Tips for Your First Visit

Swimming classes for kids at Chicago Blue DolphinsWe’re excited to meet you and your family on your first visit to the Swim Studio!  This “Tips for your First Visit” page will deliver as much information as possible about what to bring and how to get to your lesson, so you can focus 100% of your attention on enjoying the swim lesson.  You can read this page straight through or pick one or more topics from the list below:

What to Bring to Your Lesson

Just so you don’t try to fit the kitchen sink your gear bag, here’s our suggested list of clothing and equipment to bring for your first lesson.

  • Swim Suit (Note:  If your child is in the Infant-Toddler sequence, you will need to get into the pool, too)
  • Towel
  • Goggles (for swimmers 3 and up)
  • Swim Cap (if you have hair below the ears)
  • Fitted, Reusable Swim Diaper AND Disposable Swim Diaper if your child is not potty-trained
  • Flip Flops or Deck Shoes (if you don’t want to walk barefoot)
  • Sweats, Shorts, T-Shirt, or Robe if you want to cover up or stay warm while waiting for your class

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Our insurance company requires that we receive insurance waivers for each one of our swimmers. You can access the General Liability Waiver by following the link.

If you forget to bring the waivers with you, don’t worry. We’ll have paper waivers on site for you to sign before your first lesson.
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Our Location and Parking

Our Swim Studio is located at 2222 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60614.  Click on this link to get to a page with more information including a link to Google Maps.  We are located just north of the intersection of Elston Ave. and Webster Ave. on the east side of the street.

There’s lots of free street parking in our neighborhood.  You can find it at:

  • The east and west sides of Elston Ave.
  • The north and south sides of Honore St.
  • The east and west sides of Lister St.
  • The north and south sides of Webster Ave. west of Lister Ave.


  • The DMC lot attached to our building on the North Side
  • The Budget Rent-a-Truck parking lot across this street.  This was available to us for a time, but it no longer is available to patrons of our building.

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Getting into the Facility

Plan to leave your house so you can park and arrive at our front door 15 minutes before your lesson.  The general flow for the lesson is shown below:

  1. Arrive at our front door on Elston Ave.  It has a big “2222” on the front
  2. You will find a keypad to the right of the door.  Use the up or down arrows to scroll to find our business name.  Select our name to call our front desk.  We’ll buzz you into the facility
  3. Head down the hallway to the left to our facility and enter the last glass door to enter
  4. Our Customer Advocate check you in, gather any waivers, lead you to the pool room, and help you find a place for your gear in the pool room
  5. Our Deck Manager will greet you, direct you to the deck shower where you will rinse and then to the pool and your coach for the lesson

For specifics about what will happen during your lesson, please continue to the sections below.
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Changing and Using the Showers

If your lesson occurs during prime-time hours during the week (4-7pm on weekdays or 9-2pm on weekends), you will find that our changing rooms can get a little crowded.  To better use the space and to reduce frustration, we suggest the following strategy when you come to your lesson:

  1. Dress for the Lesson — To reduce bottlenecks in the bathrooms, we ask our families to dress for the lesson and do a “deck change” before getting into the pool.  We have hooks, racks, and chairs on which you can put any of your personal belongings.
  2. Use the Deck Shower to Rinse BEFORE the Lesson — Rather than competing for a shower in the changing rooms with the students getting ready to leave, use the shower on the pool deck to rinse prior to your lesson.  You can get your rinse done quickly AND keep our pool water clean by washing off body oils, dirt, or lotions before getting into the pool
  3. Use the Deck Shower or the Locker Room Showers to RINSE ONLY after the Lesson — Limit shower usage to rinsing only after lessons to keep your showers under 2 minutes in duration.  If everyone assumes that they will do a full soap and shampoo of themselves and all of their kids, the wait times will explode and the changing areas will turn into a rave.
  4. Do Quick Changes in the Changing Rooms — After the lesson, you can use the changing areas to get out of your wet clothes.  We ask you to be quick when changing to keep bottlenecks from occurring in the bathrooms.

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What to Expect at Your First Lesson

Once you rinse off and head to the pool, the magic will begin.

  1. The Deck Manager will introduce you to your coach
  2. The coach will have a quick conversation with you about your background or your child’s background.  They will find out if you have goals or key deadlines (e.g., camp, vacation, state meet)
  3. The coach will introduce you or your child to the rest of the class, so you feel welcome
  4. At the conclusion of the lesson, the coach will talk to you about how the lesson went, if the class is the right fit, and general path the class will take
  5. The coach will then turn you back over to the Deck Manager who will help you find the changing rooms and take your face shield
  6. The Deck Manager will answer any questions that you have
  7. If you are here for a trial class, the Deck Manager will direct you to the office to learn about pricing and to sign up for ongoing classes
  8. You’ll exit out the door you came in and back onto Elston Ave.

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Rules of the Pools

Every swimming facility has to have rules to keep our swimmers safe.  We’ll ask you to follow these rules when you visit the Swim Studio for a lesson.

  1. Deck shoes or flip flops are the only shoes allowed in the pool room
  2. Prior to entering the pool, please rinse off in the shower
  3. No one is allowed into the pool if a CBD instructor is not present on deck or in the water
  4. Non-potty trained children must “double diaper” — wear a fitted, reusable swim diaper over a disposable diaper. Contact our office for more details or to purchase
  5. No food or drink on deck other than water
  6. No diving except in water at least 8 feet deep and with a CBD instructor present
  7. No running or horseplay on deck

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COVID-19 Policies

While we have eased up on most of our COVID policies, we continue to try to maintain a clean and healthy environment for our staff and our students.  To find out the specifics, head to our COVID-19 Strategy page of the website.
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