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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

50 Plus Art Show to take place on Jan. 14 at Matt Ross Community Center

Local artists age 50 and over can show off their artwork while enjoying refreshments and discovering other local artists during a 50 Plus Art Show being presented on Wednesday, Jan. 14, by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Now in its second year, this free event will take place beginning at 2 p.m. at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. Come discover why your fellow artists love what they do! Entry is $5, or free if you bring an appetizer or dessert to share. A prize drawing for a free 50 Plus art class will be held during this two-hour event.

Drop off up to three pieces of your artwork, along with table easels, from 8 to 11 a.m. on the morning of the event and pick up your artwork immediately after the show.

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 see this program online at www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for 26162. Printed copies of JCPRD’s Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

 

New season of 50 Plus Bingo begins on Jan. 7

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

With two exceptions, bingo sessions will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Sessions set for Feb. 9 and April 27 begin at 2 p.m. Bingo 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 (913) 831-3359.

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 the five-digit codes listed below.

"Winter Wonderland" is the theme for the first January bingo session which will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. To find this program, search for barcode 26248.  The other January session will have the theme "Pop!" and is set for Jan. 22 at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. To find this program, search for barcode 26393.

Other upcoming winter and spring 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include: "St. Valentine" on Feb. 9 at the Sunset Building, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe (barcode #26404); "Furry Fiends" on Feb. 25 at the  Tomahawk Ridge Community Center,  11902 Lowell, Overland Park (barcode #26249); "Decades" on March 4 at Matt Ross (barcode #26250); "Taco Tuesday" on March 10 at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, near Gardner (barcode #26408); "Dr. Seuss" on March 26 at Roeland Park (barcode #26394); "Rainy Days" on April 10 Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee (Barcode #26409); "Garden Party" on April 15 at Tomahawk Ridge (barcode #26251); and "Cracker Jacks" on April 27 at the Sunset Building.

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.

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

New Drums Alive class for 50 plus begins Jan. 6

A great workout that also improves memory, coordination, and motor skills is the aim of a new exercise program being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

The program is called Drums Alive, and will involves the use of drumsticks or wooden spoons to hit rubber balls, similar to drumming. Participants will be seated during the class. 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.”

Drums Alive will meet at 2 p.m. on Tuesday beginning Jan. 13 at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. The cost for eight 50-minute sessions is $52 per person for Johnson County residents or $57 per person for nonresidents. Participants should bring their own drumsticks or wooden spoons.

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 26270. Printed copies of JCPRD’s Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Free Coffee with the Birds program offered on Tuesday mornings beginning Jan. 6 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Come enjoy winter birdwatching from the comfort of an indoor wildlife viewing room during an informal program being offered at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center.

With the lack of foliage and increased sight distance, winter is a great time for bird watching. Chickadees, woodpeckers, juncos, cedar waxwings, and many more are commonly seen at the center's feeders.

This free eight-week program is called Coffee with the Birds and involves an invitation to interested parties to come sit, visit, and drink free coffee as they watch birds at the nature center's feeders between 9 and 10 a.m. on Tuesdays between Jan. 6 and Feb. 24. No registration or reservations are required and participants can come and go as they please.

To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under nature & outdoors. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “birding.” The JCPRD's Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information, call (913) 831-3359. For updated program listings, see the District's website at www.jcprd.com.

Free Out-Of-Library Storytime program set for Jan. 5 at Mill Creek Activity Center

A free Monday storytime session for young children has been set for early January as part of a program being presented by the Johnson County Library at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Mill Creek Activity Center.

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 Ready to Read 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.

The next session will take place on Jan. 5, while another program is set for March 23.

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.”

Each program will begin at 10:15 a.m. on a Monday 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.

Sunday Family Series begins Jan. 4 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Bring the family to the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center in January for Sunday Afternoon Nature Programs for educational and entertaining programs. The programs begin at 2 p.m., last about 45 minutes, and are designed for all ages. A charge of $3 per person, payable at the site, helps cover the cost of the programs; children under two are free.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and is located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

January presentations will include:

Jan. 4 Owls: Eyes of the Night - Great Horned, Barred, and Screech owls all make their homes at Ernie Miller Park. Meet three live owls as we discover more about these mysterious creatures of the night.

Jan. 11 Snakes Alive - Why is it that these animals seem so terrifying? Could all the stories you have heard be true? See Kansas snakes and explore the facts and fallacies of these legless wonders.

Jan. 18 Animal Clues - Sometimes mysterious clues are left behind by the animals in our parks. Find out what clues to look for on your next walk through the park and meet an animal that leaves tracks in the snow.

Jan. 25 Archeology Dig - Become an archeologist and discover who was here before us. Excavate real artifacts during a simulated dig. Then explore how archeologists reconstruct the cultures of ancient societies and tell the "story" of those who came before us. This program will last about an hour.

The Sunday Family series will continue in February with the following presentations: Feb. 1, The Good, The Bad, and the Smelly; Feb. 8, Wildlife Who's Who; Feb. 15, Howdy Sheriff; and Feb. 22, Kansas Rocks! - Under the Inland Sea.

To find these programs 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 "nature programs." For more information on the Sunday Nature Programs, call (913) 764-7759.

New Noon Year's Eve event is Dec. 31 at Roeland Park Community Center

Celebrate the New Year at noon during a new special event being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

The event is called Noon Year’s Eve and is meant to show that you don't have to stay up late or pack into a crowded restaurant to ring in 2015. Participants will enjoy a catered lunch, followed by a balloon drop and 12 games of bingo. Bingo prizes include gift bags and gift certificates. 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 "holiday event."

Noon Year’s Eve will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. The cost for this two-and-one-half-hour event is $15 per person.

For more information or to register, call (913) 8831-3355. To register online at www.jcprd.com, follow the "Register for Activities" link and complete a barcode search for 24199. Printed copies of JCPRD’s Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

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.

 

A Very Fifties Christmas at the All-Electric House

 

Aluminum Christmas tree. Color wheel. Christmas cards. Atomic Christmas wreaths. Smells of gingerbread. Check, check, check!

The 1950s All-Electric house is decked out for a Rockin' Modern Christmas. Join us for tours of the house Saturday, November 29, 2014 - Saturday, January 3, 2015.

Guided tours offered Monday-Friday, every half hour from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Extended Saturday hours each week from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Fee: Adults $5, seniors $4, children 12-5 are $3.  Under 5 and Museum Members are free.

 

Donations of animal supplies sought through Holidays for the Animals program at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Individuals, families, and groups wanting to make a difference are invited to consider contributing a gift to the animals at the Ernie Miller Nature Center through a program called Holidays for the Animals.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center, located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe, has ongoing needs for supplies for both the animals kept at the center and the wild animals which come to the feeders.

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 “animals.”

Donations are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please look over the following list and consider making a contribution: various sizes of clear critter totes/ pet keepers boxes with lids; bags of reptile bedding; gift certificates to LifeTime Pets, Price Chopper, Walmart, or Petland; pinewood shavings, Mazuri Ferret Diet, cat litter (non-clumping), bleach, laundry soap; bags of safflower or black oil sunflower seeds (no mixes, please); suet cakes and dried seed corn on the cob; rolls of ¼ inch & 3/8 inch sisal rope; white and apple cider vinegar; and quart size ziplock baggies.

Donors who wish to be recognized will have their names listed in the Nature Center’s Tracks newsletter and in an advertisement in the Spring issue of Activities, so please take time to fill out a card at the Nature Center!

For more information, call the Ernie Miller Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.

What is Modernism? exhibition

The newest exhibit at the Johnson County Museum -- Now on view

image of modern chairLook around you, Johnson County is a modern community.  You most likely drive past the modern homes and buildings in our communities every day without giving them a second thought. How did these structures become so prevalent in our cities?

Modernism developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I as a shell-shocked population searched for a new way of life.  Innovative European and American designers sought to reshape society through modern architecture and design in the 1920s and 1930s. These ground-breaking concepts helped set the stage for a modern building boom in America.

By 1945, Americans  brimmed with optimism and embraced progress and innovation. Advanced technology and revolutionary building techniques allowed modern architecture to flourish from coast to coast.  Johnson County was no exception. The mid-century modern homes and buildings in our area represent a time when Americans believed the future was bright and possibilities were endless.

Exhibit open regular museum hours: 10am - 4:30pm.  Admission is free.

 
 

Upcoming Events

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December 27, 2014 | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

A Very Fifties Christmas at the Johnson County Museum

December 27, 2014 | 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Christmas at Lanesfield

December 31, 2014 | 10:00 am

JoHo Storyteller at the Johnson County Museum

December 31, 2014 | 11:30 am to 2:00 pm

Noon Year’s Eve

January 2, 2015 | 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Christmas at Lanesfield