By David Greisman
Sure, the cooling temperatures make this an inviting time to daydream about heading south for the ocean. But you don’t need to leave Howard County in order to enjoy the water this fall and winter.
Yes, summer is the season for Columbia Association’s outdoor pools. The rest of the year is covered, though — and literally so, with activities, classes and lessons at CA’s indoor pools at Columbia Swim Center, Columbia Gym, Supreme Sports Club and Haven on the Lake. (Columbia Athletic Club, which has a hot water therapy pool, is due to reopen soon. UPDATED: NOW OPEN!)
Keep reading for some ideas for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. And learn more by visiting ColumbiaAssociation.org/pools.
Now is the perfect time to teach your kids how to swim, with indoor lessons at Columbia Gym and Columbia Swim Center.
The youngest future swimmers start off in Little Ones and Me, where children ages 6 months to 3 years are joined in the water by a parent or caregiver. Lessons continue on, advancing through different levels and introducing additional skills, then refining technique to make kids even stronger swimmers — and helping prepare them if they want to compete in Columbia Neighborhood Swim League or on the Columbia Clippers.
Adult lessons and one-on-one lessons also are available.
More fun for kids
SplashDown recently reopened for the season, offering twisting, turning, wet and wild fun. CA replaced the flumes a couple of years ago. Now you no longer need an inner tube; instead, you just slide down with your body. From this Columbia native’s point-of-view, SplashDown is now much faster and even more enjoyable than it was when I was growing up!
SplashDown is open on Saturdays from 1:30-6pm and Sundays from noon-5pm. It’s also a great activity on many days when school is out — CA hosts special Snack-n-Slide events from noon-4pm on November 23, December 27, December 28, January 21, February 18 and April 22. Admission for Snack-n-Slide includes chips, a small drink and ice cream.
Columbia Swim Center hosts parties for SplashDown riders, but also for Little Splashers ages 6 and younger who can’t slide down but still want to have a good time.
The facility also offers a snack bar, rope swing, diving board and recreational swimming.
Adult and senior swim time
We haven’t forgotten about the grown-ups! Columbia Swim Center has time exclusively dedicated for adults, whether they wish to do laps or swim recreationally. Adult and Senior Swim time is free for CA members and takes place Monday-Friday from 2:30-3:30pm.
Aqua fitness is a great way to exercise in the support of water. We have a list describing many of our classes elsewhere in this issue.
And for those who are in training, it’s key to continue year-round. CA’s Masters Swim Program — great for triathletes, competitive swimmers and fitness swimmers — has dedicated lanes and professional coaching at every practice.
Triathlon Swim Training is hosted weekly on Tuesday mornings at Supreme Sports Club, with advanced and beginner sessions available. Each session runs six weeks; upcoming sessions begin on November 6, January 22 and March 19.
Even with all of these great programs, you might still be daydreaming about being somewhere down south, diving deep and checking out a coral reef.
We can help with that, too.
CA hosts scuba classes that will certify you to dive anywhere in the world. Instruction and certification is provided by Columbia Scuba.
Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30pm at Columbia Swim Center, and Sundays at 8:30am at Supreme Sports Club. Call 410-381-1994 for more information.