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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 Summer Camp Guide available online Jan. 22 and registration begins Jan. 27

Summer may seem a long way off, but it will be here before you know it and now is the time to start planning for summer camp!

Before the end of the day on Thursday, Jan. 22, you’ll be able to find a digital version of our 2020 Summer Camp Guide and everything you need to know to plan a perfect summer at www.jcprd.com. Printed copies of the guide will also be available the week of Jan. 27 at all JCPRD facilities and Johnson County libraries. 

Registrations for camps will begin on Monday, Jan. 27. Online registration begins 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. 

In all, more than 80 camp programs are referenced in this year’s guide, including camps for ages three through 18. Camps range from full-day programs to partial-day programs serving a variety of interests. Most full-day camps offer weekly sessions with start dates from June 7 through July 27, while 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. 

JCPRD camps offer parents the comfort of knowing their kids are in a safe, well-supervised, and fun-filled environment. There’s also an emphasis on encouraging healthy, active lifestyles. All district camp programs fully comply with Kansas Department of Health & Environment requirements. Camp directors possess extensive experience with children and in their specialized areas of expertise. 

For kids, JCPRD camps offer an opportunity to learn about topics they’re interested in without tests or boring lectures. Areas of emphasis include: recreation, arts and crafts, nature and environment, computers, sports, leadership development, science, field trips, theater, and dance. New camp offerings this year include: theater camps Under the Sea!, Play in a Day, and TIP Summer Tech Academy; computer camps eSports,  and Game Design Biz; Meadowbrook Natureplay Preschool Camp, Outdoor Basics, Photo Adventure Camp, and 68’s Indoor Sports camps in baseball and football. 

Several additional summer sports camps will be listed in our May through August My JCPRD Activities Catalog, due out the week of March 23. 

For specific information on JCPRD summer camps, including schedules, costs, and locations, please consult the district’s website at www.jcprd.com or the JCPRD Summer Camp Guide. Keep in mind that camp fees are nonrefundable and most camps do not accept registrations by phone. For more information, call (913) 831-3359.

JCPRD’s Mill Creek and Roeland Park fitness facilities now part of the Silver Sneakers® network

Two Johnson County Park and Recreation District fitness facilities have recently come on board as locations for the Silver Sneakers® wellness program for adults age 65 and older. The Silver Sneakers® benefit is included with many Medicare Plans. 

The participating JCPRD facilities are the Fitness Center on the upper floor of the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee, and the Fitness Room at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park.

“Silver Sneakers® is a well-known and well respected program,” said 50 Plus Recreation Specialist Libby Scarborough. “Over the years many individuals have participated in our other programs and have asked if our locations offer this wellness benefit. We are excited to now be able to say yes we do! Silver Sneakers® is allowing us to expand the impact we have within our communities and connect individuals with additional health and wellness options.”

Beginning in January, Mill Creek Activity Center will be offering Silver Sneakers® Classic, yoga and circuit classes, which are also free to those with the Silver Sneakers® benefit.

In addition to Silver Sneakers®, both participating JCPRD sites are also accepting Prime Fitness and Fitness Your Way members. Prime fitness is most commonly made available through an employer health plan and Fitness Your Way is available to members and their dependents over age 18 who have healthcare coverage with a participating Blue365 plan.

Individuals who are interested in utilizing the fitness facilities at the Mill Creek Activity Center or the Roeland Park Community Center through Silver Sneakers® can check their eligibility by visiting silversneakers.com or by calling (913) 826-2950 for Mill Creek or (913) 826-3160 for Roeland Park. Checking eligibility online is easy! You’ll be asked for your name (as it appears on your insurance card), date of birth, zip code, and contact information.

 

50 Plus Bingo sessions planned on Feb. 5 & 26

"Candyland®" and "Carnival" are themes for bingo games being presented in February by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. 

All of this season’s bingo sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Bingo prizes include  gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. For Johnson County residents, the cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person in advance, or $6 on the day of the event. For nonresidents, the cost is $6 in advance, or $7 on the day of the event. Cost of admission covers food (or snacks) and staff time to administer the bingo program. No additional charge for bingo. 

Upcoming 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include: "Candyland®" (course ID 28005) on  Feb. 5 at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, 11902 Lowell, Overland Park; "Carnival" (course ID 28010) on Feb. 26 at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village; "March Madness" (course ID 28008) on March 4  at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway near Gardner; "Dr. Seuss®" (course ID 28011) on March 18 at the MBPC; "Van Gogh"  (course ID 28013) on March 26 at RPCC; and  "April Fools" (course ID 28007) on April 1 at MRCC.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under enrichment & special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “games.” 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 any of the codes listed above. 

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) 826-2975 for space availability.

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

“Birds” is subject of next museum Retro Storytime program on Feb. 12 at JCAHC

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 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 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 heritage & history. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “museum.” 

The next program is called “Birds,” and will take place on Feb. 12. “Birds” is a beautifully illustrated book from 1981.  Participants in this program will learn about birds, their nests, habitats, Kansas’ state bird, the Meadowlark, and create a bird feeder to take home.

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 26447.

Other upcoming Retro Storytime programs this season will include: "The Fire Engine Book" on March 11 (course ID 26448 ), and “Baby Farm Animals" on April 8 (course ID 26449).

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

Valentine’s Day Lunch & Bingo special event for 50 Plus set for Feb. 14 at RPCC

Make new friends and enjoy a catered lunch, prizes, fun, and 12 games of bingo during a special event bingo presentation in mid-February by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

This program is called Valentine’s Day Lunch & Bingo. Treat yourself to a special Valentine’s Day with a catered dinner and bingo. Both singles and couples are welcome!  A variety of bingo prizes will awarded, including gift certificates. Please register for this event by Feb. 7.   

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

Valentine’s Day Lunch & Bingo will take place beginning  at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 14,  at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. The cost for this two-and-one-half-hour event is $15 per person for Johnson County residents or $16 for nonresidents before Feb. 7. After Feb. 7, the cost increases to $18 per person for Johnson County residents or $19 for nonresidents. The cost of admission covers food and staff time to administer the bingo program. There is no additional charge for bingo.

For more information or to register 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 28652. 

 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) 826-2975 for space availability.

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

"Perfect Pairs" is theme for Parents’ Night Out session on Feb. 15

Children ages six to 12 are invited to enjoy fun activities during a Parents’ Night Out planned in mid-February at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Mill Creek Activity Center in Shawnee.

The idea behind this gymnastics event is that parents can have a fun night out while their little ones are safe and having the time of their lives with their favorite gymnastics coaches enjoying games, crafts, activities, and snacks under the supervision of JCPRD staff. 

The February Parents’ Night Out is called Perfect Pairs. With Valentine’s Day just one day past, participants are asked to remember that life is better in twos - and bring a friend and dress as a perfect pair, whether it be Batman and Robin, SpongeBob and Patrick, ketchup and mustard, or another favorite twosome. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth then under gymnastics. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “gymnastics special event.” 

The Perfect Pairs  Parents’ Night Out will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Mill Creek Activity Center, located at 6518 Vista Drive, Shawnee. The cost for one three-hour session is $25 for Johnson County residents or $27 for nonresidents.  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 26976.  

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

Christmas tree recycling begins Dec. 26 in four Johnson County Park and Recreation District parks

Post-holiday contributions of discarded natural Christmas trees will be accepted at four Johnson County Park and Recreation District park locations from Dec. 26 through Jan. 31. 

The tree collection sites are: the Sunflower access point of Big Bull Creek Park at 20245 Sunflower Road in Edgerton; the Theatre in the Park parking lot in Shawnee Mission Park with an entrance at 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee (separate from the park’s main entrance); the Heritage Park Marina parking lot, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe; and the north side of the parking lot at the marina at Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe. 

Trees will be collected during regular winter park hours, which are 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., except at Shawnee Mission Park, which opens at 6 a.m. 

In 2018, between 4,000 and 5,000 trees were "recycled." Some of the trees are mulched for use on trails and in landscaping while others are used to improve fish habitat in district lakes.

No yard waste will be accepted - only Christmas trees. Wrappers should be removed from the discarded trees as well as any remaining decorations; particularly "icicles" and decorations made from mylar, shiny plastic, or aluminum.

There is no charge for the disposal of trees, and these tree disposal sites are open to anyone regardless of residency. For additional information, call Visitor Services at the JCPRD Administration Building in Shawnee Mission Park at (913) 888-4713.

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. 

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.

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