Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Make Harvest Home Festival an Annual Family Tradition

Nothing stirs nostalgic sentiment like the traditions centered on autumn and harvest time. Many area families count Longstreet Farm’s Harvest Home Festival as one of their favorite fall destinations. You’re invited to come to Longstreet Farm between 11am-5pm on Sunday, September 30 to enjoy a full schedule of harvest fun with an historic twist. 

What would a harvest festival be without a celebration of the bounty of the land? Longstreet Farm staff have been busy through the summer tending to the crops. You can be help with the harvest by digging potatoes and taking home what you gather! Come early because the crop is limited. Other farming activities include plowing and beekeeping demonstrations throughout the afternoon.

Is your pumpkin the biggest in the county? Is your homemade jam the talk of the town? Gardeners and crafters are encouraged to display their produce and home goods in a friendly competition in categories that include vegetables, baked goods, canning, condiments, needlework, quilting, and rug hooking. Ribbons will be awarded for the best selections in each category. Entry is free but the registration deadline is September 26, all entries (except baked goods) must be dropped off to the farm by this date. Baked goods should be dropped off on the morning of the event between 9-10am. Click here for an entry form and detailed category listing.

Another popular event is the pie eating contest, with three divisions for children ages 8 and under, ages 9-14, and adults. There is no fee to enter, but visitors must register with farm staff upon arrival. Competitors will surely want to wash down their pie with a cold cup of apple cider, freshly made on an antique cider press.

Children of all ages will enjoy old-fashioned lawn games, rides on our horse-drawn wagons, and hands-on craft demonstrations including weaving, embroidery, and rug hooking.  Entertainment includes the Chorus of the Atlantic, the Jugtown Mountain Band, Music Man Rich Marzec, and banjo player Chuck Winch.

For a full schedule of the day’s activities and directions to Longstreet Farm visit our Harvest Home Festival page, or call (732) 842-4000, ext. 4312.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Autumn in the Parks...

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." 
- Albert Camus

Labor Day has passed and children are heading back to school. Autumn is falling upon us, and with that comes shorter, cooler days, colorful foliage, and approaching holidays. And as your schedule becomes busier, don't forget that your Monmouth County parks await you seven days a week. Don't miss out on all the wonderful things in the parks this autumn!

Harvest Home Festival
Sunday, September 30 from 11am-5pm
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Take a step back in time with this charming country fair reminiscent to those held in the late 1890s. Family friendly activities and demonstrations include old-fashioned games, wagon rides, demonstrations, live entertainment, pie eating contest, and corn husking competition. Our annual Harvest Home Festival Competition returns, inviting visitors to enter their best baked goods, canning, condiments, needlework, and vegetables. For a competition application, click here. Free!

Walnford Day
Sunday, October 7 from 11am-5pm
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
The sights and sounds of the past come alive as families experience hands-on history during this annual anniversary celebration of Historic Walnford. Visitors will enjoy wagon rides, trying a quill pen, old-fashioned games, demonstrations, dressing up in period garments, and exhibits about how homes were lighted before electricity and life at Walnford in 1862. Free!

Thompson Park Day
Sunday, October 14 from 11am-5pm
Thompson Park, Lincroft
This annual family festival is filled with even more fun than ever this year! Don't miss out on the corn maze, kids races, pumpkin painting, Meet the Mustangs, Zany Zombies, Pond Exploration, canoeing, and SO MUCH MORE! And don't miss the Friends of the Monmouth County Park System annual Strut Your Mutt Dog Costume Contest. Entrance and parking are free; some activities require tickets and/or registration.

Open Ceramics
12:30-4:30pm on September 9, October 7, November 4, November 8, November 9 & November 25
Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft
Choose from our selection of bisque fired pottery to glaze and make your own. Cost is $6 per hour plus cost of bisque ware (cash or check only).

Stroll the Gardens
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Head to Deep Cut to view seasonal plants that are native to our area. This 52-acre site also hosts some wonderful events this fall:
  • Jersey Shore Rose Society Rose Show on Saturday, September 8
  • Bonsai Day on September 16
  • Great Fall Perennial Plant Swap on September 22
For more information on these Deep Cut Gardens events, visit our website. 

Visit Our Historic Locations
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Take a step back in time to learn about life in our county many years ago. Both locations are open year round, but they also offer free drop-in demonstrations throughout the season. Visit the specific park link above for a list of upcoming historic events.

Enjoy Some Outdoor Adventures
Our Outdoor Adventures staff always has some fun lined up:
  • Canoe Rentals
    • Enjoy a calming paddle on picturesque Marlu Lake at Thompson Park on September 8 & 9 from 9am-3pm. Cost is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for 2 hours (cash or check only). All equipment is provided.
  • Climb Time
    • Enjoy a free chance to try our 25-foot rock climbing wall on Sunday, September 9 from 10am-2pm at Thompson Park, Lincroft and on Sunday, October 28 from 1-5pm at Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck. Climbers must be 42 inches or taller and between 40-250 lbs.
  • Open Shoot Archery 
    • Ages 8 and up (under 18 with adult) can try their hands at archery on Monday, September 10 from 4:30-7:30pm; Saturday, November 3 from 12-3pm; and Saturday, December 15 from 12-3pm at the Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft. Cost is $5 per person (cash or check only). 

Get Ready for Halloween!
Sick of buying pricey Halloween costumes just to wear them once? Save the planet and your budget during Re-Spook, Re-Wear, Re-Scare! Upcycle gently used kids', adults', and even pet costumes for a spooktacular new-to-you ensemble.

Enroll in a Fall Program
This year's Fall Directory is filled to the brim with old favorites and new fun! Here's just a sampling of what's available:
  • Walnford Harvest Barn Dance - Put on your dancing shoes as we Swing, Do-Si-Do, and Sashay the afternoon away on Saturday, September 15. Enjoy dancing, old-fashioned fun and games, and ice cream making! A great family-friendly program!
  • Early Fall BBQ - Just because it's fall doesn't mean you can't grill! Join us for this popular cooking class on Tuesday, October 9.
  • History Alive!: Haunted History of New Jersey - Just in time for Halloween, learn about local legends, hauntings, ghost stories, folklore, and more on Saturday, October 20.
But that's not all! This fall there are hundreds of programs for you and your family to enjoy! Check out our Fall Directory for a full list of programs happening now until December.