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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 plans Catalog Release Party on Aug. 12 at Matt Ross Community Center

Celebrate the arrival of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's September through December Activities catalog and get the scoop on the programs it contains during a special event being offered by the 50 Plus Department in mid-August.

This Catalog Release Party will take place on Aug. 12.  Come meet the recreation coordinators who plan the catalog programs and discuss future activities. Enjoy ice cream, enter raffle drawings, and try out some of our classes for free! To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under “special event.” In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “special event.”

The Catalog Release Party will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. This two-hour event is free, but please reserve your spot by calling (913) 642-6410. To register online at  www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for 34098.

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

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.

Explore oceans and rivers during 50 Plus day trip on Aug. 11

Local attractions which highlight aspects of the ocean and the Missouri River are the focus of a day trip being planned in mid-August by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This program is called Exploring Rivers and Oceans and will take participants to the Sea Life Aquarium they can see thousands of ocean creatures including seahorses, octopus, and jellyfish. Touch a crab or starfish in the interactive rockpool and journey through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays swim overhead.  After lunch at Bo Lings at City Market, the group will visit the Steamboat Arabia Museum in the River Market area.  Travelers will hear the fascinating story of how the lost sunken ship and its treasures were found, recovered, and painstakingly preserved.  See tons of historic cargo and details on display for all to enjoy.

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 outing will leave at 9:30 a.m. from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, on Thursday, Aug. 11, and will return about 4:30 p.m. that day. The cost for this outing is $79 per person and includes tickets, transportation, and lunch. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on the green “Register for Activities” button and complete a barcode search for 33375. 

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.

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

All-Electric House has new home

Around 12:30 Wednesday morning, the Johnson County Museum's 1950s All-Electric House was pulled into the future Arts & Heritage Center. The arrival time was about four hours earlier than expected. The early arrival time was due in part to good teamwork, fewer technical issues than anticipated and being able to reach a maximum speed of 11 miles per hour rather than the planned 3-5 mph.

Several media outlets covered the move and we've provided links to their coverage. You can also search #JoCoHouseMove on Twitter to see what others had to say about the move throughout the night.

Kansas City Star


Fox 4




WHAT’S GOING ON AT KING LOUIE? Find out at the Johnson County Museum’s latest exhibition

The Johnson County Museum, 6305 Lackman Road, has opened a new exhibition, What’s Going on at King Louie? The exhibit’s focus is one of the most iconic buildings in Johnson County, the old King Louie West bowling alley and ice skating rink at 87th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

Almost two generations of Johnson Countians knew King Louie as a place to meet up with friends and family, and have a good time.  When the complex closed its doors in 2009, it marked the end of an era for the local landmark.

In 2017, a new chapter in the building history will begin when it reopens as the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.  The center will be the new home for the Johnson County Museum, as well as an indoor home for The Theatre in the Park.  The facility will include administrative and program space for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s fine and performing arts department, a large event and rental space, and sufficient space to allow the building to serve as one of the county’s advanced-voting locations.

In preparation for the building’s transformation, the Johnson County Museum’s new temporary exhibit, What’s Going on at King Louie?, will share the history of this local landmark, as well as some of the new and exciting changes that will be a part of the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.  During the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to leave their memories of their favorite experiences at King Louie, and vote for which new feature they are most excited to see in the new space.

What’s Going on at King Louie? Opened in late February and will be on exhibit at the Johnson County Museum through Sept. 5.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

JCPRD summer park hours begin March 1

Summer hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. go into effect Tuesday, March 1 for many Johnson County Park & Recreation District parks. These summer hours will stay in effect through Oct. 31.

District parks impacted by the new hours are: Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe; Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee; and Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe. Summer hours for Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Other District parks with year-round dawn to dusk hours include: Ernie Miller Park, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe; Sunflower Nature Park, 103rd St. and Edgerton Road, rural De Soto; Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, 12500 W. 119th Street, Overland Park; Camp Branch Glade, 175th & Mission Road in Aubry Township; Stilwell Community Park, 207th & Metcalf, Stilwell; and all of the Streamway Parks System access points.

For more information, visit the District’s website at www.jcprd.com or call 913-888-4713.

Put a critter on your gift giving list

During this season of gift-giving, the staff at the Ernie Miller Nature Center would appreciate being added to your list.They have a variety of needs in order to care for a wide variety of creatures. There are several ways you can help them care for the animals at the nature center. From monetary donations, to gift cards or purchasing items they need.


  • Peanuts in shell, no salt
  • Corner wood shelf for chipmunk shelf
  • Large rodent ball – for exercise
  • Sweet potato & whole carrots
  • Rodent Chow for mice

Snakes, Turtles and Toads

  • Reptile water bowls that look like rocks (from pet store)
  • Distilled Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Frozen berries, frozen kernel corn and broccoli
  • Clear critter keepers

Birds of Prey

  • One-quarter inch &/or three-quarter inch rope for perches
  • Masking tape and brown duct tape

Outside critters and general animal care

  • Nitrile disposable gloves
  • Sandwich and quart size zip baggies
  • Disinfecting wipes for cleaning
  • Bird seed: black oil sunflower, safflower seed, suet cakes

Donations may be dropped off at 909 N. Highway 7, Olathe, KS, Monday – Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. For more information, you may contact the center’s staff at (913) 764-7759 or @JCPRDemncnature


Cars in the Park event Saturday to benefit Special Olympians

About 200 vehicles and 1,000 spectators are expected to attend the annual Cars in the Park car show on Saturday, Sept. 26, in the marina parking lot in Shawnee Mission Park at 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee.

The event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is one of two major annual fundraisers for Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Special Olympics and Special Populations programs. Specifically, these funds are typically used to acquire uniforms and pay for transportation to events. For spectators, admission to the show is free and concessions will be available.

The show typically attracts an eclectic mix of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, from Model A’s to modern and customized vehicles. The show will conclude with a cruise through Shawnee Mission Park at 2 p.m. For more information, click here or call (913) 831-3359.

Johnson County Museum to close for one day on Sept. 22

The Johnson County Museum will be closed for one day on Tuesday, September 22 for routine exhibit maintenance. The interactive areas of the Museum, especially the popular KidScape exhibit, receive a lot of wear and tear during the summer months when attendance surges to record highs. The 1950s All-Electric House will be closed to the public as well.

“In July we set an all-time high monthly attendance record with 5,634 visitors. This one day of routine maintenance will ensure the exhibitions are in the best working order for our visitors to enjoy,” said Mindi Love, Johnson County Museum director.

The Museum and the 1950s All-Electric House will reopen on Wednesday, September 23. The Museum is located at 6305 Lackman Road, Shawnee, Kansas, 66217.  For more information about the Johnson County Museum, click here or call 913-715-2550.

Free party in the park this Sunday

For six decades Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) has been bringing the community together with award-winning parks, recreation and educational programs. Celebrate this milestone with JCPRD this Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at The Theatre in the Park (7710 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66217). 

The celebration will include an awesome display of giant kites by the Kansas City Kite Club; an assortment of family-friendly activites; and lively entertainment by popular Beatles tribute band Liverpool, Four Fried Chickens and a Coke, Travis Marvin, Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove, StoneLion Puppet Theatre and magic from Abracadabra Extravaganza.

Best of all, entry to this event is free for all ages. For performance schedules and additional details, go to jcprd.com

Happy birthday, 6 by 6!

Happy birthday! Our 6 by 6, Ready to Read program is turning 6 years old this month and we are ready to celebrate this Saturday! This program emphasizes the six skills that parents and caregivers can help children develop before they learn to read. Various celebratory activities are happening at several Johnson County Library locations between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Click here for details! 

Upcoming Events

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July 30, 2016 | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Come Sail with Us! at Shawnee Mission Park Lak

August 12, 2016 | 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

50 Plus Catalog Release Party