Hippo In The Bathtub – Backyard Services

Since 2011, our insured swim instructors have traveled to thousands of homes to teach children how to be stronger and safer swimmers.  Our lifeguards have also ensured that guests at backyard pool parties have fun safely.  You can book online through our online booking system – super simple and convenient!

Backyard Registration for Summer 2024 is Open!

Backyard Swimming Lessons

If you have a private backyard pool, hire one of our insured swim instructors to come help your children become stronger and safer swimmers!  Our backyard season runs from June – August.

For our 2024 season, we have made some changes to our backyard lesson options, pricing, and service areas.

Please review the below service chart and FAQ section to learn more about our 2024 backyard swimming lesson options!

Backyard Swimming Pool

Hippo Deal Package Information:

When you purchase one of our Hippo Deal packages, the system will provide you with a unique booking code for the total lesson amount you purchased!  Any unused or cancelled lessons will automatically go back onto your code.  This makes booking, rescheduling, and re-booking cancelled lessons a breeze for clients to do online through our booking system!

PLEASE NOTE:  You must purchase a Hippo Deal package before you can apply the purchased credits to lessons.  We are unable to retroactively provide Hippo Deal discounts if you purchase multiple individual lessons.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the boundaries for your mini backyard teaching areas?

As lessons will be spaced very close together, our mini backyard teaching areas have firm boundaries.  If you live outside of these boundaries, please review the information for our regular backyard teaching areas.

Mini Teaching Area: Stittsville

> 417 Highway (north boundary), West Ridge Drive (west boundary), Terry Fox Drive (east boundary), Flewellyn Road (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Kanata

> Old Carp Road (north boundary), Terry Fox Drive (west boundary), Old Richmond (east boundary), Terry Fox Drive (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Nepean

> 417 Highway (north boundary), 416 Highway (west boundary), Prince of Wales (east boundary), Hunt Club Road (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Barrhaven

> Fallowfield Drive (north boundary), 416 Highway (west boundary), Prince of Wales Drive (east boundary), Barnsdale Road (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Riverside South

> Leitrim Road (north boundary), River Road (west boundary), Limebank Road (east boundary), Rideau Road (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Greely

> Rideau Road (north boundary), Manotick Station Road (west boundary), Sale Barn Road (east boundary), Old Prescott Road @ Stagecoach Road (south boundary)

Mini Teaching Area: Alta Vista

> Industrial Avenue (north boundary), Riverside Drive (west boundary), St. Laurent Boulevard (east boundary), Walkley Road (south boundary)

What are the boundaries for your regular backyard teaching areas?

Below we have outlined the exact boundaries of all our regular teaching areas.  Please note all teaching areas are listed in alphabetical order.  If you have any questions about which area your address falls within, please send us an email.

Alta Vista & Riverside Park

> Industrial Avenue (north boundary), Riverside Drive / Revelstoke Drive (west boundary), St. Laurent Boulevard (east boundary), Johnston Road (south boundary)

Barrhaven

> Fallowfield Drive (north boundary), 416 Highway (west boundary), Prince of Wales Drive (east boundary), Barnsdale Road (south boundary)

Bells Corners & Crystal Beach

> Ottawa River (north boundary), Eagleson Road (west boundary), 416 Highway / Bayshore Road (east boundary), West Hunt Club Road (south boundary)

Blossom Park, Greenboro, & Hunt Club

> Johnston Road (north boundary), Riverside Drive (west boundary), Hawthorne Road (east boundary), Lester Road / Davidson Road (south boundary)

Carp

>  McGee Side Road (north boundary), Oak Creek Road (west boundary), 417 Highway (east boundary), 417 Highway (south boundary)

Findlay Creek

> Leitrim Road (north boundary), Albion Road (west boundary), Hawthorne Road (east boundary), Rideau Road (south boundary)

Greely

> Rideau Road (north boundary), Manotick Station Road (west boundary), Sale Barn Road (east boundary), Old Prescott Road @ Stagecoach Road (south boundary)

Kanata

> Old Carp Road (north boundary), Terry Fox Drive (west boundary), Old Richmond (east boundary), Terry Fox Drive (south boundary)

Manotick

> Barnsdale Road / Rideau Road (north boundary), First Line Road (west boundary), Manotick Station Road (east boundary), Century Road East / Rideau Forest Drive / Gough Road (south boundary)

Nepean

> 417 Highway (north boundary), 416 Highway (west boundary), Prince of Wales (east boundary), Hunt Club Road (south boundary)

Richmond

> Garvin Road (north boundary), Joys Road (west boundary), Eagleson Road (east boundary), Ottawa Street (south boundary)

Riverside South

> Leitrim Road (north boundary), River Road (west boundary), Limebank Road (east boundary), Rideau Road (south boundary)

Rockcliffe Park & Vanier

> Sir George Etienne Cartier Parkway (north boundary), Vanier Parkway (west boundary), St. Laurent Boulevard (east boundary), 417 Highway (south boundary)

Stittsville

>  417 Highway (north boundary), West Ridge Drive (west boundary), Terry Fox Drive (east boundary), Flewellyn Road (south boundary)

Westboro & Whitehaven

> Ottawa River (north boundary), Pinecrest Road (west boundary), Parkdale Avenue (east boundary), 417 Highway (south boundary)

What if I don't see my address in one of your mini or regular teaching areas?

Unfortunately this summer we have decided to remove some of the teaching areas we previously serviced.  This is partially due to lack of stable demand in those areas as well as staffing shortages for the areas.

Areas that we will no longer service include: Orleans, Rothwell Heights, Blackburn Hamlet, Navan, Cumberland, Osgoode, Kars, North Gower, Smith Falls, Almonte, Carleton Place, Ashton, Munster, and Dunrobin.

How do your 30 minute lessons work in the mini teaching areas?

With this new service option, clients now have the opportunity to book 30 minute lessons for up to two children.  30 minute lessons will be available Monday – Friday during pre-desginated start times.  Clients can see current availability for June – August online in our booking system.  If you have more than two children or need more than 30 minutes, you will want to book our hourly lessons (available in 1 hour, 1.5 hour, and 2 hour lengths).

If you choose to book an individual lesson, you will simply book through the online booking system and pay at the checkout page.  If you are hoping to take advantage of one of our two Hippo Deal package options (and save some money), you will have to first purchase a Hippo Deal online and then use the auto-generated Hippo Deal code to book the lessons.  

We highly suggest that if you have two swimmers registered for the class, that they are in the same swim level or have very simlar swimming skills.  

How do your hourly backyard lessons work?

If you have children who need seperate lessons or have a group of children, then our hourly backyard lessons will be the best option!  When you book hourly lessons (1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2 hour options), the instructor will be at your pool for the amount of time and can divide the time between the registered swimmers.

For example, you could split a 1 hour lesson into two back-to-back 30 minute lessons and have up to two swimmers in each 30 minutes.  You could split a 1.5 hour backyard lesson into two back-to-back 45 minute lessons or a 1 hour lesson back-to-back with a 30 minute lesson.  Or if you have a more advanced swimmer who is hoping to improve their strokes and endurance, then you may want to book them a private 1 hour lesson just for them.

NOTE:  Our regular hourly backyard lessons cannot be converted into our mini teaching area 30 minute lessons.  You either book hourly lessons (1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2 hour) OR you book 30 minute mini teaching area lessons.

What swim program do you offer during backyard lessons?

As the Red Cross ended their swim program on December 31, 2022, Hippo in the Bathtub is now using our own swim program which came into effect on January 1, 2023.  The swim program has been tailored to complement our students’ learning environment: our custom indoor pools and our client’s backyard pools. 

As the swim students advance through the six levels in our “Swim Like a Hippo” curriculum, they will start by being comfortable in the pool and proceed to perform five strokes and a number of water safety, lifesaving, & survival skills.  The swim program is suitable for ages 1 -12 yrs old.  

You can learn more here: https://hippointhebathtub.ca/swimlikeahippo/

How will your instructors track swimmer progress during lessons?

After each backyard lesson, your instructor will only record your child’s swim level and which level skills your child was able to complete that lesson.  Once all skills are recorded as being successfully completed, your instructor will provide the swimmer with a report card.

What are your service terms and conditions for backyard lessons?

Refund Policy & Credit Expiry:  When requested, refunds will be provided minus a 25% administration fee.  Any unused backyard credits as of September 1, 2024 will automatically be refunded minus the 25% administration fee.  This includes cancelled backyard lessons and unused Hippo Deal credits for backyard services.  Note that when cacluating refunds for partial Hippo Deals, we will calculate the refund amount based on the used lesson(s) being at full price (individual price) and refund the difference.

Running Behind Schedule: Due to the nature of our backyard scheduling, our instructors reserve the right to be up to 15 minutes late to a lesson.  If they arrive up to 15 minutes late to a lesson, they will still teach the entire lesson once they arrive and no partial refunds or credits will be issued.  If our instrutcor is more than 15 minutes late, any further amount late (past the 15 minutes) will be credited or refunded to the client.  For example, if a client has a 1 hour lesson starting at 12:00 pm and their instructor arrives at 12:20 pm, the instructor will still teach from 12:20 – 1:15 pm and the missed 5 minutes will be credited or refunded.

Lesson Modification: Just as we allow clients to reschedule lessons for any reason, we reserve the right to cancel / reschedule lessons or adjust instructors as needed.  If we modify one or multiple of your lessons, we will send you an email notifying you of the change(s).

Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy:  All backyard appointments can be rescheduled or cancelled online at no cost up to 8 hours before the appointment start time. Any late-cancelled appointments will be considered forfeited. Forfeited appointments will only be allowed to be rescheduled upon payment of our backyard $39 + HST per hour late-rescheduling fee.

EXCEPTION: If you have a backyard service scheduled to start at or before 3:00 pm, we will accept same-day cancellations (without charge) if we are notified by email no later than 8:30 am.

Instructor Lesson Feedback: As our instructors are on a structured schedule, if you wish to receive detailed feedback after your child’s swim lesson, please notify the instructor at the beginning of the lesson and they will end the lesson early in order to provide the feedback. Instructors do need to leave your house at the end of your booked lesson. They will not be able to stay late after the lesson to provide the feedback.

What are your weather policy for backyard lessons?

It is completely up to clients to choose to reschedule their lesson if they do not wish to have their scheduled lesson that day. This includes if it is supposed to rain, thunderstorm, be too chilly to swim, etc. Lessons will proceed as scheduled unless a client reschedules or cancels the lesson.

If our instructor is at your house and the weather becomes unsafe for swimming (i.e. thunderstorm), they will end the lesson.  Any remaining time left in the appointment, will be credited to your client account at face value. Please note 30 minutes will always be charged regardless of the amount of lesson time that was able to occur before the unsafe weather started (this is to cover your instructor’s travel time).

All backyard appointments can be rescheduled or cancelled online at no cost up to 8 hours before the appointment start time. Any late-cancelled appointments will be considered forfeited. Forfeited appointments will only be allowed to be rescheduled upon payment of our backyard $39 + HST per hour late-rescheduling fee.

EXCEPTION: If you have a backyard service scheduled to start at or before 3:00 pm, we will accept same-day cancellations (without charge) if we are notified by email no later than 8:30 am.

Do you require swim waivers for swimmers?

Yes, we do require a signed waiver for all swimming lesson students.  The swim waiver for minors can be complete online by clicking here.  The link is also provided on the service intake form when booking online.

Backyard Lifeguarding

Are you hosting a pool party at your home this summer?  Hire one of our certified & insured lifeguards to help ensure that all swimmers have fun safely. 

Please note that when you book our regular lifeguarding services, your lifeguard(s) will only be responsible for guarding the pool.  They will not be able to run any games.  If you wish for us to both lifeguard and run games, you can book one of our Hippo Party packages!

Backyard Lifeguard Rate:  $65 + HST / hour per lifeguard

    • One lifeguard required per 20 swimmers (in the pool at a time)
    • Booking lengths available in 30 minute increments
    • 8 hour rescheduling for lifeguarding services

What rules will your lifeguard(s) enforce when lifeguarding?

In addition to the typical lifeguarding rules enforced at all pools (no running around the pool deck, no pushing, etc.), please note our lifeguards will have sole discretion to decide what entries are allowed into the pool as it will depend on the size and depth of your pool. At no time will flips of any type be allowed. Dives and other jumps into the deep end will be up to your lifeguards’ discretion. Your lifeguards will chat with you when they arrive at your backyard and can discuss if any additional rules should be enforced.  

What is your rescheduling policy for booked lifeguarding services?

6If you wish to reschedule a lifeguarding service for any reason, you can reschedule at no cost as long as you provide a minimum of 6 hours notice.

If it is past the 4 hour notice period and you wish to reschedule the lifeguard service, there will be a $39 + HST per hour late-rescheduling fee applied or the lifeguard service will be forfeited. A credit can also be issued for the lifeguard service cost minus the late-rescheduling fee if you wish to not pay the late-rescheduling fee and use the credit amount towards another of our services.

Bronze Star Course:  $799 + HST

The course can include up to four participants; minimum of two participants are required in order to run the course (the price listed is the total amount which then can be divided by the number of participants).  There is an additional fee of $10.35 + HST per student to cover the Lifesaving Society’s exam fees.  

Prerequisites: Must be between 10 -13 years of age
Course Length: 4 x 2.5 hour classes

This 10-hour course is excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard.  For more information about this course please visit: Official Ontario Life Saving Society Bronze Star Course Info

Backyard Hippo Parties

Are you hosting a birthday party in your backyard this summer?  Make it a Hippo Party!  

When you book one of our Hippo Party lifeguarding packages, we will send two of our lifeguards to your party.  One lifeguard will ensure that all swimmers remain safe while in the pool.  The other lifeguard will ensure that all the children at the party have a “Hippo” of a time!  Our lifeguards focus on ensuring that all the children are enjoying themselves so that parents can relax.

Basic Hippo Party (1.5 hrs):  $299 + HST (up to 15 swimmers)

  • Your lifeguards will pick pool games that the children seem excited for (i.e. swimming/relay races, jumping games, underwater swimming, Octopus, Marco Polo, etc.).  The games vary by party as children always have different ideas of what they consider fun.  Games will also vary based on the ages of the swimmers present and their swimming abilities.

Mermaid Hippo Party (1.5 hrs):  $389 + HST (up to 10 swimmers)

  • If you would like our lifeguards to bring mermaid tails, fins, and treasures, then choose our Mermaid Hippo Party!  Our mermaid instructor will introduce the swimmers to the magical world of swimming like a mermaid. Suitable for ages 4-10 years old.