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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

Grand reopening of Antioch Park’s Dodge Town postponed until April 21

Due to anticipated winter weather on Saturday morning, Johnson County Park & Recreation District officials have postponed the grand reopening of the Dodge Town play area in Antioch Park until April 21.

Originally scheduled for April 7, the reopening  on will celebrate the popular play area’s reopening following nearly six months of renovations. 

The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Plans include comments from local officials, a “rope cutting, ” some fun photo opportunities, and a lunch of “lil’ doggies” (hot dogs), chips, and water. “The Marshal of Dodge Town” (Johnson County Park Police Officer Seth Salmans)  will be deputizing kids and passing out badges and bandanas.  

Dodge Town closed in late September for an extreme makeover which included removing and replacing all the buildings, decking, and mulch. They’ve all been replaced with new versions of most of the buildings, including the schoolhouse, bank, pony express, city hall with a clock tower, general store, and blacksmith shop. New additions include a pour-in-place safety surface between the buildings, faux horses and calves, a train station, complete with a shaded seating area for parents, and a stationary train play element for the kids.

The reconstruction project corrects issues of drainage and general disrepair. The much-loved play area was originally built in 1961, and countless children have explored the western town replica in the years since. It has been rebuilt three times previously.

 

Marshal of Dodge Town looking forward to reopening event

Any rogues, hooligans, vagabonds, or rapscallions who might be in the area of Antioch Park on Saturday (April 21), had better watch out!

The marshal of Dodge Town will be out and  about and he’ll be recruiting dozens of new deputies during the Grand Reopening ceremony. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m.  Everyone, and especially young cowboys and cowgirls, are invited to this free event, which includes lunch and a badge!

Johnson County Park Police Officer Seth Salmans will portray the marshal, and he says he’s looking forward to this fun event where he’ll test some would-be new deputies at the recently-refurbished western-themed play area. 

“I enjoy immersing myself in the history, customs, mannerisms, and garb of another era,” Salmans said. “But what I really enjoy is the interaction with other people, and having an interaction with people that in many ways will be remembered for a lifetime.”

Serving as the marshal of Dodge Town won’t really be much of a stretch for Salmans, not only because of the many roles he’s played  as part of his interpretive duties with JCPRD at both Ernie Miller Park and at the Johnson County Museum, but because of his background working at another famous western Kansas locale.

“My first job was at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City,” Salmans said.  “Every summer since I was fifteen, I have worked/volunteered my time at the museum and this role was more or less the same. That experience was in part what helped me in getting my job as a park police officer. This character is so ingrained in my personality, outside of mentally going through the motions, there really isn’t much prep outside of the outfit. Let me tell you though that putting together a three-piece period-correct outfit is serious business. Especially when strapping on a gun belt and a badge.”

The popular Dodge Town play area closed in late September for major renovations which included removing and replacing all the buildings, decking, and mulch. Most of the buildings have been replaced with new versions, including the schoolhouse, bank, pony express, city hall with a clock tower, general store, and blacksmith shop. Added during these changes was a pour-in-place safety surface between the buildings, faux horses and calves, a train station, complete with a shaded seating area for parents, and a stationary train play element for the kids.  The reconstruction was necessary to correct drainage issues and general disrepair. The much-loved play area was originally built in 1961, and countless children have explored the western town replica in the years since. It has been rebuilt three times previously.

Saturday’s reopening event will include comments from local officials, and a “rope cutting” to carry through the western theme. After this, a lunch of “lil’ doggies” (hot dogs), chips, and water, will be served, some fun photo opportunities will be available, and the marshal of Dodge Town will be deputizing kids and passing out badges and bandanas.

Officials have said the event will proceed rain, shine, sleet, or snow.

Orienteering workshop for ages 16 and older offered on April 28

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 Orientation Workshop beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 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 is taught by members of the Possum Trot Orienteering Club and 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 My 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. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and complete a barcode search for 41284.

For participants ages three to 18, this program is also eligible for credit in the Environmental dimension for the JCPRD U holistic wellness program. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement  Badges and Awards. To register for JCPRD U, call (913) 826-2950.

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

Public invited to TimberRidge Adventure Center Open House on April 28

Whether or not you've seen or experienced the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's TimberRidge Adventure Center, an open house scheduled for Saturday, April 28, is your next chance to do so. 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 S. 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 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  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 for ages 8 and older. Cops-n-Bobbers, a local non-profit 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. 

Johnson County MedAct will also be onsite with a fire truck, and will be teaching hands only CPR. The agency met its goal of teaching this life-saving technique to 50,000 residents in 2017, and is continuing to teach it and explain how chest compression only CPR really does make a difference and saves lives. 

In addition, the center’s trails will be open for hiking and fishing in the ponds is allowed. anglers are allowed to take fish from the ponds as long as they are following state creel and length limits.  While JCPRD 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, which 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.

The activities at 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. Participants will be required to complete medical and liability releases prior to participating, and those under 18 will also need the signature of a parent or guardian. To register, fill out the registration form or call Outdoor Adventure Specialist Lysa Holladay Dvorak at (913) 856-8849.

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.

This event is held in conjunction with Outdoor Kansas Kids Day. Started in 2001, this program is an initiative of Kansas Wildscape to provide multiple outdoor recreation opportunities for Kansas youth with adult partnering and mentoring to encourage outdoor recreational opportunities, and promote and provide an active lifestyle as an alternative to sedentary activities. The program covers the entire state of Kansas and involves Kansas State Parks as well as other organizations and venues such as city and county park and recreation departments.

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

 

Mildale Farm Community Day set for April 28

The public will have an opportunity to explore and fish at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Mildale Farm property during a Mildale Farm Community Day set for Saturday, April 28.

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 JCPRD in 2005. Visitors will be directed to 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 64 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license, which will not be sold on-site.

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 at 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 Homestead Lane. Proceed north on Homestead Lane. Turn left onto 199th Street and proceed west 1.6 miles. Mildale Farm will be on the right.  From the south, take Interstate 35 north to Sunflower Road and proceed north of Sunflower Road 0.7 miles. Turn left onto to 207th St., and proceed west for 0.1 miles. Turn right onto 8th St. (Edgerton Road) and proceed north 1 mile. Turn right onto 56 Highway and proceed east 1 mile. Turn right onto 199th St. Mildale Farm will be on the left.

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

Watch for a late spring opening for Phase I developments at the 1,980-acre future Big Bull Creek Park, of which the Mildale Farm site will be a part. A combined park maintenance building and Johnson County Park Police substation to be located just north of the intersection of Four Corners Road and 199th St. Other anticipated amenities include a parking lot, two picnic shelters, a restroom, a nature themed playground, and a three-quarter-mile paved trail on Sunflower Road north of 207th St., and a group campground near 213th St. east of Spoon Creek Road.

New Superhero Saturday event is April 28 in Shawnee Mission Park

Suit up and celebrate National Superhero Day with your little crime-stopper during a new special event being planned by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District in late April.

This event is called Superhero Saturday and will take place on Saturday, April 28. Costumes are encouraged for this action-packed morning. Activities will include superhero training, a scavenger hunt, art activities, and a party favor. In case of inclement weather, this event will be held indoors at the Roeland Park Community Center.

"All superheroes are welcome! It would be fun to see Super Moms and Super Dads," said Recreation Coordinator Lisa Scharnak, who is planning this event. " The activities will be fun for all family members. I expect we’ll see a lot of heroes from the Black Panther movie in addition to traditional favorites. We need advanced registrations in order to run the event so that we can be prepare the right amount of supplies; due to this, we cannot always accommodate walkups. Currently, the event is limited to 20 families. If there is a large waitlist in advance, we can add another session."

To find this program in the My JCPRD 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 “special event.”

This event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 28.The cost for one 90-minute event is $12 per child ages 16 and under for Johnson County residents or  $13 per child for nonresidents.  For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and complete a barcode search for 41709.

Shawnee Mission Park is located at 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa, and Shelter #2 is located at the east end of Small Lakes Road. The Roeland Park Community Center is located at 4850 Rosewood Drive, Roeland Park.

Superhero Saturday is also eligible for credit in the Social dimension for the 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 call Nathan at (913) 826-2950.

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

Bingo sessions for 50 Plus set for April 9 & 20

"Garden Party" and "April Showers" are the themes of the two April bingo programs being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

All of this season's bingo sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Bingo prizes include  gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. The cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person for Johnson County residents or $6 for nonresidents. Cost of admission includes food (or snacks) and staff time for administering the bingo program. No additional charge for bingo. Advance registration is required.

The “Garden Party” bingo session will take place on Monday, April 9,  at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park (barcode 41917); and “April Showers” on April 20 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee (barcode 41789).

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under enrichment & special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “games.” For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and complete a search for the barcodes listed above.

A new season of bingo will begin May 2, and will include five bingo sessions at three locations through Aug. 8.

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.

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

 

 

Summer camp guide now online; registration underway

Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 2018 Camp Guide is now available online, and hard copies are available in all Johnson County Libraries.

Registration for camps begin Monday, Jan. 29. Online registration starts at 6 a.m., and in-person registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the JCPRD registration office located in Building D in Antioch Park at 6501 Antioch Road in Merriam. 

Camp registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Many camps fill quickly, so don’t delay or you may find your first choices unavailable. 

For faster, easier registration go to jcprd.com and create an account before searching or registering for camps. 

In all, nearly 60 camp programs are listed in this year’s guide, including camps for ages 3 through 18. Camps range from full-day to partial-day programs serving a variety of interests, including more than 25 camps new in 2018.

Most full-day camps offer weekly sessions with weekly start dates from June 4 through July 30; other camps begin throughout the summer. This year’s camps take place at locations throughout Johnson County. For the convenience of working parents, most full-day programs provide supervision and self-directed activities from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

 

Johnson County celebrates Kansas Day

Kansas is turning 157 years old on Monday, Jan. 29, and Johnson County is offering three activities to join the celebration, have fun and learn more about state symbols.

Kansas Day is celebrated annually to commemorate when Kansas became the 34th state entered into the Union, after statehood was approved by U.S. Congress on Jan. 29, 1861.

Johnson County’s events will take place a couple of days ahead of Kansas Day, beginning on Jan. 27, when residents are invited to “Meet the Animals of Kansas” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the Johnson County Museum in the county’s Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

The program will feature the American Bison and tiger salamander; information about the state’s natural symbols, including the sunflower; details about the Kansas flag; and the opportunity to interact with hands-on items and live animals.

Also on Jan. 27, the museum is planning a “Happy Birthday Kansas” celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include the opportunity to explore the museum’s signature exhibition, featuring the 1950s All-Electric House; play in KidScape; tour the temporary exhibit, “Let’s Celebrate: Johnson County Museum is 50!” and enjoy hands-on fun with activities and crafts for all ages from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No pre-registration required for either event with admission upon arrival. Admission for each activity is $5 for adult, $4 for senior (60+) and $3 for children. Museum members are free.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North K-7 Highway, Olathe, will showcase “Kansas Symbols as part of its Sunday Family Nature Services from 2 to 2:45 p.m. Jan. 28.

The program will feature some of the state’s natural symbols, including live animals. The cost of the program, with payment on site, is $3 per person, including adults (ages 2 and under are free). Pre-registration is not required. More information is available by calling 913-764-7759.

Give the Gift of Membership!

Give the gift that gives all year long!  Museum memberships offer a host of benefits including FREE admission to all three museum galleries all year long, discounts on programs and museum store items, invittations to exhibit openings and members only events, plus an e-newsletter to stay up to date on all that's happening at the museum. 

Memberships are valid from one year from the purchase date and there are two options:     

 Individual/Couple   $30

Family Memberships   $50

Purchase today by calling 913-715-2575. 

Upcoming Events

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Sat, 04/28/2018 - 9:00am

Mildale Farm Community Day

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 10:00am

Superhero Saturday

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 12:00pm

22nd Annual Panzon’s Fundraiser

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Fri, 04/20/2018 - 7:30am
Mon, 04/23/2018 - 5:30pm
Tue, 04/24/2018 - 5:30pm
Wed, 04/25/2018 - 9:00am
Wed, 04/25/2018 - 7:00pm
Thu, 04/26/2018 - 9:30am

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