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Aquatics Programming

All Champaign Park District aquatics programming is offered at the Sholem Aquatic Center. Sholem is an outdoor family water park open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. For more information about Sholem Aquatic Center including open swim times, special events, rentals & parties, and weather closure guidelines, please see the menu to the right.

Swim Lessons

Swim lessons can save a life, build a child’s confidence, and introduce little ones to a lifelong habit of exercise. Our instructors are carefully selected and trained, and our curriculum is expertly planned by our team of experienced supervisors. Whether your child is fearful of the water or just wants to perfect a particular stroke, we have the right class for you!

Our highest priority is to provide all swim lesson participants with a safe and comfortable place to learn swimming skills that are appropriate for their needs and abilities. Upon registration, we will ask that you choose the lesson level that best fits your child. The suggested ages listed are designed to serve as a guide but should not be the main determinant in selecting a class for your child

PLEASE NOTE: Registration deadline is the Wednesday prior to the first class.


Water Exploration and Safety

Ages 1-2 with a parent
This class is an introduction to water safety and basic water skills for both parent and child. It is not a swim lesson and parents should adjust their expectations accordingly. The Water Exploration and Safety class is meant to allow the child to explore the water in a supervised and fun environment with the guidance of the instructor and parent.

Fee (R/NR): $42/$63

Min: 4

Parent + Preschool

Ages 2-4 with a parent
The objective of our Preschool + Parent swim class is to help students feel comfortable in the water while the mom or dad is at their side. Students will learn elementary water skills that they can build on as they progress through the various swim levels. We introduce the WaterSmart Rules that are encouraged by Sophie the Safety Seal — our very own mascot for the Jeff Ellis Swimming Program.

Fee (R/NR): $42/$63

Min: 4


Ages 3-5
The purpose of this class is to help students feel comfortable in the water without the presence of the parent. Students continue to learn elementary water skills and safety tips that will stay with them throughout all swim lesson levels. Sophie the Safety Seal’s WaterSmart rules are enforced for increased water safety.

Fee (R/NR): $42/$63

Min: 4


Ages 5-11
The Beginner class builds on elementary water skills previously learned and teaches students the skills needed to complete a 25-yard swim for each of the following: elementary backstroke, front crawl, and backstroke. All elementary water skills are reinforced so that they become second nature to the students. All water safety rules are discussed as well.

Fee (R/NR): $52/$78

Min: 4

Advanced Beginner

Ages 6-12
The Advanced Beginner class teaches children how to master strokes development and requires them to complete 50-yard swims of elementary backstroke and basic backstroke. Students are also asked to complete a 25-yard swim of breaststroke and front crawl with rhythmic breathing. We introduce scissor kick and sidestroke at this swim level too.

Fee (R/NR): $52/$78

Min: 4


Ages 6-13
The Intermediate class strengthens students’ coordination of keystrokes. They are asked to complete 50 yards of front crawl with rhythmically breathing, 75 yards of backstroke, 50 yards of breaststroke, 50 yards of sidestroke, 75 yards of elementary backstroke, and 25 yards of butterfly. We introduce the sidestroke, butterfly and the act of treading water at this level.

Fee (R/NR): $52/$78

Min: 4


Ages 6-14
The Advanced class polishes strokes so students swim with more ease, power and smoothness over greater distances. At this level, swimmers should be able to complete 100 yards of front crawl with rhythmical breathing, 100 yards of backstroke, 100 yards of breaststroke, 100 yards of sidestroke, 100 yards of elementary backstroke, 50 yards of butterfly, and three minutes of treading water.

Fee (R/NR): $52/$78

Min: 4


Ages 15+
Basic swimming and self-rescue skills are taught in an environment that is within your comfort zone. The class size is designed to be small so that every swimmer gets the attention needed to achieve swimming goals.

Fee (R/NR): $52/$78

Min: 4

Tiny Tots Splash Time

Ages 0–5 with parent/guardian
One of Champaign-Urbana’s “best kept secrets,” Tiny Tots Splash Time provides a wonderful opportunity for you to spend some quality water play time with your little one before the afternoon rush. Only the kiddie pool will be open during this time. Tiny Tots is a paid activity and is not part of swim lessons or swim team.

Date | Day | Time

  • 6/7-8/13* | M-F | 7:30-11:45a
  • 6/5-8/15* | Sa & Su | 8-10:45a
    • No Program: 7/4, 7/5*

Location: Sholem Aquatic Center
Fee (R/NR): $4/$6 per person or FREE for pool pass holders! Children ages 3 and under are free with a paying adult.
Questions: brittany.fairfield@champaignparks.org or 217-398 2581

Water Aerobics

Ages 15+
Get some fresh air while getting in shape! This guided class will help to increase your energy, flexibility, strength, and circulation. All water aerobics classes at Sholem Pool are arthritis, back pain, and Fibromyalgia-friendly. Swimming skills are not required. Participants must attend only the class/section for which they registered.

Instructor: Jo Rodriguez
Questions: brittany.fairfield@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2581

Lap Swim

Whether you’re looking to get fit, improve your mood, or enjoy one of the simple pleasures of summer – lap swimming is just what the doctor ordered. Lap swimmers do not share the lanes with swim team or any other groups – so feel free to stretch out and Carpe Piscinam: Seize the Pool! For those who can’t attend Lap Swim, lap lanes are protected during most open swim hours with some exceptions on weekends and holidays. Feel free to call ahead to check on lane availability.

Date | Day | Time | Fee (R/NR)

  • 6/7-8/13* | M-F | 6:45-7:45a | $4/$6
  • 6/5-8/15* | Sa & Su | 8-10:45a | $4/$6

No Lap Swim: 7/4, 7/5*
Location: Sholem Aquatic Center
Questions: brittany.fairfield@champaignparks. org or 217-398-2581

River Run/Walk

All Ages
Here’s a fun way to work towards better health and fitness with low impact water running/walking in Sholem’s Lazy River. We will have the river current turned on and flowing. All walking/running will be against the current for added resistance. This is a self-guided/self-paced program. Feel free to bring your water weights for a more intense workout. All we ask is that all participating be respectful of those around them (no swimming, playing with toys, splashing, etc.). Enjoy this WET (in the water) opportunity to walk/run your way to better health and fitness. Water shoes are recommended, but not required, for better traction in the river.

Date | Day | Time

  • 6/7-8/13* | M-F | 8-11:45a and 7:15-8p
  • 6/5-8/15 | Sa-Su | 8-10:45a and 7:15-8p

No Program: 7/4, 7/5*
Fee (R/NR): $4/$6 per person or FREE for pool pass holders.
Questions: brittany.fairfield@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2581

Junior Lifeguard Academy

Ages 12-14
The primary purpose of the Junior Lifeguard Academy is to increase participants’ self-confidence, physical conditioning, and safety awareness by providing a thorough introduction to water safety, first aid, and aquatic rescue techniques. All Junior Lifeguard Academy instructors are veteran members of our award-winning lifeguard team, well-versed in water safety, and passionate about teaching and mentoring young people. The goal of this program is to provide participants with the skills necessary to apply for lifeguarding positions with the Champaign Park District after they turn 16. Participants must be able to swim 25 yards comfortably in a reasonable amount of time
and should also have an interest in learning about aquatic rescue techniques.

Date | Day |Time | Fee (R/NR)

  • 7/12-7/23 | M-F | 9:30-11:30a | $36/$54 

Location: Sholem Aquatic Center
Min/Max: 6/30
Deadline: 7/5
Questions: brittany.fairfield@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2581

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