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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

Unlock the Mystery day trip offered on May 6

Head out of town for a day of good surprises on a mystery motorcoach day trip being offered in early May by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

This trip is called Unlock the Mystery. Participants will discover clues along the way, which will point the way to your final destination. Along the way, you'll learn about three unique venues with guided tours at each stop. Enjoy a catered lunch at an old but new place. One hint is that even the name of this trip is a clue to the first destination!

 

To find this program 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 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6, from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and return at approximately 5:30 p.m. that night. The cost is $69 per person and includes lunch.

 

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.

New season of 50 Plus Bingo begins on May 6

A new season of themed bingo games is being kicked off  in May by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. In all, 12 bingo sessions will alternate between six locations through late August.

 

Each bingo session will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Prizes range from gift certificates to local restaurants to gift packs. The cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person for Johnson County residents or $6 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required. Please RSVP by calling one of our 50 Plus centers including (913) 642-6410 for Matt Ross Community Center, (913) 826-3160 for Roeland Park Community Center, or (913) 826-2860 for New Century Fieldhouse. Participants can pay in advance or at the door.

 

"May Flowers" is the theme for the first bingo session which will take place on Tuesday, May 6, at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, near Gardner.

 

Other May Bingo sessions include one on Wednesday, May 14, with the theme "Johnny Cash" at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center,  11902 Lowell, Overland Park; and another on Thursday, May 22, with the theme "Graduation Day" at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.

 

Other upcoming spring and summer 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include: "Ice Cream Day" on June 2 at the Sunset Building, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe; "Berrylicious" on June 18 at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center; "Paul Bunyan" on June 27 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee; "Dog Days" on July 9 at the at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park; "Howdy Cowboys!" on July 15 at New Century; "Ice Cream Sundae" on July 24 at the Roeland Park Community Center; "Presidential Joke Day" on Aug. 11 at the Sunset Building; "Snow Cone" on Aug. 20 at the Matt Ross Community Center; and "Trail Mix" on Aug. 29 at the Mill Creek Activity Center.

 

To find these programs 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 keyword “bingo.”

 

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. For more information  or to register, call (913) 831-3359. For updated program listings, visit the district’s website at www.jcprd.com.

New Cinco de Mayo 50 plus event is May 5 at Roeland Park Community Center

Celebrate Mexican culture and heritage with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta being planned for Monday, May 5, by the 50 Plus department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

This event will take place at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. JCPRD staff will cook up dinner and provide entertainment, you come for the fun. This event officially begins at 5 p.m. and dinner is served at 5:30 p.m., but the doors open at 4 p.m. Entertainment and door prizes will follow dinner service.

 

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 “social event.”

 

The cost for this two-hour event is $5 per person. Preregistration is required and can be accomplished online at www.jcprd.com or by calling (913) 826-3160.

 

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. For updated program listings, see the district’s website at www.jcprd.com.

Nature Center to benefit from May 1 "Giving Day" presented by Whole Foods on 119th St.

Shop at the Whole Foods Market at 6621 W. 119th St., Overland Park, on Thursday, May 1, and benefit the animals in and around Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe.

 

The local grocery store has designated this date as a “community giving day” for the nature center and has pledged to donate five percent of the day’s net sales to the facility. Whole Foods stores conduct these days several times a year to benefit local nonprofit or educational organizations.

 

This will be the third year the store has conducted a giving day for the nature center. As in past years, the proceeds from this event will be used towards care of the nature center’s program animals, including feed, cleaning, and veterinary care.

 

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 1 at the Whole Foods store, Ernie Miller Nature Center staff will have live animals and information about a new exhibit room opening soon at the nature center. Whole Foods is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

The Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe, and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The center’s new exhibit room will open this summer,  is titled “Changes in the Land, and will detail how human and natural forces have impacted the property on which the nature center sits. For more about the nature center or this benefit event, call (913) 764-7759 or visit www.erniemiller.com.

Chapter Chat Book Club for 50 plus begins May 1

Extend your enjoyment of reading by engaging in lively book discussion with peers during a monthly book club offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.
 
The program is called the Chapter Chat Book Club, and meets the first Thursday of each month. Participants are responsible for bringing their own books and are asked to come to meetings prepared to discuss that month's assigned books. For the May 1 session, the book is "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. For the June 5 session, the book is "The House Girl," by Tara Conklin. For the July 3 session, the book is "Inferno," by Dan Brown. And for the Aug. 7 session, the book is "The Interestings," by Meg Wolitzer. New participants are welcome at any time.
 
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.”
 
Chapter Chat meets at 1 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Southridge Presbyterian Church, 5015 Buena Vista Dr., Roeland Park. The cost for four 60-minute sessions is $5 per person for Johnson County residents and $6 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.
 
The JCPRD Activities catalog,  is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information about this program, call (913) 826-3160. For updated program listings, visit the district's website at www.jcprd.com

Orienteering workshop for ages 16 and older offered on April 26

Do you enjoy hiking cross-country, but fear losing your way? If so, join the Johnson County Park & Recreation District for a Map and Compass Orienteering Workshop beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

 

Learn the basic skills of using a topographic map and a magnetic compass in this beginner's workshop for ages 16 and older and children accompanied by a parent or guardian. This beginner's workshop will introduce participants to orienteering, a fun way of learning the basic skills for using a topographic map and a magnetic compass. The program includes a practice orienteering hike in the park. Workbook and the loan of a compass are provided.  Remember to dress for the weather. To find this program in the JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “map & compass.”

 

The cost for this three-hour workshop is $15 per person for Johnson County residents or $17 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, see the district's website at www.jcprd.com.

Bargain Bonanza event is April 26 at Roeland Park Community Center

A huge community garage sale is being planned for Saturday, April 26, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. Donuts and coffee will be available for purchase as you do some serious bargain hunting!

 

The program is called Bargain Bonanza and will take place throughout the center and its grounds, including a gazebo to the south. It begins at 8 a.m. and will continue until 1 p.m. There is no charge for browsers on the day of the sale. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under fun for all and then by special events. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “special event.”
 
This is a great way to get rid of unwanted possessions and earn extra money without having to clean the garage, advertise, or worry about disposing of unsold items. Outdoor spaces consisting of two parking spaces are offered for $20. Six-foot tables and coat racks can be rented for $5 each. To reserve sales space, call (913) 826-3160 by April 18.

 

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. For updated program listings, see the district’s website at www.jcprd.com.

Public invited to TimberRidge Adventure Center Open House on April 26

The public can come see and experience the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's TimberRidge Adventure Center during an Open House scheduled for Saturday, April 26. Also on the same day, a related Open House for the center's 40-foot-tall Hawk's Nest Climbing Tower will give interested parties 12 and older who register in advance a free opportunity to experience the tower's two climbing walls.

 

The TimberRidge Adventure Center is located at 12300 South Homestead Lane, Olathe, and is a 200-plus acre facility adjacent to Kill Creek Park, which JCPRD also owns and operates. TimberRidge, which was dedicated in 2002, is accessible via an entrance which is separate from and south of the main entrance to Kill Creek Park. With the exception of this annual event, the facility is accessible only by reservation or as part of programming.

 

The TimberRidge Open House will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Climbing Tower Open House will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.  The open house events are meant to give visitors an opportunity to explore the facility, which is used primarily for adventure and challenge programming, as well as for rental opportunities for a variety of events, including outdoor weddings, corporate events and picnics, and family reunions.

 

Open House activities will include: kayaking, canoeing, and pedal boating on Catfish Pond, the largest of TimberRidge’s three ponds: and use of the facility’s archery and BB gun ranges (participants in these last two activities must be at least eight years old). Cops-n-Bobbers, a local nonprofit organization with the goal of bringing kids, police, and the community together for educational and fun community events, will have a mobile station with rods, reels, and bait available, or you can bring your own.

 

All ages are welcome to participate in the Family Fun Treasure Hunt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This self-guided program will begin at the facility's Welcome Center where participants can pick up a brochure and then head off to about five activity stations, where they can take part in fun activities such as  fishing, canoeing, and archery.

 

In addition, the center’s trails will be open for hiking and there will be catch-and-release fishing in the ponds, however, Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license.  (Licenses will not be sold on-site.) The Challenge Course is central to TimberRidge and is used to promote problem solving, and enhance teamwork through safe and challenging situations.

 

Those interested in climbing the Hawks Nest Tower on April 26 will need to register in advance by calling (913) 856-8849 and will be required to complete medical and liability releases prior to participating. Children under the age of 18 must also have the signature of a parent or guardian. Climbing enrollment is limited to 40 people and typically fills quickly.

 

The open house is also an opportunity to give the public a look at two other features of the facility  including  the Whispering Pines Shelter, which can accommodate groups of up to 200 people and  the large curving deck on the back of the Welcome Center which can accommodate up to 80 people.

 

For more information about the open houses or the TimberRidge Adventure Center, contact Adventure Program Coordinator Lysa Holladay at (913) 856-8849.

Mildale Farm Community Day set for April 26

The public will have an opportunity to fish and explore the  Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Mildale Farm property during a Mildale Farm Community Day set for Saturday, April 26.

 

The five-hour event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will give interested parties access to the 158-acre site including the 22-acre rental property in southwest Johnson County as well as to about 136 acres which are actually part of the adjacent 578 acres of agricultural property, all of which was purchased by the district in 2005. Visitors should park in the large lot near Mildale Farm's main barn.

 

The public can bring their own bait and tackle and practice catch-and-release fishing  in any or all of seven ponds within the 158-acre area. While District fishing permits have been waived for this event, Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license.  District officials do not know the full stocking history of the ponds at Mildale, but  previous public events have shown that the main pond contains largemouth bass and channel catfish.

 

Arts and crafts activities for kids will take place  in the main barn and visitors can explore and picnic on the grounds. The centerpiece of the Mildale Farm property, the high-quality equestrian-style barn featuring peg construction and a hand-laid brick floor, will be open. Restrooms will be available, but the property's two homes and other outbuildings will not be open during this event.

 

Rules for this event will be posted and will be the same as other District properties. Among them: no alcohol, pets must be on-leash, and vehicles must remain on roadways. Park Police will be on hand to enforce these as well as the catch-and-release fishing provision. To find this program in the 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 keywords “family fun.”

 

Mildale Farm is located at 35250 W. 199th St., Edgerton. From the north, take Interstate 35 south to Exit 207. Turn left (south) and drive one mile to 199th Street. Turn right and proceed  3.5 miles to the Mildale Farm entrance. From the south, take Interstate 35 North to Exit 202. Turn left on Sunflower and proceed about two miles. Turn right on East Fourth in Edgerton and follow it for about three blocks. Turn right on Highway 56 Highway and make a second right on 199th Street. The farm entrance will be about a quarter-mile ahead on the left.

 

For more information about this event, call Katie Baergen at (913) 826-2957.

Free Pickleball Spring Potluck Party is April 24 at New Century Fieldhouse

One last pickleball hoorah before the summer heat sets in  followed by lunch and an opportunity to get to know your fellow players better, is being planned during a late April program being presented by the 50 Plus Department of  the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

Pickleball Potluck Party is the name of this event, which will take place on Thursday, April 24, at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Fieldhouse, near Gardner. This free two-hour event will take place beginning at noon. Participants are asked to bring a side dish or dessert. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.

 

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.

 

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under sports. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “pickleball.” This event is free, those who would like to participate are asked to sign up on a sheet available at the front counter at New Century.

 

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, call (913) 826-2859. To register online and for updated program listings, visit the District’s website at www.jcprd.com.