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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

Johnson County Museum to present free Lanesfield School Country Christmas event

Drop in for an old-fashioned Christmas during a special event being presented nine times this holiday season by the Johnson County Museum at the Lanesfield Historic Site.

The program is called Lanesfield School Country Christmas and is for all ages. Experience a traditional 1904 old-fashioned Christmas! Participants can write a letter to Santa with pen and ink, and find old-fashioned stocking stuffers in our gift shop.

Lanesfield School Country Christmas is offered as a free drop-in program from 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays on the following dates: Nov. 30, and Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28.  The session on Saturday, Dec. 14, will include a special Christmas concert in the schoolhouse, featuring the Edgerton Rainbow Connection Children’s Choir. The performance will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a visit from Santa, crafts, and free refreshments. 

Lanesfield Historic Site is located at 18745 S. Dillie Road, Edgerton. The Lanesfield site is a one-room limestone schoolhouse originally built in 1869, and is the last remaining structure in the former town of Lanesfield. It has been restored to its appearance of 1904, and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988. 

For more information about this program, or to register a group of ten or more, contact the museum at (913) 715-2570. 

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

Enjoy Thanksgiving week performance by Mr. Stinky Feet at Johnson County Museum on Nov. 26

Come prepared to sing, dance, and have fun as a family when the Johnson County Museum presents a Kid-Friendly Musical Performance in late November.

Kansas City's own Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove has delighted audiences throughout North America and Europe for about two decades. Jim’s philosophy is that children are the stars of his shows, not him. His approachable style and ability to immediately connect with audiences has made him a cool favorite on the concert tour circuit. 

This program is designed for ages two through ten with an adult and will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26,  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, and museum members save 20 percent, but 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. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities," and complete a course ID search for 21818. 

 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. 

Savages and Princesses - The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes exhibit begins Nov. 20

Giving viewers an opportunity to see artwork by nationally-recognized indigenous artists and starting some conversations around the topic of Native American stereotyping are goals for a second temporary exhibit opening at the Johnson County Museum during November.

Savages and Princesses - The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes, is the name of this exhibit, which opens Nov. 20. First curated by America Meredith, a Native American artist in Oklahoma, this exhibit consists of more than thirty contemporary artworks by 13 nationally-recognized Native American artists, and includes small art objects, framed pieces, and a giant installation.

“The pieces deal with the theme of stereotyping Native Americans and the wide diversity of Native American cultures,” said Museum Curator of Interpretation Andrew Gustafson. “Themes like the ‘savage warrior’ or the ‘drunken Indian’ are everywhere in popular culture, from books to movies to sports team mascots. This exhibit really takes a look at the stereotypes, and through the use of emotion - humor, anger, sadness - helps visitors to reflect on those stereotypes. It is a great opportunity to learn about another point of view, to learn about ourselves, and a chance to make ourselves more aware of other cultures in our own community.”

Gustafson said he believes an art exhibit is a great way to tackle a tough topic like pop culture stereotyping. 

“Art by its very nature creates dialogue - people want to talk about what they are seeing and experiencing in front of them,” he said. “Art also has the power to make us feel what the artist is trying to convey, and does not have to work around the inherent meaning that might be associated with a historical object. I think this exhibit will really pull some emotion of out visitors.”

This exhibit is made possible by Mid-America Arts Alliance and Exhibits USA, as well as through funding from Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) and the National Endowment for the Arts. The November start of the exhibit ties into National Native American Heritage Month, and Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes will be on display in the museum’s exhibit room through March 14.

Several tie-in programs to this exhibit are being planned, including a panel discussion called Distorted Images: Indians in Popular Culture set for Feb. 17.  This panel will be moderated by the original exhibit’s curator, America Meredith, and will feature local and national Native American artists, curators, and activists. The panel will tackle the tough themes of the exhibit, as well as contemporary realities for Native Americans in the United States, and promises to be a thought-provoking event. Other programs relating to this exhibit include a Lunch & Learn on Nov. 22 called Disruption Then Disease (22947), and another Lunch & Learn on Jan. 23 called Resettlement and Reeducation of Indians in Kansas. Registration for this program begins Nov. 18 with the release of the January through April issue of the My JCPRD Activities catalog.

The museum’s other current temporary exhibit, which opened on Nov. 12, is called Dreaming of a Retro Xmas. It celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Evergleam, the first commercially-successful aluminum Christmas tree. This exhibit features the collection of Johnson County residents Steve and Mary Pruitt, which includes aluminum Christmas trees and other vintage Christmas decorations from the 1950s and 60s, as well as some of the museum’s own collection of Johnson County-based Christmas décor. Dreaming of a Retro Xmas will remain on display in and around All Electric House inside the museum through Jan. 11.

Both temporary exhibits will take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Exhibit admission is included with regular museum admission rates of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children, until Jan. 1, when museum admission increases to $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. 

 

JCPRD January through April Catalog available after Nov. 18

The next issue of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s My JCPRD Activities catalog will be online at www.jcprd.com on Nov. 15 and available in print form the week of Nov. 18. Registration for classes in the catalog begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18. The free publication covers JCPRD programs and events offered between January and April. 

The 64-page publication lists more than 500 programs, and includes winter special events such as: Christmas Tree Recycling, The Great Backyard Bird Count, two trout stockings at two district lakes, Kansas City Passport to Adventure, Mildale Farm Spring Community Day, Trucks and Big Rigs for Kids, a seasonal 50 Plus Travel Show, an Irish Celebration with Celtique, Spring Fling Fun, the annual TimberRidge Adventure Center Open House, and many more. 

Program offerings range from arts and crafts to sports to nature activities and include leagues, classes, seminars, workshops, and trips. Included are programs for infants through senior adults. The majority of programs start on or after Jan. 1. 

The My JCPRD Activities catalog is mailed out to more than 30,000 past participants who have previously taken part in a district program. Catalogs will also be available at Johnson County Library branches, community centers, various businesses, and at district locations.

Updated JCPRD program listings and 24-hour online registration are available on the district’s website at www.jcprd.com. 

JCPRD’s 2020 Summer Camp Guide will be available online after Jan. 22, and in print after Jan. 23.  Registration begins at 6 a.m. on Jan. 27 at JCPRD.com. The next issue of the My JCPRD Activities, available in late March, will cover programs and events for the months of May through August, and will hit mailboxes the week of March 23.

New Dreaming of a Retro Xmas temporary exhibit begins Nov. 12 at Johnson County Museum

Travel back to a Space Age Christmas and learn all about aluminum trees and other vintage decorations during a new temporary exhibits beginning in mid-November at the Johnson County Museum.

Dreaming of a Retro Xmas is the name of this exhibit, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Evergleam, the first commercially successful aluminum Christmas tree. This exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 11.

“This exhibit is one of those fun, nostalgic exhibits that highlights a piece of our past,” said Museum Curator of Interpretation Andrew Gustafson. “The aluminum Christmas tree is such an iconic piece of Americana, even if we did not own one, it represents a place and time for many people. This exhibit will help give visitors a sense of the types, colors, and variations in the trees, and will tell them a little bit about the history of this Space Age holiday decoration.”

This exhibit features the collection of Johnson County residents Steve and Mary Pruitt, which includes aluminum Christmas trees and other vintage holiday decorations from the 1950s and 60s,  as well as some of the museum’s own collection of Johnson County-based Christmas décor.

About 20 Christmas trees will be on display for this exhibit, along with several other pieces of Space Age decoration. The oldest aluminum tree dates to 1959, its “birth year,” and is still unopened in its original box. There will be informational panels that reveal the quick rise in popularity and the equally fast decline of the aluminum Christmas tree.

“Visitors will really get a sense for the different colors these trees came in, and the different types of “needles” that were available, from regular needles, to pompoms, to twisted needles,” Gustafson said. “There are several surprising colors and variants, and the most interesting tree is probably the one that is attached to the Bradford Snow Maker - tiny Styrofoam balls that are sucked through a tube and create ‘snowfall’ from the top of the tree, only to fall down to a catch basin and be recycled again.”

The exhibit will also include antique ornaments and other Christmas decorations, such as the “Twinkling Stars of Bethlehem,” made by USA Lite, and NOMA bubble lights. Several rotating tree bases and working color wheels will be part of the display as well. 

Dreaming of a Retro Xmas will be arranged inside the All-Electric House and out on its “front yard,” both of which are located inside the museum.

A related program called History on Tap - The Life and Times of the Aluminum Christmas Tree was recently scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12, and will feature Steve and Mary Pruitt talking about and presenting a tour of  the aluminum tree exhibit. 

“This will really be special to hear from the collectors,“ Gustafson said. “They know their stuff, and they love talking about America’s Space Age.” 

The cost for this 90-minute program is $7 per person and includes drinks, snacks, and museum admission.

Another new temporary museum exhibit called Savages and Princesses - The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes is set to begin on Nov. 20. This exhibit is made possible by Mid-America Arts Alliance and Exhibits USA, as well as through funding from Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) and the National Endowment for the Arts. This exhibit, which will remain in display at the museum through March 14, consists of over thirty contemporary artworks by 13 nationally-recognized Native American artists, and includes small art objects, framed pieces, and a giant installation.

Both temporary exhibits will take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Exhibit admission is included with regular museum admission rates of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for children, until Jan. 1, when admission increases to $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. 

 

Test your JoCo knowledge at Old Settlers

How much do you know about Johnson County? Come test your trivia skills with our Spin-to-Win wheel at Johnson County Old Settlers in downtown Olathe! We will have a booth at this event today, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. In addition to learning about the county, you’ll find experts on the upcoming 2020 Census who can answer your questions about what to expect next year, why participation is so important and how you can become a census worker.

Our booth is located just to the north of the Johnson County Administration Building (111 S. Cherry St., Olathe). Other county entities represented at this event include the Johnson County Election Office, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management and Communications department. For more information on this event, please visit the Old Settlers website.

The Johnson County Museum ’20s Exhibit

The Johnson County Museum is a fascinating look at the history of our community.  But the recent biggest draw for it has been “The Turbulent Twenties” exhibit and there is a good reason for it. 

Want to see it? Well, the exhibit (and actually the entire museum) is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. There is still plenty of time to visit it. The exhibit opened toward the end of August of last year and will remain at the museum until May 11. This exhibit is celebrating a belated 100-year anniversary. It is also included in admission. If you want to see this part of the museum than you are in luck. 

Not only that but there are several museum tours in February and there is even an event called Lunch and Learn. In this event you get to learn about 1920s fashions. Also, as the title suggests you get to bring your own lunch with you. If you want to know more information, check out the museum website

https://www.jcprd.com/330/Museum

This video will give you a preview of what you may see in it. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAdzs4ZkOUM&t=1s

Isaac Rankin

County Managers Office

Upcoming Events

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Sat, 12/07/2019 - 9:00am

Breakfast with Santa

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 10:30am

Candy Cane Hunt

Sat, 12/14/2019 - 9:00am

Pajama Party Breakfast Bingo

Sat, 12/14/2019 - 1:00pm

Holiday Parents’ Day Out

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:30am

Candy Cane Hunt

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