The Guide: Winter 2024





Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s Vision Statement: “To provide an innovative park and recreation system that consistently exceeds community expectations.”

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s Mission Statement: “Inspire active and healthy lifestyles through a diverse system of parks, facilities, programs and people.”


Work Where You Play - Seasonal Jobs


2 Playing Recreational Sports Develops Lifelong Athletes


Special Events

4 5 7 8


Sporty Sprouts

Youth 10 It Takes A Village 12 Adult 13 History Programs 15 Seniors 16 Fitness & Wellness 19 Adaptive 21 Youth Sports 22 Adult Sports 23 Summer Camps


Helen Hocker Theater



11 11 14 17 18 20 22 24 25 26 28 27 29 30 32 33 34 35

Adopt a Park/Trail


Fitness Pass

Kossover Tennis Center

Rec + Roll Van

Parks For All Foundation

Golf Courses Regional Parks Old Prairie Town

Great Overland Station

West Lawn Memorial Gardens Community Center/Gym Rentals

Shelter Rentals

Topeka Zoo

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Legal Information




Horticulture Golf Course Maintenance Sports Field Maintenance Shelter Crews Park Maintenance Lifeguard Cashier

Aquatics Manager Mini-Train Driver

Campground Attendant Sports Staff Camp Counselor Summer Camp Director Park Police Rec + Roll Ambassador

Recreational Aide Parks Office Aide And more!

Playing Recreational Sports Helps Develop Lifelong Athletes Focusing on a Single Sport Leads to Risk of Injuries, Burnout

Focusing on a single sport at too young an age leads to a risk of injury and burnout that can cause an athlete to quit sports altogether. P laying multiple recreational sports leads youths to develop physically, develop a love of sports and to become lifelong athletes.

“Those people don’t become lifelong athletes,” she says. “One thing I love,” says Garrison, “in the NFL Draft they always take the top 10 picks and show all the sports they played through high school. All of them played multiple sports. Very few specialized in football early on. In the NFL, you have to be a very good athlete.” The sports medicine field has also identified psychological burnout. Garrison explains that, at an early age, kids pick up on the pressure and stop having fun in sports. She cites cases in which athletes are highly recruited by colleges, but quit playing because they are simply burned out. A decline is even being seen in the number of youths playing high school sports. Garrison and her husband see the pressure even living in a rural community where some youths take private sports lessons. “Our goal for our kids is, if they’re comfortable playing every intramural sport offered in college, they will play. If they become a scholarship athlete, good. [But] we want them to become lifelong athletes.” As early as third or fourth grade, Garrison observes, youths begin playing on travel teams and stop playing in recreational leagues which can make it harder to form recreational leagues. Tolin says that SCPR sports leagues see a drop-off as youths enter middle school and play on either school teams or switch to traveling teams.

-- Karen Garrison, MA, LAT, ATC

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation offers youth sports leagues for ages four to 14 with some leagues ranging to age 18. Sports include soccer, flag football, basketball, t- ball, baseball, softball, volleyball and additional offerings such as kickball and street hockey. League seasons are kept short, allowing young athletes to try multiple sports without overlapping seasons. “I want a child to try every sport they can so they can find the sport they really love,” says Karen Garrison, MA, LAT, ATC. Garrison is a senior lecturer in kinesiology at Washburn University and an athletic trainer for Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Youths specializing in a single sport at too young an age is a hot topic among athletic trainers and orthopedic surgeons who are seeing athletes enter college with overuse injuries and an increase in the number of Tommy John surgeries for ulnar collateral ligament injuries among baseball players even as young as 10 to 12 years of age. These were not problems 20 years ago, according to Garrison.

Playing different sports helps youths develop upper body strength, lower body strength and balance.

“The more sports youths play, the more challenges they learn to handle from the speed of the game, to different types of hand-eye coordination, motor skills and even playing in different weather,” says Darren Tolin, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Sports Supervisor. Having overall athletic ability is what leads to success as a college or professional athlete, says Garrison. She explains that if you take an athlete who has only focused on baseball for years and put them in a basketball game, they struggle.

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The National Athletic Trainers Association and similar organizations offer a set of recommendations for youths participating in sports: ·Youths should spend no more hours per week participating in sports than their age. A 9-year-old should spend no more than nine hours per week playing a sport. ·Young athletes should spend no more than eight months of the year playing a single sport. If they go beyond that, their chance of injury increases. ·Youths should also have two days off per week from practice or competition and should not participate on more than one team. Recreational sports, Garrison says, offers a number of opportunities for youths to develop physically and to learn social skills, problem solving and conflict management all in a fun setting. “They need the opportunity to fall in love with sports,” she says. “In recreational sports they get to meet new kids and parents. There is an anticipation of what’s next.”

Tolin also emphasizes the social advantage of youths playing multiple sports.

“They see different people through different sports instead of seeing the same 12 kids all year long,” he says, noting that youths who play on specialized teams may go for years playing with the same 10-15 other youths.

For a list of Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s recreational sports leagues and registration deadlines, visit and click on the Sports dropdown menu.

Below are the upcoming registration deadlines for youth sports:

Jan. 24 – Street Hockey Feb. 14 – SCABA Baseball Feb. 21 – Soccer March 20 – Shawnee County Fastpitch League (6U-12U) Softball March 20 – Oakland Soccer League April 10 – Baseball *Noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, M.D., was a leader in the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Sports Trauma and Overuse Program (STOP), which provides a good reference for parents of young athletes.


Moonlight Egg Hunts

Our Moonlight Egg Hunt is a one-of-a-kind, after-dark adventure that promises an enchanting and unforgettable experience for participants of all ages. As the sun sets and the moon rises, the grounds and trails come alive with the magic of an Easter egg hunt like no other. Treat bags will be given away after the hunt. Parents are encouraged to walk with younger children. Bring a flashlight and wear your walking shoes!

Alabama Story As the Civil Rights movement is brewing, a controversial children’s book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit stirs the passions of a segregationist state senator and a no-nonsense state librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page in a Deep South of the imagination that brims with humor, heartbreak and hope. Inspired by true events!

Children’s Playhouse at Gage Park Age: 5-12 yrs. Date: March 26

Time: Tues. 8-9 p.m. Fee: $12 per person

Pre-registration required by March 14

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 5-12 yrs. Date: March 28

Time: Thu. 8-9 p.m. Fee: $12 per person

Pre-registration required by March 14

Playing: Jan. 26, 27 and Feb. 2, 3, 4, 2024

Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School A self-appointed expert on all things first grade, Junie B. is determined to write the ultimate guide - Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School. As she deals with writer's block and constantly getting into trouble, Junie B. quickly realizes that she still has a lot to learn. Auditions: Jan. 16, 2024 Playing: March 8, 9,10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 2024

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Play Zone

Toddlers learn motor skills, socialization and holistic development in a supportive, enriching environment. Parents are encouraged to participate. Equipment is provided.

Age: 3-5 yrs. Date: Ongoing Fee: Free

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Wed. 10 a.m.-noon

Oakland Community Center Time: Mon. 9-11 a.m.

Garfield Community Center Time: Tue. 9-11 a.m.

Crestview Community Center Time: Thu. 9-10:30 a.m.

Tumbling 1

Children explore exercises, develop physical skills and gain confidence through movement an play. Our tumbling programs are structured to provide a safe and engaging environment.

Age: 3-5 yrs. Fee: $30 per session

Crestview Community Center Date: Jan. 13-Feb. 10, March 2-April 6 (No Class Mar 16) and April 20-May 18 Time: Sat. 8:30-9 a.m. & 9:30-10 a.m. Shawnee North Community Center Date: Jan. 10-Feb.7, Feb. 28-April 3 (No class March 13), April 24-May 22 Time: Wed. 5:30-6 p.m.



Shawnee County Parks + Recreation programs are developed with several goals in mind: SCP+R strives to promote a healthy, active lifestyle through program activities and choices. Participants develop new skills and abilities. Staff and instructors provide an emotionally supportive, positive environment. Programs offer an opportunity to engage in socialization for all ages. Large motor, fine motor and cognitive development are promoted through new experiences and peer interaction.

Choose from one of the many classes, activities, sports or other programs offered through Shawnee County Parks + Recreation and we’ll make it easy for you to register! To register online, go to and click the Online Registration icon. Forms may also be mailed, walked in, phoned in or faxed to any Shawnee County Parks + Recreation facility.

Did you know: Benefits of enrolling preschool- aged kids in recreational activities can help them use all five senses, foster independence, learn self respect and build resilience and fine motor skills. -- Miracle Recreation

Dance 1

Children explore the world of dance while developing coordination, rhythm and basic ballet and tap moves that support larger motor skills. Our dance classes provide a nurturing and imaginative environment.

Age: 3-5 yrs. Fee: $30 per session

Crestview Community Center Date: Jan. 13-Feb.10, March 2-April 6 (No class March 16), April 20-May 18 Time: Sat. 10:15-11 a.m. Shawnee North Community Center Date: Jan. 10-Feb. 7, Feb. 28-April 3 (No class March 13), April 24-May 22 Time: Wed. 6:15-7 p.m.

Zumba Kids Jr.

Movement and Motion

A fun and energy-packed dance fitness class for kids only. Develop creativity, build confidence and spatial awareness. A great part of an active lifestyle. Crestview Community Center Age: 4-6 yrs. Date: Jan. 13-Feb. 10, March 2-April 6 (No class March 16), April 20-May 18 Time: Sat. 11:15 a.m.-Noon Fee: $30 per session

Come explore our new specialty tumbling room at Hillcrest Community Center. Our program is designed to support your child's overall development, focusing on building fundamental motor skills, fostering social interaction and encouraging a lifelong love for physical fitness through play.

Hillcrest Community Center Age: 3-5yrs.

Date: Nov. 6-Dec. 17 Time: Mon. 10-11 a.m. Fee: $3

Super Hero Academy

Curious Creators

This is a fun and imaginative event designed to inspire the youngest superheroes of our community. On this special day, preschoolers are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superheroes and unleash their incredible powers of creativity, compassion and cooperation at superhero academy.

Dedicated STEM instructors foster a sense of wonder and excitement about the world around us. Each class is carefully designed to captivate the imagination of our little learners, encouraging them to question, observe, and seek answers. Fun STEM activities engage the brain.

Crestview Community Center Age: 3-5 yrs. Date: Sat. Jan 6 Time: 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Fee: $5

Oakland Community Center Age: 3-5 Date: March 19 Time: Tue: 5:30-6 p.m. Fee: $3

Jump and Jive

Preschool-aged children build gross motor skills, enhance their physical coordination and learn a love for movement in a safe and nurturing environment. Music and fun equipment add to their experience.

Garfield Community Center Age: 3-5 yrs. Date: Feb. 22 Time: Thu. 5:30-6 p.m. Fee: $3

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Story Time in the Garden

Gather to hear cherished stories in the serenity of the Garden House at Lake Shawnee. A take-home craft is a great way to end the evening. Please meet at the Garden House. Weather permitting, we will enjoy stories outside. We will move inside where it is cozy on a cool day.

Age: 3-5 yrs. Time: Thu. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fee: $5 per session

Date: Feb. 1 "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats is a perfect book for February. This classic tale follows a young boy named Peter as he explores the wonderland outside after a snowfall. Participants will develop a hands-on interactive craft allowing each child to use their imagination to reenact Peter’s adventure on a Snowy Day. (Glue and shaving cream are part of the interactive craft) Date: Mar. 7 "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss is a delightful book that is perfect for March, especially around St. Patrick's Day. It is not only fun to read but also introduces kids to the joy of trying new things. No need to do finger painting when you have a potato to paint with. Yep, potato stamped green eggs. Then have fun using your imagination where you may eat your creative green egg.


Preschoolers learn the basics of soccer and basketball along with teamwork and sportsmanship. Recreational sports clinics provide a great way to introduce kids to a variety of activities that encourage an active healthy lifestyle. Clinic instructors will provide a safe, positive environment for kids to work on new skills.

Lovely Creations

Preschool-aged children celebrate the universial symbol of love, the heart, as they express their creativity, explore art techniques and learn about the importance of love, friendship and kindness.

Age: 3-5 yrs. Fee: $15 per session

Central Park Community Center Age: 3-5 Date: Feb. 12 Time: Mon. 5:30-6:15 Fee: $5


Preschoolers will work on developing shooting, dribbling, passing and working as a team. Sportsmanship and social skills are a big part of team sports.

Oakland Community Center Date: Jan.11-25 Time: Wed. 6-6:45 p.m.


Active Adventure Days

Tumbling 2

When school is out this program is a fantastic way for students to experience a day filled with adventure, learning and social interaction. Kids, spend your day off with us! Activities such as fun and games in the gym, arts and crafts while hanging out with friends. Participants need to bring a lunch.

In this 5-week class the students will learn more advanced tumbling skills focusing on gross motor skills and balance. 5- year-olds should be in Kindergarten and have some tumbling experience or instructor approval before registering. This class increases flexibility and motor skills in a safe, social environment.

Oakland Community Center Age: 6-12 yrs.

Age: 5-9 yrs. Fee: $30

Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fee: $10 each day Dates: Feb. 9 & 10 March 10 April 7 & 24

Crestview Community Center Date: Jan. 13-Feb. 10, March 2-April 6 (No class March 16), April 20-May 18 Time: Sat. 9-9:30 a.m.

Youth Team Night

Zumba Kids

Youth team night is designed to bring together young individuals as part of a team. It provides an opportunity for them to bond, engage in team-building activities and have a great time in a social setting. Games include camp favorites.

An energy-packed way for kids to stay active and build confidence, memory, creativity, balance and coordination in a safe, social environment. Crestview Community Center Age: 7-11 yrs. Date: Jan. 11-Feb. 8, Feb. 29-April 4 (No class March 14), April 23-May 21 Time: Thu. 6-6:45 p.m. Fee: $30

Oakland Community Center Ages: 12-15 yrs. Dates: Jan. 19 Dodgeball Feb. 16 Kickball March 23 Basketball April 13 Handball Time: Thu. 6-8 p.m. Fee: $5

Dance 2

Kansas Day Scavenger Hunt

Participants will build tap and ballet skills, and be introduced to jazz dance in a safe, social environment. No prior dance experience is required, though learning is at a faster pace than Dance 1. Crestview Community Center Age: 5-9 yrs. Date: Jan. 11-Feb. 8, Feb. 29-April 4 (No class March 14), April 23-May 21 Time: Thu. 5-5:45 p.m. Fee: $30

Kids search inside the community center for items related to Kansas. Find a sunflower, wheat, a picture of famous Kansans, or a Kansas flag for a sweet reward.

Crestview Community Center Ages: 3-18 yrs. Date: Jan. 25-30 Time: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon Fee: Free

To Catch a Leprechaun

Explore the magic of St. Patrick's Day through a hands-on, imaginative and educational experience. Perfect for kids of all ages.

Crestview Community Center Ages: 3-18 yrs. Date: March 15 Time: 5-7 p.m. Fee: $5



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Winter Wonderland Art Series

The "Winter Wonderland" art series is designed to ignite the creativity and imagination of grade school students while celebrating the beauty and magic of the winter season. This series of art projects will provide students with a diverse range of artistic experiences and mediums to explore the winter theme, fostering their artistic skills and appreciation for this special time of year.

Crestview Community Center Age: 8-12 yrs. Date: Tue. Jan. 9 Snowmen Jan. 16 Snowflakes Jan. 23 Snowy Landscapes Jan. 30 Snow Globes Time: 6-6:45 p.m. Fee: $20

Artful Observers

Valentine Card Making

This dynamic and engaging program is designed to inspire and empower youth to explore drawing, where everyday objects come to life through their artistic interpretations. This instructed program is open to all skill levels and gives youth a chance to explore their creativity.

Unleash your inner artist and craft heartfelt greetings for Valentine’s day. This youth program is open to novices and artists alike! This class is the perfect platform to make personalized, handcrafted cards that will touch the hearts of your loved ones.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 13-15 yrs. Date: Jan. 2

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 13-15 yrs. Date: Feb. 6 Time: Tue. 6-7:30 p.m. Fee: $5

Time: Tue. 3-5 p.m. Fee: $10 per person

Winter Whimsy

From the Heart

Our Valentine Card class is a delightful and educational workshop that offers students a creative platform to express their love and appreciation for friends and family during the Valentine's season. In this class, grade school children will explore various crafting techniques to design and make personalized, heartfelt Valentine's day cards.

Snowy Scene Canvas Painting Class for Teens is an engaging and creative workshop that provides young artists with the opportunity to capture the serene and enchanting beauty of a snowy landscape on canvas. This class is designed to encourage self-expression, improve artistic skills and ignite the imagination of teens while embracing the magic of winter.

Garfield Community Center Age: 6-12 yrs. Date: Feb. 8 Time: Thu. 6 p.m. Fee: $5

Hillcrest Community Center Age: 13-18 Date: Jan. 13 Time: Sat. 10 a.m. Fee: $7

Springtime Hues

Tiki Time: Paper Mache Tiki Class

Using hollow paper eggs, this vibrant and hands-on class is specially designed to engage children and teenagers in the exciting world of egg painting, where they can explore their artistic talents and celebrate the spirit of spring. This artistic egg will be a great spring decoration.

The "Tiki Time" Paper Mache class invites participants to explore the world of Polynesian art and culture by crafting their very own tiki masks and sculptures using the versatile medium of paper mache. This class is designed to be a hands-on, interactive experience suitable for people of all ages and skill levels.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 13-15 yrs. Date: March 12 Time: Tues. 3-4:30 p.m. Fee: $15

Hillcrest Community Center Age: 12-15 yrs. Date: Jan. 20 Time: Sat. 10 a.m. Fee: $5


ActivStars Karate

ActivStars has created one of the most comprehensive martial arts programs for children and teens in an ever-changing world. We teach our students to stay safely aware and avoid bullying while developing mind and body. Every ActivStars karate and martial arts instructor has been trained on our safety awareness SAFEShield. For more information call 1-888-619-2131.

Steven Massey, founder and director of It Takes a Village, will offer after school performing arts programs in partnership with SCP+R. Programs will include art, music, voice, theater and dance along with tutoring, counseling and nutritional services.

Garfield Community Center Instructor: Joseph Mowery Dates: Winter/Spring Jan. 9-May 22

Rice Community Center Age: 10-20 yrs. Time: Mon.-Fri. 4-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-Noon & 3-7 p.m., Sun. 2-7 p.m. as needed

Number of Weeks: 10 Registration Fee: $10 Class Fee: $9* $12 for advanced, $10 extended.

Community Classes Dance, Art, Theater and Drama: $5 Community Music: $10 Adult Community Dance Classes: $5 Line Dancing, KC 2 Step/Partner Dancing and Step Aerobics

Open Rec.

ITAV New Registration Fee: $15 Dance, Art, Theater and Voice: $20 per month Music: $36 per month ITAV Company Dance Classes: $68 per month Currently forming classes to start in 2024 Tender Feet: Ages 6 and 7 Young Blossoms: Ages 8 and 9 These will be 45-minute classes for $15 per month

Our Youth Open Rec program is a dynamic and vibrant space dedicated to providing young individuals with a safe and enjoyable environment where they can come together to explore their interests, connect with peers and stay active. Whether it's sports, arts and crafts, games, or simply hanging out, we offer a diverse range of activities to suit everyone's preferences. Gym, game area and computer lab are available.

Date: Ongoing Fee: Free Age: 18 and under

***Subject to change*** 785-969-2100 or 785-580-9707

Central Park Community Center Time: Sat. Noon-3 p.m. Hillcrest Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. 3-5:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-noon

Garfield Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. 3-6 p.m., Sat. Noon-3 p.m.

Crestview Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. 3-6 p.m., Sat. Noon-3 p.m.

Oakland Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. 3-6 p.m., Sat. Noon-3 p.m.

Topeka Community Cycle Project

Get help with your bike from a volunteer of the Topeka Community Cycle Project. Volunteers will aid you in fixing flats, adjusting brakes and answering questions about bikes.

Central Park Community Center Date: Thu., Sat. Time: Thu. 5-7 p.m., Sat. 1-3 p.m. Fee: Free

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ADOPT-A- PARK/TRAIL Show your community pride by adopting one of Shawnee County’s 110 parks or 60-miles of trails through our Adopt-A-Park program. What does it mean to adopt a park or trail? This program encourages your group to help the community enjoy our parks and trails through beautification activities and monthly debris pick up. What do you gain from adopting a park or trail? By adopting a park or trail, you can work together with Shawnee County Parks + Recreation to promote a sense of pride and appreciation of our parks and resources. It also provides the perfect excuse to get outside! Who can adopt a park or trail? Anyone! Student groups, Neighborhood Associations, Church Groups, Businesses looking for community engagement opportunities, Families looking to beautify their favorite parks or trails. We happily partner with anyone who is excited to partner with us!

Are you looking for ways to get involved in the community? Consider volunteering for Shawnee County Parks + Recreation!

SCPR has a variety of opportunities for volunteers; ranging from working in our gardens and helping at events to coaching youth sports teams and giving guided tours. We even have opportunities for you to adopt your very own park/trail or to create your own projects based on your passions/the needs that you see in the community!

For more information about Volunteering and Adopting a Park/Trail; Contact Volunteer Services



Airplane Club

Oil and Acrylic Painting

Our RC Airplane Club is a dedicated community of aviation enthusiasts who share a common love for remote control flying. Whether you're a seasoned pilot or just starting out, our club offers an inviting and supportive environment for everyone with an interest in model aircraft. Even if you don’t fly planes you can come enjoy the spectacle. Planes not provided.

Instructor Mary Lou Gudenkauf teaches the basics of oil or acrylics using the Old Masters technique in a friendly group setting. Both mediums can be taught. All levels will feel comfortable and receive individual attention from the instructor. A supply list can be obtained from the Center.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 16+ Fee: $40

Crestview Community Center Age: All ages Date: Ongoing Time: Thu. 10:30 a.m.-noon Fee: Free

Date: Jan. 2-23, Jan. 30-Feb.20, Feb. 27-March19, March 26- April 16 Time: Tue. 1-3 p.m. Date: Jan. 3-24, Jan. 3-Feb.21, Feb. 28-March 19, March 27- April 17 Time: Wed. 1-3 p.m. Date: Jan. 4-25, Feb. 1-22, Feb. 29-March 21, March 28-April 18 Time: Thu. 1-3 p.m.

Beekeeper Class

Explore beehive construction, installing the bees, and hive management up until harvest time with master beekeepers Steve & Becky Tipton. This monthly class starts in February and ends in October. Some classes may be done virtually. Pre- registration is required.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 12+ Dates: Feb. 21, March 20 and April 17 Time: Wed. 6:30-8 p.m. Fee: Free

New Year Collages

Join us for a unique and inspiring collage workshop where you'll embark on a creative journey to capture your aspirations, memories and goals for the upcoming year. Guided by our experienced instructor, you'll have the opportunity to express your hopes and dreams for the future through the art of collage. All materials provided.

Topeka Community Cycle Project

Get help with your bike from a volunteer of the TCCP. Volunteers will aid you in fixing flats, adjusting brakes and answering questions about bikes.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 15+ Date: Jan. 2 Time: 6-7:30 p.m. Fee: $15

Central Park Community Center Date: Thu., Sat. Time: Thu. 5-7 p.m., Sat. 1-3 p.m. Fee: Free

Landscape Painting

Embark on a visual journey and unleash your inner artist with our landscape painting program. This immersive experience invites participants of all skill levels to explore the beauty of the natural world through the strokes of a paintbrush. Whether you're a seasoned painter or a first-time creator, this program is designed to inspire and elevate your connection with nature through the timeless art of landscape painting. All materials provided.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 18+ Date: Jan. 30 Time: 6-8 p.m. Fee: $22

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Book Art


Reuse old books! Get creative by repurposing old books and turning them into art pieces! This guided adult program invites you to breathe new life into vintage books, giving them a second chance to tell a different story through art and creativity. All materials are provided.

Shawnee North Community Center Age: 18+

The Poor Asylum

Date: Feb. 20 Time: 6-8 p.m. Fee: $24

Learn the history of the Shawnee County Poor Farm. Nestled against the banks of Indian Creek, Shawnee North Park was originally established in 1871 as the Shawnee County Poor Farm. Over its 150-year history it has housed hundreds of people and was an important institution for Topekans and individuals living in Shawnee County. This presentation explores the park’s history, beginning with its roots in the Civil War and until its doors closed in 1942. Explore a bygone institution with connections to other important Topeka hospitals and parks.

Date Night Dessert

Preparing sweet desserts for Valentine's day can be a delightful way to express your affection. This program is the perfect time to share an elegant evening with your plus one and learn to prepare three sweet deserts together.

The Elegant Shelter House #3 at Lake Shawnee Age: 21+ Date: Feb. 2

Shawnee North Community Center Age: All Ages Date: Jan. 10 Time: Wed. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: $5

Time: 7-8:30 p.m. Fee: $30 a couple


Healing Topeka: Historic Hospitals

Join us as we journey through time, uncovering the evolution of Topeka’s hospitals and why the Capital City was once called “the psychiatric capital of the world.” Explore institutions such as the Topeka State Insane Asylum, that housed and provided medical care for their residents. Or, learn about lesser known hospitals such as the Security Benefit Hospital, or the Hillcrest Sanatorium. Finally, we will cover one of Topeka’s greatest contributions to medicine, covering the Menninger Family and their important psychiatric work.

Over the Hill

Delve into the remnants of the Shawnee County Poor Farm, including the original building, barns and even the former cemetery. Immerse yourself in this adult oriented program with tales of bootleggers, grave robbers, and the Topeka State Insane Asylum at Shawnee County's oldest property. This program meets outside in front of the center and explores the park and community center. Please dress accordingly and there will be stairs.

Hillcrest Community Center Age: All Ages Date: Feb. 7 Time: Wed. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: $5

Shawnee North Community Park Age: 18+ Date: Jan. 13 Time: Sat. 6:30-8 p.m. Fee: $3

Ride to Wilderness

Discover Great Overland Station's connection to the national parks and rail travel. Train travel was incredibly important in the early tourism development in Yellowstone, Glacier and the Grand Canyon National Parks. The Union Pacific and Santa-Fe Railroad companies were integral in not only establishing the parks, but also funding hotels, restaurants and other attractions at the parks. Discover the stories behind the iconic railroads that connected the nation, carving through breathtaking landscapes and paving the way for adventurers and tourists alike.

Shunga Sessions

Embark on a fascinating journey through time as we explore the geologic history of Shunganunga Creek in Topeka, Kansas. Explore how Shunga Creek and the Kansas River valley formed under glaciers. This hike focuses on the natural history of the creek and is open to all age groups.

Great Overland Station Age: All Ages Date: March 6 Time: Wed. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: $5

Crestview Community Center Age: All Ages Date: March 23 Time: Sat. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fee: $3

Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s 60 miles of trails offer a leisurely stroll with side ventures into beautiful gardens, or a hike, run or mountain bike ride up hilly terrain leading to panoramic views of the county. There are 32 miles of paved trails and nearly 28 miles of natural surface trails running through forested , prairie and open natural areas. Shawnee County Parks + Recreation is continually increasing the number and length of trails in our community while connecting as many trails as possible.

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White Elephant Bingo

This fun and unique variation of the traditional bingo game combines elements of bingo with the concept of a White Elephant gift exchange. The result is an entertaining and interactive game that encourages laughter and camaraderie among participants. Each participant should bring two bingo items that you could find in a second hand shop such as books, glass wear or knickknacks.

Crestview Community Center Age: 55+ Date: Jan. 12 Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Fee: $2



Pitch, also known as "Setback," is a trick-taking card game that is typically played by four to seven players. It is a highly strategic and competitive game that uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Coffee and cards provided.

Floor shuffleboard is played on a long and narrow rectangular playing surface, with marked scoring zones at the opposite ends. The objective is to slide weighted discs or pucks down the playing surface, landing them in designated scoring areas or knocking opponents' pucks out of scoring positions. Shuffleboard benefits seniors by being low-impact and social while also requiring mental engagement and being adaptable to many mobility levels.

Age: 55+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $1 per person

Oakland Community Center Time: Tue. 1-3 p.m.

Central Park Community Center Age: 55+ Date: Ongoing Time: Thu. 10 a.m.-Noon Fee: $2 per person

Crestview Community Center Time: Wed., Thur. 1-3 p.m.

Shawnee North Community Center Time: Fri. 1-3 p.m.

Indoor Bocce Ball

Indoor bocce is a variation of the traditional outdoor game. Players take turns rolling or tossing bocce balls with the goal of getting them as close as possible to a smaller target ball, called the pallino. Indoor bocce benefits seniors by being low impact, social, cognitively engaging and accessible.

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Mon. 1-3 p.m.

Lifetime Basketball

Lifetime basketball is an adaptable and inclusive program designed specifically for older adults who wish to stay active, embrace the joy of basketball and relish social interaction. It offers a friendly and supportive environment where seniors can enjoy the physical and social benefits of the sport while accommodating their unique needs and abilities.

Central Park Community Center Age: 55+ Date: Ongoing Time: Wed. 10 a.m.-Noon Fee: $2 per person


Age: 45+ Date: Ongoing; drop-in Fee: $2 per person

Bridge is a card game that is played by four players, divided into two partnerships. It's a trick-taking game that requires strategy, memory and communication between partners. The game is typically played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Groups of four are needed for participation. Coffee and cards provided.

Crestview Community Center Time: Mon. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Central Park Community Center Age: 55+ Date: Ongoing

Time: Tue. 1-3 p.m. Fee: $1 per person


Wellness Centers

As part of a healthy active lifestyle, come workout in a supportive, social environment. Participants can work toward individual fitness goals. Open year-round during center hours.


Oakland Community Center Shawnee North Community Center Hillcrest Community Center

Racquetball is an electrifying and intense indoor sport that combines elements of speed, strategy and agility. Played on a compact court enclosed by four walls, racquetball challenges players to showcase their reflexes and skill with a small racquet, aiming to outscore their opponents by controlling the movement of a rubber ball.

Fee: $50 per year or $7 per month Fitness Passes can be used for drop-in visits

Hillcrest Community Center Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Time: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fee: $3 per person


This open court program is an exciting and inclusive platform for anyone interested in experiencing the fast-growing and engaging sport of pickleball. Designed for players of all levels, from beginners to experienced enthusiasts, our program offers social play and opportunities for skill development.

Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $2 per person

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Mon., Fri. 10 a.m.-Noon

Oakland Community Center Time: Tue., Fri. 9-11 a.m.

Garfield Community Center Time: Wed. 10 a.m.-Noon

Crestview Community Center Time: Mon., Wed., Fri. 1-3 p.m.

Barre Above

Low-Impact Exercise: Barre Above is known for its low-impact nature, making it accessible to people of various fitness levels and body types. It's suitable for individuals who want to tone and strengthen their muscles without putting excessive stress on their joints.

Age: 16+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $4 Crestview Community Center Time: Tue. 11 a.m.-noon

PARKS.SNCO.US 785.251.6800

NEW! UNLIMITED FITNESS MEMBERSHIP This unlimited membership allows the holder access to all SCP+R wellness centers, fitness classes and open gym/drop-in programming. Take full advantage of all our offerings on your schedule for one low monthly fee. Passes require no contract, are billed monthly on date of registration and may be canceled anytime. Age: 16+ Date: Ongoing Price: $19/month Locations: Hillcrest Community Center, Crestview Community Center, Garfield Community Center, Oakland Community Center, Shawnee North Community Center and Central Park Community Center

Prime Time Volleyball

Volleyball in the evening. The Adult Volleyball Program is a dynamic and social gathering for adults who are eager to play, learn and have fun. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, our program provides a supportive and enjoyable environment for all participants.

Crestview Community Center Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Time: Tue., Thu. 7-9 p.m. Fee: $2

Open Volleyball

Our Adult Volleyball Program is a dynamic and social gathering for adults who are eager to play, learn and have fun. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, our program provides a supportive and enjoyable environment for all participants.

Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $2


Crestview Community Center Time: Wed., Fri. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The flexible way to reach your fitness goals. If fitness is part of your New Year’s resolutions, enjoy a variety of classes to keep your workout exciting. Choosing times that work with a busy schedule can help keep regular exercise a part of your routine.


Okinawan Shorin-Ryu is a hard style of karate that emphasizes natural body movement and stances. The program will improve mental and physical coordination, poise, flexibility and strength and is designed for persons of all ages and skill levels.

Find Classes at

21 Exercise Benefits Include: 1. Reduces body fat 2. Increases lifespan 3. Oxygenates body

Crestview Community Center Age: 6+ Date: Ongoing Novice Time: Tue., Thu. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fee: $30 per month Intermediate Time: Tue., Thu. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: $30 per month

4. Strengthens muscles 5. Manages chronic pain 6. Wards off viruses 7. Reduces diabetes risk 8. Strengthens heart

9. Clears arteries 10. Boosts mood

11. Maintains mobility 12. Improves memory 13. Improves coordination 14. Strengthens bones 15. Improves complexion 16. Detoxifies body 17. Decreases stress 18. Boosts immune system 19. Lowers blood pressure 20. Reduces cancer risk 21. 2020 is OVER

Advanced Time: Tue., Thu. 6:30-8 p.m. Fee: $42 per month

Exercise your options recharge your card for Drop-in visit $7

5 visits $30 10 visits $50 20 visits $80 40 visits $120

With new cards there is no worry about losing your card. The full-size card comes with a smaller key ring card for easy access.

Kossover Tennis Center Bryan Hayes at or 785.273.0030, Kossover Director of Tennis • 2501 SW Gage Blvd. • Topeka, KS 66614 Hours of Operation The Kossover Tennis Center offers low-cost, organized programs and supervised tennis play for the entire community. The Tennis Center is open April 1 to mid-October, seven days a week, except during inclement weather and holidays. Courts are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Facility lights are available for use in the spring/summer until 10 p.m. and in the fall until 8 p.m. Hours are subject to change due to reservation requests and court use.

Tai Chi

Whether you are a military veteran or just a member of the public looking for a way to reduce stress or anxiety, learn to use the slow, calming movements of Tai Chi to release tension, increase balance and improve physical health.

Contact: Madon Dailey (785-845-4478) Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing

Crestview Community Center Time: Tue. 11:05 a.m.-12:05 p.m., Fri. 4-5 p.m.

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Wed. 5-6 p.m.

Walk and Talk

Our Walk and Talk Program is a unique and active approach to fostering well-being and social connections. It encourages participants to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle while engaging in enriching conversations and enjoying a climate controlled space rain or shine. New in January, walk across Oz on our map. You aren’t just in Kansas anymore. Gyms will be measured for mileage and participants can track their progress and earn prizes.

Daily Court Fees $2 per person per day

Reservations are strongly recommended as leagues, clinics, tennis tournaments and high school activities authorized through Shawnee County Parks + Recreation have first priority on court usage. To make reservations or for more information, please contact Bryan Hayes at Kossover Tennis Center at 785-273-0030.

Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $2

Garfield Community Center Time: Tue. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Fri. 9- 11 a.m.

Tennis Lesson Fees Private lessons: $40 per hour Semi-Private lessons: $22.50 per hour per person Group lessons: $10 per hour

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. 9-10 a.m.

Adult Open Gym

Racquet Stringing Racquet stringing service is available through Kossover Tennis Center. Fees range from $23-$35. Camps and Clinics Kossover Tennis Center also features tennis camps and youth summer tennis clinics.

Adult Open Rec is your gateway to an array of recreational activities designed for adults of all ages and interests. Whether you're seeking physical activity, skill development, or simply a fun and social outlet, our program offers a diverse range of opportunities for you to explore.

Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $2

For info on lessons, reservations, tournaments and the Topeka Tennis Association call 785-273-0030.

Hillcrest Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. Noon-3 p.m.

Oakland Community Center Time: Mon.-Fri. Noon-3 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.


Garfield Community Center Time: Mon.-Sat. Noon-3 p.m.

Crestview Community Center Time: Mon. 10 a.m.-noon, Tue. and Thu. Noon-2 p.m.

PARKS.SNCO.US 785.251.6800

ADAPTIVE RECREATION In an effort to expand programs offered to the adaptive community, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation will help day service providers set up a variety of exciting programs that promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Individuals can join planned group activities. Some of the available programs include: racquetball, pickleball, volleyball and open gym! Other program ideas are welcomed and may be discussed by calling 785-251-6886.

Adaptive Easter Egg Hunt

Adaptive Children Sweetheart Dance

Our adaptive egg hunt is a modified and inclusive version of the traditional Easter egg hunt designed to accommodate participants with various physical or cognitive abilities. All caregivers need to fill out the online ADA form when registering. This will let us know what type of eggs to prepare for each participant: ·Eggs with balloons attached ·Eggs in buckets attached to the fence ·Larger eggs ·Tactile/Sensory Eggs

This is a great night to dance with friends and family in a fun and safe environment. D.J. and snacks will make the evening even more spectacular. Big Gage Shelter House Age: Open to youth and their families (ages 16 and under) Time: Fri. 6-8 p.m. Date: Feb 16 Fee: $5

·Eggs on accessible field ·Egg in the sensory table ·Eggs in the grass ·Other

Adaptive Open Gym

Our Adaptive Open Recreation program is an inclusive and dynamic platform that offers a diverse range of recreational activities for individuals of all abilities. This program is dedicated to creating an environment where participants can explore their interests, connect with peers and experience the joy of leisure and social interaction. The gym, game tables, computer labs and lounge area are available.

Each participant will get to hunt for 10 eggs.

Gage Park Accessible Field Age: 3+ Date: March 21 Time: Wed. 5-6:30 p.m. Fee: $5

Age: 18+ Date: Ongoing Fee: $2 per person, $10 per group

Dance House

Garfield Community Center Time: Wed. 12:30-2:30 p.m., Fri. 9-11 a.m.

Step into a world of boundless creativity and movement at our Themed Adaptive Dance where we celebrate the beauty of diversity and the universal language of dance. Our event is a testament to the power of inclusivity, providing a safe and welcoming space for individuals of all abilities to come together and experience the pure delight of dance.

Crestview Community Center Time: Tue. 10 a.m.-noon

Big Gage Shelter Age: 18+ Dates: Jan.11 - Frosty Friends

Feb. 8 - Hearts in Harmony March 14 - Luck of the Irish

April 11 - Spring Fling Time: Thur. 6-8 p.m. Fee: $5


Adaptive Themed Bingo

Themed Adaptive Bingo is a celebration of diversity and creativity, combining the classic bingo game with exciting and imaginative themes that add an extra layer of fun and excitement. This program is designed to make the game accessible and enjoyable for participants of all abilities, while keeping them entertained with themed prizes.

Our Rec + Roll Van is a vibrant and on-the-go hub of recreation and community engagement, designed to bring a world of fun, leisure and entertainment directly to you. It's a dynamic, versatile and fully-equipped vehicle that's all about making recreational activities accessible and convenient for everyone. A calendar of scheduled appearances is available at

Hillcrest Community Center Age: 18+ Dates: Wed. Jan. 17 - Snow Fun Feb. 21 - Candy Land March 20 - Lucky Days Time: Wed. 10-11:30 & 1-2:30 p.m. Fee: $2

The Rec + Roll Van - Play is for all ages.

The Rec + Roll van is fitted with equipment and resources for a wide range of recreational activities, including sports, games, arts and crafts, and more. Community Gathering - The Rec + Roll Van serves as a social and community gathering space, where people can come together, connect and build a sense of belonging. Event Hosting - The van can be used to host events, celebrations, adult recess and staff team building, adding an exciting and accessible dimension to community happenings. Equipment and supplies - The van is stocked with all the necessary equipment, materials and supplies needed for various activities, ensuring a hassle-free experience for participants. Professional staff - The van is staffed with knowledgeable and engaging professionals who facilitate and guide recreational activities and community interactions.


Winter Wonderland Creation: It may be cold outside but inside there are warm smiley faces. Come in from the cold with your friends and enjoy each other’s company while making winter wonderland creations.

Hillcrest Community Center Age: Open to All Ages Time: Wed. 1-3 p.m. Date: Jan. 10 Fee: $3

Have the Rec + Roll van show up for birthday parties, family events, work functions, or community events.

Fee: $85 an hour with a two-hour minimum. Staff and equipment included. Call 785-251.6800.

Valentine’s Cookies: Celebrate Valentine’s day with your friends decorating sweet sugar conversation cookies. You can give a cute pink heart to a friend to enjoy or treat yourself. Either way it’s a great afternoon to spend decorating sugar cookies with your friends.

Hillcrest Community Center Age: Open to All Ages Time: Wed. 1-3 p.m. Date: Feb. 14 Fee: $3

St. Patrick Day Lucky Art: Feeling Lucky! Lucky Art will make you feel excited about being creative. Bring your friends, wear some green have some St. Patrick’s Day fun.

Hillcrest Community Center Age: Open to ALL Ages Time: Wed. 1-3 p.m. Date: Mar. 13 Fee: $3

PARKS.SNCO.US 785.251.6800

YOUTH SPORTS Registration may be done by individual OR by team for most leagues. Requests granted whenever possible. Volunteer coaches needed for all leagues.

Street Hockey - NEW LEAGUE

Oakland Soccer - New League

League shirt provided. Leagues Offered: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, Adult Registration Deadline: March 20 Age: 5-12, Adult Date: May 1-June 30 Fee: $30 per player or $250 per team (team option adult division only)

League shirt provided. Leagues Offered: 6U, 9U and 12U Registration Deadline: Jan. 24 Age: 5-12

Date: March 3-31 Fee: $30 per player

SCABA Baseball

SCP+R Baseball

Leagues Offered: 7U-8U Machine Pitch and 9U-14U Registration Deadline: Feb. 14 Age: 7-14 Date: April 1-July 31 Fee: $1,500 for 7U-8U Machine Pitch $1,650 for 9U-14U

League shirt provided. Leagues Offered: 5U Beginner, 6U Instructional, 9U Coach Pitch, 12U Player/Coach Pitch Registration Deadline: April 10 Age: 4-12 Date: May 21-June 29 Fee: $60 per player or $600 per team

Spring Soccer

League shirt provided. Leagues offered at each age from 3-12 and may be merged every two years if necessary: 3-4U Instructional 3 vs. 3 - $25 per player or $200 per team

5-6U 5 vs. 5 - $50 per player or $500 per team 7-12U 7 vs. 7 - $50 per player or $500 per team Registration Deadline: Feb. 21 Age: 3-12 Date: March 30-April 27

Shawnee County Fastpitch League

Leagues Offered: 6U Instructional, 7U Coach Pitch, 8U Player/Coach Pitch, 10U, 12U, 14-1U Grand Slam Registration Deadline: March 20 Age: 7-14 Date: May 1-July 31 Fee: 6U - $60 per player or $525 per team 7U - $625 per team 8U - $725 10U - $825 per team 12U - $825 per team 14-18U Grand Slam - $500 per team SC Fastpitch Tournament - $160 per team (7U, 8U, 10U and 12U)

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