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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

Easter Bunny Hide and Seek event is March 28 at Shawnee Mission Park

Bring your family and solve a series of clues to find where the Easter Bunny is hiding in Shawnee Mission Park during a special event in Shawnee Mission Park being presented by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. Hop to it, because this program has a March 20 registration deadline!

Now in its second year, this event is called Easter Bunny Hide and Seek and will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 28. Participants will meet at Shelter #1 and enjoy lunch before getting their first clue and setting out on this adventure. You'll drive to various places in the nearly 1,600 acre park in Shawnee and Lenexa and at each, you'll find the next clue left by the bunny as he hopped through. Solving each clue brings you closer to where the Easter Bunny is hiding. Pictures with the Easter Bunny and goodies for the kids will be available at the final destination.

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 printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords "holiday event."

This event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 28. The cost for one two-hour event is $10 per person for Johnson County residents or $11 per person for nonresidents. A family rate for up to four people is also offered at $27 for Johnson County residents or $30 for nonresidents. To register for Easter Bunny Hide and Seek, call (913) 826-3160 or visit the District's website at www.jcprd.com and complete a barcode search for 26220. Remember, March 20 is the registration deadline for this event. In case of inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled on April 4.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Social dimension for the new JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement Badges and awards. To register for JCPRD U, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

Celebrate Women's History Month with Daring American Women event at The Ernie Miller Nature Center on March 28

Celebrating the rich history of American women and girls during Women's History Month is the goal of a special event planned at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in late March.

Daring American Women is the name of this event, which will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. This event is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult and one adult chaperone per group of five children is required. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite doll and to come dressed in their favorite fashion from American history. Those in attendance will hear of the trials and triumphs of women throughout the centuries. See the fashions of girls during Native American, Revolutionary, pioneer, Civil War periods, and more. Have tea with your doll and your fellow American women.

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 "history."

Admission for this two-hour event is $7 per person for Johnson County residents, including adults, or $8 per person for nonresidents. Advance registration is required. For group registrations or more information, call (913) 764-7759. 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 26366.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Intellectual dimension for the new JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement Badges and awards. To register for JCPRD U, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

50 Plus Plans Adventure Walk to visit Kansas' Cross Timbers Park on March 25

Kansas's Cross Timbers State Park located south of Topeka near Yates Center is the destination for an adventure walk being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District on Wednesday, March 25.

Cross Timbers State Park is located in the gently rolling hills of the Verdigris River Valley in southeast Kansas. Comprising 1,075 acres, the park features the Chautauqua Hills Trail with three branching loops. This outing will focus on the East Red Branch, which involves a moderate intensity walk of about three miles. The trail features wooden bridges, sandstone slabs, and rugged stone staircases. Lunch will take place afterwards at Smokey Ben’s BBQ in Yates Center, with costs on your own.

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 printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords "adventure walk."

This program will leave from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, at 8 a.m. The cost for one nine-hour outing, including transportation, is $25 per person for Johnson County residents or $28 for nonresidents. Lunch costs are on your own. 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 26485.

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.

May through August issue of JCPRD Activities catalog available after March 23

The next issue of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Activities catalog will be online at www.jcprd.com on March 20 and in print form the week of March 23. Registration for classes in the catalog begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 23. The free publication covers JCPRD programs and events offered between May and August.

The publication lists more than 800 programs offered by the district though August. This issue will also include information about the HP3 Duathlon, Open Options Shawnee Mission, and Olathe Medical Center Women's triathlons as well as other popular spring and summer events including: Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids, A Day in the Park, Patron Appreciation Day, Ernie Miller Park Amphitheater programs, the Great American Family Campout, and much more. Program offerings range from arts and crafts to sports to nature activities, and include leagues, classes, seminars, workshops, and trips. Included are programs for toddlers through senior adults. Registration for classes in the next catalog will begin immediately after catalogs arrive. The majority of programs start on or after May 1.

The 2015 Camp Guide includes information about 63 JCPRD camp programs being offered this summer. These include full-day programs beginning weekly from June 1 through July 27, as well as a number of specialty camps offered throughout the summer. The camp guide was first made available as a separate publication and online in early February, so be sure to sign up early for your best choice of camp programs.

Activities is mailed out to approximately 20,000 past participants who have taken part in a District program within the last year. Catalogs will also be available at Johnson County Library Branches, community centers, various businesses, and at District locations.

Updated JCPRD program listings and 24-hour online registration are available on the District's website at www.jcprd.com.

Grandparents can have fun with the grandkids during Spring Break Watercolor Workshop

Have fun over spring break and paint a watercolor work of art with your grandchild, during an intergenerational program being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Spring Break Watercolor Workshop is the name of the program, which is for ages 50 plus and a grandchild ages seven to 11. No art experience is necessary in this fun beginner program. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under fine & performing arts. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword "art." 

This program will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. The cost for one one-hour session is $15 per grandparent and grandchild for Johnson County residents or $16 per grandparent and grandchild for nonresidents. The fee for additional grandchildren is $7. For a simple supply list, call (913) 642-6410. 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 26183.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Social dimension for the new JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement Badges and awards. To register for JCPRD U, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

Printed copies of JCPRD’s Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Spring Fling Fun offers nature-related activities during spring break, March 16-20

Bored during Spring Break Week? Bring your family and friends to the annual Spring Fling Fun event at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe, where a fun and educational program will be presented twice each day.

Each day during spring break week (March 16-20), nature center staff and volunteers will present nature-oriented programs suitable for the entire family beginning at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Monday's program will kick off with the theme "Animal Clues," and will let visitors know what kinds of clues to look for on their next hike to reveal animal activities in the parks. For St. Patrick's Day, Tuesday's program is called "Celtic Heritage," and will be an opportunity for participants to hear stories and legends relating to the holiday. Wednesday's theme is "Predators in the Sky' and visitors will learn about owls and hawks. On Thursday, it's "Surprising Snakes," and audiences will get to see snakes live and up close. Rounding out the week is a Friday program called Wildlife Adventures, when participants will discover the wild animals which live at Ernie Miller Park.

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 keyword “nature & outdoors.”

Each program is approximately 45 minutes long. The cost is $3 per person, paid on-site. Advance reservations are not required for this program.

For more information on Spring Fling Fun, call the Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.  The Ernie Miller Nature Center is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Sensory Time at the Museum -- NEW program starting March 2015!

image of KidScape exhibit logoSensory Time at the Museum
 Offered the 1st and 3rd Thursday every month starting in March 2015!

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Fee: Free event, but space is limited to 20 children. Reservations required. Please call (913) 715-2575 to reserve your child's spot!

KidScape can be a loud and exciting environment and sometimes that can be a challenge for children with sensory integration and processing needs. Developed in partnership with Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County,  Sensory Time at the Museum is a free opportunity for these children and their families to experience the museum at their own pace before the museum opens to the public.

Special activities have been added to KidScape exhibit to support pretend play while working on fine motor skills along with sensory integration activities such as tactile fun and lacing in the Boutique, go fishing and play golf in the Park, play with echo microphones and practice self-dressing skills with the costumes in the Theater, count the packages at the Post Office and carry the heavy satchel as you make your deliveries, cuddle with a beanbag chair and enjoy some quiet time as you read book and explore the Seeking the Good Life exhibit with a fun seek and find activity!

Location: Johnson County Museum, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, KS, 913-715-2550.

Spring Break Geocaching Event is March 14 in Antioch Park

Looking for a way to keep the kids busy this spring break?  Join the fun of a scavenger hunt on March 14 during a Spring Break Geocaching Event being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District at Antioch Park.

This modern-day scavenger hunt is for all ages. Participants will receive the use of a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, how-to instruction, and a new prize at each cache they uncover. After the hunt, join us at Shelter #4 for hotdogs and s’mores.  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 “geocaching.”

This program will meet on the patio of the east side of Building A in Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, beginning at 10 a.m. The cost for one two-hour session is $10 per person for Johnson County residents or $11 per person for nonresidents. A family rate for up to four people is offered at $27 for Johnson County residents or $30 for nonresidents. Participants registered as a family will receive one GPS unit. Preregistration  by March 6 is required for this program.

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 26211.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Environmental dimension for the new JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement Badges and awards. To register for JCPRD U, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

Country cooking and entertainment planned for 50 Plus day trip on March 13

Experience some down-home country cooking as well as some great live entertainment  during a mid-March day trip being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Chicken-N-Pickin is the name of this trip to Walnut, Kan., where travelers will enjoy down-home cooking and great entertainment at the Duling Family Dinner Theatre. Savor their famous pan-fried chicken cooked in a cast-iron skillet and served with homemade fixings. Participants will also experience two hours of entertainment with toe-tapping country and gospel music  they’re sure to remember at this unique theater in a remodeled dairy barn.

To find this program in the JCPRD 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.”

The bus will leave Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 13, and participants will get back to Antioch Park by 5 p.m. The cost, including transportation, lunch, and the show, is $79 per person. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3030. To see this program online at www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for 26157.

While JCPRD 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 this program are invited to call (913) 831-3030, 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 Kids’ Night Out - St. Patrick’s Day Party for ages 7-12 is March 13 at RPCC

Children ages seven to 12 are invited to a Kids’ Night Out St Patrick’s Day part on the evening of Friday, March 13. This new event is being planned by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Only kids are allowed at this magical night of St. Patrick’s Day fun. Participants will search for clues in a leprechaun’s scavenger hunt leading them to his pot of gold, create Pat Patrick Days crafts, eat dinner, and enjoy a shamrock treat. To find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under special event. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “special events.”

This program will run from 6 to 9  p.m., on Friday, March 13, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Roeland Park. The cost for one three-hour event, including dinner, is $16 per child for Johnson County residents or $18 per child for nonresidents. 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 26984.

Another Kids’ Night out event at RPCC is planned for Friday, April 17, when the theme is Carnival Fun. House and costs for this event are the same as above. The barcode for this event is 26297.

These programs are also eligible for credit in the Social dimension for the new JCPRD U holistic wellness program for participants ages three to 18. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement Badges and awards. To register for JCPRD U, contact Sarah Shaw at (913) 826-2953 or at sarah.shaw@jocogov.org.

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

Upcoming Events

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March 6, 2015 | 12:00 pm

Strong People

March 9, 2015 | 12:00 pm

Strong People

March 11, 2015 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Pop 'n Play at the Johnson County Museum

March 11, 2015 | 12:00 pm

Strong People

March 11, 2015 | 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Irish Celebration with Celtique