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Aquatics Programming 2019

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.


Weather Cancellations

For weather-related closures or other program delays or cancellations, please visit our Cancellations Page or call 217-805-4100 and press 6 for automated updates.

Footsteps to Fitness

Ages: All ages, all ability levels

Fees (R|NR):  Regular admission, FREE for pool pass holders

Come take part in our Footsteps to Fitness program that leads you around Sholem. We have a walking path (complete with painted footsteps) that will help guide you in your summer pursuit of fitness. This is great for parents, grandparents, and guardians who usually find themselves sitting by the pool waiting for their children to finish with swim lessons or swim team training.

This is a DRY (out of water), self-guided/self-paced program.

Junior Lifeguard Academy

Ages: 12-15

Fees (R|NR): $30|$45

Dates & Times
July 8 – July 19
M-F from 9:30 – 11:30 am

Questions: Topher.Wendt@champaignparks.com or 217-398-2550

Description: 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.

Lap Swim

Ages: All ages, all ability levels

Fees (R|NR):  $4|$6 per person, FREE for pool pass holders

June 2-August 10, weekend programming continues through August 26
Monday-Friday, 6:45-7:45am
Saturday-Sunday, 8:00-10:45am
*No Lap Swim: TBA

Whether you’re looking to get fit, improve your mood, or enjoy one of the simple pleasures of sum¬mer – 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.

River Run/Walk

Ages: All ages

Fees (R|NR):  $4|$6 per person, FREE for pool pass holders.

June 3-August 9, weekend programming continues through August 25
Monday-Friday, 10:00-11:45am & 7:15-8:00pm
Saturday-Sunday, 10:00-10:45am & 7:15-8:00pm
*No Program: 6/8, 6/15, 6/29, 7/4, 7/5, 7/20, 7/27

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.

Sholem Sharks Swim Team

Please see the Sholem Sharks Swim Team page for more information.

Swim Lessons


Group Swim Lessons

Ages: All ages, all ability levels

Fees (R|NR): 
Parent-Tot & Preschool sessions: $40|$60
Beginner through Adult sessions: $50|$75

Dates & Times
June 2 – August 1 (determined by session).  This summer we will offer the following basic lessons options:

  • Sunday Mornings – 1 session for 8 weeks
  • Monday-Thursday Mornings – 4 sessions for 2 weeks
  • Monday-Thursday Evenings – 4 sessions for 2 weeks

Questions: swimlessons@champaignparks.com or 217-398-2550.

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 coordinators. 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.

 More specifics regarding objectives, content, and goals – as well as specific session dates and times – are listed in our Summer Program Guide.  Our group swim lesson levels are:

Parent-Tot Exploration – suggested ages 6 months to 3 years; with parent/guardian
Preschool – suggested ages 3-4
Beginner – suggested ages 5-7
Advanced Beginner – suggested ages 6-8
Intermediate – suggested ages 7-9
Advanced – suggested ages 8+
Beginner Adult – great for those with a fear of the water or who never learned how to swim
Intermediate Adult – great for those who know the basics but want to improve their technique


Private Swim Lessons

Ages: All ages; all ability levels

Fees (R|NR):
Private (1)
*Semi-Private (2) $12|$18
*Semi-Private (3) $10|$15
*Semi-Private lessons must be self-organized with participants.[/one_half_last]

Dates & Times: 30-minute lessons are scheduled by appointment during times that the Sholem Aquatic Center is open for public swim.

Questions:  swimlessons@champaignparks.com or 217-398-2550 on or after May 15 to set up your lessons for the 2019 season.

Graduation Pool Party

Friday, August 9 | 8:00-11:30am

To congratulate you on graduating your swim lessons, we are throwing a party! Come out and enjoy all that Sholem Aquatic Center has to offer and show off your new swimming skills. This graduation party is for Swim Lesson participants and one guest. Best part….it is FREE! Let us show you how much we appreciate you as Sholem swim lesson participant.

Tiny Tots Splash Time

Ages: 0-5 with parent/guardian

Fees (R|NR): $4|$6 per person or FREE for pool pass holders.  Children 3 & under are free with a paying adult. Pay onsite per visit (no registration).

Dates* & Times 
June 3-August 9, weekend programming continues through August 25
Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 11:45 am
Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 – 10:45 am
*No Program: 6/8, 615, 6/29, 7/4, 7/5, 7/20, 7/27

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.

All parents/guardians will receive (and must wear) a Tiny Tots wristband from the Sholem ticket office upon payment.

Water Aerobics

Ages: 15+; non-swimmers welcome

Fees (R|NR):
Monday/Wednesday/Friday sessions: $30|$45
Tuesday/Thursday sessions: $20|$30
Weekday Evening sessions: $40|$60
Weekend Morning sessions: $30|$45

Dates & Times
June 4 – August 30 (determined by session)
Weekday Morning sessions: 11:15 – 11:45 am
Weekday Evening sessions: 7:15 – 8:00 pm
Weekend Evening sessions: 9:00 – 9:45 am

Questions: Please contact sholemcustomerservice@champaignparks.com or call 217-398-2550. 

Description: Get some fresh air while getting in shape with Water Aerobics! 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. 

Spray & Play

The Champaign Park District operates two free Outdoor Water Play areas (spray parks) from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. We’ve maintained and remodeled the beloved spray park at Hessel Park since 1995, and in the winter of 2015 we constructed a brand new spray park at Douglass Park.

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