CHQ’s recreational programs for youth present a diversity of activity, in settings varied and historic.

Registration information: 716.357.6276

Tennis has a long and rich tradition at Chautauqua. Originally introduced by co-founder Bishop John Vincent in 1878, the first lawn tennis court was set up along Chautauqua's lakefront.

Chautauqua Tennis Center

The Chautauqua Tennis Center, is located directly behind the Turner Community Center on Route 394 and boasts eight state-of-the-art, fast-dry courts. Using the patented "Hydro-Grid" system, the clay-like playing surface is kept uniformly moist by a sub-surface irrigation system. The result is a court that is consistent, gives a true bounce, is gentle on the feet and legs of players, and also drains exceptionally well, allowing for a quick return to play even after heavy rain. Two of the courts are illuminated for night play.




Member benefits include no daily court fees, reduced rates for lessons and tournaments, complimentary use of ball machine and discounts on selected merchandise. Full playing season: May 15–October 15. Daily court fee: $24/court hour





Full Playing Season








Season Weekend








Weekends begin at 5 p.m. Friday and end at 10 p.m. Sunday. Youth ages 17 and under are eligible for junior membership. Hourly rates for non-members are $24/court hour.

Tennis Center membership sign up


Chautauqua OFN Poster 2017The Chautauqua Sports Club offers a wide variety of recreational and leisure activities. Services include kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals, sports equipment, shuffleboard, horseshoes, bridge and lawn bowling. Fees vary and season passes are available for bridge and lawn bowling.

The Sports Club also provides leagues for men's and women's softball, and sponsors the annual Old First Night Run/Walk on July 29, 2017. A comfortable living room setting at the Sports Club provides cable television access to all major sporting events.



Boating Rentals

Life jackets provided with all boat rentals.

  • Canoe/rowboat
  • Double kayak
  • Single kayak
  • Paddle boat

Saliboat rentals available at John R. Turney Sailing Center. 

Lawn Activities


Shuffleboard (Must be 12 to play without adult supervision)


Lawn bowling:

  • Age 14 and older
  • Saturday - Sunday (appointment only)
  • Lawn bowling instruction available — required for beginners

Other Activities

(Must be 12 to play without adult supervision)

Fishing Poles
(Live bait available. Adults – NYS Fishing License required)

Small equipment loan
(basketballs, volleyballs, chess sets, board
games, etc.)

Mah Jongg
(Tuesday: 1–3 p.m.)

(Thursday: 1:15 p.m. and Sunday: 7 p.m.)


Sports Club Information

With an extensive and scenic waterfront, CHQ has always celebrated its connection to the lake, and swimming has remained a popular past-time. The 25 yard indoor pool at the Turner Community Center is open daily throughout the year for lap swimming, open family swims and private rentals.

Members of Chautauqua Health & Fitness receive complimentary admission to the pool. Separate pool memberships may also be purchased. Children 6 and under must be accompanied in the water by a responsible adult (18 years or older).

Chautauqua Institution maintains four public beaches, open daily (see hours & phone numbers below) and supervised by certified lifeguards during the summer season. Swimming is only allowed at our swim areas when lifeguards are on duty. Children must pass a deep end test unassisted at each beach in order to swim in deep water.



Beaches will be closed until the 2018 season. Lifeguard must be present to swim in designated beaches.

Children’s Beach, by the Miller Bell Tower, provides a shallow swimming area and sand beach for youth and their families. Children unable to stand alone with their head above water or in need of flotation devices must be accompanied in the water by an adult.
Hours of Operation: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Pier Beach, adjacent to Children’s Beach is a deep water swimming area. All children must pass a deep end test in order to swim here. New this season: Water X at the Waterfront will be offered at Pier Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m.–10:15 a.m. It serves as a fun way to get in shape in the midst of a beautiful setting. Check out the Special Studies catalog for more details.
Hours of Operation: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Heinz Beach, located on South Lake Drive in front of the Heinz Fitness Center. Lane Lines will be in place for individuals who would like to get an early morning swim in the lake.
Hours of Operation: 8–11 a.m.

University Beach, located on North Lake Drive directly below the President’s Cottage, has a shallow and deep end. Water shoes are recommended due to the mostly rocky bottom and presence of zebra muscle shells.
Hours of Operation: 2–5 p.m.

Chautauqua's Sailing Department presents a comprehensive curriculum of one-week sailing courses. The courses have been carefully designed to advance the sailing skills of all -- youth to adult and novice to advanced sailors.

The John R. Turney Sailing Center provides a home base for the programs and services of Chautauqua's Sailing Department. The Center includes a classroom and administration building, docks and a storage facility.

Call the Sailing Department during the summer season (716) 357-6392 or stop by the John R. Turney Sailing Center with your questions regarding course content, class suitability, or private lessons.

More Sailing Experiences

In addition to our structured courses, the Sailing Department provides sailing experiences to Boys' & Girls' Club participants, offers guided sailing excursions for families and small groups, and provides staff for individualized private lessons. A variety of sailboats are also available for rent.

We are equipped to provide courses and lessons using a variety of sailboats including the Optimist Dinghy, Vanguard 420, Sunfish, Laser, Lightning, Flying Scot, and Precision 185. Our staff is drawn from experienced high school and collegiate sailors as well as from seasoned professionals, the majority of whom are experienced competitive racers and US Sailing Certified Instructors. Picturesque Chautauqua Institution and the splendid waters of Chautauqua Lake assure a memorable setting for your sailing experience with us.

Sailing Information

Meet the Staff


Rental Fleet

  • Sunfish 12'
  • Flying Scot's 19'

Sailboat rentals are done on an hourly basis and offered to qualified sailors.
Please call the sailing center, or stop in, to schedule a time to rent the desired boat.

Chautauqua Yacht Club

The CYC, an independent CHQ organization, offers racing opportunities for C-Scows, Flying Scots, and Lightnings every Saturday and Sunday from the first weekend of the Season through Labor Day, for all sailors interesting in racing. Please check the web site, to learn about CYC events.