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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

Orienteering workshop for ages 16 and older offered on Oct. 18

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 Workshop beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, 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 $16 per person for Johnson County residents or $18 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.

 

Haunted Kansas program returns to Ernie Miller Park on Oct. 18

As darkness falls, walk through the trails of Ernie Miller Park and listen to the stories of long ago during a special event being offered at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Now in its sixth year, the program is called Haunted Kansas and is for ages eight and older and all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Characters from the past will share legends around the campfire.  Expect a shiver down the spine and a mild case of goose bumps for those who dare enter the forest on this autumn evening. Group sessions begin every 20 minutes and the program lasts about an hour and a half.  This is an outdoor event, so be sure to dress appropriately. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “Halloween.”

Haunted Kansas will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Ernie Miller Park, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. The cost is $5 per person, including adults, and is payable on-site. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (913) 764-7759. In case of inclement weather, this program will take place indoors.

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.

Halloween Spooktacular planned at RPCC on Oct. 18

Gather your family, friends, and pets for a spooktacular morning during a mid-October special event being planned by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This program is called the Halloween Spooktacular, is for all ages, and will take place on Oct. 18 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.

The morning's festivities will include kid's costume contests, and a pet parade (pet costumes are also encouraged). The whole family will enjoy trick-or-treating in our haunted hallway, taking photos in our Halloween-themed photo booth, and participating in other fun activities.

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 “Halloween.”

This program will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18. The cost for this two-hour program is $3 per child. Preregistration is required.

The JCPRD’s Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information and for updated program listings, visit the District’s website at www.jcprd.com.

Come watch Orionids Meteors during astronomy program planned at TimberRidge Adventure Center on Oct. 17

Come see some remains of Halley's Comet streak through the sky in the form of a meteor shower during a new program planned at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's TimberRidge Adventure Center on Friday, Oct. 17.

The program is called A Trail of Stardust - the Orionids Meteor Shower, and offers a tour of October Skies is for all ages. The program is recommended for ages five and older with a parent or guardian. There will be a 45-minute interpretive presentation about the meteor shower and fall constellations, followed by another one and one-quarter hours of on-your-own star gazing. There will also be a short walk in the dark to reach our viewing location. A treat will be provided.

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under fun for all and then under nature & outdoors.

A Trail of Stardust will take place from 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, beginning at the Welcome Center of the TimberRidge Adventure Center, 12300 South Homestead Lane, Olathe. The cost is $9 per person for Johnson County residents, or $10 for nonresidents. Feel free to bring your own binoculars, and star maps, although they are not necessary. Lawn chairs and blankets to sit on are also encouraged.  In the case of rain or clouds, there will be a topic-related indoor program.

The TimberRidge Adventure Center is  a 200-plus acre facility including a challenge course, climbing tower, and three ponds, is 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 an open house in the early spring, the facility is accessible only by reservation or as part of programming.

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.

 

Fall Spaghetti Dinner is Oct. 16 at Roeland Park Community Center

Something good is cooking at the Roeland Park Community Center and the community is invited to come participate in a special meal being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Fall Spaghetti Dinner is the name of this long-standing tradition of friends, delicious food, conversation, and fun! 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.”

This event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. Doors open at 4 p.m. and dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. The cost for this two-hour event is $7 per person. Preregistration is required and can be accomplished by calling (913) 826-3160.

The JCPRD's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For updated program listings, see the District's website at www.jcprd.com.

Learn how plants and animals adapt to season changes during Nature Explorers Home School program on Oct. 16

Home school students will learn how plants and animals adapt to changes in the seasons during an intergenerational program being offered in mid-October at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe.

The program is called Nature Explorers is for youth ages six to 12 with a parent. This program lets participants explore nature and animals around the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Nature Explorers consists of stand-alone educational programs presented by park naturalists, each with a different theme. If the weather permits, these sessions are held outdoors, and participants should dress for outdoor exploration. Parents will also receive tips on how to weave outdoor exploration into their lessons.

The next presentation of this program will take place beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, and has the theme "Signs of Fall." Participants will learn how nature changes with the seasons. This program will take place at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. The cost for one 90-minute programs is $3.50 per person for Johnson County residents and $4 per person for nonresidents. Preregistration is required. For more information, call (913) 764-7759.A parent must register with each child.

To find this programs in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “home school.” The last Nature Explorers program of the fall / winter season will be “Stories of the Past” on Nov. 13.

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.

Johnson County 4-H now enrolling new members

4-H boy shows off the yellow decorated rocekt he builtDid you know that 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities? In Johnson County, 4-H is thriving.

With nearly 700 members, the Johnson County program, affiliated with K-State Research and Extension in Olathe, continues to grow and expand to reach new audiences.

National 4-H Week is Oct. 5 – 11, and the Johnson County program is currently enrolling for the new 4-H year. Early fall is the best time for new families to join 4-H. Families who join in the fall get the opportunity to experience the start of all new 4-H activities, such as electing club officers and selecting committee assignments.

4-H offers youth a one of-a-kind opportunity to gain lifelong skills through hands-on learning. The program is built on a foundation of three core areas: healthy living; citizenship; and science, technology, engineering and math. 4-H’ers gain skills in each of these areas throughout their 4-H experience through community service, projects and club involvement.

Why join 4-H?
Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:

  • Nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities,
  • Two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors, and
  • Two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the out-of-school time.

Who can join?
Full 4-H membership starts at age seven and concludes at 18. An introduction to 4-H is available for youth ages five and six through Cloverbuds. There are 19 different clubs throughout Johnson County. There is no membership fee to join. The youth program is strongly family orientated. Parents and siblings are welcome to attend all 4-H events.

4-H girls at summer cooking campLearning life skills by doing
Valuable lifelong skills such as communication, leadership and citizenship are gained through youth projects. The Johnson County 4-H program has many different avenues for youth to become engaged in their own individual passion.

Each member chooses their projects at the beginning of the new 4-H year. With over 30 projects to choose from, and even a self-determined category, the Johnson County 4-H program can accommodate a wide variety of interests. A few of the most popular projects include: rocketry, foods and nutrition, dog care and training, clothing and textiles, and photography.

In the self-determined category, youth are able to create a project by developing the what, why, when, where, who and how into an action plan designed by and for the member. A self-determined project might be a new or different project, or an expansion of a traditional project. A few of the self-determined projects which have been done in the county in the past include:

  • bicycling,
  • Legos,
  • bee keeping,
  • entrepreneurship, and
  • sailing. 

4-H instills a strong work ethic by offering the opportunity to compete in a positive and supportive environment, interact with teen and adult mentors, and build lifelong relationships. 4-H also continues to give back to its members after membership ends. Alumni have the opportunity to apply for college scholarships to strengthen their lifelong learning habit.

Johnson County 4-H youth development has many different avenues for youth to become engaged in their own individual passion. The mission is to grow youth members into tomorrow's leaders.

The Johnson County 4-H program is the perfect choice for any youth looking to learn through doing. For more information about joining 4-H contact Tara Markley, county Extension agent, at 913-715-7000 or visit www.johnson.ksu.edu/4H.

Whimsical Woods program returns to Ernie Miller Park on Oct. 11

There's nothing scary about a Halloween special event being offered at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Park in mid-October. The program is called Whimsical Woods and is for all ages with ages 11 and younger accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Participants will enjoy a walk on the park's trail with the award-winning staff of the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Costumed storybook characters will delight and entertain audiences of all ages. This program consists of a short trail walk with stations featuring interpreters who interact with participants. Participants will meet the Good Fairy and Forest Friends. In addition, there will be live animals, stories, songs, and surprises. Group sessions will begin every 15 minutes, and for participants, the program length will be about one and one-half hours. In case of inclement weather, this event will be moved indoors.

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 "Halloween."

Whimsical Woods is offered from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Ernie Miller Park, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. The cost is $5 per person, including adults, and is payable on-site. Please note that reservations are required and can be made by calling (913) 764-7759.

Sunset Walk for 50 plus takes participants to Black Hoof Park on Oct. 10

Head with us to Lenexa to walk at Black Hoof Park as the sun sets during a program being offered in early October by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This program is called the Sunset Walk and will take place on Friday, Oct. 10. Participants will take a mile-long walk up to a great overlook along the park's hard-surface trail. Black Hoof Park has a total of 210 acres, including 35-acre Lake Lenexa and serves functions of flood control while preserving forest, prairie, streamways and wetlands. Pedestrian bridges and boardwalks allow visitors a closer look at wildlife along the waterways. After the walk, participants will dine at the Blue Moose Grill.

To find this program 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 keyword "walks."

The Sunset Walk will take place on Oct. 10. This outing will depart at 5:30 p.m. from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and is expected to require an easy level of exertion. The cost for this five-hour outing, including transportation to the walk site, is $24 per person for Johnson County residents or $28 for nonresidents. Dinner costs will be on your own.

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.

Teen Career & Life Building program offered on Oct. 10

Equipping young adults with confidence and life skills to help them succeed in future life endeavors is the goal of a new program for teens being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District in early October.

The program is called Teen Career & Life Building and is for ages 13 to 18. Teens will learn helpful interviewing skills, job search tips, and proper etiquette, along with conversation skills.

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under enrichment & special interests. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword "education."

This program will take place at 1:45 on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Roeland Park. The cost for one one-hour session is $30 for Johnson County residents or $33 for nonresidents.

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.

Upcoming Events

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October 1, 2014 | 10:00 am

Story Quilts at the Johnson County Museum

October 1, 2014 | 10:30 am to 11:00 am

Animal Tales Storytime - Possum & Pals

October 3, 2014 | 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Love in the Afternoon

October 5, 2014 | 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Senior Follies

October 8, 2014 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Pop 'n Play at the Johnson County Museum