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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

Underground Railroad is theme of Sept. 24 50 Plus Day Trip

Learn about Underground Railroad efforts in Kansas during a late September day trip being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

The trip is called the Underground Railroad Adventure Walk and will combine outdoor activity with in-depth history. Participants will visit the Mt. Mitchell Heritage Prairie Preserve near Wamego, where Historian Richard Pitts will guide the group to Underground Railroad sites while telling stories of those seeking freedom in sage houses. Follow the footsteps of those seeking freedom and learn about their courageous journey. The total walking distance is about one mile.

 

To find this trip in the JCPRD’s 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."

 

This trip will leave at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and return at approximately 4 p.m. The cost is $59 per person. Participants should bring a sack lunch. Register early as seating is limited.

 

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 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. For updated program listings, visit the District's website at www.jcprd.com.

Come read by the fire during new 50 plus program

Don't keep a good book to yourself! Come share your most recent book discovery beside a crackling fire during a free new reading program being offered this fall by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

The program is called Favorites by the Fire, and meets in the Hearth Room at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. Each month, participants will gather on a Monday afternoon to discuss what they've been reading while enjoying light refreshments.

 

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under enrichment and special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “reading.”

 

Favorites by the Fire will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, and Dec. 15. Each session will last an hour and there is no cost for this program, so feel free to join in at any time.

 

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,  is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information, call (913) 826-3160. For updated program listings, visit the district's website at www.jcprd.com.

New Scouts Wildlife Adventure event is Sept. 20 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Area Cub Scouts and Webelos can learn about nature while pursuing badges or electives during a new special events being planned at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Park.

 

The event is called Scouts Wildlife Adventure and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas Highway, Olathe. This event is tailored to scouts in grades one through five and is specifically designed to assist with Tiger Cub Electives 31 and 32, Wolf  Cub Elective 13, Bear Cub Achievement 5, or the Webelos Naturalist Activity Badge.

 

To meet badge and elective requirements, participants will have the opportunity to meet with a JCPRD Park Naturalist and Park Police Officer to explore what they do to help conserve wildlife and our local wild areas. There will also be opportunities to discover wildlife in our area by meeting live animals from the nature center and learn about endangered and extinct species.  Other planned activities include building a bird feeder to take home, a chance to go bird watching in the park, a bug hunt, and an opportunity to learn about poisonous plant and animals.

 

This event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Ernie Miller Nature Park, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. This event is open to dens, as well as individuals. The cost for one two-hour event is $5 per person, including adults, payable on site. Reservations are required and can be obtained by calling (913) 764-7759.

 

The Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more about the Butterflies and Wildflowers event, call (913) 764-7759.

2014 Fall Hayrides offered for organized groups at two parks

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 $6.50 per person or a minimum of $75 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. 20 and Nov. 23. 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 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 “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. 28, while the other will take place on Nov. 2. Both take place on Sundays and begin at 2:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge Parklands. The cost is $6.50 per person for a one-hour ride followed by a one-hour campfire. Preregistration is required. To register, visit the District's website at www.jcprd.com or call (913) 831-3359.

New Mah Jongg Tournament for 50 plus set for Sept. 17

Test your skills and have fun during a new Mah Jongg Tournament being presented on Sept. 17 by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

Mah Jongg is the popular Chinese tile collecting game which uses tiles with symbols on them. Some find the game, which has been played in China since the time of Confucius,  elps with memory and concentration, and it is also a great way to meet new people.

 

This tournament will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell, Overland Park. Lunch will be served at noon and some great door prizes are included in this day of play.

 

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under enrichment & special interests. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “Mah Jongg.”

 

The cost for one four-and-one-half-hour session, including lunch, is $10 per person for Johnson County residents or $11 for nonresidents.

 

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 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, they are welcome to participate.

 

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, see the District’s website at www.jcprd.com.

Roeland Park Aquatic Center dome to be reinstalled Sept. 15-17

The Roeland Park Aquatic Center will be closed to the public for about three days for the annual reinstallation of the air-supported dome which makes the facility's main pool usable during the winter months.

 

The Aquatics Center, located at 4843 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park, will be closed Monday, Sept. 15 through Wednesday, Sept. 17. These plans are dependent on good weather and could be delayed by inclement conditions such as rain or wind.*

 

It takes 50 to 60 people, working on tarps used to temporarily cover the pool, to help handle the 6,800 pounds of vinyl-coated polyester-based fabric which makes up the dome. When inflated, the three-section structure measures 210 feet by 106 feet and has a capacity of approximately 22,260 square feet.

 

The dome remains in place over the main pool from September through mid-May, when it is taken down prior to Memorial Day to provide an open-air facility for the summer months.  The fall reinstallation of the dome also signals the seasonal closure of some of the RPAC's outdoor facilities, including the youth pool, water slide, group slide, and vortex pool.

 

Following reinstallation of the dome, other steps to be completed prior to opening include installation of the 1-  and 3-meter diving boards and interior lights at the dome.

 

Individual admissions to the RPAC for the indoor season (September through May) are based on age and residence. Admission for ages two and under is free, regardless of residence. For ages three through 59, the cost is $6 per person for Roeland Park residents, $7 per person for Johnson County residents, and $8 per person for nonresidents. For ages 60 and older, the cost is $5.50 per person for Roeland Park residents, $6.50 per person for Johnson County residents, and $7.50 per person for nonresidents.

 

Season and annual passes as well as multiple-visit punch cards are also available to both Roeland Park residents and nonresidents. Open swim sessions are held Monday through Thursday from noon to 4:30 p.m. daily and on Friday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The facility is also available for birthday parties.

 

For information on current happenings at the facility, call the aquatics center at (913) 432-1377.

 

The RPAC is owned by the City of Roeland Park and is operated by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

 

For specific information on dome installation plans, please call Aquatics and Sports Dome Manager Jim Armstrong at (913) 432-1377.*

Free Out-Of-Library Storytime programs begin Sept. 8 at Mill Creek Activity Center

The Johnson County Library has teamed with the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Mill Creek Activity Center to present a special free storytime experience each Monday for seven weeks beginning in early September.

 

Out-of-Library Storytime is the name of this program, which is for all ages and will feature storytellers offering books, stories, songs, and puppets. This program is an extension of the library's Early Literacy 6 by 6 initiative, which encourages parents and caregivers to help their children develop the six skills needed by age six to learn to read. While selected especially for preschoolers, these programs can be enjoyed by all. To find these programs in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under fun for all then under enrichment & special interests. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “storytime.”

 

This program  will begin at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, beginning Sept. 8, at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee. Out-of-Library Storytime will last about 30 minutes. Registration is not required, so feel free to drop in and enjoy any or all of the programs.

 

The JCPRD’s Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information about this program, call (913) 826-2950. For updated program listings, see the District’s website at www.jcprd.com.

New Grandparents and Grandpals Social event is Sept. 7 at Roeland Park Community Center

Show your grandparents or grandpals just how sweet they are this Grandparents' Day during a new special event featuring an ice cream social and more being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.

 

The event, which is for all ages, is called the Grandparents and Grandpals Social and will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7. Participants will savor ice cream sundaes with all the toppings, play bingo, and preserve memories with a thought book for you and your grandparents or grandpal to fill out together.

 

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 keywords "special event."

 

The cost for this two-and-one-half-hour event is $9 per person. Preregister by calling (913) 826-3160 by Sept. 2.

 

The JCPRD 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 or for updated program listings, see the district’s website at www.jcprd.com.

Presentation of T.A.K.E. Self-Defense Program on the Field at Kauffman Stadium is Sept. 6

A presentation of The Ali Kemp Educational (T.A.K.E.) Foundation Self-Defense Seminar on the playing field at Kauffman Stadium will take place on Sept. 6. The Kansas City Royals, 99.7 The Point, and the Johnson County Park & Recreation District have teamed to present this free program.

 

This award-winning program, which is being presented at Kauffman Stadium for the seventh year, will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6 and will last about two hours. Participants are asked to complete a registration form they can find online at http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/community/take_defense.jsp and bring it with them, but officials said walk-in participants will be accepted on the day of the event. This seminar is taking place on a Saturday when the Royals are out of town.

 

Those planning to arrive from east to west can enter the stadium through Gate 2 and proceed to Gate D. Those planning to arrive from north to south can enter the stadium through Gate 6 and proceed to Gate B.  In case of inclement weather on the day of the event, those planning to attend are asked to call (913) 826-2951 to be advised of cancellation or rescheduling of the event. Participants should consider bringing sunglasses and sunscreen. Bottled water will be provided.

 

JCPRD Corporate and Community Wellness Manager Jill Leiker said the first half-hour of the class, consisting of verbal instruction and talk about safety awareness, will take place with participants in the stands. For the hands-on training portion, Leiker will move to a stage on the turf and participants will move onto the field.

 

The T.A.K.E. self-defense program represents a living legacy in honor of Ali Kemp, a 19-year-old Leawood resident who was murdered while working as a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool in Johnson County. The goal of the program is to raise awareness and to give women ages 12 and older the self-protection skills they need to avoid becoming victims of violent crime. The program has been presented to more than 54,000 women and girls since mid-2004.

 

Ali’s father, Roger Kemp, received the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal in recognition not only for founding her foundation and T.A.K.E. Defense, but also for his campaign using billboards to picture criminal suspects, a tactic which has since been adopted by law enforcement across the United States, including the FBI. In 2005, the Kansas Recreation and Park Association honored the T.A.K.E. program with its Innovative Program of the Year Award. The following year, it won an achievement award in the safety category from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Experience "A Day in Nature" wellness program at Ernie Miller Nature Center on Sept. 6

Tap into the power of nature during a one-session wellness program for adults being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

 

The program is called A Day in Nature and is for ages 14 and older. Recent scientific research has shown that being outdoors is a powerful tool for improving your quality of life. In this program, participants will spend an afternoon surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. The program will begin with some gentle stretching, followed by a relaxing walk in nature and some yoga on the trail. Nature journaling activities are aimed at sparking creativity and the program will conclude with a healthy snack.

 

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under fitness & health. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword "wellness."

 

A Day in Nature will take place beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6. The cost for one two and one-half hour session is $29 for Johnson County residents or $32 for nonresidents. Preregistration is required.

 

The JCPRD 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.

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