Recreation Programs & Community Events

Joplin Parks & Recreation is dedicated to providing programs that offer participants opportunities for social engagement. Our Recreation Division is responsible for planning and implementing a wide range of recreational, athletic, and cultural activities and events within the community. We encourage everyone to make recreation a part of their everyday life! 

We offer programs year-round at various locations throughout the city. Please visit the Department's Facebook events page or the online registration system for the most up-to-date program offerings.


Pre-registration for programs is generally required. Exceptions are made for some community events. To register for a program, visit our online registration system, call us at 417-625-4750, or stop by our office at 3301 W. 1st Street, Joplin.

We are constantly looking for new ideas for classes that the community would like to see offered. Please email us at [email protected] if you have a suggestion for a class or program you would like to see offered!

Fourth of July 2016 1

Joplin's 2022 Independence Day Celebration 

The 2022 Joplin Independence Day Celebration will kick off on Monday, July 4th at 5:30 p.m. at Fred G. Hughes Stadium, located on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.
This spectacular event will feature live music by The Mixtapes, food trucks and fireworks.
Schedule of Events:
• 5:30pm: Event Kick Off: Food Trucks Open
• 7:00pm: Stadium Opens to Visitors
• 7:30pm: Live Music by The Mixtapes
• 9:45pm: Fireworks Show (approximate show time is 20 minutes)
The show will be set to music, which visitors can tune into 88.7 KXMS to experience.
The football stadium is a NCAA regulation field and no one will be allowed on the football turf. Seating is available in the stadium and along the grass around the field.
Items allowed inside the stadium:          What NOT to bring:
• Water • Personal Fireworks
• Food • Alcohol
• Seat Cushions • Grills
• Folding Chairs • Pets (service animals allowed)
• Blankets • Tobacco
• Strollers
Plenty of parking will be available throughout the campus. A festivities map will be posted closer to the event as well as a list of expected vendors.
For more information about this year's celebration visit
Old Fashioned Hayride
Letters to Santa Website

​Old Fashioned Hayride - October 21, 2022

The event will feature many family-friendly activities, including a hayride, making s'mores, yard games and a movie in the park sponsored by Mercy.

We will be handing out 1,000 s'mores packets to cook over the bonfires scattered around the park. These packets are first-come, first-serve to the event attendees. We'll have some roasting sticks available, but feel free to bring your sticks from home!
Hot cocoa will be provided to event guests while supplies last.
During the event, we'll be showing a movie on our giant inflatable screen.

2022 Letters to Santa Campaign

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time for children to begin writing their letters to Santa! Joplin Parks and Recreation is proud to offer the “Letters to Santa” campaign again this year.
Children are invited to write a letter to Santa and drop it in Santa’s Mailbox at the Joplin Parks and Recreation offices at 3301 W. 1st Street or at Academy Sports & Outdoors, located at 1717 S. Range Line Road. An after-hours mailbox is also available at the Department's office.
Santa’s Mailbox will be available from November 16th – December 5th. Letters must include the child's first and last name, a return mailing address, and a few details about the child (school if attending, brothers or sisters, pets, friends, and a wish list).
The letters will be delivered to the North Pole and Santa will write back a personalized letter to each child who sends him a letter.
Please address letters to:
Santa’s Workshop
9 Reindeer Road
North Pole
If a response letter hasn't been received by mid-December, you can call our office (417-625-4750) to confirm the letter was received and was sent to Santa for a response. If we are notified after Christmas that Santa's letter wasn't received, we're able to contact him and he will write to a kiddo who was somehow missed.