About Swim Lessons

Gurnee Park District offers year round swim instruction for students ages six months to adults. Certified lifeguards are on duty during all swim lesson programs.

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.

Be Prepared for the First Day of Class:

  • Bring a swim suit, towel and goggles (optional).
  • When using the pool, showers and lockers will be available for your use. Please bring your own lock and remove it at the end of your activity each day. Neither the Gurnee Park District nor the school are responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Children in diapers must wear swim diapers and plastic swim pants in the pool.
  • We recommend bringing an additional towel and a change of clothes. Neither location offers towel service for swim lessons.
  • Classes may be combined at times and modified to best use the resources of the program.
  • Students attending classes at FitNation must check-in at the front desk before swim lessons begin.

Are you unable to attend one class? Click here to learn more.

Swim With Me

These classes allow parents to participate with their child for an introduction to water exploration and water safety. Classes are 30 minutes. Click here to view available class times.

Be Prepared for the First Day of Class:

  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early to your first class to make sure you and your child have enough time to change into your suits and arrive to class on time.
  • Children still in diapers must wear plastic pants and swim diapers (available for purchase at the pool).
  • Bring additional dry clothes/towels to wear to and from class to keep kids warm.
  • Only one parent is allowed in the water per child, but can rotate the parent throughout the session.

Water Tots
6-18 months old

Each child is exposed to the pool to experience supported movement and to learn basic water skills.

Water Tots
18-30 months old

Children learn coordinated arm and leg movements with the use of water noodles and other instructional equipment. Lifejacket usage will be reviewed.

Water Tikes
2.5-4 years old

This class is designed for children to gain confidence in the water in order to join the Little Swimmers Program beginning at age 3.

Little Swimmers

Children learn primary swimming and age-appropriate safety skills along with coordinated water movements. An approximate of 5:1 student to instructor ratio will be used. These classes are recommended for children 3-6 years old.

Level 1

This level focuses on the fundamentals of swimming including water independence, coordinated arm and leg movements and proper body position.

Level 2

Floating with minimal support as well as kicking with stroke bars are practiced. Basic coordinated arm and leg movements on front and back will also be a focus at this level.

Level 3

A primary requirement of this class is the ability to swim on your front and back for increased distances with coordinated breathing. Completion of this level will qualify your child for Learn to Swim Level 2. If your child does not complete this level and is at least five years old, you can transfer them into Learn to Swim Level 1.

Learn to Swim: Levels 1-7 (5-16 years old)

This program helps participants progress from beginner to advanced swimming skills. Instructors will focus on fundamental body positions, breath control, stroke drills and age-appropriate safety skills. Basic swimming strokes including competitive and resting strokes will be emphasized to develop participants’ proficiency, stamina and their skill in each area.  Classes are 45 minutes. Click here to view available class times.

Level 1

This level focuses on the fundamentals of swimming including water independence, coordinated arm and leg movements and proper body position. Floating with minimal support as well as kicking with stroke bars are practiced.

Level 2

Arm and leg movements will become more defined in this level as coordinated breathing is introduced. Swimming on their back, basic water survival skills, and an introduction to deep water will also be highlighted.

Level 3

Increasing strength and endurance is the primary focus at this level as the participants are prepared to swim lengths of the pool. Elementary backstroke is introduced.

Please Note: In order to begin Learn to Swim Level 4, your child must be able to swim the length of the pool unsupported with proper technique for the 45 minute class.

Level 4

Swimming distance will be increased significantly in this level as proper turns are introduced and swimming and diving skills are further refined. Breaststroke is introduced.

Level 5

Swimming distances of 100 yards becomes a requirement in this level as endurance and technique are further developed. Butterfly is introduced.

Level 6

Reinforcement of previously learned skills are emphasized as swimming endurance and technique are further challenged. Front crawl, flip turns, sidestroke and advanced safety skills are introduced in this level.

Level 7

Lifetime fitness philosophy is promoted and fine tuning of stroke techniques is emphasized. Basic competitive swimming concepts will be introduced to begin preparation for our Swim and Stroke Clinic.

John H. Emery Swimming Assistance Program

Are you interested in signing your child up for swim lessons, 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.

Adult Swim Instruction (16 years old and up)

This class is open to all levels of ability from the fearful to the more advanced swimmer. Everyone will work at their own level and will learn personal safety skills and strokes. We offer group classes or private instruction. Classes are 45 minutes. Click here to view available class times.

Private Swim Instruction (all ages) 

Private lessons have a 1:1 student to instructor ratio. Lessons are 30 minutes and will be customized to fit the needs of the student. Click here to view available class times.

Semi-Private Swim Instruction (all ages)

Semi-private swim lessons are provided according to Learn to Swim criteria with a 2:1 student to instructor ratio. Classes are 30 minutes. Click here to view available class times.

Specialty Aquatic Programs

Is your child ready to take their aquatic experience to the next level? Register them for our Junior Lifeguard, Swim and Stroke Clinic or Swim Instructor Internship to prepare them for a job in aquatics or to challenge their swimming abilities. Click here to view available class times.

Junior Lifeguard
12-14 years old
Duration: 2.5 Hours

This water safety training class includes basic rescue techniques, CPR and first-aid skills. Participants will improve their physical condition, acquire customer service skills and apprentice with current lifeguards. This class is offered in the summer, winter and fall seasons.

Swim and Stroke Clinic
8-14 years old
Duration: 1 Hour

The focus is on proper competitive swimming strokes, turns, starts as well as lap swim etiquette. This is a great way to find out if competitive swimming is right for you and your child. The clinic mimics a swim practice, and all coaches are swim team coaches or varsity swimmers. Note: This program is designed for those who have completed Learn to Swim Level 5 and can swim 25 yards without swimming.

Swim Instructor Internship
12-14 years old
Duration: Varies

Swim Instructor Interns receive supervised, hands-on on experience while assisting with swim lessons. This program will assist in preparing your child to become a swim instructor in the future.

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.


Missed classes cannot be made up and are non-refundable. For any questions, please speak with the manager-on-duty at the pool during the swim lesson. You will be notified in the event that Gurnee Park District cancels a class due to bad weather, mechanical failure or a scheduling conflict from a school. We will announce at your next scheduled class if a make-up class or refund will be offered.