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Park and Recreation

Phone: 913-438-7275

7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66219

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park and recreation

For more than 50 years, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District has provided high-quality parks, park services and recreational programs in more than 6,000 acres of parkland and open green space. Each year, the District records more than 7 million park visitors and nearly 1.5 million recreation participations in over 4,000 programs. The District's contributions to the personal lives of Johnson County's citizens have earned the District local appreciation and national acclaim.

Department News

Animal Tales Storytime sessions continue on Feb. 7, 14, and 21
January 17, 2018

Beavers, owls, and birds are the themes of  February Animal Tales Storytime sessions  being presented by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department at two locations. Young children and their parents are invited to come listen and learn during any or all of the seven remaining sessions scheduled on select Wednesdays through April 18.

Animal Tales Storytime is for ages two to six. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This program will feature stories, songs, and surprises. Participants will also get to meet a special animal friend at each session. Animal Tales Storytime was one of the many programs cited when the Ernie Miller Nature Center won an Oracle Award for Organizational Service and Leadership in the South Central Region from the National Storytelling Network a few years ago. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “storytelling.”

February Animal Tales presentations at the Ernie Miller Nature Center include:  a Feb. 7 session called "Busy Beavers;" and a Feb. 21 session called "Birds in the Trees."  In addition, a Feb. 14 session called  "I Heart Owls"  is being offered at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park.

The cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program. Each session takes place on a Wednesday , and the EMNC sessions begin at 10:30 a.m., while the JCAHC session begins at 10 a.m.

Other upcoming presentations at Ernie Miller Nature Center include:   a March 7 session called "Animal Riddles;" a March 21 session called  "S is for Snakes;" an April 4 session called, "Who's Under the Rocks?," and a session on April 18 called "Mother Nature." No additional sessions this season are planned at JCAHC.

Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is located at 8788 Metcalf, Overland Park. For more information about this program, contact the Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.

Winter Wonderland Bingo for 50 Plus set for Feb. 7
January 12, 2018

"Winter Wonderland" is the theme of the next bingo session being offered in early February by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

All of this season's bingo sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Bingo prizes include  gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. The cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person for Johnson County residents or $6 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under enrichment & special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “games.” For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for the barcodes listed below.

The  "Winter Wonderland" bingo session  will take place on Feb. 7 at the Matt Ross Community Center (barcode 41786). Other upcoming winter and early spring 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include: "Oreo® Cookie Day" on March 6 at the  Tomahawk Ridge Community Center,  11902 Lowell, Overland Park  (barcode 41787); "Baskets and Bunnies" on March 22 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Dr., Roeland Park ; "Garden Party" on April 9 at MRCC (barcode 41917); and "April Showers" on April 20 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee (barcode 41789).

While JCPRD’s 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the 50 Plus Department at (913) 826-3030 for space availability.

Printed copies of the My JCPRD Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. 

Learn about upcoming travel destinations when JCPRD presents 50 Plus Travel Show on Feb. 6
January 12, 2018

Join fellow travelers in search of new destinations to explore and trips to take when the 50 Plus Department of the  Johnson County Park & Recreation District presents a Travel Show on Feb. 6 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center.

During this free three-hour event, participants will spend an afternoon meeting 50 Plus travel professionals while previewing our scheduled destinations and beautiful vacation spots.  Learn about the benefits of choosing to travel with us and see photos of our past travel experiences.  Brochures and itineraries are available to help you choose where you want to go on your first trip, your tenth trip, or your 50th trip!  Attendees are eligible for door prizes and Travel Show booking incentives.

The Feb. 6 Travel Show will take place beginning at 1 p.m., at the  Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Call (913) 826-3030 to RSVP.

While JCPRD’s 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the 50 Plus Department at (913) 826-3030 for space availability.

The My JCPRD Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. 

Sunday Family Series continues during February at Ernie Miller Nature Center
January 12, 2018

Bring the family to the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Nature Center in February for Sunday Nature Programs. Presentations  begin at 2 p.m., last about 45 minutes, and are designed for all ages. A charge of $3 per person, payable at the site, helps cover the cost of the programs; children under two  are free.

February presentations will include:

  • Feb. 4 : Animal Clues - Find out what clues to look for on your next walk through the park and meet an animal that leaves tracks in the snow.
  • Feb. 11: Laura's Memories  - Step back into time and celebrate the life and birthday (Feb. 7) of beloved author, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Meet “Laura” herself as she tell the stories that inspired the classic “Little House” books. 
  • Feb. 18: I Heart Spiders - Discover the beauty and purpose of these quiet critters.  See live spiders up close.
  • Feb. 25: Wildlife Who's Who  - Meet an amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal. Discover their similarities and differences.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and is located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

To find these programs in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under fun for all and then under special events. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “nature programs.” For more information on the Sunday Nature Programs, call (913) 764-7759.

Learn about the Underground Railroad during next Homeschool History Adventures session on Feb. 1 & 2
January 12, 2018

Learn more about the Underground Railroad during the next Homeschool History Adventures programs presented by the Johnson County Museum in early February.

During these programs, which are  for ages seven to 13, participants will examine artifacts from the museum's collection, explore the museum's main exhibit called "Becoming Johnson County," and put their brains and hands to work with interactive projects, games, and activities in the museum classroom. These monthly sessions serve as an engaging supplement to homeschool curriculums, and give students the opportunity to build both new friendships and a new appreciation for what came before us.

These programs take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The cost for each two-hour program is $6 per person, and museum members receive a 20 percent discount but must register by telephone to receive their discount. Registration includes admission to the Johnson County Museum and to KidScape. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a search for the barcodes listed below.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under enrichment &special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “museum activities.”

The next program in the series is called Lamp of Freedom. Through a living history presentation, participants will  step back to 1858 before the Civil War along the Kansas Territory and Missouri border with special guest storyteller Molly Postlewait! She performs as Georgette, a farm girl, in her interactive “Lamp of Freedom” program, bringing to life the experience of slavery and the Underground Railroad in this area. Student will make local history connections with the museum’s exhibit and activities after the program. This program is offered at two different dates and times. One program will take place beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 (barcode 41995), while the other will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2 (barcode 41996).

Other upcoming Homeschool History Adventures programs this season will include: "Hold the Phone, History's Calling" on March 1 and 2 (barcodes 41997and 41998), and "What's Cookin'" on April 5 and 6 barcodes 42000 and 42001.

These programs are also eligible for credit in the Mindfulness dimension for the JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement  Badges and Awards. To register for JCPRD U call Nathan at (913) 826-2950.

The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

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Upcoming Events

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January 27, 2018 | 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Lovey-Dovey Art Mart

January 28, 2018 | 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Sunday Family Nature Series - Kansas Symbols

January 29, 2018 | 6:00 am to 11:00 pm

JCPRD Summer Camp Registration begins online at 6 am

February 4, 2018 | 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Sunday Family Nature Series - Animal Clues

February 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

50 Plus Travel Show