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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

"Country Hoedown" is subject of Jo Ho Storyteller program on Oct. 18 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center

The next session of entertaining and educational stories involving nature, history, culture, and art being presented by local Storyteller Jo Ho as part of a storytelling series being offered by the Johnson County Museum is set for mid-October.

Titled simply Jo Ho, Storyteller, this series of stand-alone programs is for ages three to five. These programs take place beginning at 10 a.m. on one Wednesday each month at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.  The cost for each one-hour program is $2 per person, 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.

The next program in the series is called  "Country Hoedown" and will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Participants are invited to put on their dancing boots and grab a partner as Granny McDonald invites them to some rootin’ and yahooin’ down on the farm yarns.  Whether it’s kissing a cow, givin’ a pig a belly rub, or chasin’ rabbits through the pumpkin patch, it’ll be the fall hootenanny you’re lookin’ for.  Yeehaw!

For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online, visit the district's website at jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 40522.

Other upcoming Jo Ho Storyteller programs this season will include: "Fowl Play" (barcode 40523) on Nov. 15, and "Woodland Christmas" (barcode 40524) on Dec. 20.

To find these programs 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 keyword “storytelling.”

These programs are also eligible for credit in the Mindfulness 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.

The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Free New Horizons Band Concert set for Oct. 17 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center

A free concert by the New Horizons Band is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, located in the former King Louie Building at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

For this event, the entire 45+ member ensemble is expected to play for about an hour. This top-notch entertainment is free of charge.

To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under fine & performing arts. In the printed catalog,  look for the keyword “concert.” To see this program online, visit the district's website at jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper right part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 40450.

The New Horizons Band is also planning concerts on Dec. 5 at JCAHC, and an annual holiday concert at Kansas City's Union Station on a date that has yet to be announced. Please call (913) 826-3160 for up-to-date information on the Union Station Concert.

The New Horizons Band is a program of the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District in conjunction with the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and Meyer Music. The band is a group of music-loving adults age 50 and older who meet about once a week to practice. The group includes brass, woodwind, and percussion. New Horizons has been in existence for about 16 years and currently has about 45 band members, including members who come from as far as Blue Springs to participate. UMKC music majors assist the band director.

For anyone interested in joining the group, the band meets for practices weekly on Tuesday nights beginning at 6 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. Beginning band lessons are also available. For more information about the band or the concerts, call (913) 826-3160.

 

50 Plus Plans Adventure Hike to visit Missouri's Rock Bridge Park on Oct. 14

Missouri's Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is the destination for an adventure hike being planned by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Participants will visit the 2,200+ acre park near Columbia, Mo., where they will see beautiful rock formations, sinkholes, and caves to explore. The group will hike the rugged trails of rock and earth in this beautiful Missouri State Park. Investigate the Devil’s Icebox, sinkholes, and the other distinctive features of this region. Lunch after the hike will take place at Sophia’s in Columbia.

This outing is considered a difficult hike. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 plus and then under nature & outdoors. In the printed catalog and when using the advanced search,  look for the keywords “adventure hike.”

This program will leave from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, at  8 a.m. and return at approximately 5 p.m. that day. The cost  for one nine-hour outing, including transportation, is $31 per person for Johnson County residents or $34 for nonresidents. Lunch costs are on your own. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online, visit the district's website at www.jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 40341.

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. 

Ribbon cutting for new Coffee Creek Streamway Trail set for Oct. 14

After nearly a year of construction, a mid-October ribbon cutting is planned for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s newest streamway park trail.

This special event for the Coffee Creek Streamway Park Trail’s initial phase of 3.4 miles will take place beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, near Shelters 9 and 10 in Heritage Park, which is the current primary access point and western terminus for the new trail. The ribbon cutting will include light refreshments, giveaways, and comments by Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commission Chair Paul Snider and other officials.

“We’re pleased to open this new streamway trail, which will help serve the greenspace needs of southeast Johnson County,” said JCPRD Project Manager Bill Leek. “This trail traverses open fields, most of it leftover pasture lands, with some woodlands along the stream,” he said. “The woodlands along the stream consist primarily of oak, hickory, hackberry, sycamore, and cottonwood.”

The new trail stretches from Heritage Park east to Switzer Road. At this time, the shelter near Heritage Park Shelters 9 and 10 is the only place trail users will find restrooms and other amenities. The trail is also connected to surrounding residential neighborhoods, but no parking for trail access is provided at those points. As with other JCPRD streamway trails, the paved trail is for pedestrians and bikes, and equestrian use and motorized vehicles are prohibited.

This phase of trail development ends to the east at 169th Street near Switzer Road and the Coffee Creek Crossing Development, where it connects to a sidewalk.

A future access point with amenities is planned about halfway through the phase I trail, but will have to wait until anticipated extensions of 167th Street going east and west and Flint Street going north and south give access to what is referred to as the Verhaeghe property. Extension of the two streets by the city of Overland Park is expected in 2018.

No funding or timeframe has been set for the trail’s next phase, which is expected to take the trail roughly two miles southeast to where Coffee Creek converges with the Blue River, just west of 69 Highway and northeast of the Overland Park Arboretum. Other agencies, including Overland Park, are planning trails along the Blue River. For more information about the Coffee Creek Streamway Park, go to jcprd.com/parks_facilities/coffee_creek_strmwy.cfm.

Museum Exhibit Speaker to talk about the Hallmark Cards Archives on Oct. 12

Hallmark Cards Historian Samantha Bradbeer will share stories from the Hallmark Cards Archives when she is the speaker for a special event at the Johnson County Museum in mid-October.

This program is called Museum Exhibit Speaker and will take place on Oct. 12 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, located in the former King Louie Building at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The Hallmark Archives houses a vast and diverse history of graphic design trends, and documents the greeting card industry over two hundred years. The significance of these holdings stem from Hallmark founder J.C. Hall’s encouragement for a high level of quality and creativity and a longstanding tradition of support for the arts. Bradbeer will talk about how a holiday becomes a card-sending occasion, as well as stories behind the holidays.

To find this program in JCPRD's online listings at jcprd.com, browse first under adult and then under special events. Note that this is a change of speakers from the topic originally announced in the September through December issue of the My JCPRD Activities catalog.

This program will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12. The cost for one two-hour program is $15 per person for adults, or $12 for museum members. Members should call (913) 831-3359 to receive their discount.  For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online, visit the district’s website at jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a search for barcode 40659.

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. 

Free Tree Planting Workshop set for Oct. 4 in Stoll Park

Are you looking to beautify your yard, create shade or privacy and don’t know how to get started? A free workshop being presented in early October can help.

The free Tree Planting Workshop will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, near the new playground in Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, located at 12500 W. 119th St., Overland Park. The workshop is being presented by Green Outdoors and the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and is for ages 18 and older.

Participants will get the inside scoop on how to successfully plant trees, and about what trees work best in Johnson County soil and climate, the process of planting a tree, and keys to successfully establishing young trees. Four trees will be provided for planting in the park courtesy of Green Outdoors. Luke and Bobby Young of Green Outdoors and Heritage Park’s Kelly Loomis will be on hand to give a live tree planting demonstration, and answer your questions on how to plant and grow a healthy tree.

No registration is necessary for this program. Boots and gloves are optional for this hands-on experience.

For more information about this workshop, call Green Outdoors at (913) 609-5612.

 

Smithsonian Day LIVE! -- Free Museum Admission on Saturday, September 23

All museum visitors on Saturday, September 23 will receive free admission as part of the Smithsonian's Museum Day LIVE program. If you haven't visited the new Johnson County Museum at the Arts & Heritage Center, this is a great opportunity to come and explore! Museum hours are 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Questions? Call 913-826-2787 for answers. 

Waste Management, Inc. donates $25,000 to the Johnson County Museum

The Johnson County Museum Foundation is pleased to announce Waste Management, Inc.’s, donation of  $25,000 to the Johnson County Museum Foundation.

Area Vice President of Waste Management Mike Watson presented the check to Foundation President Larry Meeker at the museum. In doing so, Watson stated, “We want to support key community organizations that add significant value to the community while aligning with Waste Management’s commitment to investing in the Kansas City area and our company’s values.”

The gift is in recognition of the outstanding work the museum and its foundation provides to the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Specifically, the museum’s focus on children and education with its KidScape experience at the museum’s new home in the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

“We are extremely grateful for this support from Waste Management, and their recognition of the top-notch experiences we provide for our community’s children and families,” Museum Foundation Meeker stated.  Since opening on June 10, the museum has already served 30,000 visitors.

KidScape provides the museum’s youngest visitors with the opportunity to explore our community’s past. Learning through play, children ages two and older can interact in 3,500 square feet of fun in 11 unique environments representing rural, urban, and suburban areas.  From life on an 1870s farmstead to the cityscape of 1900 with the City Market, theater, and school, and ending with a suburban diner, hospital, city hall, construction zone, and park with a secret cave.  Kidscape offers hours of fun for kids to explore and play as well as unique field trip opportunities for local elementary schools. KidScape, along with the museum’s signature exhibition, “Becoming Johnson County,” were funded by a capital campaign spearheaded by the Museum Foundation.  At the time of opening, 95 percent of the $1.8 million goal had been raised.  This gift will support the remaining balance for the KidScape experience.

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults $4 for seniors 60+ and $3 for children 1-18.

As of January 2016, the Johnson County Museum became part of Johnson County Park & Recreation District (JCPRD), which manages the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center.  To learn more about the museum and the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, please visit www.jocoahc.com.

For more information, or to make a donation to the museum’s capital campaign, individuals and organizations are encouraged to contact JCPRD Development Director Jay Hinrichs at (913) 826-3448 or jay.hinrichs@jocogov.org or Museum Director Mindi Love at (913) 715-2555 or mindi.Love@jocogov.org.

Learn about the 1800s during 50 Plus Day Trip to Nebraska City, Neb., on Oct. 7

Experience what life was like in the Civil War era during an early October day trip being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Eighteen Hundreds  is the name of this trip, which will take travelers to Nebraska City, Neb. Participants will watch a live Civil War reenactment followed by a tour of Nebraska’s first nationally-recognized Underground Railroad historic site, The Mayhew Cabin and the John Brown Cave. The group will dine at the Lied Lodge for lunch before going to the Arbor Lodge for a tour of J. Sterling Morton’s family home. The 52-room mansion is full of countless historic artifacts. Morton and his wife envisioned a greener more tree-filled world and founded Arbor Day on April 10, 1872. It is believed that on the first Arbor Day, one million trees were planted in Nebraska. Please bring a folding chair for the Civil War reenactment.

To find this program in the My 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.”

This trip will leave at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7,  from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and return at approximately 6 p.m. that day. The cost for this 11 hour day trip, including admissions, lunch, and transportation,  is $83 per person.  For more information or to register, call (913) 826-3030. To see this program online at www.jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen and perform a barcode search for 40338.

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.

 

Whimsical Woods program returns to Ernie Miller Park on Oct. 7

There's nothing scary about a Halloween special event being offered at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Park in early October. The program is called Whimsical Woods and is for ages 11 and younger accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Participants will enjoy a walk on the park's trail with the award-winning staff of the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Costumed storybook characters will delight and entertain audiences of all ages. This program consists of a short trail walk with stations featuring interpreters who interact with participants. Participants will meet the Good Fairy and Forest Friends.  In addition, there will be live animals, stories, songs, and surprises. Group sessions will begin every 15 minutes, and for participants, the program length will be about one and one-half hours. In case of inclement weather, this event will be moved indoors.

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 catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “Halloween.”

Whimsical Woods is offered  beginning every 15 minutes from 1 to 3:15  p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, beginning at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. The cost is $5 per person, including adults, when paid in advance, or $7 per person onsite on the day of the event, if space is available. Register by calling (913) 831-3359 or online by following the green “Register for Activities” link at www.jcprd.com, and then completing a barcode search for any of the codes listed below.

For the 1 p.m. session, search for 39846. Codes for the other sessions are as follows: 1:15 p.m., 39847; 1:30 p.m., 39848; 1:45 p.m., 39849; 2 p.m., 39850; 2:15 p.m., 39851; 2:30 p.m., 39852; 2:45 p.m., 39853; 3 p.m., 39854; and 3:15 p.m., 39855. For more information about this program call (913) 764-7759.

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

Upcoming Events

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September 22, 2017 | 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Family Fishing Night

September 23, 2017 | 9:00 am

Smithsonian Museum Day!

September 23, 2017 | 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

FREE Day at the Johnson County Museum -- Saturday, September 23

September 23, 2017 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Flight of the Monarch

September 24, 2017 | 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Fall Public Hayride