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Picnics, parks, and fun and games
POSTED: 06/01/2012
 
Picnics and games are an integral part of summer and JCPRD offers plenty of options and opportunities for both.

Whether your perfect outdoor outing requires a secluded spot in a quiet, natural setting, or a large picnic shelter with plenty of space and facilities for play, we’ve got you covered.

Picnics & Parks

JCPRD parks offer an abundance of great spots to picnic. For the most part, if an area of a park is not in use or designated for a specific purpose, you’re usually welcome to throw down a blanket and have a picnic.

Park picnic shelters are primarily for folks who have reserved them, but can be used on a first-come first served basis, as long as the shelter is vacated immediately upon the arrival of a group holding a reservation. JCPRD’s “reservation season” runs from April 15 through Oct. 15, but off-season reservations are still available for the remainder of the year.

District picnic shelters come in two sizes for reservation purposes: medium shelters which have a maximum capacity of less than 100 guests, and large shelters which have a maximum capacity of 100 or more.

Shelters can either be reserved for a half day or a full day. A half day is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., while a full day is from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the exception of Antioch Park where the shelters close at 9 p.m.

A complete list of shelters and rental rates can be viewed on the Reservations & Rentals web page at jcprd.com. Please be aware that shelter fees are nonrefundable and a Special Use Permit is required for other uses such as tents, piñatas, water balloons, music, and commercial services such as catering, and photography. To reserve a shelter, call (913) 831-3359 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Alcohol is not allowed in the parks or at shelters, with the exception of two larger outdoor facilities where it is allowed by permit. One of these is the Whispering Pines Shelter at the TimberRidge Adventure Center, which accommodates up to 200 people, features a limestone fireplace, and has two gorgeous ponds and a wonderful view. With a permit, only 3.2% cereal malt beverages are allowed. Call (913) 856-8849 to reserve this facility. The other exception is The Pavilion at The Theatre in the Park, located adjacent to the theatre, which features a limestone fireplace and a fire pit, and has picnic table seating for up to 240 guests. Beer, wine, and champagne can be sold by a licensed caterer at this site. For more information or to reserve this facility, call (913) 826-2957. Both the Whispering Pines Shelter and The Pavilion also feature attached restrooms.

JCPRD’s Group and Corporate Picnic Program can help arrange all aspects of group picnics in district parks from catering to entertainment and inflatables. For more information, call (913) 826-2955.

Fun & Games

There are several game fields, courts and facilities located in various parks throughout the district that are available for use free of charge and without a permit. They include: a disc golf course, horseshoe pit, basketball court, baseball diamond, soccer field, as well as bocce courts and tennis courts. Game equipment is not available at the sites.

Game bags containing recreation equipment can be rented from JCPRD. The bags include: wiffle balls, bats, and bases, football and flags, soccer ball and cones, horseshoes, and a flying disc. Game bags rent for $35 and require a $75 refundable deposit. They can be picked up and dropped off at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee. While game bags are primarily intended for use in district parks, they can be used off-site as well. To reserve a game bag, call (913) 826-2955.

The disc golf course in Shawnee Mission Park is an 18 hole, 54 par course through wooded and prairie grass areas. Players can access hole #1 from the north Walnut Grove area south and slightly west of Shawnee Mission Park’s Renner Road entrance inside the park.

Two new bocce courts opened on the south side of Antioch Park in 2011. The courts were built in honor of Special Olympian and bocce ball enthusiast George Duermyer, who passed away in 2010 after participating in local Special Olympics programs for more than 35 years. Similar to bowling, bocce is played in a fine gravel court. When not being used for Special Olympic practice, the courts are available for public use.

Also available on the south side of Antioch Park are a horseshoe pit and a tennis court. Tennis courts can also be found at Shawnee Mission Park just north of the marina parking lot. This park also offers a baseball diamond and soccer fields, located just west of the north Walnut Grove area. These facilities are available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis except when they are being used for organized programs.

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