About Our Swim School

Gurnee Park District offers year round swim instruction for students ages six months to adults. Certified lifeguards are on duty during all swim programs. We are now offering new 4 ways to swim school!

1. Swim School Membership

Train year round for $70 per month. Swimming lessons at FitNation's indoor pool offer the opportunity to swim once a week. Swim and progress at your own pace, with no need to continue to register. Click here for class times.

Sign up now for Swim School!

2. Summer Express - exclusively at Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center

Daily lessons for 3 weeks or once a week options at Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center (900 N. Hunt Club Road) to accelerate learning and build confidence and comfort in being at aquatic facilities. These lessons work with summer camp sessions. Weekly lessons are also available.

3. Pay as you go Lessons

Offered during the fall, winter, and spring at Warren O'Plaine High School Campus (500 N. O'Plaine Road), these classes are broken into sessions. Location allows for comfortability in deep water, and the ability to learn to dive, swim and be safe in deep water. Shallow end swimming is also available for younger students. Lessons are Learn to Swim and Swim Academy only.

4. Private Swimming Lessons

Ages 3 and up; taught by the instructor you choose based on your preferences. Pick the time around your busy schedule. Pay as you go with multiple classes available per week. These classes will start Monday, June 11th.

Sign up now for private lessons!

Did you know?
Residents of District 121 pay resident rates for all programs held at Warren High School. Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center and FitNation programs follow Gurnee Park District boundaries.

Swim School Levels

Students will go through a swim test to determine their appropriate starting level on the first day of class. They will advance by passing various skills.

Level 1: ages 6 months - 2 years

Each child is exposed to the pool to experience supported movement, coordinated arm and leg movement while gaining confidence in the water.

Level 2: ages 2-4 years

Children learn coordinated arm and leg movements with use of water noodles and other instructional equipment. Life jacket use for infants and toddlers will be reviewed. Upon completion of this program, your child can advance to the Little Swimmers program if they are at least 3 years old.

Note: Only one parent is allowed in the water per child, but can rotate the parent throughout the session.

Children learn primary swimming and age-appropriate safety skills along with coordinated water movements and basic swimming skills. Children are divided into age and skill level the first day of class. Approximate 3:1 student/instructor ratio. All three skill levels are taught during each time slot.

The Learn to Swim program helps participants progress from beginner to advanced swimming skills. Fundamental body positions, breath control, basic strokes, and age-appropriate safety skills will be taught. Children are divided into age and skill level the first day of class. Approximate 4:1 student/instructor ratio. All four skill levels are taught during each time slot.

This program will introduce more advanced swim strokes such as butterfly and sidestroke while simultaneously increasing lap distance and teaching lap lane etiquette, endurance, speed, diving, drills, and starts. Students in Swim Academy are divided into skill level the first day of class. Swimmers have the option to participate in a GPD swim meet.

  • Junior Lifeguard (12-14 years old) - This water safety training includes basic rescue techniques, CPR and first-aid skills. Participants improve their physical condition and apprentice with current lifeguards. Passing participants receive a certification as a junior lifeguard. Those 15 years old, may apply to be a lifeguard with Gurnee Park District.
  • Junior Swim School (12-16 years old for those needing swim lessons) - This program is for participants between 12-16 years of age. Whether it’s their first time learning how to swim or if they are interested in perfecting their technique, instructors will be available to help them accomplish their goals and become comfortable in the water.
  • Junior Instructors (12-14 years old) - Are you looking to become a swim instructor? Want to work for GPD? Start your career with us! Junior Instructors receive supervised, hands-on experience while assisting our staff with swim programs.

For adults; taught by adults. Pick the times you train and your instructor and pay as you go. Beginner through advanced swimmers are welcome. For more information and to register, contact Nicole Mendez, Aquatic Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 847-599-3786.

Meet our Swim Specialists:

Kathy Atkins photo

Kathy Atkins is a long time resident of Gurnee with vast experience teaching first time swimmers to more advanced swimmers. With her abilities to communicate with all ages, she works to build trust, confidence, and provides constant encouragement to help each student reach their  goals. Kathy is an advanced athlete and has competed and won awards in swimming and diving, running, bodybuilding, and bowling on local and national levels. She also received certifications in instruction for swimming, personal training, and bowling.

General Lesson Availability: Kathy is available any time during the week and weekend mornings.

Swim School Membership

Train year round for $70 per month. Swimming lessons at FitNation's indoor pool offer the opportunity to swim once a week. Swim and progress at your own pace, with no need to continue to register. Swim school membership also offers access to open swim at the indoor pool, while enrolled, for your immediate family. *Enroll in Swim School this summer and we will waive the $25 one-time membership fee.

Sign up now for Swim School!

Once you know your level, choose your day and time

   Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday   Saturday   Sunday 
 Swim with Me Level 1
 (ages 6 months-2 years)
4:30-5:00p 9:10-9:40a 10:00-10:30a
 Swim with Me Level 2
 (ages 2-4)
5:25-5:55p                    9:50-10:20a 10:40-11:10a
 Little Swimmers School
 (ages 3-6)
5:25-5:55p 5:25-5:55p 4:30-5:00p 4:30-5:00p 5:25-5:55p 9:10-9:40a
 Learn to Swim School
 (ages 5-12)
4:30-5:15p 5:10-5:55p
5:10-5:55p 4:30-5:15p 10:30-11:15a 11:20a-12:05p
 Swim Academy
 (ages 7-14)
7:00-8:00p 6:05-7:05p 11:25a-12:25p 2:25-3:25p
 Junior Swim School
 (ages 12-14)
 Adult Swim School
 (ages 16+)
8:10-8:55p 8:10-8:55p 7:00-7:45a
  • Swim weekly, for $70 per month at FitNation Gurnee only
  • Membership is continuous until cancellation
  • Each student progresses at their own pace
  • Available for those 6 months and older, as well as adults!
  • Free open swim for all Swim School students and families
  • Exclusive access to all Aquatic special events
  • Change weekly lessons at any time, by contacting the Aquatics department at 847-599-3786


  • $70 per month is charged upon enrollment (1st of month - 14th)
  • $35 partial charge if enrolled after the 14th of each month


  • First payment is taken from provided account at Swim School Membership purchase
  • Membership payments will be automatically pulled on the 2nd of each month
  • Swim Schoom Memberships can be purchased online at gurneeparkdistrict.com or in person at Viking Park Community Center, Hunt Club Park Community Center or FitNation Gurnee
  • Gurnee Park District recommends purchasing memberships between the 1st and the 14th of each month

Swim School Membership Registration Form (download)

  • Select top choices for time and day when registering
  • After registration, you will be contacted by the Aquatics staff via email
    • email will confirm time, day and start day for first swim lesson
  • Students cannot be placed without first Swim School Membership payment
  • Come early to scan in, receive receipt and get ready for lessons
  •  Receipts must be turned into instructor, prior to the start of lessons
  • Pre-printed receipts will not be accepted
  • If a receipt is lost, the Swim School manager on duty will be able to reprint
  • Swimsuit and towel - required
  • Swim School Membership pass - required
  • Swim diapers are required for those that are not toilet trained
  • Goggles are not required, but can be an option
  • Any missed classes need to be submitted online, prior to missed class. Click here to submit a make-up request.
  • Make up requests after lessons will not be accepted
  • 12 make up requests are allowed per year
  • Makeups for makeups are not offered and cannot roll over

Cancelling membership

  • Swim School members can cancel at anytime
  • To cancel fill out a 30 day cancellation form
    • Payment will stop the following month
    • Cancellation forms are available at Viking Park Community Center, Hunt Club Park Community Center and FitNation Gurnee
  • $5 cancellation fee will be applied

Swim School Membership Cancellation Form (download)

Extended illness, injury or travel

  • For illness, please provide a doctor's note and contact our Aquatic Department at 847-599-3786
  • Memberships can be held for up to four months
  • $5 per month hold fee will be charged to hold your spot

Swim School Membership Hold Form (download)

John H. Emery Swimming Assistance Program

Are you interested in signing your child up for our swim school but are unable to due to financial hardships?

At Gurnee Park District, we are here to support all community members and provide recreational opportunities for every resident. We created the John H. Emery Swimming Assistance Program to promote life-long swimming skills for those who may not have an opportunity otherwise. This program is designed specifically for Little Swimmers and Learn to Swim classes. 

Download the John H. Emery Swimming Assistance Program Application.

Inclusion with WSRA Special Recreation

Warren Special Recreation Association (WSRA) and its member districts, believe that all participants should be provided with leisure opportunities that allow for performance at their highest level of ability. Inclusion helps provide a smooth transition from WSRA to a member Park District/Township program. If you are interested in Park District/Township programming and desire inclusion assistance, contact the WSRA office at 847-244-6619.


We encourage all participants to attend all scheduled class times. Any missed classes should be submitted online prior to the missed classes for approval. Participants are allowed one makeup class per child, per session, or 12 makeups a year if you are enrolled in our membership program. Any missed classes submitted after the class will not be able to be approved.

If Gurnee Park District cancels classes due to bad weather, mechanical failure or an internal program scheduling conflict, you will be notified if a make-up class or refund will be offered.

Please fill out the form below and you will hear from the Aquatic Department via email within 3 business days.

Swim Lesson Make-Up

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
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Please let us know your child's level.
Please let us know the lesson day and time.
Please enter the date of your child's missed class
Please let us know the reason for make-up.