Kids participate in free swimming lessons at Como Regional Park Pool. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle

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Where to find free swim lessons in the Twin Cities this summer

  • Como Regional Park Pool, 1151 Wynne Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota: July 25 through Aug. 5 at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. Walk-ins accepted.
  • North Commons Waterpark: Register here.
  • YMCA of the North: Apply here for free or reduced fee swim lessons.

Free water safety events

  • Highland Park Aquatic Center, 1840 Edgcumbe Road, St. Paul, Minnesota: Wednesday, August 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Lake Phalen Beach, 1400 Phalen Drive, St. Paul, Minnesota: Thursday, August 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Como Regional Park Pool, 1151 Wynne Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota: Friday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

$5 swim lessons

Where to find beaches in the Twin Cities that have lifeguards this summer (courtesy of Abbey’s Hope)

  • Arden Hills: Long Lake Public Beach, 3500 Lake Johanna Boulevard.
  • Eden Prairie: Riley Lake Park Beach, 9180 Riley Lake Road.
  • Maple Grove: Fish Lake Regional Park, 14900 Bass Lake Road.
  • Minneapolis: Bde Maka Ska Thomas Beach, 3700 Thomas Ave. S.
  • Minneapolis: Lake Harriet North Beach, 4740 Lake Harriet Parkway.
  • Minneapolis: Wirth Lake Beach, 3200 Glenwood Ave.
  • Plymouth: Parkers Lake Beach, 15205 County Road 6.
  • St. Paul: Phalen Regional Park Beach, 1400 Phalen Drive.

Water safety tips from the YMCA

  • Never swim alone.
  • A responsible adult should constantly and actively watch children.
  • Always keep young children or non-swimmers within arm’s reach of a parent or guardian.
  • Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Don’t rely on inflatable toys or rafts for safety, because a poke or blown valve can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.
  • Don’t hold your breath  for fun or as a challenge.
  • Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in any water. Instead, use a long object to reach for them and pull them to safety.
  • Enroll children and non-swimmers in water safety or swim lessons.
  • Be mindful of backyard pools, because kids can fall in.
    • Install barriers like a fence around the pool.
    • Learn CPR.
    • Provide constant supervision.
    • Make sure there is a way to climb out of the pool if it’s too tall to step out of.
  • A simple tip for parents near any kind of water is to take the Water Watcher pledge. As a Water Watcher, an adult agrees to:
    • Maintain constant visual contact with the children in a group.
    • Not drink alcohol, talk on the phone, socialize, or read while watching children.
    • Keep a phone near the water for emergency purposes only.
    • Remain by the water until relieved by a new water watcher.

*This post has been updated to reflect the current lifeguarded beaches in the Twin Cities.

Sheila Mulrooney Eldred writes stories about health equity for Sahan Journal. As a freelance journalist, she has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, NPR, STAT News and...