Parent’s guide to kids swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio

As a parent, I have spent the past few years signing my kids up for local swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio. There aren't many opportunities out there for kid's swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio that are affordable and worth paying for, but I have found two options that I would recommend to friends and family.

#1: Big Splash in Grove City

If you live toward the south end of Columbus you aren't far off from Big Splash in Grove City. This large city-operated water park is a great place to take your children for safe swimming all summer long, but they also happen to offer a great program for kid's swim lessons. It is called the "Learn to Swim" program.

These swim lessons are arranged by age groups into levels, but if your child isn't ready to progress or needs to excel above their age group they will be placed in the level most suitable to their skills.

Levels range from very beginners who need to spend time getting comfortable in the water up to very advanced swimmers. At the advanced, or Gold level, students are taught more than just swim lessons. They actually learn about fitness and practice rescue skills. It is a great opportunity for kids that want to become lifeguards in the future.

I think this is the best place for swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio. Here are the basic details:

—Grove City residents pay $45 per session for swim lessons.

—Non-residents pay $50 per session for swim lessons.

—Big Splash season pass holders can register early: April 11 '" April 24

—Non-season pass holders can register after April 24

—Register at 4035 Broadway in Grove City or at Big Splash after April 28

—Online registration is accepted after April 28 on this webpage.

#2: YMCA (Hilltop or North)

If you don't want to venture into Grove City you can always get swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio through the Hilltop or North YMCA locations. They both have indoor pools only, so the swim lessons are a bit different than the outdoor lessons at Big Splash.

The advantages here are that it is actually in Columbus, there are YMCA locations throughout the city, and if you are already a Y member it is more affordable. You will pay $28 per 6 week session for these swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio. Since these swim lessons are indoors they start earlier in the year.

I personally choose Big Splash over the Y swim lessons because the kids are taught by trained lifeguards that seem more dedicated and experienced. The swim lessons at local Y branches are often taught by college students just making some money lifeguarding through the summer. The lessons are still okay, but in my experience it is more structured at Big Splash.

If you aren't a Y member the price of swim lessons will be over $60 per session.

The Hilltop Y is located at 2879 Valleyview Drive and the North location is at 1640 Sandalwood Place. If you work downtown you may also want to consider the location at 40 West Long Street for swimming lessons in Columbus, Ohio.

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Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2011