Youth Programs and Activities

Merriam Parks and Recreation offers many activities to keep kids active and engaged!

Our monthly classes make fitness fun. Kids will strengthen their minds and bodies, and build skills, coordination, and confidence. Preschool Indoor Playground is held every Tuesday morning. Workshops and events throughout the year offer opportunities for learning and socializing. 

Swim lessons are available year-round and will build your child's water safety skills. When your child is ready for a challenge, they can join the Merriam Dolphins Swim and Dive team! Merriam residents may be eligible for a scholarship for lessons or for the Dolphins team. 

Enroll your child today!

All classes are held at the Merriam Community Center, 6040 Slater St., unless noted otherwise.

Aquatics Programs for Infants and Toddlers

Aqua Toddler Swim / Sensory Time

Monday–Friday  ▶ 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Ages 0–4 with adult present 
$50 for 10 punches or $90 for 20 punches
1 punch visit = 1 parent and 1 child 
Free for members!

Time specific for families with children sensitive to loud noises or big splashes of water. During this time, all fountains, slides and water features are turned off. Children can explore the zero depth, shallow water and therapy pool without fear of big kids splashing. This isn't a swim lesson and won't be instructor led. Parents must be in the water with their children.  

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim - Non-Walking

this 6-week program teaches infants 6 months to 2 years (typically non-walkers) to roll over from a face down or submerged position onto their backs to relax and breathe. Lessons are 1 on 1, and 4 days a week for 8 weeks. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monday–Thursday  ▶  Oct.9–Nov. 16  ▶  Times Vary  ▶  Register

Infant Aquatic Survival Swim - Walking

This 8-week program teaches toddlers and younger children the swim-float-swim sequence.  Children will learn to swim a short distance with their face fully submerged, to roll onto their back, to float and rest whenever they need to breathe, and to flip back onto their tummy to continue to swim to safety while fully clothed.  Lessons are 1 on 1, and 4 days a week for 8 weeks. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monday–Thursday  ▶  Oct.9–Dec. 7  ▶  Times Vary  ▶  Register

MJ's Kids

Mary Jo Klier works with children specifically focusing on strokes and stroke development.  This punch pass class includes two 15-minute sessions.  The instructor and guardian will determine times and days that work best for them.  

Punch Pass Program  ▶  Register at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk 

2 punches: $50  /  4 punches: $100 /  6 punches: $150  /  8 punches: $200

Aquatic Programs for Youth

KU Sensory Enhanced Aquatics

Children with autism spectrum disorders are taught traditional learn-to-swim methods combined with sensory strategies matched to their unique needs. University of Kansas Medical Center health professionals teach the swim lessons. Individual and small-group lessons are available.

Thursdays  ▶  Sept. 14–Dec. 7  ▶  6:30–7 p.m.  ▶  Register  ▶  REGISTRATION AUGUST 18

Thursdays  ▶  Sept. 14–Dec. 7  ▶  7:05–7:35 p.m.   ▶  Register  ▶  REGISTRATION AUGUST 18

MJ's Kids

Mary Jo Keiler works with children specifically focusing on strokes and stroke development. This punch pass class includes two-15 minute sessions. The instructor and guardian will determine times and days that work best for them.  

Punch Pass Program ▶ Register at Merriam Community Center Welcome Desk 

2 punches: $50  /  4 punches: $100  /  6 punches: $150  /  8 punches: $200


SuperKids is an entry level age group competitive instructional swim program. Emphasis on learning correct swim strokes, streamlines, and turns. Encourage 2x weekly attendance during weekdays plus optional Saturday Swim.


Entry level swimmers need to be comfortable in the water and able to swim-float-swim. Ages 3-7 or permission from Mary Jo

Monthly  ▶  Monday–Thursday / Saturday  ▶  4:30–5:30 p.m. / 11 a.m.–12 p.m.  ▶  Register


Medium to advanced level swimmers. Emphasis on correct swim technique for the four competitive strokes, streamlines, and turns plus introduction to interval training. This level is the foundation of the KC Swim Academy, a USA Swimming competitive team. Instructor: Mary Jo

Monthly  ▶  Monday–Thursday / Saturday  ▶  5–6 p.m. / 11 a.m.–12 p.m.  ▶  Register 

Fitness and Sports

Youth Fitness Equipment Orientation

Kids between the age of 12 and 15 can work out in the fitness center after they complete a youth fitness equipment orientations with a guardian. 

  • Learn rules of the fitness center and walking track
  • Learn proper equipment usage
  • Learn basic safe exercise techniques

Youth equipment orientations are FREE.  Please speak to someone at the Welcome Desk to schedule an appointment. 

Once they've completed an orientation and are ready to use the equipment, they can check in at the Welcome Desk at each visit .  

Aiki Kids Child/Parent Fundamentals

This class is designed to strengthen bodies and relationships through sweat, smiles, and laughter. Your child will learn basic ki-aikido self-defense and ki-meditation techniques. Parent participation is encouraged. Instructor: Derrick (1st degree) 

Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  4:30–6 p.m.   ▶  Register

Dance Expressions

Come explore the wonderful world of dance. Where imagination and movement come to life. Ballet/Tap combo. Students must have dance leotards, pink ballet shoes and black tap shoes. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Wednesdays  ▶  3–6 yrs.  ▶  Monthly  ▶  6–6:45 p.m.   ▶  Register

Wednesdays  ▶  7–12 yrs. ▶  Monthly  ▶  6–6:45 p.m.   ▶  Register

Jump-Start Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to develop confidence and coordination. Lesson plans are designed to introduce new tumbling skills in each class, focusing on improving balance and flexibility. Recommended for kids ages 7+. Athletes must be able to perform a backbend from standing position and return to a standing position independently to participate. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Tuesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  6:15–7 p.m.   ▶   Register

Kawaii Kids Martial Arts

Kawaii is a popular Japanese term meaning cute. While it's kawaii to view kids in uniforms, it's also rewarding to see them learn practical street smarts. Kids become more aware of their surroundings in this fun, proven  method for children of all ages. Children 4 years old must be accompanied by a guardian. Instructors: Mick (6th degree) / Rafael (2nd degree)

Saturdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶ 11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.  ▶  Register

Wednesdays  ▶  Monthly  ▶  4:45–5:45 p.m.  ▶  Register

Tumbling for Tots

Gymnastics is a fun and safe way for children to begin developing confidence and coordination. Lesson plans are specifically designed to introduce new tumbling skills in each class, focusing on improving balance and flexibility. Recommended for kids ages 3 to 6. Instructor: Wendy, USASF Certified

Tuesdays ▶  Monthly  ▶  5:30–6:15 p.m.  ▶  Register 

Preschool Indoor Playground

Too cold to play in the park? Ride and slide with us during Preschool Indoor Playground! Drive, pull, or push your favorite Little Tykes vehicles. Parents must supervise their children during playground time.

Tuesdays   ▶   9:30–11:30 a.m.  
$2/child   ▶   Punch cards available: $10 for 10 visits


Swim Lessons

Swim lessons are all-inclusive and specific for each child’s skill set and include lifesaving and safety techniques. Register your child based on age. For preschool and youth lessons, class levels are used to ensure your child is successful. Children are evaluated at the beginning of each session and placed in the appropriate class level. Children should be able to work with an instructor and participate in swim lessons independently and willingly.

Parent/Child: 6 months–2 years

This lesson is designed as an introduction for parents and children alike. Learn safety tips while your child becomes familiar in the water and picks up basic water movement taught through songs, dances, and other fun forms of teaching. This class takes place in the indoor therapy pool. Parents must be in the water with their children.

Saturdays  ▶ Sept.9–Oct. 14  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶ Oct. 28–Dec. 9  ▶  Register

Preschool: 3–5 years old

Your child will learn basic water safety skills while also growing more comfortable in the water. Students will learn how to safely enter and exit the water, blow bubbles underwater, float, kick, and work on arm movements. 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Sept. 11–27  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶  Sept. 9–Oct. 14  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Oct.2–18  ▶  Register 

Saturdays  ▶  Oct. 28–Dec. 9  ▶  Register  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Oct. 30–Nov.15  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Nov. 27–Dec 13  ▶  Register 

Youth: 6–12 years old

Beginning swimmers are introduced to basic stroke movement and will learn how to be more comfortable in the water. More advanced swimmers are instructed in stroke technique, endurance, and safety skills. 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Sept.11–27  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶  Sept. 9–Oct. 14  ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Oct. 2–18 ▶  Register 

Saturdays  ▶  Oct. 28–Dec. 9  ▶  Register

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Oct. 30–Nov. 15 ▶  Register 

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶  Nov.27–Dec. 13 ▶  Register

Adult: 13+ 

Adult lessons are designed to help each participant reach personal goals. Whether you want to be a proficient lap swimmer, learn to float, or acquire water safety skills, instructors will work to ensure your success!  

Mondays & Wednesdays  ▶     Register

Junior Dolphins

This program is designed for students who want to be on the Merriam Dolphins swim team. The ideal student has gone through several rounds of swim lessons and is looking for more of a challenge. Students learn starts, flip turns, and swim team workouts.

 Saturdays  ▶  Sept. 9–30  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶  Oct. 7–28  ▶  Register

Saturdays  ▶  Nov. 4–Dec.9  ▶  Register

Private and Semi-Private Lessons

Get four, 30-minute lessons tailored just for you. Available for ages 3+.

$90 for private lessons, $80 for semi-private. 

Learn More


Build-a-Plush Workshop

Join us during our Build-a-Plush Workshop where you’ll get to create your very own huggable, loveable, stuffed animal. Each kit includes an animal of your choice, a wishing star to go inside your bear, stuffing, a birth certificate, and a bag to take your new friend home in. Register before Oct. 13th to ensure your animal arrives in time! Instructor: Renee


Saturday, Nov. 11   ▶  1–2 p.m.  ▶ Register


Intro to D&D and other TTRPG's

This event is designed to help you dive into the exciting world of pen-and- paper roleplaying games! During the session, attendees will discoverTabletop.GameHobby.Logo.jpg what RPGs are and how they work, what materials you need to play, and how to select a system and group that ensures you have fun! Instructor: Table Top Game & Hobby

Saturday, Sept. 30  ▶  10 a.m.–Noon  ▶  Register

Saturday, Oct. 7  ▶  10 a.m.–Noon  ▶  Register

Saturday, Nov. 11  ▶ 10 a.m.–Noon ▶  Register

Saturday, Dec. 9  ▶ 10 a.m.–Noon ▶  Register


Merry Grinch-MasMerry-Grinch-mas.jpeg

Feeling kind of grouncy? Holiday spirit can't be found? Taking this anti-Grinch class is the best medicine around! Join us for a morning of Grinch-y fun with snacks and crafts. Bring a friend or two, and it'll take the Grinch right out of you! Register by Dec. 1. Instructor: Ingrid

Saturday, Dec. 9  ▶  10–11:30 a.m.  ▶  Register