City of Berkeley Aquatics
City of Berkeley pools have lap swim open to everyone. Berkeley residents get first dibs (I think non-Berkeley can sign up a day after Berkeley) but they increased capacity on June 15th and now they are not filling up so you should be able to get a spot. Go to https://secure.rec1.com/CA/berkeley-ca/catalog - you have to make an account, but you don't have to live in Berkeley to make one. Some Oakland city pools are open as well, but I don't know the details.
Water safety is an important investment!
I took my 4-year old to a 2 week-intensive at the Harriet Plummer swim school in Lafayette, and later that summer when he fell into a remote lake, just out of arms reach, he used his new-found skills to avoid disaster until we could pull him out.
We had a good experience closer to home with lessons through the City of Berkeley Aquatics program at King Pool. It looks like they're open for swimming, though I don't see lessons listed yet.
Our daughter took lessons for years at the Y, and it was definitely frustrating trying to sign up for classes there. Eventually she moved to the Berkeley city swim team at King pool on Hopkins; that's where she really, truly learned to swim. They also have private lessons there, and I appreciated the programming there.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Private swim lessons for 3.5-yo around Berkeley?
My daughter has been taking private swim lessons through the City of Berkeley at the King Pool on Hopkins Street in North Berkeley, and she finally learned how to swim. The only downside is that, although the pool is heated, it is outside. Google ''City of Berkeley Aquatics'' for current schedule and cost. Robin
Re: Toddler/baby pool in east bay
Hi, try the Berkeley High School warm pool. It's heated to 94 degrees (really nice) and they have parent tot classes every Friday at 3.30 and Saturdays at 10 (I think). The classes are great, but tend to get pretty crowded. No memebership or advance reservation required - just walk in. Sonali
Re: Swimming program for 5 month old
I'm sure lots of people will recommend the Berkeley High School Warm Pool tot classes on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I've taken my baby there since 4 months, the class is pretty nice although it is the same every week, and its inexpensive. The actual facility isn't that nice though, the water could be cleaner, the change room is always freezing - but we still go!
Re: Swimming class for 4-month-old
This isn't a class per se, but Berkeley High School has a Parents and Toddlers warm-pool swim class from 3:30-4:30 pm each Friday and 10-11 am (I think) each Saturday. The classes are an hour long, despite what the website says.
The pool is heated to like 85 degrees and the sign says babies who are 5 months and up can participate as long as they wear swim diapers. There is a class leader who does songs, splashing activities, and other things like that with parents and babies in the pool with the intention of helping little ones feel comfortable in the water. It's $6.50 and drop-ins are welcome. I think they do 10 classes for $60, saving a few bucks.
FWIW, they also have warm-pool drop-in hours for people with therapeutic needs/disabilities.
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Parks_Rec_Waterfront/Level_3__-General/Pool%20Schedule%20Flyer%20BHS%20Winter%202009%20FY%2009.pdf Baby Audrey likes to swim!
Re: Swim class for mom and 6-month-old
Berkeley Parks and Rec has ''Parent and Tot'' swim session at the Warm Pool (nice and warm!) at Berkeley High on Friday afternoons (click Aquatics Programs for the current schedule: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=5672). I took my baby there a few times when he was 6-12 months old--most of the babies were that age, although occasionally an older toddler came. That was about a year and a half ago. It was fun. There are supposedly two 1/2-hour sessions, but in reality they treated it as a 1-hour session; in other words, one could come at the beginning and swim through both sessions. One pays for each session individually, so you can go as often or little as you like. They have a few bath toys to play with, and, at least when I went, the ''leader'' led a couple of songs at some point, but otherwise it was free swim. There are ''Tiny Tot Times'' (free swim) at Willard and King Pools as well (regular cold pools); I don't have any experience with these. Bobbin' for babies
Re: Pool near N. Oakland for family swim
The Berkeley Parks and Recs offers baby & toddler swim time/class in the Berkeley High heated pool (bathtub temperature) every Friday at 3:30 and 4:00. It's drop-in and costs $5.50 per session. It's a great find as it's the only affordable option for a really heated pool. Call Berkeley Parks and Rec. for more details. caitlin
Re: PM swim lessons for 5-year-old (Mar 2005)
If you're willing to go to Berkeley, the city of Berkeley has great swim classes in the summer, both at King Pool and Willard Pool. King is very popular, so on sign up day the line begins to form around 6am. I don't think it's quite that busy at Willard. Call Berkeley Parks and Rec to find out what day they have sign ups. We've gone to this program for 3 years - good instructors, esp. for beginners. kim
Re: Pool for handicapped woman (Jan 2005)
I think Berkeley High (in the old building) has a pool open to the public on drop in basis and I have seen equipment for handicapped access. The space is a little funky - chipping paint and such - but it is clean. anon
Re: Pool for handicapped woman (Jan 2005)
The Berkeley High School Warm Pool on Milvia (at Durant) has senior and disabled swim on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:30-7:30pm, and on Sundays from 1:00-4:00pm. It's an indoor pool and the water temperature is 92 degrees. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/recreation/images/PDF/BHSWarmPool.pdf
Re: Drop-in swim class for 21-mo-old (July 2004)
The City of Berkeley offers drop in classes during summer. At King pool, the classes are MWF 12:05-12:30. TTH 5:30?-5:55pm. Double check the times by calling or on the website. There are also classes at Berkeley High, and possibly at Willard too. Anita
Re: Swim class for 6-month-old
We take our little guy to the warm pool at Berkeley High on Friday afternoons(4 & 4:30 classes). Its a fun class. I believe its run by the City of Berkeley. We found out about it on a flyer at the Willard Swim Center.
The Berkeley City pools have good, not great, swimming programs that are about $40/month. They include the pools at Willard Jr. High and King Jr. High. Tom
The King Center Pool (schedule available at Willard Pool, corner of Telegraph at Derby) offers toddler swimming, as do all the local YMCA's (that have pools). Albany pool (behind Albany highschool) may also offer toddler programs. Sorry I don't have the phone numbers immediately available, but I have been looking into this very thing for my 2.5 year old. Hope it helps, Dorothy