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.


Open House
June 28 (Week One) • 1–5 p.m.
Get to know the Tennis Center facility and staff! Come try out all the new HEAD racquets and participate in a free round robin doubles/mini clinics from 1–2:30 p.m.

Tennis Round Robin Social
July 8 (Week Two) • 5:30 p.m.
A great opportunity to get to know other tennis players at Chautauqua. Round Robin doubles set up by staff followed by food and drinks under the Bechtolt Pavillion. Players are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Free for all members, $10 for non-members. 




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 $28/court hour
  Individual $420
  Couple $665
  Junior (17 & under) $230
  Individual $65
  Couple $95
  Junior (17 & under) $40
Season Weekend (Fri. 5 p.m. to Sun. 10 p.m.)
  Individual $165
  Couple $235
  Junior (17 & under) $95
  Individual $35
  Couple $50
  Junior $25

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 $28/court hour.

Tennis Center membership sign up


CHQ OFN 2019 Design

The Chautauqua Sports Club offers a wide variety of recreational and leisure activities during the summer season. The Sports Club is pleased to offer rentals of two new Smith Boys 23' Berkshire Pontoon Boats docked at Chautauqua Main Dock on a weekly, daily, and half-day basis during the season. The Sports Club offers kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals. In addition to renting the kayaks, we also offer guided kayak tours. Sports Club also offers fishing rod rentals and live bait, sports equipment, shuffleboard, lawn bowling, horseshoes, mah jongg, and bridge. Fees vary. Season and punch card passes are available for bridge and lawn bowling.

The Sports Club provides leagues for men's and women's softball. The Sports Club also hosts a Beach-to-Beach Color Sprint on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. and the popular annual Old First Night Run/Walk chip-timed fund-raising race on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 8 a.m.

Motor Boat Rentals (Weekly/Daily/Half Day)

  • Two New 23' Berkshire Pontoon Boats available 
  • Weekly reservations with 50% non-refundable deposit accepted pre-season
  • Reservation one day ahead with full non-refundable payment accepted for daily reservations
  • Walk-ins only for daily rentals during business hours 
  • Tubes, water skis, and boards available for rent
  • Pontoon Boats docked at Chautauqua Main Dock
  • All safety equipment included with rentals

Kayak/Canoe/Paddleboat Rentals

  • Single kayak (1 or 2 hour rentals)
  • Double kayak
  • Canoe
  • Paddle boat (half hour rentals) 
  • Life jackets provided with all boat rentals

Sailboat and stand-up paddle board rentals available at John R. Turney Sailing Center. 

Recreational Activities (Fees vary)

  • Shuffleboard (Must be 12 to play without adult supervision)
  • Lawn bowling (Age 14 and older)
  • Free 15 minute lawn bowling instruction at 1:15 p.m. prior to 1:30 p.m. session on MWTF — encouraged for beginners
  • Fishing (live bait for sale and fishing poles for rent)

Free Activities

  • Indoor and Outdoor Ping Pong
  • Corn Hole
  • Kan Jam
  • Small equipment loan (basketballs, volleyballs, chess, frisbee, checkers, board games)
  • Cable television access to all major sporting events 

2020 Events

Old First Night Run/Walk | Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 8 a.m.
Run or walk the 2.75 mile race around the perimeter of the grounds.
Proceeds benefit the Chautauqua Fund.

Beach-to-Beach Color Sprint | Thursday, July 9 at 4:30 p.m.

Weekly Guided Kayak Tours | Mondays & Wednesdays from 3–4 p.m. (fee included)

Weekly Duplicate Bridge Games | Sundays at 7 p.m. & Thursdays at 1 p.m. (fee included)

Weekly Mah Jongg Game | Tuesdays at 1 p.m. (fee)

Mah Jongg Tournament | TBD

Weekly Paddle and Popsicles | Tuesdays from 2–4 p.m.

Weekly Fishing Fun | Fridays from 3-5 p.m.

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 two 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 & Waterfronts

Beaches & Waterfronts

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.

Closed for the season

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. 

Closed for the season

Heinz Waterfront, located on South Lake Drive in front of the Heinz Fitness Center. 

This waterfront area is provided for sunbathing and fishing purposes. Fishing poles can be rented and nightcrawlers purchased at the Sports Club located on the shoreline in front of the Athenaeum Hotel.

Closed for the season

University Waterfront, 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 mussel shells.

This waterfront area is provided for sunbathing and fishing purposes. Fishing poles can be rented and nightcrawlers purchased at the Sports Club located on the shoreline in front of the Athenaeum Hotel.

Closed for the season

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.

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 website, to learn about CYC events.