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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

Smithville Lake is next destination for 50 Plus Fall Strolling program on Sept. 6
August 9, 2017

A Sept. 6 outing to the Smithville Lake is the first in a series of Wednesday Walks being presented  by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District this fall.

Also called Fall Strolling, this program lets participants make friends while exploring the great outdoors.  JCPRD does the driving while you can relax, listen to the wind and experience new destinations! Each outing till depart at 9 a.m. from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam. The cost for each six-hour outing, including van transportation to the walk site, is $19 per person for Johnson County residents or $21 for nonresidents. Participants should bring a sack lunch for a picnic after the walk, as well as a few dollars in case the group decides to stop for ice cream. Walkers should register at least one week prior to departure, and bring their own water bottle. The Inclement weather date for each walk is the following week.

For the Smithville Lake walk, participants will choose as a group from miles of paved trails that hug the banks of Smithville Lake and wind through the woods.  This walk is expected to requires an easy level of exertion.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords "Wednesday Walks.” For more information  or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at jcprd.com for the Smithville Lake walk, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 40346.

Other upcoming Wednesday Walks this fall include an outing to Weston Bend State Park on Oct. 25 (barcode 40347) and Cedar Crest trails in Topeka on Nov. 20 (barcode 40348).

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. 

Johnson County Museum presents new Homeschool History Adventures! series beginning Sept. 6
August 9, 2017

Homeschoolers can unearth the treasure of our local history during a new series of programs being presented this fall by the Johnson County Museum.

Homeschool History Adventures! is the name of this program, which is for ages eight to 12. 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 keyword “enrichment.”

The first program in the series is called Westward Ho, and will allow students to chart their course, pack their wagon, and set off on a life-changing adventure down the Oregon-California and Santa Fe trails. Along the way, they'll discover the story of these historical highways in our new exhibit, polish their map skills, work together with their traveling companions to make decisions about their journey, and chronicle their adventures using old-fashioned pen and ink!

This program is offered at two different dates and times. One program will take place beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept., 6 (barcode 40611), while the other will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7 (barcode 40612).

Other upcoming Homeschool History Adventures! programs this season will include: What to Wear on Oct. 4 and 5 (barcodes 40613 and 40614), "The Original Kansans on Nov. 1 and 2 (barcodes 40616 and 40617), and Life on the Homefront on Dec. 6 and 7 barcodes 40618 and 40619.

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.

 

New season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions begins Sept. 6 at Ernie Miller Nature Center
August 9, 2017

A new season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions is beginning at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe. Young children and their parents are invited to come listen and learn during any or all of the eight sessions scheduled on Wednesdays between Sept. 6 and Dec. 20.

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.”

The first program of this new season will be offered on Sept. 6 when the theme is “Butterfly Delight.” Other upcoming storytime sessions are scheduled for: Sept. 20, "Johnny Appleseed;" Oct. 4, "Spider Surprise;" Oct. 18, "Bats & Night Flight;" Nov. 1, "Fall Sights & Sounds;" Nov. 15, "Turkey Time;" Dec. 6, "Mrs. Claus Reads;" and Dec. 20, "A Visit with Santa." Each session takes place on a Wednesday and will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program.

Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. For more information, contact the Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.

“The Little Red Hen,” is subject of next museum Retro Story and Art Fun program on Sept. 6 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
August 9, 2017

If you can remember “The Poky Little Puppy,” you and your preschoolers will love the stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House during a series of programs being offered this fall by the Johnson County Museum.

This program is called Retro Story and Art Fun! and is for ages three to five with an adult. After each session's story presentation, enjoy an art activity for little hands. Stories change monthly, connecting to KidScape community environments, and Kansas Early Learning Standards. An adult must attend program with child. These programs take place beginning at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month through December at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

The cost for each 45-minute program is $2 per child, and museum members receive a 20 percent discount but must register by telephone to receive their discount. Registration for these programs does not include admission to the Johnson County Museum or to KidScape. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under enrichment &special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “early learning.”

The first program in the series is called “The Little Red Hen,” and will take place on Sept. 6. Published in 1953, this story is a long-time favorite about a hen, hard work, and the benefits of collaborating with friends. Act out the steps the hen took to bake bread, then create a red hen of your own to take home.

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 barcode search for 40511.

Other upcoming Retro Story and Art Fun! programs this season will include: “The Happy Man and His Dump Truck” (barcode 40512) on Oct. 4, "The Poky Little Puppy" on Nov. 1 (barcode 40513), and “Frosty the Snow man,” (barcode 40514) on Dec. 6. These programs can be booked as field trips for other groups too.

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.

2017 Fall Hayrides offered for organized groups at two parks
August 2, 2017

Enjoy the crisp autumn air by taking a hayride through  Oak Ridge Parklands at Shawnee Mission Park or in Heritage Park. Organized hayrides for groups are available through the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and conclude with a warm campfire where apple cider and marshmallows await!

JCPRD hayrides are tractor-drawn, last approximately one hour, and are followed by a one-hour campfire. The cost is $7 per person or a minimum of $80 when there are 12 riders or less. There is a maximum of 25 people per wagon and one adult per 10 children is required.

Hayrides are now being scheduled for dates between Sept. 16 and Nov. 19. Hayrides take place seven days a week during the above timeframe at Oak Ridge, 7460 Ogg Road, Shawnee; and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only at Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of the date of the hayride. Hayrides fill quickly, so please call early to assure your choice of dates. For scheduling and information, call (913) 831-3359.

To find this program in the My JCPRD 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 keyword “hayrides.”

For individuals or families wishing to participate in a hayride without having to worry about reaching minimum numbers or placing a deposit, two Public Hayrides are also being offered this fall. One will take place on Sept. 24, while the other will take place on Nov. 5. Both take place on Sundays and begin at 2:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge Parklands. The cost is also $7 per person for a one-hour ride followed by a one-hour campfire. Preregistration is required. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online, visit the district’s website at www.jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 39877 for the Sept. 24 ride or 39878 for the Nov. 5 ride.

 

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Upcoming Events

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August 23, 2017 | 10:30 am to 1:00 pm

50 Plus Summer Sunflower Bingo and Cookout in the Park

August 26, 2017 | 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

JCPRD U Kids Triathlon in Partnership with Charlie’s House

September 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

50 Plus Strolling Strings - Celebrate Fall

September 8, 2017 | 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Moths in the Moonlight

September 9, 2017 | 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

JCPRD Women’s Triathlon & Duathlon