My kids love being in the water, but getting them to take swimming lessons – and enjoy them – has been more difficult than I expected.
When my daughter was a toddler, I signed her up for lessons through a local community education program. The lessons were ok, but she never enjoyed them. The water was not the warmest (it was at a middle school), and it was hard to keep my youngest occupied during her lesson, as I sat with the crowd of parents by the pool. We only stuck with the lessons a few months.
Since then, I’ve wanted to try lessons again for both my kids, but haven’t really been crazy about the options.
Fortunately, though, I learned about a new swim school in Minnesota called Goldfish Swim School. They just opened up in Oakdale and invited me and my kids to try them out, and share our experience with you. The timing was perfect so I signed up both my kids!
Our First Visit
First we attended their grand opening event which was this summer, and included lots of fun, free swimming and tours of the facility.
One thing that really stood out for me was how warm the pool area is. It’s enclosed but you can see through glass walls, and the temp of the water is 90 degrees!
The staff are so friendly and greet you when arrive. And they know how visual kids are – the whole place is bright, cheerful and fun – with a shop, an aquarium, and lots of comfortable chairs and tables for families to watch their kids.
I love the kids’ area – there’s plenty to do! And there are plenty of cubbies to keep your kids’ stuff in while you watch them at their lesson.
I brought both our kids for their first lesson, but because of my daughter’s experiences with lessons before, she was hesitant. So hesitant that she refused to go in the water the first lesson AT ALL. My son went in just fine, and had a GREAT lesson. But my daughter just wouldn’t do it, no matter what I tried. I didn’t know what to do!
I talked to the staff about it – and they were so wonderful about it. They talked to my daughter and were so enthusiastic with her – encouraging her to just check out the pool, reassuring her the way she felt was ok.
I talked to my daughter about it for the next week – she still refused, until suddenly the day of the next lesson. Her feelings about it suddenly changed and she said she’d try it, and I was SO relieved! She was shy about it, but she did go in the water and had a great lesson! And ever since she’s been getting better and better – even going underwater confidently.
Both my kids have been making great progress. I like the personal attention the instructors give (they have no more than 4 swimmers per instructor), and they always give feedback at the end of each lesson – what each child did well, and what they need to work on.
The facility is very clean, organized and modern. There are kid-sized showers to use right when you get out of the pool.
There are private dressing rooms (lots of them!), private family restrooms, and an area to dry your hair.
At the end of each lesson, kids get a prize! We’ve gotten things like rubber “Goldfish” bath toys, coloring sheets, posters and temporary tattoos. Each month they have a THEME and the prizes go along with that.
Goldfish Swim School also just had a member appreciation week where they offered free coffee and snacks, and a free family swim night.
My kids have taken 2 months of lessons at Goldfish now, and they continue to love it – and look forward to it every week. I do too – so much that I signed up to continue their lessons there, even after this review! There’s just so much to love there – the whole experience makes swimming lessons so positive and effective.
About Goldfish Swim School Oakdale
Goldfish Swim School Oakdale provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years-old:
- Mini 1-4 for kids aged 4 – 35 months,
- Junior 1-3 for kids aged 3 – 4 years,
- Glider 1-3 for kids aged 4 – 12 years,
- Pro 1&2 for kids aged 4 – 12 years, and
- Swim Force (swim team) for kids aged 5 – 12 years.
Goldfish offers flexibility though for your schedule – you pay monthly for lessons and when you need to miss or reschedule a lesson, or change your lesson time, it’s easy to do.
(Prices below updated here May 2019 – check their website for current rates)
Annual Membership is $25 per child ($20 for second child, and $45 max per family). Lessons are $86.00 month for 1 lesson per week, with discounts offered for additional children.
For extra cost, they also offer for family swims, jump start or technique clinics, and birthday parties!
Now that we’ve been going there for a while, here are 5 things my kids (and I) love about Goldfish!
- The facility. It’s spacious, clean, fun, bright, and inviting – and makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island!
- Personal attention from the instructors and staff. They know us by name and have gone above and beyond for my kids.
- The pool is WARM. No shivering kids here!
- Perks galore. You get more than just your kid’s lesson. When you join, you get a Goldfish Swim School bag with a t-shirt for each child. Kids get prizes each week, there are free play dates in the pool, and other promos and extras. They also give a free treat for your child’s birthday!
- Events. For example, they have a “Spooky Swim” event coming up on October 27th!
Of course, there’s more to love about Goldfish Swim School – Oakdale.
Learn more on the Goldfish Swim School – Oakdale website!
7055 10th Street North, Suite 100
Oakdale, MN 55128
(Disclosure: I received complimentary lessons for my kids in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% mine.)