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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

Accessibility project to close SMP Off-Leash Dog Area for five weeks

A construction project which will add an accessible trail to the Off-Leash Dog Area in Shawnee Mission Park will begin on Aug. 13, and will result in the complete closure of the popular off-leash area for about five weeks.

This project involves the construction of approximately one half mile of concrete trail between the parking lot and the existing ramp down to the dog beach area. The new trail will follow the spine of the hill, and will replace the existing wood-chipped trail.

The goal of this project "is to improve ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to the beach," said Project Manager Megan Merryman. "In general, as an agency, we are making significant efforts to make our parks more accessible for everyone."

Freeman Concrete Construction of Shawnee was the successful bidder for this project. As detailed in the contract, Freeman will have 35 calendar days to complete construction.

In addition to lasting longer, concrete also has advantages in regards to maintenance and repairs.  

"It's easier for us in the future to have to go in and replace just a few sections of damaged concrete as opposed to having to bring in an asphalt truck again," Merryman said. "In theory, we could replace or repair damaged concrete a lot easier with a lot less disturbance to the public than asphalt."

Another minor aspect of the project will involve bringing in fill dirt to improve the trail elevation at a low spot near the parking lot.  

Like the district's streamway trails, the new paved trail will be ten feet wide.

During the scheduled closure, park staff will make additional improvements to the area, including fencing the east and west boundaries to enclose the entire off-leash area. The new fence will ultimately provide a safer area for dogs and their owners.  

Just a friendly reminder that in addition to being potentially hazardous to both dogs and people, entering the off-leash area during this construction closure, which also includes the parking lot, will be considered trespassing.

During the closure, off-leash area patrons are encouraged to use alternative off-leash areas, including three others operated by JCPRD, and others operated by outside agencies. Other JCPRD off-leash areas are located in: Heritage Park 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe; Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, 12500 W. 119th St., Overland Park; and near the Kill Creek Streamway Park access point at 33460 W. 95th St., De Soto. Other area dog parks include: Leawood Dog Park, 10601 Lee Boulevard, Leawood; and two areas operated by the city of Kansas City, Mo., in Penn Valley Park at 28th & Wyandotte St., and in Swope Park at 4701 E. Gregory Blvd.
 

JCPRD presents Homeschool Art programs for ages 5 to 15 beginning Sept. 5 & 6

Youth can join their friends and go on an adventure into art during a homeschool program being offered beginning in early September by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Homeschool Art is the name of this program, which is for ages five to 15, and is  designed to supplement homeschool curriculum. Participants will have collaborative experiences meant to encourage them to explore art through consideration, conversation, and creation. Two different themes for Homeschool Art programs with sessions starting in early September are being offered: Art Adventures, for ages five to 15, and Advanced Art Adventures for ages 11 and older.

All of these programs take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. These classes involve 11 two-hour sessions at a cost of $95 per person for Johnson County residents or $99 per person for nonresidents.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under fine &performing arts. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “art.”

Two different sessions of Art Adventures and Advanced Art Adventures are offered beginning in early September. One session of Art Adventures meets at 10 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Sept. 5, while the other meets at 10 a.m. Thursdays beginning Sept. 6. One session of Advanced Art Adventures meets at 1 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Sept. 5, while the other meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays beginning Sept. 6.

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a course ID search for the code numbers listed above.

Additional Homeschool Art classes with the theme "Clay Creations,"  will be offered for ages five to 15 beginning Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.  

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

New season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions begins Sept. 5 at two locations

The new season of Animal Tales Storytime, which is being presented by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department, includes sessions at two locations . The program will include sessions at  both the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe, as well as at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park.

Animal Tales Storytime invites young children and their parents to come listen and learn during any or all of the 11sessions scheduled on selected Wednesdays , and one Thursday, between Sept. 5 and Dec. 19.
 
Animal Tales Storytime is for ages two to six. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This program will feature stories, songs, and surprises. Participants will also get to meet a special animal friend at each session. Animal Tales Storytime was one of the many programs cited when the Ernie Miller Nature Center won an Oracle Award for Organizational Service and Leadership in the South Central Region from the National Storytelling Network a few years ago. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “storytelling.”
 
Animal presentations at the Ernie Miller Nature Center include:  a  Sept. 5 session called “Monarch Magic;” a  Sept. 19 session called "Johnny Appleseed;" an Oct. 3 session called "Fall Colors;"   an Oct. 17 session called "Night Critters;" a Nov. 7 session called "Forest Peek-a-boo;" a Dec. 5 session called  "Mrs. Claus Reads;" and a Dec. 19 session called, "A Visit with Santa." Sessions at JCAHC include: an encore presentation of  "Johnny Appleseed;" on Sept. 26;  an  Oct. 18 program called  "Fall Sights & Sounds;" a Nov. 14 program called "Turkey Time;" and a Dec. 12 program called "Feathered Friends."

At either location, the cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program. With the sole exception of the Oct. 18 program at JCAHC, which takes place on a Thursday, all other sessions take place on a Wednesday. Sessions at EMNC begin at 10:30 a.m., while JCAHC sessions begin at 10 a.m.
 
Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. For more information about this program, contact the nature center at (913) 826-2800.
 

“The Little Red Hen” is subject of next museum Retro Storytime program on Sept. 5 at the Johnson Cou

Parents and their preschoolers will love stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House during a series of programs being offered monthly from September through December at the Johnson County Museum.

This program is called Retro Storytime and is for ages three to five with an adult. After each session's story presentation, enjoy a craft activity for little hands. Stories change monthly. An adult must attend program with child. These programs take place beginning at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday early each month through December at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

The cost for each 45-minute program is $2 per child, and museum members receive a 20 percent discount but must register by telephone to receive their discount. Registration for these programs does not include admission to the Johnson County Museum or to KidScape. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under enrichment &special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “museum program.”

The first program in the new season is called “The Little Red Hen,” and will take place on Sept. 5. Published in 1953, this story is a long-time favorite about a hen, hard work, and the benefits of collaborating with friends.

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

Other upcoming Retro Story and Art Fun programs this season will include: “The Happy Man and his Dump Truck”  on Oct. 3, "The Poky Little Puppy" on Nov. 7, and “Frosty the Snow Man" on Dec. 5.
 
The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

New Little Critters program begins Sept. 6 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Your Little Critter will enjoy two hours of fun and education on the first Thursday of each month as you enjoy some personal time during a new program being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department.

Little Critters is the name of this program for ages three through five, which will take place at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Activities will vary but we will have a snack, make a craft, play games, and see an animal visitor each day.  Each month's program has a theme. For the Sept. 6 session, the theme is "Fall Fairytale Forest". Other themes this season are: "Slimy, Scaly, Not So Creepy” on Oct. 4, "Feathers, Beaks & Feet" on Nov. 1, and "Holiday Animal Party" on Dec. 6. All sessions take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday.

To find these program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “nature & outdoors.”
 
The cost per two-hour session is $14 per person for Johnson County residents, or $16 per person for nonresidents. Participants must be potty trained.  For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a search for any of the course ID numbers above.  
 
Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. For more information about this program, contact the nature center at (913) 826-2800.

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

New season of weekly intergenerational Walks in the Woods begins Sept. 5

Children of all ages with a parent are invited to take part in the new season of a weekly exercise program being offered beginning in early September by the  Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Walking in nature is great for overall wellness and learning about nature!  Walks in the Woods is the name of this drop in program which is for all ages with an adult. This season’s walk will rotate between four different access point on or near the Mill Creek Streamway Park. All walks begin at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday. The first walk is set for 11 a.m. on Sept. 5, and additional walks will follow through Oct. 31.

Walks in the Woods will begin at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Drive, Shawnee, on Sept. 5 and Oct. 3. Walks will begin at the Barker Road Access Point, 5946 Barker Road, Shawnee, on Sept. 12Oct. 10, and Oct. 31 (course ID 11054). Walks will begin at the Wilder Road Access Point, located at 19425 Wilder Road near the intersection with Holliday Dr., on Sept. 19 and Oct. 17. And Walks in the Woods will begin at the 87th Lane Access Point, 19803 W. 87th Lane, Lenexa, on Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.

The cost for each 50-minute session is $3 per person per session for Johnson County residents or $5 per person for nonresidents. To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth then under fitness & health. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “exercise.” For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a course ID search for the course ID codes listed above.

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

Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Johnson County Museum on Aug. 15

Join us for a behind the scenes tour of the Johnson County Museum’s collections storage facility at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center (JCAHC) during a special event offered in mid-August.

This Behind-the-Scenes Museum Tour is for ages 16 and older, and is offered on Wednesday, Aug. 15. Visitors will learn why we collect, how we collect, and the importance of these efforts to our local community. Our collection features over 17,000 3D objects and over one million images. The JCAHC facility holds the museum’s two-dimensional collection, including manuscript collections, maps, photographs, and quilts.

To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under special events. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “museum tour.”

The tour will take place at the JCAHC, located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The cost for one 60-minute program is $10 per person for adults, $9 for seniors ages 60 and older, and $8 for children one to 18. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount, but must register by phone by calling (913) 831-3359. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

To schedule a separate time for your group of six to 12 people, or a tour for youth, please call (913) 826-ARTS.

The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. The My JCPRD Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Join 50 Plus Social Outing to Crown Center on Aug. 15

Spend the morning exploring two of Kansas City's most famous and popular downtown attractions  during a mid-August social outing being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This trip is called Crown Center and Union Station, and will take participants to these popular midtown destinations, where they can shop, walk, and explore in indoor comfort.  Since it opened in 1971, the Crown Center complex, which is also home to the global headquarters of Hallmark Cards, has been popular for retail establishments, entertainment venues, and restaurants. Since its refurbishment and reopening in 1996, Union Station, which is connected to Crown Center by an enclosed and climate-controlled walkway called "The Link," has been home to theaters, ongoing museum exhibits, and attractions. Lunch will be at Unforked in Crown Center, with costs on your own.

To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under travel. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “social outing.”

This trip will leave at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and return at approximately 3 p.m. that day. The cost for this five -hour outing, including lunch, tours, and transportation,  is $12 per person for Johnson County residents or $13 per person for nonresidents  For more information or to register, call (913) 826-3030 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

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 My JCPRD Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.
 

Johnson County Museum to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

The Johnson County Museum is pleased to announce its participation in the ninth annual Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A list of participating museums nationwide is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

“The Blue Star Museums program is a great way for the Johnson County Museum to support our active duty military families,” said Museum Director Mindi Love. “We’re pleased to welcome families to explore our local history and heritage in our new facility, the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, which celebrates its first anniversary this June,”

The museum is located inside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.  Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sunday and major holidays.

Visitors may tour the museum’s signature exhibition “Becoming Johnson County,” our children’s experience KidScape, and the changing exhibit gallery which features “Let’s Celebrate:  Johnson County Museum Turns 50!” on display through Aug. 4  Regular admission prices are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children.

“Visiting a museum is a great way to get to know a community-whether it’s in your hometown or a stop on a road trip,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of museums all across the country who open their doors for military and their families to spend time together and have new arts experiences.”

This year’s participating Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, zoos, nature centers, and children’s museums.

“As many military families spend the summer months moving from one duty station to another, or reconnecting with a parent who has returned from deployment, Blue Star Museums helps service members and their families create memories,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Blue Star Families has great appreciation for the generosity of the museums across the country who roll out the red carpet for the families who serve alongside their service members. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as Active Duty and Reservists, National Guardsman (regardless of status), U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #bluestarmuseums.

About the Johnson County Museum
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the JCM offers exhibitions and programs for visitors of all ages to explore the community’s heritage and history. The museum collects and preserves objects, photographs and archival materials that document the area. Visit online to learn more.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
 

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. 

 

Upcoming Events

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Wed, 08/15/2018 - 5:30pm
Wed, 08/15/2018 - 6:30pm
Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:30am
Fri, 08/17/2018 - 7:30am
Mon, 08/20/2018 - 7:00pm

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