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Dive In! A Guide to Columbia Area Swim Lessons

A Guide to Columbia Area Swim Lessons | Columbia SC Moms BlogIt’s that season when swim lessons are in demand! The weather is hot, the kids are out of school and begging for something to do, and you want them to learn that all-important life skill of swimming (and to get out of the house too). Whether you want your baby to brave the waters or your older child to learn some advanced strokes, the Columbia area has you covered.

Drew Wellness Center

Near downtown Columbia, the Drew Wellness Center is a fairly new community athletic facility that is run by the City of Columbia. They offer swim lessons too! All lessons: $15 for members. $30 for non-members. 

Beginner or Intermediate Levels:
6 months-6 years
July 8, 15, 22, and 29 (Saturdays)
11 – 11:30 a.m. or noon – 12:30 p.m.

Ages 7 – 14:
July 10 – 26 and July 11 – 27
Six 45-minute classes per session
Classes are on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday

Must submit registration form and payment in person at Drew Wellness Center located at 2101 Walker Solomon Way, Columbia.

Harbison Community Center

If week-day lessons aren’t your thing, The Harbison Community Center offers weekend lessons as well! Weekend Session Cost: $30 for Residents / $35 for Non Residents.
Weekday Session Cost: $50 for Residents / $55 for Non Residents.

6 Months – Adult (at all swim levels):
May-August in the mornings or afternoons (details on dates and times)

You must register in person at the Harbison Community Center at 106 Hillpine Road, Columbia, 29212 or call the Front Desk at 803-781-2281.

Jewish Community Center

If you aren’t able to take lessons this summer, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) offers private and semi-private lessons year round! Group lessons are seasonal. Private lessons are 30 minutes and group lessons are 30 – 40 minutes, depending on swim level. There are 8 lessons per session for ages 3 – adult. A youth diving class is also available.

In addition, the JCC also offeres Mommy & Me lessons. This comprises of six 30-minute group lessons for ages 6 months – 3 years. The JCC also has an Infant Aquatic Survival class by Little Loggerheads for ages 6 months – 4 years.

Rates are as follows:
Adult and youth lessons: $80 member; $110 non-member
Diving class (one 40-minute lesson): $10 member; $13 non-member
Mommy & Me lessons: $60 member; $90 non-member

Register online or in-person at the JCC located at 306 Flora Drive, Columbia.

Palmetto Athletic Center

The Palmetto Athletic Center (PAC) is a family fitness and athletic facility located at 1193 North Lake Drive in Lexington. They provide swim lessons for ages 3 – 12 at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Lessons are 30 minutes and are in 2-week sessions, Monday – Thursday with Friday as a possible make-up day (8 classes per session). Sessions are typically $175 for non-members. Class dates and times vary.

Register online or call 803-951-2090.

Swim Lessons Company

The Swim Lessons Company offers private, semi-private, and group classes at two locations: Hilton Garden Inn in Northeast, Columbia and at the PAC in Lexington. They offer Parent and Me classes for ages 9 – 36 months, and they also offer lessons for children and adults at all swim levels, including life-saving classes.

Class sizes, sessions, and fees are as follows:

Format 6-class Sessions 8-class Sessions
Group (6 children per class) $75 $100
Quad (4 children per class) $102 $136
Trio (3 children per class) $112 $149
Semi (2 children per class) $132 $176
Private (1 child per class) $180 $236

Register online and find out more information about the programs.

Waves Swim School

If you’re interested in private, one-on-one lessons, look no further. Waves Swim School outsources certified swim instructors to meet you in your area. They serve the Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, and Chapin areas. Their instructors travel to backyard and neighborhood pools, and they also have a selection of indoor and outdoor pools in the Columbia area in which they teach.

Waves Swim School currently charges $20 per 30 minute lesson for children. They prefer to schedule at least three lessons within a 7 day time period. For children or adults, depending on the goals and swimming level, they suggest at least 5 lessons with refresher lessons every 2 weeks throughout the summer. Adult lessons are typically 1 hour in length and are $40 per hour.

Schedule a lesson online or call 803-447-9042.


The Y is a community classic and offers swim lessons for water babies through adults. Columbia area Y’s that offer swim lessons are Jeep Rogers (Northeast), Lexington, Northwest, and Orangeburg County.

Classes are 30 – 45 minutes, depending on age and level, and are offered in 2 week sessions (Mon-Thurs), 4 week sessions (Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays), and 6 week sessions (Saturdays). Prices and dates of lessons vary from branch to branch, but most branches charge $40/members and $80/non-members.

Visit their website for more information about lessons at your local branch and to register online, visit. Registration begins June 17.

Where is your favorite place for swim lessons?


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