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johnson county recreation
While people in Johnson County work hard, they like their downtime as well, and we offer many wonderful places for individuals and families to learn, play, relax, be active, and enjoy the outdoors. Johnson County’s dozens of parks, recreation facilities, lakes, and public gardens offer something for everyone. Checkout one of Johnson County’s 13 libraries, spend an afternoon at the Johnson County Museum, or when the weather is warm enjoy a movie or Broadway show at Theatre in The Park. Our recreational amenities play a huge role in Johnson County being a community of choice.

Recreation News

Sensory Time at the Museum -- NEW program starting March 2015!

image of KidScape exhibit logoSensory Time at the Museum
 Offered the 1st and 3rd Thursday every month starting in March 2015!

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Fee: Free event, but space is limited to 20 children. Reservations required. Please call (913) 715-2575 to reserve your child's spot!

KidScape can be a loud and exciting environment and sometimes that can be a challenge for children with sensory integration and processing needs. Developed in partnership with Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County,  Sensory Time at the Museum is a free opportunity for these children and their families to experience the museum at their own pace before the museum opens to the public.

Special activities have been added to KidScape exhibit to support pretend play while working on fine motor skills along with sensory integration activities such as tactile fun and lacing in the Boutique, go fishing and play golf in the Park, play with echo microphones and practice self-dressing skills with the costumes in the Theater, count the packages at the Post Office and carry the heavy satchel as you make your deliveries, cuddle with a beanbag chair and enjoy some quiet time as you read book and explore the Seeking the Good Life exhibit with a fun seek and find activity!

Location: Johnson County Museum, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, KS, 913-715-2550.

Spring Break Geocaching Event is March 14 in Antioch Park

Looking for a way to keep the kids busy this spring break?  Join the fun of a scavenger hunt on March 14 during a Spring Break Geocaching Event being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District at Antioch Park.

This modern-day scavenger hunt is for all ages. Participants will receive the use of a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, how-to instruction, and a new prize at each cache they uncover. After the hunt, join us at Shelter #4 for hotdogs and s’mores.  To find this program 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 keyword “geocaching.”

This program will meet on the patio of the east side of Building A in Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, beginning at 10 a.m. The cost for one two-hour session is $10 per person for Johnson County residents or $11 per person for nonresidents. A family rate for up to four people is offered at $27 for Johnson County residents or $30 for nonresidents. Participants registered as a family will receive one GPS unit. Preregistration  by March 6 is required for this program.

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 26211.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Environmental dimension for the new 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, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

Country cooking and entertainment planned for 50 Plus day trip on March 13

Experience some down-home country cooking as well as some great live entertainment  during a mid-March day trip being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Chicken-N-Pickin is the name of this trip to Walnut, Kan., where travelers will enjoy down-home cooking and great entertainment at the Duling Family Dinner Theatre. Savor their famous pan-fried chicken cooked in a cast-iron skillet and served with homemade fixings. Participants will also experience two hours of entertainment with toe-tapping country and gospel music  they’re sure to remember at this unique theater in a remodeled dairy barn.

To find this program in the JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under travel. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “day trip.”

The bus will leave Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 13, and participants will get back to Antioch Park by 5 p.m. The cost, including transportation, lunch, and the show, is $79 per person. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3030. To see this program online at www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for 26157.

While JCPRD 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 this program are invited to call (913) 831-3030, and if space is available without forfeiting the place of a person over 50, their registration can be taken.

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

New Kids’ Night Out - St. Patrick’s Day Party for ages 7-12 is March 13 at RPCC

Children ages seven to 12 are invited to a Kids’ Night Out St Patrick’s Day part on the evening of Friday, March 13. This new event is being planned by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Only kids are allowed at this magical night of St. Patrick’s Day fun. Participants will search for clues in a leprechaun’s scavenger hunt leading them to his pot of gold, create Pat Patrick Days crafts, eat dinner, and enjoy a shamrock treat. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under special event. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “special events.”

This program will run from 6 to 9  p.m., on Friday, March 13, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Roeland Park. The cost for one three-hour event, including dinner, is $16 per child for Johnson County residents or $18 per child for nonresidents. 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 26984.

Another Kids’ Night out event at RPCC is planned for Friday, April 17, when the theme is Carnival Fun. House and costs for this event are the same as above. The barcode for this event is 26297.

These programs are also eligible for credit in the Social dimension for the new 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, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

Spring Break Trout Stocking set for Friday, March 13

Bring the kids and start out spring break week by watching as hundreds of pounds of squirming rainbow trout are stocked in two Johnson County Park & Recreation District lakes.

These Supplemental Spring Break Trout Stockings will take place on Friday, March 13, at each respective lake's boat ramp. Stocking of about 600 pounds of trout at Kill Creek will begin at 2:30 p.m.; and stocking of about 1,400 pounds of trout at Shawnee Mission Park will begin at 3:45 p.m. Following the stockings, both lakes will be closed to fishing until the following day's park opening at 5 a.m.

This supplemental stocking follows an earlier stocking of about 5,400 pounds of trout in the two lakes on Feb. 25 and the official beginning of the 2015 trout season on Feb. 28.

Trout stockings at Heritage Park Lake have been discontinued for the foreseeable future.

"The shallow water conditions at Heritage Park are unfortunately no longer suitable for the stocking of rainbow trout," explained JCPRD Field Biologist Matt Garrett. "The rapidly fluctuating water temperature and oxygen levels are too dramatic for the sensitive fish. We hope a future restoration project for the lake will improve conditions, similar to what was done at Shawnee Mission Park in 2007."

No schedule or funding for a Heritage Park Lake restoration project have been set at this time.

JCPRD's rainbow trout program is totally funded by monies collected through JCPRD fishing and trout permits. Purchasing a permit allows anglers to collect a daily limit of four trout. Before fishing for trout in district waters, Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license. Additionally, Johnson County residents ages 16 to 64 and non-county residents age 16 and older must have a JCPRD fishing permit. All persons, regardless of age or residency must also possess a JCPRD trout permit. Trout permits are required whether you plan to keep your catch (up to a daily limit of four) or release the trout you catch. Permits are available at the JCPRD Registration Office, Building D, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam;  the John Barkley Visitor Center at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road; and at numerous local retail outlets.

To find this program 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 keyword "fishing."

For more information on this program, contact the Visitor's Center at Shawnee Mission Park at (913) 888-4713. The center is open seven days a week.

Missouri's Wallace State Park is March 11 destination for 50 Plus Spring Strolling program

Located just north of Kansas City, Missouri's Wallace State Park is the next destination for the Spring Strolling program being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This series of three walks are intended as opportunities for participants to make new friends while exploring the great outdoors. The first walk on Feb. 25 took participants to Kansas City, Mo's, historic Riverfront Heritage Trail, and a planned April 22 will take walkers to Lake Shawnee.

Each outing takes place on a Wednesday and will 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 $18 per person for Johnson County residents or $20 for nonresidents. Participants should bring a sack lunch for a picnic after the walk, and a few dollars in case we decide to stop for ice cream.

To find these programs in the JCPRD’s 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."

The Wallace State Park walk on March 11 will involve the park's Old Quarry and Skunk Hollow trails, each about 1.25 miles long. This hike is expected to require a moderate level of exertion. To register for this walk at www.jcprd.com, follow the "Register for Activities" link and complete a barcode search for 26444.

The Lake Shawnee walk on April 22 will take participants to the annual Tulip Time Festival, which includes an exploration of the Ted Ensley Gardens. Mileage will depend on ability, but could range from one to seven miles. This hike is expected to require an easy level of exertion. To register for this walk at www.jcprd.com, complete a barcode search for 26445.

While the 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 District's Registration Department at (913) 831-3359, and if space is available without forfeiting the place of a person over 50, their registration can be taken.

The JCPRD's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online and for updated program listings, visit the District's website at www.jcprd.com.

50 Plus plans an Irish Celebration with Celtique at Matt Ross Community Center on March 11

Celebrating the Emerald Isle and National Irish American Heritage Month is the goal of a special event being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Now in its third year, this Irish Celebration with Celtique is planned for March 11, and will involve a performance of Irish music by the local band Celtique. Among the instruments the group uses are the guitar, tenor banjo, bodhran, and keyboards. The event will also involve Irish trivia, and an opportunity to learn a basic Gaelic dance.  Refreshments will be served. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under special events. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “Irish event.”

This program will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty, Overland Park.  The cost for this two-hour event is $9 per person. Those planning to attend are asked to register by March 4 by calling (913) 642-6410. 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 26164.

While the 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 District's Registration Department at (913) 831-3359, and if space is available without forfeiting the place of a person over 50, their registration can be taken.

The JCPRD Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Free New Horizons Band Concert set for March 10 at Roeland Park Community Center

A free concert by the New Horizons Band is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Roeland Park.  This concert is the first of three the group is offering this winter and spring. For this event, the entire 45+ member ensemble is expected to play for about an hour. This top-notch entertainment is free of charge.

The New Horizons Band is a program of the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District in conjunction with the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and Meyer Music. The band is a group of music-loving adults age 50 and older who meet about once a week to practice. The group includes brass, woodwind, and percussion. New Horizons has been in existence for about 15 years and currently has about 45 band members, including members who come from as far as Blue Springs to participate. The band is directed by Dr. Lindsey Williams, who is an associate professor of music education at the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music.

Other New Horizons Band concerts are set for May 5 and 12. For anyone interested in joining the group, the band meets for practices weekly on Tuesday nights beginning at 6 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center. Beginning band lessons are also available. For more information about the band or the upcoming concerts, call (913) 826-3160.

JCPRD summer park hours begin March 1

Summer hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. go into effect March 1 for many Johnson County Park & Recreation District parks. These summer hours will stay in effect through Oct. 31.

District parks impacted by the new hours are: Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe; Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee;  and Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe. Summer hours for Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Other District parks with year-round dawn to dusk hours include: Ernie Miller Park, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe; Sunflower Nature Park, 103rd St. and Edgerton Road, rural De Soto; Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, 12500 W. 119th Street, Overland Park; Camp Branch Glade, 175th & Mission Road in Aubry Township, and  Streamway Parks System access points.

For more information, visit the District’s website at www.jcprd.com or call (913) 888-4713.

Cane Fu self defense class for 50 plus begins March 9

If you use a cane for walking, you can empower yourself with a low intensity martial arts class which will turn your cane into a weapon.

This program is called Cane Fu and is being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. Participants will learn basic fitness moves which can strengthen your body and prepare it for self defense. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under fitness & health. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “exercise.”

Cane Fu will meet at 2 p.m. on Monday beginning March 9 at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. The cost for eight 50-minute sessions is $56 per person for Johnson County residents or $62 per person for nonresidents.

While the 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 District’s Registration Department at (913) 831-3359, and if space is available without forfeiting the place of a person over 50, their registration can be taken.

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 26268. Printed copies of JCPRD’s Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Upcoming Events

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March 2, 2015 | 12:00 pm

Strong People

March 4, 2015 | 10:30 am to 11:00 am

Animal Tales Storytime - Moonlight Animals

March 4, 2015 | 12:00 pm

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