Swim Lesson Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register?

Please visit our Swimming Lesson Registration page to fill out the form. Payment and forms will be completed the first day of class.


Where do I park?

There are several visitor parking lots near the Recreation Center. Please view the campus map if you need to know where they are. There is a pay for parking lot in front of the Shepard School of Music, West lot 1. This parking lot is a 5-minute walk to the Recreation Center. There is also a free parking lot behind Rice Stadium, Greenbriar lot. This parking lot is about a 20-minute walk.


How do I get from the parking lot to the building?

When you are walking from the parking area, West Lot 1, head towards Rice University along Stadium Road that runs next to Alice Pratt Brown Hall Shepherd School of Music (building #13 on the campus map). Turn right at the inner Loop Road. Walk straight until you reach Alumni Road. The Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation Center will be on your left. If you need help with directions, the operations desk phone number is 713-348-4059.


What do I bring to class?

You will want to wear your swimsuit and bring a towel with you to class. Locker rooms are available. (See below for our policy on minors.) Additionally, you will want to bring a pair of flip-flops or pool sandals to wear out to the pool area. You may go barefoot or wear pool sandals on the deck; no outside shoes please. Swim caps are suggested for swimmers with long hair. Goggles are optional. Goggles are not suggested youth levels 1 & 2. Swim caps and googles may be purchased at the Recreation Center operations desk. Towel passes are available for purchase as well.


What age groups can participate in swim lessons?

We offer swim lessons for all ages and skill levels. Younger children that are easily distracted may learn better in a private lesson environment. We also offer Parent/Child group lessons (Anemone) for those with children under the age of three.


What do I do if a lesson is cancelled due to thunder/lightning?

 If there is a heavy storm in the area that will prevent classes from starting a staff member will call ahead to cancel. 
 Fall and Spring classes: The Rice Aquatic Center is required to close during times of lightning and thunder. The pool and pool deck must close during lightning and thunder. If a lesson is canceled with less than half completed than the lesson will be considered canceled and adjustments will be made on your next registration. There are no make-up classes or transfers of registration.
Summer classes: The Rice Aquatic Center is required to close during times of lightning and thunder. The pool and pool deck must close during lightning and thunder. The pool will remain closed for 30 minutes after the last weather event.
Summer Monday—Thursday classes: If classes are more than halfway finished, class will not be made up. If classes are less than halfway finished, then a Friday make-up class will be scheduled at the same time as your lesson. Only one class will be made up per week. If there are multiple weather cancellations per week, a credit will be applied to your next in-person registration.
Summer Saturday classes: Saturday classes do not have make-ups. If class is not more than half-way finished than a credit will be applied to your next in-person registration. If there is a heavy storm in the area that will prevent classes from starting a staff member will call ahead to cancel.


If my swimmer is already enrolled in a session, do I need to re-register for the next session?

Yes, please register on-line for each session. The pre-registration numbers help us plan how many instructors per level we will need. Each class is limited to six (6) swimmers per instructor.


Do I need to be a Recreation Center member to attend swimming lessons?

At this time you do not need to be a member to attend swimming lessons. If you are not a member of the Recreation Center you must register as a Non-Member. All participants need to register online.


What is the Recreation Center's policy on minors?

Dependents 15 years of age and under must be accompanied by a legal guardian at all times in the facility. Only children five and under may accompany their legal guardian into a locker room designated for the opposite gender. Individual restrooms are available on the second floor for children six and older who cannot be accompanied by a legal guardian of the same gender.


How do I pick a level for me/my child?

We ask that participants choose the level that they feel most accurately reflects their abilities. If a level does not seem to be a good fit, the instructor will move the participant to the correct level. For more information, please visit our Swim Lessons page.