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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

Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids event returns to the Theatre in the Park on April 13

A popular special event which lets kids get an up-close look at big rigs, tractors, and all types of equipment will return to the Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park in mid-April.

The event is called Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids and will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in the parking lot at the Theatre in the Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee. Participants can see what the insides of these vehicles look like. This event is for all ages, but parents are encouraged to bring their little ones out to meet and greet trucks, tractors, construction, and city vehicles up close. They’ll have the opportunity to crawl, climb, and sit in the driver’s seat while visiting with the real-life operators of these vehicles. 

Admission to this three-hour event is free, but a donation of $10 per participant vehicle is suggested. Proceeds benefit the district's Special Olympics and Special Populations programs.

The My JCPRD Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information, call (913) 831-3359.

Free Veteran Memoir Writing Workshop set for April 10 at Johnson County Museum

Giving veterans the tools and confidence they need to develop and write their own stories is the goal of a newly-added program being offered in early April by the Johnson County Museum.

This Veteran Memoir Writing Workshop is designed to help veterans come to terms with their memories. It can also communicate to family and friends those stories that are difficult to verbalize. Participants will learn to use notes, drafts, poetry, free-writing exercises, and other methods to generate moving and honest writing. No prior writing experience is necessary. This program is being presented by Kansas Author and Poet Al Ortolani, in partnership with Humanities Kansas. 

This workshop is meant to compliment  the “Buy One, Vet One” (B1V1) program which provides free art classes to veterans, and its Interview Theater Workshops - Veteran Story Collecting Project beginning April 4. B1V1 is part of a new partnership between the Arts Council of Johnson County After Action Network’s Operation: Art, and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

The Veteran Memoir Writing Workshop will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. There is no cost for this 90-minute program, but please preregister by going to www.jcprd.com, clicking on "Register for Activities," and performing a course ID search for 19161. To learn more about Interview Theater Workshops - Veteran Story Collecting Project, search for course ID 15691.

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

“The Golden Egg Book” is subject of next museum Retro Storytime program on April 10

Parents and their preschoolers will love stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House during a series of programs being offered monthly from January through April at the Johnson County Museum.

"The Golden Egg Book,” is the subject of the next Retro Storytime Program, which will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10. A classic springtime tale from Margaret Wise Brown, the author of "Goodnight Moon," this story follows a little bunny as it discovers a blue egg and begins to wonder about all the wonderful things that might be inside. 

Retro Storytime and is for ages three to five with an adult. Following the story presentation, participants will enjoy a craft activity for little hands. An adult must attend with the child. This program will take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. 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 “museum program.” 

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 this program does not include admission to the Johnson County Museum or to KidScape. For more information or to register by phone for "The Golden Egg Book,” call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a course ID search for 14675.

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

Interested in a local para-pickleball program? Let us know during April 9 event

Gauging interest in starting a local para-pickleball program is the goal of an event being planned in early April by the 50 Plus Department of  the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

"If there are any para-athletes out there who are interested in starting a para-pickleball program with us, we'd like to know," said 50 Plus Coordinator Lisa Scharnak.  "If there are only a few people interested, we may start a mixed program to get them involved." 

Officials hope to draw individuals who use wheelchairs and are interested in participating in an indoor para-pickleball program. These individuals are invited to attend an Open Play Day scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, near Gardner. An introduction to the sport and an overview of the rules will be provided, and there will be model play, as well as time for individual practice. This program is free and intended primarily for ages 50 plus. For more information, call (913) 826-3161. 

Other pickleball programs offered by 50 Plus have proven very popular in recent years. Pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton, and table tennis played on a court with two players per side who use a wiffleball and paddles. 

Bingo session for 50 Plus set for April 10

"Hippity Hoppin" is the theme of the next bingo program being offered  this season by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.                       

The final bingo session of the January through April season will be "Hippity Hoppin" beginning at 1:30 p.m. on April 10 at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. This program will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Bingo prizes include  gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. For Johnson County residents, the cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person in advance, or $6 on the day of the event. For nonresidents, the cost is $6 in advance, or $7 on the day of the event. Cost of admission covers food (or snacks) and staff time to administer the bingo program. There is no additional charge for bingo. 

To find this program 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, click on “Register for Activities," and complete a search for course ID 14872. 

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 how Johnson Countians spent their leisure time during next Homeschool History Adventures

Amusement parks, barn raisings and fairs - oh my! Learn what early Johnson County residents enjoyed doing for fun  during the next Homeschool History Adventures programs presented by the Johnson County Museum in mid-April.

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. 

The next program in the series is called Playing in the Past. Participants will enjoy finding out how people enjoyed themselves long ago, and have a barrel of fun themselves! Did you know there used to be two amusement parks in Merriam? And air shows in Overland Park? Brainstorm what special places we have in our community, and why they are important. See how toys and changed over time, and even get to play yourself. 

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. 

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 program.” 

Playing in the Past will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 12. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on Register for Activities and perform a search for the course ID 14667. 

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

Art Portfolio Prep class for adults beginning April 8 is part of B1V1 partnership

Artists are invited to learn how to  get their digital portfolios up to snuff  during a new class being offered in early April by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

This class is called Art Portfolio Prep B1V1 and is part of a partnership between the Arts Council of Johnson County After Action Network’s Operation: Art, and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

Participants in this Art Portfolio Prep class for ages 18 and older will work with professional artists to capture their efforts in a digital portfolio ready to be presented to the arts community. This workshop will lead up to an evening networking event for portfolio review with arts leaders. 

The arts partnership comes into play because this program is part of the Buy One Vet One (B1V1)  program.  Any program designated as B1V1 will include an additional $5 fee allowing a veteran to join the same participating program at no cost. This charitable program is presented as part of a grant awarded by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. Learn more about Operation: Art by visiting afteractionnetwork.org. 

To find the Art Portfolio Prep class in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under fine & performing arts. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “art.” 

Art Portfolio Prep  B1V1 will  take place beginning at 6 p.m. Mondays starting April 8 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The cost for three two-hour sessions is $100 per person for Johnson County residents or $110 per person for nonresidents. Register online at www.jcprd.com.

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

Cake Decorating 101 for boys and girls set for April 6

Boys and girls can discover how fun and easy it is to decorate a beautiful cake during a class being offered in early April by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

Cake Decorating 101 is the name of this program for ages eight to 13.  Participants will learn decorating techniques needed to create great-looking cakes for birthdays or any occasion. Topics to be covered include the basics of coloring icing, decorating techniques, and using appropriate tools. Young cooks will get to take home their masterpiece and wow the family! All supplies are included. 

To find this program online at JCPRD.com, browse first under youth then under enrichment & special interests. Note that this program was not included in the printed January through April My JCPRD Activities catalog. 

Cake Decorating 101 will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6  at the Roeland Park Community Center,  Center, located 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland  Park. The cost for one two-hour session  is $38 per person for Johnson County residents or $42 per person for nonresidents or register online at www.jcprd.com.

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

JCPRD presents Homeschool Art programs for ages 5 to 15 beginning April 4

This program is for ages five to 15, and is  designed to supplement homeschool curriculum. Participants will have collaborative experiences meant to encourage them to explore art through consideration, conversation, and creation. The themes for the two Homeschool Art programs beginning in April is "Clay Creations." 

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under fine &performing arts. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “art.” 

Two different sessions of Clay Creations are offered on Thursdays beginning April 4. One session is for ages five to ten and will meet at 10 a.m., while the other is for ages 11 to 15, and will meet at 1 p.m. Both programs take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The classes involve four two-hour sessions at a cost of $45 per person for Johnson County residents or $50 per person for nonresidents. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or to register online at www.jcprd.com, click on the age groups above.

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

JCPRD's Roeland Park ECDC and Natureplay Preschool to conduct annual open houses

Open houses for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Early Childhood Development Center at the Roeland Park Community Center and the Natureplay preschool at the Mill Creek Activity Center will take place  on Thursday, April 4. 

The Roeland Park location's open house, as well as the Natureplay open house, will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. During the open houses, parents will have an opportunity to visit with teachers and tour the centers. Enrollment materials will be available and enrollment at this time is encouraged as space is limited. This is the only open house for fall registration. A nonrefundable fee will reserve a space for a child in the 2019-20 program, which begins in September.

The Roeland Park Community Center is located at 4850 Rosewood  Dr., Roeland Park, (913) 826-3171; while the Mill Creek Activity Center and Natureplay is located at 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee, (913) 826-2958. 

Roeland Park Early Childhood Development Center is an all-day program that focuses on hands-on learning activities in the morning along with free-choice activities.  Planned activities include; cooking, STEM, letter and number recognition, gardening, and much more. We serve a well-balanced lunch along with healthy morning and afternoon snacks.  Outdoor play along with strong imaginative play are components to our environment. Director Maureen O’Grady has an elementary degree along with a Montessori Training Certificate.  

Natureplay Preschool is a discovery-based learning program for ages three through five. The program offers half-day preschool with one-, to five-days-a-week options, as well as occasional stand-alone programs meant to supplement other learning opportunities and provide children with extended opportunities for outdoor exploration.  Natureplay Director Rosanna Munoz holds degrees in biology and early childhood education has been leading JCPRD early childhood programs since 2002.

Upcoming Events

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Fri, 03/22/2019 - 1:00pm

50 Plus Hand and Foot Tournament

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 11:00am

School’s Out Geocache

Sat, 03/30/2019 - 11:00am

2019 KC Passport to Adventure Kick-off

Sat, 04/06/2019 - 9:00am

Healthy Yards Expo

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Sat, 03/23/2019 - 7:30am
Mon, 03/25/2019 - 5:30pm
Tue, 03/26/2019 - 11:30am
Tue, 03/26/2019 - 5:30pm
Tue, 03/26/2019 - 5:45pm
Wed, 03/27/2019 - 9:00am
Wed, 03/27/2019 - 6:00pm
Thu, 03/28/2019 - 11:00am
Thu, 03/28/2019 - 12:00pm

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