5 to Try: Great playground destinations in Johnson County ๐Ÿ‚

JCPRD's Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village earned recommendations from nearly a dozen readers. Photo credit Emma Kate Squires.

With the pleasantness of a Midwestern fall in the offing, we asked readers to share their favorite Johnson County playground destinations for our 5 to Try installment this week.

The good news, based on the variety of suggestions that came in, is that no matter where you live in Johnson County, there are some great spots for kids to play nearby.

Here we go…:

Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa

This gem of Lenexa’s parks and rec system has three playgrounds, each geared toward a specific age group. It’s the scenery and the nearby amenities that make this park so beloved. The playgrounds overlook Rose’s Pond, which itself have plenty of appeal for kids โ€” including the serpent statue on a small island reachable by stone foot bridge. Throw in the extensive trail system and the presence of the skate park just a short walk away, and you’ve got the makings of an full day of outdoor fun.

Variety KCย  Playground in Leawood

This creative mix of swings, slides and sounds is especially popular among the siblings of soccer players at Leawood City Park on Saturday mornings. Opened in 2017 thanks to the contributions of local businesses, Leawood residents and the Variety Childrenโ€™s Charity, the Variety KC Playground was one of the first inclusive playgrounds in the metro area. With a zip-line, saucer swing and “sensory rich” features, it’s a hit among kids of all ages and stages.

Franklin Park in Prairie Village

Reader Jan Atkins is among those who swear by the appeal of Franklin Park in Prairie Village. The playground itself is relatively small, but a major upgrade a decade ago included the development of an adjacent natural play area that includes a stream. “[There] is lots of shade as well as picnic tables, a sandbox, logs to walk on, a stream in which to float boats (or leaves), and a nice series of short and long sidewalks for both little feet and big feet to pedal or walk,” Atkins said.

Stillwell Community Park in Bucyrus


Blue Valley North junior Lizzie Place recently took a trip out to Stillwell Community Park to do a review for TakeAHikeKC and said she was truly impressed by the playground โ€” which is the first inclusive playground installation in the Johnson County Park and Recreation District system. “[The playground] is much bigger [than in the photo],” she said of the pic she sent in, above. “It is fantastic! I mostly focus on trails for Take A Hike, KC. But this playground was so awesome that I did include it in the review.”

Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village

The Grove playground at Meadowbrook

Meadowbrook Park’s “Tree Line Adventure” playground has been a smash hit since opening in 2019. With nets to climb, boulders to scale and twisting slides to descend, it’s got a combination of playground features unique to the county. Factor in some additional play structures across the grand lawn at the bottom of the sledding hill, and it’s no wonder nearly a dozen readers recommended this park.

Keep an eye on our feeds Monday as we put out the call for the next โ€œ5 to Tryโ€ topicโ€ฆ