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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

Discover downtown Wamego, Kan., during social outing for 50 Plus on April 27

We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Wamego during a social outing being offered in late April by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

The idea behind this occasional series of programs called Discover Downtown is that before suburban sprawl, each city’s downtown served as a hub of activity, and these areas continue to thrive with their own distinctive shops and restaurants. Participants are invited to relax while JCPRD provides the transportation, and then uncover the delights offered by the charming city centers of municipalities just outside the Kansas City metro area by shopping, and eating at a local restaurant.

The next outing will take place on April 27 when participants will go to Wamego, a town of about 4,400 located about 42 miles west-northwest of Topeka on the Kansas River. Participants can take a self-guided walk around beautiful and historical town of Wamego, where they can visit the Oz Museum, the Schonoff Dutch Mill, or any of the beautiful downtown shops.  Lunch will take place at the Friendship House.

To find this program 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 “social outing.”

Participants will depart for this Discover Downtown Wamego outing from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam,  at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 27, and return at approximately 4 p.m. that day. The cost is $26 per person. Lunch and museum costs are on your own. 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 36945.

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. 

Next deadline for HP3 event, including 5K, 10K, & 15K, is April 22

For more than 25 years, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District has sponsored an early-summer race event at  Heritage Park. The 5K and 10K runs have been a part of the event since 2013, and this year, a 15K distance has been added for participants 16 and older. The Let Me Run group of Kansas City has joined the event again for the second year in making the HP3 5K their culminating 5K for their Spring training season. To get the best price for this event, participants need to register by April 22.

This event, known as the HP3, will consist of 5K, 10K, and15K races on Saturday, May 13. This event promises something for everyone, from the seasoned veteran looking to add some miles to your trusty running shoes or a first timer interested in gaining a little experience while having fun among a stunning landscape. The spring event date creates the opportunity for athletes to jumpstart training and kick-off the race season!   

Race routes are inside Heritage Park and incorporate the natural beauty of the park’s trail system with breathtaking lake views and spacious trail ways.  The 10K and 15K events will take place beginning at 7:30 a.m. , and the 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. 5K participants will compete in three age-based categories: Youth (ages 15 and under), Adult (ages 16-49), and Masters (ages 50 and older). All participants  who register by May are guaranteed an event T-Shirt, and all participants will receive post-race refreshments.

To find these events in the My JCPRD Activities catalog, browse first under adult and then under special events. In the catalog, look for the keyword “race.”

HP3 is proud to be a part of the Olathe 10K Series hosted by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. Challenge yourself to 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) in seven weeks! All finishers will walk away with tons of swag from all four races and bragging rights as an Olathe 10K Series finisher! For more information, please email Kathryn.Renner@jocogov.org

JCPRD is proud to welcome back Let Me Run KC , a nonprofit organization offering a seven-week running program for fourth through eight grade boys led by coaches from around the community. Let Me Run KS is again making the HP3 5K its 2017 celebratory run. Visit letmerun.org for more information about how Let Me Run KC is preparing boys for the long run.

Until April 22, 5K registration fees are $15 per person for ages 15 and under, and $20 per person for ages 16 to 49, and 50 and older. After April 22 and until May 2, the fees are $18 for ages 15 and under, and $30 for ages 16 to 49, and 50 and older. After May 2, the fees are $20 for ages 15 and under, and $35 for ages 16 to 49, and 50 and older.

Fees for the 10K are $25 per person until April 22, $35 per person from April 22 through May 2, and $40 per person after May 2. Fees for the 15K are $35 per person until April 22, $45 per person from April 22 through May 2, and $50 per person after May 2.

For more information, go to www.jcprd.com/activities/special_events.cfm. To register online go to www.active.com and click on the HP3 logo.

Heritage Park is located at 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. If you are interested in volunteering for this event or need additional information, call (913) 826-2955.

This program is also eligible for credit in the Physical 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 (913) 826-2950.

The HP3 is a special event of the Johnson County Park &Recreation District and is sponsored by: Radio Stations ESPN 1510 and Sports Radio 810, Coca-Cola, Hiland Dairy Foods, F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic, Run 816, the Kansas City Blazers Swim Team, Pure Water Delivery, Natural Grocers and Panera Bread. 

Ernie Miller Nature Center presents Earth Day event on April 22

Celebrate the 47th anniversary of Earth Day and tackle environmental awareness during a special event at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in late April.

Now in its second year, this event is called For the Love of Earth! and will take place on Saturday, April 22. This program is for all ages.   Participants can meet Mother Nature with her animal friends, make a craft to take home, and learn about nature’s recyclers.  There will be an opportunity to attend a native plant program with a Master Naturalist, and to explore the forests and prairies, and discover how you can become green at heart.

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 keywords “nature & outdoors.”

This program begins at 1 p.m. at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. The cost for one two-hour event is $5 per person, including adults, for Johnson County residents, or $7 per person for nonresidents.  Because space is limited, reservations are required. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on the green “Register for Activities” button and complete a barcode search for 36625. For more information about this event, call the nature center at  (913) 764-7759.

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

Visit Chicken 'N Pickle for pickleball themed 50 Plus social outing on April 21

Play pickleball and check out Kansas City’s newest outdoor/indoor entertainment venue and restaurant concept.  during a late April social outing being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

This program is called Social Outing to Chicken 'N Pickle, located in North Kansas City, Mo. With a belief that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for a number of reasons, this entertainment complex includes a fast casual dining restaurant, eight pickleball courts (four indoor and four outdoor), a bar and entertainment space, food trucks, outdoor lawn games like bocce ball and Jenga and a living room with fire pits and TV screens. Trip participants will play for two hours on two reserved indoor courts with lunch costs on your own.

To find this outing 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 keyword “pickleball.”

This outing will leave at 9:30 a.m. from Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park, on Friday, April 21, and will return about 1:30 p.m. that day. The cost for this outing is $18 per person, and includes transportation. 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 36956. 

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.

50 Plus Plans Nature Walk to visit Baker Wetlands in Lawrence on April 19

The Baker Wetlands in Lawrence, Kan., is the destination for a nature walk being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Located just south of Lawrence, the Baker Wetlands provides a unique place to learn about natural and cultural history. The wetlands encompass 927 acres of rich, natural wildlife, and is considered one of the most diverse habitats in the state. Participants will take a guided walk through the wetlands with Education Coordinator Dr. Roger Boyd,   where they will explore the restoration of this important area. Lunch will be at 715 restaurant in Lawrence following the hike.

This outing is considered an easy walk. 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 “nature walk.”

This program will leave from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, at  9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19, and return about 5 p.m. that day. The cost  for one nine-hour outing, including transportation, is $27 per person for Johnson County residents or $30 for nonresidents. Lunch costs are on your own.

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 36929.

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

50 Plus Plans Adventure Walk to visit Nebraska's Indian Cave State Park on April 15

Indian Cave State Park in southeastern Nebraska is the next Adventure Walk destination being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Winding along the Missouri River, and tucked into the rolling hills of south eastern Nebraska is Indian Cave State Park. Explore the limestone cave, accessible by boardwalk, and maybe spot a few petroglyphs! Hike the rugged dirt trails and enjoy the beautiful overlooks. Afterwards, lunch will be at Nemaha Country Market in Nemaha, Neb.  Lunch costs on your own.

This outing is considered a difficult walk featuring a natural trail with potentially steep elevation changes and a variety of terrain. 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. on Saturday, April 15, and return about 5 p.m. that day. The cost  for one nine-hour outing, including transportation, is $30 per person for Johnson County residents or $33 for nonresidents. Lunch costs are on your own.

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 36924.

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

Pool Instead of School event planned for April 14 at Roeland Park Aquatic Center

A themed pool party is the perfect antidote for bored kids on a teacher in-service day, and that's the goal of a mid-April special event being planned at the Roeland Park Aquatic Center.

This event is called Pool Instead of School and is meant to get kids moving instead of staring at electronic devices. "Spring Fling" is the theme for this event. Participants will be led in 30 minutes of pool games, have 90 minutes of free play in the pool, and leave with a special treat. Participants will have to pass a swim test to be allowed in the deep end.  Please register by April 5 for this event. This session was not listed in the January through April Activities catalog.

Pool Instead of School will take place beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 14, at the Roland Park Aquatic Center, located at 4350 Rosewood, Roeland Park. The cost for this event is $8 per person for Johnson County residents or $10 per person for nonresidents.  To register by phone, 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 37099. 

This event is also eligible for credit in the Physical 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, search for barcode 37017 or call (913) 826-2950.

The Roeland Park Aquatic Center is owned by the City of Roeland Park and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. For more information about this event, call (913) 432-1377.

Soup, Salad, and the Strolling Strings event set at Matt Ross Community Center on April 13

Come enjoy a delicious lunch of soup, salad, bread, and dessert during a special event being planned in mid-April by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Now in its third year, this event is called Soup, Salad, and the Strolling Strings and will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 13, at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. During the meal , the talented Shawnee Mission North Strolling Strings will play delightful melodies on a variety of stringed instruments including the violin, cello, bass, and viola.

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 “social event.”

The cost for this one-hour event, including lunch, is $13 per person. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, follow the Register for Activities link and do a barcode search for 37005.

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

Visit Ernie Miller Nature Center to participate in Passport to Adventure 2017 beginning April 8

Gather your family and pick up your Passport to Adventure for the Interpretive Site Coalition of Kansas City’s annual event at the Ernie Miller Nature Center or at any of 19 other sites in the metro area beginning April 8.

Passport to Adventure is a great way for area residents to experience nature, science, and history in their own backyard. The event is meant to encourage the public to visit area nature centers, museums and historic sites between April 8 and Oct. 31.

This year’s event will kickoff from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at the Olathe Bass Pro Shop, 2051 Bass Pro Drive, Olathe.  Participants can pick up their 2017 passport, visit booths from participating facilities, see live animals, and participate in hands-on activities. 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 keywords “nature & outdoors.”

The Passport to Adventure program is free, although some sites charge regular admission to their facilities. Participants can also obtain a passport at any of the sites below. Passport holders have until Oct. 31 to get their passport stamped at participating sites in order to be eligible for prizes.

Sites participating in the 2017 Passport to Adventure are:

Anita B. Gorman  Discovery Center - 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 759-7300

Beanstalk Children’s Garden, KCCG - 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-3877

Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center  - 1401 NW Park Road, Blue Springs, Mo. (816) 228-3766

Ernie Miller Nature Center - 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe, Kan.,  (913) 764-7759

F.L. Schlagle Library -  4051 West Dr,Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, Kan., (913) 299-2384

Fort Osage National Historic Landmark - 107 Osage St., Sibley, Mo., (816) 650-3278

Kemper Outdoor Education Center - 8201 Jasper Bell Road, Blue Springs, Mo., (816) 229-8980

Lakeside Nature Center -  4701 E. Gregory, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 513-8960

Legler Barn Museum - 14907 W. 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, Kan., (913) 492-0038

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site - 1200 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, Kan., (913) 971-5111

Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary - 407 N. LaFrenz Road, Liberty, Mo., (816) 781-8598

Missouri Town 1855 - 8010 E. Park Road, Lee’s Summit, Mo., (816) 503-4860

Oxford School House - 147th & Mission Road, Leawood, Kan., (913) 339-6700 ext. 157

Powell Gardens - 1609 NW, U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, Mo., (816) 697-2600

Prairie Oak Nature Center - 14701 Mission Road, Leawood, Kan., (913) 696-7770

Prairie Park Nature Center, Lawrence - 2730 SW Harper, Lawrence, Kan., (785) 832-7980

Shawnee Indian Mission - 3403 W. 53rd St, Fairway, Kan., (913) 262-0867

Shawnee Town 1929 Museum - 11600 Johnson Dr., Shawnee Kan., (913) 248-2360

Thomas Hart Benton Home Historic Site - 3616 Belleview, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-5722

Trailside Center - 9901 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 942-3581

The Interpretive Site Coalition of Kansas City is a nonprofit organization made up of historical, natural, and cultural interpretive sites throughout the Kansas City area. The Ernie Miller Nature Center is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

For more information about the Kickoff  Event or the Passport to Adventure Hunt, visit http://kcpassport.com or call the Ernie Miller Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.

Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids event returns to The Theatre in the Park on April 8

A popular special event which lets kids get an up-close look at big rigs, tractors, and all types of equipment will be returning to the Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park on April 8.

The event is called Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids and will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, in the parking lot at The Theatre in the Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee. Participants can see what the insides of these vehicles look like. This event is for all ages, but parents are encouraged to bring their little ones out to meet and greet trucks, tractors, construction, and city vehicles up close. They’ll have the opportunity to crawl, climb, and sit in the driver’s seat while visiting with the real-life operators of these vehicles. The first 50 children will get a free construction worker hat.

Admission to this three-hour event is free, but a donation of $10 per participant vehicle is suggested. Proceeds benefit the district's Special Olympics and Special Populations programs.

The JCPRD’s Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. For more information, call (913) 831-3359.

Upcoming Events

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April 5, 2017 | 10:30 am to 11:00 am

Animal Tales Storytime - Turtle Time

April 7, 2017 | 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

*Cancelled - 50 Plus Catalog Release Party

April 8, 2017 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Easter Bunny’s Extreme Egg Hunt

April 8, 2017 | 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids

April 8, 2017 | 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Easter Bunny’s Extreme Egg Hunt