Goldfish Swim School in Oakdale is a the first Minnesota location of this national chain. The member-based swim school provides swim instruction to children between 4 months and 12 years-old. It boasts highly trained instructors, a 4:1 student:teacher ratio, 90-degree pools, and purified pool water. These lessons are particularly good for getting smaller kids started with swimming.
We signed up our 12-year-old and 7-year-old for swim lessons as a trade for promotional services. While I knew I my kids needed lessons, I was not looking forward to giving up my Saturday mornings for weekly lessons. Goldfish has turned out to be a really pleasant experience. The staff is so friendly and helpful. Children move at their own pace with swim classes. My 7-year-old never wanted to EVER get his face wet. By the second lesson he was doing it and smiling. He has progressed slowly, but each lesson has helped him conquer a new skill. The 12-year-old is on the older side of the age range and almost too big for the pool. However, for a reluctant swimmer, this has been a safe place to learn new skills. She has progressed through the levels much quicker and has a goal to conquer every level before we are done with our lessons.
A perk for families is that they can schedule kids of different ages and skill levels for the same half hour time slot (if available). Lessons can be rescheduled when necessary and makeup lessons are available. Goldfish has been incredibly accommodating with keeping both lessons for the same time while one child moves up levels and the other remains in the starting level. At one point, they even created a class to fit our schedule.
Other family-friendly amenities include an air conditioned viewing gallery, a family dressing area with private changing rooms and a snack bar. I enjoy having a play area to engage the smaller kids during lessons for the bigger kids. My kids get a kick out of the swimsuit water extractor; it is fun to use.
Goldfish Swim School Membership & Discounts
Membership is currently $25.00/child. Lessons, clinics and weekend family swim times require additional fees. You can also just do it all at once and pay for six months or twelve months of lessons upfront for discounts and extras. Find all the details on the Goldfish Membership page. If you have a Washington County Library Card, you can get FREE annual registration through the Show Your Library Card program.
Family Swim Time at Goldfish
In addition to swim lessons, the Oakdale location offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members). Family Swim time costs $5.00/person (buts no more than $15.00 per family) and is open to the public. Goldfish members swim free during Weekday Family Swim times (which occur during school hours). Family swims at Goldfish are a nice compromise between the tiny park wading pools and the full-size pools at other facilities. Grownups can stand at anywhere in the pool, but kids have plenty of space to swim. There are plenty of toys available for everyone or you can bring your own. The water is warm and comfortable, and the room is kept warm, too.:
Families can rent to pool for birthday parties or other private gatherings on Saturday afternoons. Parties are 2 hours for up 50 35 children. Packages include extras, including decorations, cupcakes and beverages. Call the school for more details.