 lessons that run 30-minutes Monday through Friday.

The club offers classes for all abilities and for toilet-trained toddlers through all ages.

To register or find more information, visit the club’s website at bellinghamgcc.com.

Arne Hanna Aquatic Center

1114 Potter St., Bellingham; 360-778-7665, cob.org/services/recreation/aquatic.

Hours: 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday; 1-6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Open swims, which include access to the big pool, the diving board and half of the kid’s pool with the slide running for children who are at least 4-feet tall, run from 7-8:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7-9 p.m. Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2-4 p.m. and 5:15-6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The center is closed on holidays, including July 4. It will also close Mondays Aug. 6 through Sept. 3 for annual maintenance.

Arne Hanna Aquatic Center offers a variety of swim lesson options for people of all ages, as well as parent/child classes for youngsters 6 months to 3 years old.

Classes follow the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program for those 5 and older and a modified version of the program for those younger than 5.

If it’s been a year or more since your child’s last lesson or you’re simply unsure of what level they are at, you can schedule a free placement test with the center. The test should take about five minutes to complete.

Sign ups for placement tests or lessons can be done in person, by calling 360-778-7665, or online at cob.org/ezreg.

Registration for lessons is on a first-come, first-served basis.

To get the resident rate, guests must provide ID with a physical address within Bellingham city limits.

Find more pricing and a swimming schedule online at cob.org/services/recreation/aquatic/.

Pool rentals are available before and after facility hours.

Wade King Student Recreation Center

1880 Bill McDonald Pkwy, Bellingham, 360-650-4094, wwu.edu/campusrec.

Hours: 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m.-8p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

The Wade King Student Recreation Center at Western Washington University offers swim lessons to the public throughout the year at its indoor pool.

Group sessions are available in six- or eight-lesson groupings over six or four weeks, respectively, with each lesson lasting 25 minutes. The instructor-to-child ratio is one instructor per five children.

Classes follow the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program. Children older than 3 can be enrolled in lessons without a parent; children younger than 3 can sign up for private parent-and-child classes on Saturdays.

The recreation center offers class lessons and private lessons, which can be scheduled for a date and time that works for both the child and the instructor. To schedule a private lesson or for more information call 360-650-4094 or email swim.lessons@wwu.edu.

More resources and information for parents can be found online at wwu.edu/campusrec/swimlessons.shtml.

Bellingham Athletic Club

4191 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360-676-1800, bellinghamathleticclub.com.

Hours: 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A full schedule of pool activities is available online.

The Bellingham Athletic Club offers swim lessons for ages 6 months through adults. Lessons are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at a variety of times throughout the day.

Swim lessons at the club are named for different aquatic creatures, starting with Angelfish and rising through the ranks toward Manatee. Those who have completed the Manatee level can join the Blue Baracudas Swim Team.

The club can provide private and semi-private lessons. For more information on prices or to schedule a lesson, call the Cordata location front desk at 360-676-1800.

Whatcom Family YMCA

1256 N. State St., Bellingham, 360-733-8630, whatcomymca.org; 100 Drayton St., Lynden, 360-354-5000; 5610 Barrett Road, Ferndale, 360-380-4911. The Ferndale lessons are held at the Super 8 Motel in Ferndale. Super 8 is located at I-5 and Axton Road.

Hours: Bellingham: 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 6:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; Lynden: 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 1-4 p.m. Sunday; Ferndale: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

The Bellingham, Lynden and Ferndale YMCA locations offer swim lessons for ages 6 months through adults. Lessons started in January and run through June at the Bellingham and Lynden locations, and February-May in Ferndale. The complete calendar of progressive swim lesson dates and times can be found at http://bit.ly/2o1CIvy.

Parent and child lessons are offered with two different categories. Level A is water discovery, which introduces infants and toddlers to the aquatic environment. Level B is water exploration, which focuses on exploring body positions, blowing bubbles and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.

For older children and adults, there are six different levels of swim basics available. The skills range from level 1: water acclimation to level 6: stroke mechanics.

There are also three specialized tracks called pathways where students build confidence and cultivate their passion while staying active. The three pathways are competition, leadership and recreation.

More information can be found at whatcomymca.org.

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