Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vacation Prep & a Giveaway: Turning the Pickle into a fish

Our newish status as a family of four is being christened this summer during our first legit family vacation. We’re headed to the beach with five other families for what I’m calling Real World – Family Style.

Our home-away-from-home sports both an oceanfront view and a pool, so Phil and I have been talking for a while about getting the Pickle acclimated to the water with swim lessons. However, whenever it came time to actually investigate options, I started to flashback to my terror memories of my swim lessons when I was a toddler and how terrified I was of Mr. J and the pool at the Y (yes, I still remember his name and face!).

Then Goldfish Swim School invited me to try lessons, which are designed to help eliminate the anxiety that often accompanies swim lessons by providing small class sizes, year-round curriculum and warm-water, four-foot-deep pools. We tried a month of Junior 1 lessons for Dylan for free in May and signed up for continued classes since we all liked it so much! 

D loves to do his big splash!
Dylan was a little shy and tearful at the beginning of his first class so I loved that another instructor came to his lane to help him one-on-one until he became more comfortable, which didn’t take long. 

Since we’ve been going to Goldfish, D regularly asks when it’s time for swim class – he really looks forward to it! And, I’ll confess that a few times I’ve pulled out the “Do I have to call Mr. Sean and tell him about your behavior?!” in desperate times, which has always worked (Santa who?).

As a family, we haven’t formally investigated other swim class options, but everyone who has told me that their kid(s) go to Goldfish, has had great things to say. Here’s what we like about the classes and the facility:

·         The 4-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio and 30-minute length have always felt right
·         The instructors challenge the kids to improve their skills
·         We don’t have to be in the water during the class (woo hoo)
·         Close-up, glass-enclosed pool viewing area
·         Super warm water and air temperature inside the pool
·         Spacious and plentiful private changing rooms
·         Shower area right next to the pool

The alligator float is always a favorite
In addition to weekly classes, Goldfish also offers Jump Start Clinics, which are five days of consecutive swim lessons that help to get kids acclimated to the water before vacation. We thought about that option, but I didn’t think I could commit to that based on my work schedule.

Goldfish is located in Warrensville Heights on Richmond Road. One thing to note is that traffic on 271 S and Richmond is often hectic during our commute on weekday evenings. If you’re coming from the East Side, I highly recommend taking Green to Emery to Richmond – we’ve found that to be our quickest route.

Free Goldfish Swim Birthday Party Giveaway ($450 value)
The friendly folks at Goldfish are offering one free swim birthday party (a $450 value) to one lucky reader of Postcards from Christina! Invite up to 24 kids for a fantastically fun two-hour party, which includes use of the pool and party area at the Warrensville Heights location, decorations, cupcakes, drinks, invitation and more. Check out the full deets here.

Contest details: Ends 7/15/13 at 12:01 a.m.

Disclosure: I was gifted a month’s worth of lessons. All opinions are my own.

UPDATE: Due to an issue with Rafflecopter, below is an updated way to enter:

  1. Leave me a comment here (on this blog) telling me why you’d like to win
  2. Tweet the following “Win a birthday party at #GoldfishSwimCLE (then leave a separate comment on this blog letting me know you tweeted)
  3. Post a link of this blog post to your Facebook wall (then leave a separate comment on this blog letting me know you posted this to your Facebook wall)
You can enter (each of these ways) once a day until the giveaway ends. This giveaway is open to U.S residents only and all entries must have a valid email address (this is how I will contact the winner).  Once a winner has been chosen (via, the winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be randomly selected. 


  1. For my cousins birthday party this month. I hope we can make it all the way from vermilion!

  2. Thank you so much for the awesome article! :) We appreciate it and are so glad you're having such a great experience!

  3. My daughter loves her Goldfish swim lessons too!

  4. My husband secretly hates hosting birthday parties because of the mess and chaos, so he would love this! And of course, the kids would, too!

  5. My children just started taking lessons at The Goldfish Swim School. We love it! My daughter asks me many times a day if we can go there. She would love to have her birthday there.

  6. Entering again, oh la la! Now that I have this figured out and all :) Another reason I want to win - Natalie's 5th birthday is in December. Swimming in the winter would be a blast for the kids!

  7. I agree! A winter pool party would be awesome!

  8. Entering again...The kids would love this!