For over 110 years, the Y has been an innovator and leader in aquatics program development worldwide. We were the first organization to offer organized swim lessons and began group lessons in 1907 at the Detroit YMCA by George Corsan.
At the Y, children become safe and confident in the water, learning to swim in a positive, fun manner that builds lifelong skills. Register online for swim lessons offered at our YMCA branches. You may also register in person or over the phone at any of our YMCA branch's Welcome Center. If your desired classes are full at your home branch, you are welcome to check other YMCA of Greater Des Moines branches for class openings. Browse some FAQs and tips for registering.
Please remember, swim lessons are based on skill level. If the desired class level is full, please do not register your child in any level higher than their actual swimming skill level. It is best to choose a low level when registering to ensure your child feels comfortable. Swimmers often need to repeat the level before progressing; register your child in the same level for all sessions if you are registering for more than one session.
Adult Swim Lessons
Several YMCA of Greater Des Moines branches offer adult swim lessons in private and group formats. Contact your local Y (information below) for details.
Swim Test Policy
The YMCA of Greater Des Moines will swim test all pool users ages 14 and under that would like to use a YMCA of Greater Des Moines pool in water depths that exceed chest height of the individual. Any child under age 9 must have a parent in the water with them if they are not able to complete our swim test requirements. View our swim test policy.
At the YMCA we take aquatics safety very seriously. We are the number one provider of Red Cross Lifeguard Certifications in central Iowa. This allows us to reach beyond our walls to keep kids safe in and around water. Have you ever wanted to be a part of keeping your community safe? With our American Red Cross lifeguard certification courses, you can do just that. Learn more about lifeguard certification.
Make a Splash
Three of our branches are proud to be local partner agencies to USA Swimming Foundation. The USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash initiative is saving children's lives through swim lessons. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers, community-based water safety advocates, and national organizations to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim.