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5 Great…Places to take Swim Lessons

5 great places for swim lessons

You may know we’re on the prowl for resources people new to GR (and old-timers, too!) can use.  Most recently, we asked our grkids.com readers to tell us where to find great places to take swim lesson for kids.

The five most recommended places to take swim lessons for children (greater Grand Rapids area) are listed below, along with the reasons that parents recommend them.

If your location didn’t make the list and you think it is great for kids, leave a comment below letting us know why it’s a good fit for families.


 Ms Rita's (Rita Shaloup)


  • Ms Rita has classes in her home, she’s the best!
  • She is hardcore, but good.
  • Kids may scream and be afraid on Monday, but by Friday they are laughing!
  • Rita is about swim safety as a central lesson to teaching kids to swim.

PHONE: 616-534-0066


 Miss Patty's Swim School (Patty Treman)


  • Most kids are swimming after 4 lessons!
  • My daughters loved to bob around in the water all day, but no “real” swimming. After 8 lessons with Patty, they are pros! We will be doing them again this summer.
  • My son cried and cried the first day, but by day 2 he loved it!
  • note: Miss Patty fills up fast- you might want to think about her for next summer

WEBSITE:  Miss Patty’s Swimming


 The Salvation Army Kroc Center


  • Nice small classes allow for one on one instruction and teachers really care about the kids and recognize them and talk with them during open swim too

ADDRESS:  2500 Division Ave South, Grand Rapids, MI 49507

PHONE:  616-588-7200



 Kentwood Public Schools Aquatic Center


  • They seem to have lots of patience and move at a pace my child is ok with
  • They are excellent with the kids, and not only do they teach swimming, but they also teach water safety

ADDRESS:  6230 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Kentwood, MI 49508

PHONE:  616-698-6700

Aquatics Center – Kentwood Public Schools


 East Hills Athletic Center


  •  Very personable instructors
  • They took my child from crying to loving swimming in a few short weeks
  • note: read Jennifer’s review here

ADDRESS:  1640 East Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

PHONE:  616-224-5400

East Hills Athletic Club


Also mentioned by our readers multiple times:

There is a new option in town for swim lessons, too.  Slated to open mid- July, the Goldfish Swim School is now enrolling students.  At GFSS, families sign up for a weekly time slot rather than a 5 or 6 week session typical of other programs.  This, along with many other innovations make their program unique.  Visit their website for more information.  And stick around grkids.com…we’ll be learning more as they open next month and sharing it with you!

Goldfish Swim School Grand Rapids




  • Justine Johnson Kramer via Facebook

    Miss Patty is my aunt! Awesome!

  • Carman Jensen via Facebook

    yes, Miss Patty is the best we start lesson again this year on Friday.

  • Kirstin Oxton

    If you want your kids to swim and love it Miss Pattys is the way to go! She IS the best!

  • grkids.com via Facebook

    Miss Patty has quite the following!

  • Kathy Kreps

    Miss Patty is excellent with the kids. All three of my boys and niece have learned from her and absolutely love to swim. All the kids cried for the first couple lessons but by the third they were so excited to go see Miss Patty.. She is the best..

  • Jennie

    Hi there – my son just started lessons at the Kroc Center for the first. The facility is very impressive. The classes are small with good student/teacher ratio. There were three classes going on at the same time and my son’s was the largest so they had two instructors. The pool is clean and non-threatening (in other words it looks fun and perhaps a child who is afraid of the water, won’t be). There were two lifeguards on duty the entire time – one sat up on the chair and the other walked back and forth past the classes for the entire 45 minutes. Parents MUST stay on the pool deck during the class – so bring something to do – but can step out to the splash pad if you have a younger child in tow.

  • Aliya Armstrong

    Oh my goodness! Mrs. Rita is amazing! She is tough-love no nonsense, yet LOVING. The kids will learn to swim and swim well. My third child will be attending next year, following behind my first two. Kudos that she made the list. Not a disaapoint! Oh my, I almost forgot. I had private lessons with her as well. I cannot believe she taught a 30 year old woman to swim. I was so impressed and accomplished!

  • Fee

    Does anyone know of any qualified swimming lessons in GR for 2 year olds that are hearing impaired?

  • Mike VanDerMolen

    I would say that one of the best swim programs in town is offered at GRNSA (http://www.grnsa.org). Even for the little ones they have lessons a few times a week and a year round program (so it doesn’t just stop after 6 or 8 weeks).

    Apart from that they also offer all the higher levels of swimming in the same pool. So if you child wants to continue on to become competitive there is no need to get used to a new pool.

    Very recommendable!

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