Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Isn't Over Yet!

Back to school shopping is underway and talk of autumn holidays has begun, but don't let the last few weeks of summer pass you by. There are still memories left to be made here in the parks! Here are just a few activities you can enjoy in the parks as summer comes to a close:
  • Rent a Boat - Enjoy a leisurely morning or afternoon out on the water. Rowboats and kayaks are available for rent through October 31 at the Manasquan Reservoir Visitor Center, Howell. At Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold, you'll find kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats available for rent every day now through Labor Day and on weekends from Labor Day through Columbus Day. There is also one more weekend of canoe rentals this year at Thompson Park, Lincroft on September 7 & 8 from 9am-3pm. Click here for full details and pricing for boat rentals in the parks.
  • Learn About Nature  - Head to Huber Woods Park Environmental Center, Middletown, to pick up a Safari Backpack and head out on a family adventure. Each backpack contains all you need to enjoy a self-guided nature walk. Visitors can choose from the following: Pre-K, Forest, Meadow or Pond. Use of Safari Backpacks is free, but a valid NJ drivers license must be left at the front desk with the docent.
  • Drop-In Geocaching - This popular high-tech treasure hunt uses GPS devices to guide you to hidden trinkets throughout Thompson Park, Lincroft. This is an excellent activity for families (ages 10 and up, under 18 with adult). We provide everything you need (GPS device, maps, and step-by-step instruction packet). Kits are available for rent on weekdays from 9am-2pm and weekends from 10am-2pm. Cost is $15 per group of up to four; cash (exact change) or check only.
  • Naturalist Guided Kayak Tours - There are only two more of these fun drop-in kayak tours of the Navesink River left this year. Join a Park System Naturalist at Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown, for a leisurely paddle down the river. All equipment is provided; single and tandem kayaks are available. This is a first come, first served program and is limited to 14 participants. Cost is $20 per person; cash or check only. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Available dates are Monday, August 26 from 3-4:30pm and Tuesday, August 27 from 1-2:30pm. Meet at the Claypit Creek section.
  • Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir - These family-friendly boat tours are narrated by our Park System Naturalists and offer a fantastic opportunity to view local wildlife including turtles, egrets, herons, osprey, and maybe even a Bald Eagle. Tours depart from the Visitor Center during the following days and times: weekends and holidays through October 14 at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm; Wednesday, August 28 at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm; and Friday, September 6 at 6:30pm. Boat tours are first come, first served; tickets are available for purchase beginning at 7am on the day of the tour. Cost is $5.61 for adults and $3.50 for children 12 and under (tax not included). All boat tours are weather permitting.
The following programs have a few spots left too! Check out:
But that's not all you can enjoy in the parks while the warmth of the summer remains upon us!
  • Go for a swim and enjoy the sandy beaches of Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
  • Bring the kids to one of the many playgrounds the Park System offers
  • Cool off at the Sprayground, the Park System's water-enhanced playground
  • Cast a line and see what might reel in
  • Tee off at one of the Park System's beautiful golf courses
  • Walk, hike or bike any one of our picturesque trails
  • Or just relax and enjoy a picnic at any of the parks

Thursday, August 8, 2013

You're Invited...

Check out something new this weekend in your Monmouth County Park System! We are pleased to announce the opening of the brand new Fort Monmouth Recreation Center in Tinton Falls!

This spacious, modern facility was acquired from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) and will serve as the Park System's first ever indoor recreation facility. A wide variety of amenities like classrooms, gymnasium, and game room, make the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center the perfect location for an array of programs including arts & crafts, sports, exercise classes, and special events.

On Saturday, August 10 from 12-4pm, the Park System will host an Open House at Fort Monmouth Recreation Center to allow the public to familiarize themselves with the facility. Take a tour to view all the amenities the building has to offer from the full sized gymnasium to the kid friendly classrooms.There will also be plenty of family-fun available including kids crafts & games, live reptile shows, climbing wall, sample painting classes, sports fun, and more! Light refreshments will be available, provided by the Friends of the Parks.

Programs will be offered at the Recreation Center beginning in September. A full listing of programs is available in the fall issue of the Program Directory, but here is a sampling of those to be offered at the facility: