Looking for things to do this summer right here in Johnson County? We’ve got you covered. In no particular order we are highlighting some remarkable and memorable places for affordable fun and cultural experiences. There are so many fabulous things to do in our community, so please feel free to comment with your own suggestions, too!
1. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
This is a great place for people of all ages. Feed adorable baby goats, take a pony ride and even go fishing. This farmstead has nearly 200 animals. Explore the barns and walk the trails that lead to chicken coops, gardens, and our particular favorite, the one-room school house.
2. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Located on Johnson County Community College’s Campus, the Nerman Museum offers amazing architecture, collections and exhibitions. Make sure to visit the Café Tempo inside the museum for a delicious lunch. Admission is free and open to the public during business hours.
3. Johnson County Museum
The Johnson County Museum has amazing information and exhibits about our local history. Inside the museum, take children to Kidscape. This is a free hands-on exhibit where children can learn about the community by providing seven different environments – bookstore, park, City Hall, hospital, fashion boutique, theater and post office. Also, don’t miss the 1950s All-Electric House next to the museum. This home will transport you to the 1950s suburban home.
4. Johnson County and Olathe Public Libraries
The library is a great place to cool off and complete the Summer Reading Challenge. Adults, teens, and children are encouraged to sign up and all you have to do is read. This year’s theme is Every Hero Has a Story! Research the heroes of your ancestry by using the library’s free Ancestry.com Library Edition database or take a look in the biography section to read up on some of your personal heroes.
5. Museum at Prairiefire
Learn about our local, national and world natural history at the Museum at Prairiefire. The Great Hall houses a gigantic replica of Tyrannosaurus rex and interactive exhibits. You can purchase tickets for the Discovery Room and other exhibits, like the Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries.
6. Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Beautiful botanical gardens and walking trails provide a peaceful time to connect with nature. Most of the 300-acre grounds are dedicated to the preservation and restoration of eight natural ecosystems.
7. Ernie Miller Nature Center
Programs are provided by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District for those of all ages to better understand our natural and cultural environments. Inside the center look at exhibits and reptiles! There are also walking trails that are open from dawn until dusk.
8. Wonderscope Childrens Museum of Kansas City
This is a museum where children can engage in fun and playful learning activities, while learning at the same time. Go for a storytime, the Wonderpalooza music events or any of the other amazing programs the museum provides.
9. Legler Barn Museum and Frisco Train Depot & Strang Line Waiting Station
Did you know Lenexa is the Spinach capital of the world? Neither did we until we made a trip to the Legler Barn Museum in Lenexa, Kansas. Find out more facts about the area, as well as view the quilts on display.
10. Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
Experience life on a farm in the 1860s at the Mahaffie farm. There’s chicken coops, horse corral, museum and more!
-Beth Edson, Johnson County Library