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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

JCPRD presents Homeschool Art programs for ages 5 to 15 beginning Jan. 9 & 10

Youth can join their friends on an adventure into art during a homeschool program being offered beginning in early January by the Johnson County Park and 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 January are being offered: Art Adventures, for ages five to ten, and Advanced Art Adventures for ages 11 to 15. 

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 January. One session of Art Adventures meets at 10 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 9, while the other meets at 10 a.m. Thursdays beginning Jan. 10. One session of Advanced Art Adventures meets at 1 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 9, while the other meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays beginning Jan. 10

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com by clicking on the times listed above. 

Additional Homeschool Art classes with the theme "Clay Creations,"  will be offered beginning April 4. These include a session of ages five to ten and another for ages 11 to 15.  

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

New Bitty Ball Basketball programs for two age groups begin early January

New Bitty Ball Basketball programs for two different age groups of girls and boys are being offered beginning in early January by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. 

Separate Bitty Ball programs for ages four to five and six to seven are being offered beginning Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Okun Fieldhouse. Coach Sean Birdsong of Nothing But Net Sports will direct these programs, which are geared toward introducing young athletes to ball handling, passing, shooting, offense and defense. Players will be divided into groups and scrimmages will be introduced. Players will receive a T-shirt. Class will not meet on Jan. 20. 

Search for the keyword "basketball" to find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings.

The Bitty Ball program for ages four to five begins at 4:30  p.m., while the program for ages six to seven begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Okun Fieldhouse, located inside the Mid-America West Sports Complex, 20,200 Johnson Drive, Shawnee. Both Bitty Ball programs involve four 50-minute sessions at a cost of $45 per child for Johnson County residents, or  $47 per person for nonresidents.  For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com for the program for ages four to five or the program for ages six to seven.

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

“What Am I? A Picture Quiz Book” is subject of next museum Retro Storytime program

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 January through April 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 April 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 “What Am I? A Picture Quiz Book,” and will take place on Jan. 9. Participants can listen to the clues and help guess the answers in this interactive Little Golden Book from 1949. 

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

Other upcoming Retro Storytime programs this season will include: “The Little Red Caboose”  on Feb. 13, "Four Little Kittens" on March 20, and “The Golden Egg Book" on April 30.

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

Free Coffee with the Birds program offered at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Come enjoy winter bird watching from the comfort of an indoor wildlife viewing room during an informal program being offered for ages 18 and older at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center.

With the lack of foliage and increased sight distance, winter is a great time for bird watching. Chickadees, woodpeckers, juncos, cedar waxwings, and many more are commonly seen at the center's feeders. 

This free eight-week program is called Coffee with the Birds and involves an invitation to interested parties to come sit, visit, and drink free coffee as they watch birds at the nature center's feeders between 9 and 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays between Jan. 8 and Feb. 26. No registration or reservations are required and participants can come and go as they please. 

To find this program in the My JCPRD  Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under nature & outdoors. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “bird watching.” 

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

Sunday Family Series begins Jan. 6 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Bring the family to the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Nature Center in January for Sunday Family Nature Programs. Presentations  begin at 2 p.m., last about 45 minutes, and are designed for all ages. A charge of $3 per person, payable at the site, helps cover the cost of the programs; children under two  are free. 

January presentations will include:

  • Jan. 6: Weird Wonders of Wildlife - Discover unusual wildlife found in Kansas and their strange adaptations. See a legless lizard, a stick insect, and other weird animals.
  • Jan. 13: Killer Beaks and Feet - See live raptors, and discover their adaptations that make them such excellent hunters. 
  • Jan. 20: Snakes Alive - See Kansas snakes as we explore the facts and fallacies of these legless wonders of the natural world.
  • Jan. 27: Kansas Symbols  - Celebrate Kansas' Statehood Day, which this year falls on Jan. 29! See some of the natural symbols live and in person, including live animals.

The Sunday Family Series will continue in February with “Know Your Scat” on Feb. 3; “Ferrets in Kansas” on Feb. 10; “Furs and the Frontier” on Feb. 17; and “Wildlife Who’s Who” on Feb. 24.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District and is located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

To find these programs 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 keywords “nature programs.” For more information on the Sunday nature programs, call (913) 826-2800.

Johnson County Museum offers new escape room experience at Lanesfield Historic Site by appointment

Solve the mystery of the missing school marm during a new escape-room style adventure being offered by appointment at the Johnson County Museum's Lanesfield Historic Site near Edgerton

This program is called Scandal in the Schoolhouse - A Historic Escape Room Experience, and is recommended for ages ten and older, and is available for groups by appointment. Scandal in the Schoolhouse is available from Jan. 5 through March 30. For this one-hour program, the cost is $50 for two people, or $20 per person for three to eight people. Schedule your escape room experience at least a week in advance by calling the museum (913) 715-2570.

An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. 

Lanesfield Historic Site is located at 18745 S. Dillie Road, Edgerton. The Lanesfield site is a one-room limestone schoolhouse, the last remaining structure in the former town of Lanesfield. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988. 

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

Join the Side By Side Experience 50 Plus vocal performing group beginning Jan. 4

The Side By Side Experience, a 50 Plus vocal music and dance group presented by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District, will be beginning a new 12-session program in early January, and all interested parties are invited to join in and have fun with this group of easygoing performers.

Founded in 1992, the group meets weekly and currently has more than 20 members, including several men. Pianists take turns accompanying the singers and dancers. Drawing on a catalog of 560 songs, the group changes themes monthly. Some themes are based on holidays or seasons, while others come from musical theater or various time periods. In all, the group conducts about 48 rehearsals and 60 shows each year at nursing homes, retirement homes, senior groups, churches, and other interested entities.

Anyone with vocal or dance interests, regardless of skill level, is welcome to join the Side By Side Experience. The next season of rehearsals will meet at 12:30 p.m. Fridays beginning Jan. 4 at Grace Methodist Church, 11485 Ridgeview Road, Olathe. The cost for 12 two-hour sessions is $13 for Johnson County residents or $14 for nonresidents. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 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 is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. 

 

 

Enjoy New Year's week performance by Rockin' Rob at Johnson County Museum on Jan. 4

Fun, music, and movement are in store when the Johnson County Museum presents a Kid-Friendly Musical Performance in early January.

The Rockin’ Rob show is a completely interactive and educational musical kids’ show that promotes fun and education through the benefits of music and movement! 

This program is designed for ages two through ten with an adult and will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, at the Johnson County Museum, located in the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. To find this program 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 “music.”

The cost for this 60-minute program is $5 per person, or $4 for members, who must call (913) 831-3359 to register and claim their discount. Program registration does not include admission to KidScape and the museum. To register for this program by phone, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com. 

Another Kid-Friendly Musical Performance is planned for March 8, when Dino O'Dell will perform at JCAHC. Use course ID 14850 to find that concert online.

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

Winter Solstice Celebration is Dec. 22 at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Take a break from the busy holiday festivities and preparations to celebrate an ancient rite at a fun special event for all ages called the Winter Solstice Celebration planned for Dec. 22 at the  Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center. 

In astronomical terms, the Winter Solstice occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. In terms of daylight hours, it marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Officially, this year's Winter Solstice actually occurs on Dec. 21.

During this year's celebration, participants will hike luminary-lit trails in Ernie Miller Park along Little Cedar Creek to witness the natural display of winter's quiet time. Then warm up by the fire and enjoy hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows while listening to ancient stories about the longest night of the year. Visit live owls and discover animal mysteries of survival during the long winter. Since parts of this program will take place outdoors, be sure to dress for the weather. 

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

The Winter Solstice Celebration will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. Drop in any time after 4:30 p.m. for ongoing activities. If paid in advance, the cost is $6 per person for Johnson County residents, including adults, or $7 per person for nonresidents. If paid on-site, the cost is $8 per person, and availability of space is not guaranteed.  

For more information about this program, call (913) 826-2800. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or  register online at www.jcprd.com

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

Animal Tales Storytime sessions continue on Dec. 5, 12, and 19

Visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause, as well as a session about our feathered friends are the themes of  December Animal Tales Storytime sessions being presented at two locations by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department.

December Animal Tales presentations include: a Dec. 5 session called  "Mrs. Claus Reads;" and a Dec. 19 session called, "A Visit with Santa," both at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, and a Dec. 12 program called "Feathered Friends" at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park.

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. All three sessions take place on a Wednesday. Sessions at EMNC begin at 10:30 a.m., while the JCAHC session begins at 10 a.m.

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.”

The 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.

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Wed, 12/19/2018 - 7:00pm
Thu, 12/20/2018 - 9:30am
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Wed, 12/26/2018 - 6:00pm
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