The Leisure Services Division provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities for citizens of all ages. The programs range from organized activities for senior citizens to baseball, softball and basketball league games and other athletic activities.
Leisure Services currently maintains over 220 developed acres that include ball fields, tennis courts, parks, community centers, two marinas, and four boat launch ramps.
The City sponsors over 1100 baseball and softball league games each year and over 300 events are held in city parks. During the course of a year, more than 60,000 city and county residents and tourists will utilize the wide variety of recreational opportunities provided by the City.
Panama City offers several nature parks for citizens to enjoy. The parks provide a quiet respite in an urban environment. Due to the number of nature parks that the city provides its citizens and visitors, only a few of the larger parks will be highlighted.
McKenzie Park is located downtown at the corner of Oak Avenue and Park Street. The main entrance to the park is on Harrison Avenue in downtown Panama City. It is a peaceful nature park, illuminated at night. The park has a very large gazebo and serves as a focal point for many outdoor activities in downtown Panama City. The park is shaded by oak trees and is a very popular site for weddings, concerts, art and craft shows and much more.
Joe Moody Harris Park is one of the City's best kept secrets. This 30 acre park is located on a lake in the Millville area of this City. This secluded park has an outdoor picnic pavilion and a nature area with an 800-foot boardwalk that meanders through wetlands and extends into the lake. The park also has a community center with a large sundeck that overlooks the lake. Fishing is allowed in the park. The community center is available to rent for family oriented events. The park has a one mile walking track and a 9-hole disc golf course The directions to the park are as follows: traveling east or west on 11th Street in Panama City go to Sherman Avenue, turn south onto Sherman Avenue, travel south on Sherman Avenue to 9th Street turn east onto 9th Street and follow this roadway to the entrance gate of the park. Lannie Rowe Park is located on the 1100 block of Cherry Street in the Cove area of Panama City. The Park is lighted and has a raised boardwalk with benches. Sweetbay Wetlands is a nature park located at Michigan Avenue & 19th Street, with a boardwalk meandering throughout a wooded wetland area. This is a popular nature setting and is frequently the destination for field trips by the local school classes.
The City of Panama City has two walking parks that are maintained by the Leisure Services Division. They are Bay Memorial Park and Harvey De Mathis Park. Bay Memorial Walking Park is a lighted nature park of over 13 acres. The park is located south of 11th Street on Garden Club Drive between Balboa Avenue and Florida Avenue. The park includes a 1-mile walking track with 10 fitness stations. Harvey De Mathis Park is an enchanting 3-acre nature park located north of Baldwin Road between Florida Avenue and Token Road. The park includes a 1 1/2 -mile walking track.
Oaks by the Bay Park, located at the south end of Beck Avenue in the St. Andrews area of Panama City, is the newest addition to the City's waterfront parks. This five-acre park is located on beautiful St. Andrews Bay. It is shaded from the sun by majestic oak trees and is home to a very unique and perhaps the world's only four-headed palm tree. The park also has a boardwalk to the bay, a gazebo, and an observation platform with benches for those who like to watch the sailboats pass by.
Carl Gray Park is a very popular waterfront park located on Collegiate Drive just north of Gulf Coast Community College. This large waterfront park located on North Bay, has for several generations been the place to go for boating, fishing, swimming and family picnics. The park has a boat launch ramp and numerous covered picnic tables.
Adams Park is a neighborhood park that overlooks St. Andrews Bay. Located in the 500 block of Bunkers Cove Road in the Cove area of the city this small park compensates for its size by providing a great view of the bay. This tranquil oak tree shaded park provides a place for quiet reflection as you watch the boats pass by on the bay.
Asbell Park is located on East Beach Drive at East Caroline Boulevard. The park is adjacent to Lake Caroline and also provides an outstanding view of St. Andrews Bay. With picnic tables and benches, this park is a favorite brown bag lunch spot for downtown office workers.
Lake Huntington Park is located in the 3400 block of West 15th Street at the Lake Huntington Bridge. With convenient access to St. Andrews Bay, this park has long been a favorite spot for local fishermen.
Venetian Sunset Park is located at the end of Calabria Road in the Venetian Villa Subdivision. This peaceful bay front neighborhood park has a gazebo and benches. Venetian Sunset Park offers a quiet setting to watch the sunset over the bay.
Located at 1900 West 11th in the City's 28 acre recreation complex, this very popular recreational complex features great playground equipment, covered picnic tables, gazebos, tennis courts, softball and baseball fields.
The Oakland Terrace Park is home to the 90 softball teams in the City's Softball League. The Oakland Terrace Park Recreation Center is available to rent for family reunions, receptions and other occasions.
The center hosts senior citizen activities and karate classes. For additional information about the recreational programs available at the Oakland Terrace Park Recreation Center contact the Leisure Services Division.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center is located at 705 East 14th Court. Fall/Winter/Spring hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am - 8:00 p.m., with Summer hours from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. On Friday and Saturday the center is open from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
The staff at the recreation center is available to assist citizens of all ages in pursuit of leisure activities such as instructional classes, special activities and programs, athletics, workshops, clinics and educational field trips.
The recreation center features indoor and outdoor basketball courts and has adult and youth basketball programs and late night basketball. The center also provides an after school assistance program for students during the school year.
For additional information about the recreation programs available at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, call (850) 872-3085.
The focus of the Panama City African-American Cultural Center is to embrace the Past, Present, and Future Culture of African-Amercians in and around the City of Panama City through storybook format of printed and electronic media displays documenting the contribution of the local area. The Center will use local pioneers and frontrunner's to educate younger generations about the culture of African-Amercians who have positively impacted the City of Panama City.
Currently the Center is in the process of collecting pictures, books, paintings, trophies, academic awards, films and news clippings that document the culture of African-Americans in and around the City of Panama City.
The Center is opened from 2 to 6, Monday through Friday except holidays. For additional information, please contact the Center at (850) 747-5941