Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Event Scheduled for January 10!

Chilly weather doesn't mean the Park System isn't preparing for fun! We've decided to show our visitors just how much enjoyment you can get outdoors during the cool winter months. WinterFest is coming to Thompson Park, Lincroft! Scheduled for Saturday, January 10 from 1:30-5:30 p.m., this all new special event is sure to cure you of your winter blues!

Check out the activities we have planned:

  • Frozen Scavenger Hunt
  • Discover Animal Tracks with a Park System Naturalist
  • Ice Fishing Simulation
  • Snowman Building Contest
  • Broom Ball
  • Snowball Fight
  • Winter Character Parade (dress up as your favorite character and join in the fun)
  • Ice Skating (weather permitting; bring your own skates)
  • Make & Take Winter Crafts (in the Creative Arts Center)
  • Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides (weather permitting)
  • Try Our Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Equipment
  • Grab 'n Go Winter Ceramics (in the Creative Arts Center)

Be sure to bring a camera as your family enjoys photo opportunities on a snowmobile, with our snowman, and more! The Surf and Turf Truck will be available to grab a tasty bite to eat. And if you get a little chilly, warm up next to our outdoor fire pit.

Admission and parking are free! For more information, please call us at 732-842-4000, ext. 4312.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Learn Something New!

If you've ever wanted to try something new, the Park System is the place to be. With a wide variety of programs and drop-ins, there's so much you and your family can try. But be careful, these fun activities and new hobbies may become addictive!

Drop-In Activities:


Grab a bow and try to hit the bull's-eye! Open Shoots are available for ages 8 and up (under 18 with adult) approximately once a month throughout the calendar year. Upcoming dates are June 21, July 19 and August 16 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft. Cost is $7 per person; cash or check only. Family instructional archery classes are also available (preregistration required).


Take a relaxing paddle on the calm waters of Thompson Park's Marlu Lake, Lincroft. Offered every summer, canoe rentals are available on select weekends and Wednesday evenings. Rentals are available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the following weekends: June 28 & 29, July 12 & 13, July 26 & 27, August 9 & 10, August 23 & 24, September 13 & 14. Wednesday evening rentals are available from 6-9 p.m. on June 25, July 9, July 23, August 6 and August 20. Cost for canoe rentals is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for 2 hours; cash or check only. Canoe rentals are weather dependent. Other boat rentals are available throughout the Park System including rowboats and kayaks at the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, as well as kayaks, canoes and paddleboats at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold. Click here for more information.


Explore the great outdoors while on your own high-tech treasure hunt! Geocaching uses GPS devices to guide you toward hidden treasures (caches). Kits are available for you and your family to try this exciting activity at Thompson Park, Lincroft, on weekdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kits are free but participants are required to present a valid driver's license.

Parent/Child Morning Chores

Step back in time as a family and explore history as you help the Historic Longstreet Farm staff with their morning chores! Children (ages 4 and up) will gain a better understanding of what life was like in the 1890s as they lend a helping hand to collect eggs, milk the cows and feed the farm animals. Offered the first Saturday of every month (weather dependent) from 8-9 a.m., this is a terrific way to get your family interested in our area's history. Cost is $15 per parent/child pair, $5 each additional person; cash or check only.

Programs (require preregistration):


Whether you're interested in trying the sport for the first time or looking to refine your skills, the Park System offers a variety of programs to suit your needs.

My First Fish

Spend time together as you and your child (age 6-12) learn the basics of fishing with the guidance of our Park System Naturalists on Saturday, June 28 from 10-11:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity for your child to catch his or her first fish! All equipment is provided.

Southwest Style BBQ

Fire up the grill! Chef Peter DeCelie will be grilling up some amazingly tasty eats during this demonstration on Tuesday, July 1 from 6-9p.m. You'll go home with delicious recipes that include Grilled Clams with Veracruz-style sauce, Chorizo Bruschetta, Lime & Cilantro Shrimp and so much more!

Toddler Tumbling

Does your little one (age 3-5) enjoy fun exercise? Then they'll love learning forward and backward rolls, cartwheels, handstands, jumps and more as they explore the basics of tumbling on Mondays from July 7-28, 9:30-10:15 a.m. Tumbling is a great way to increase strength and flexibility!

Easy Morning Yoga

Develop strength, flexibility and balance during this morning program perfect for all body types, ages and fitness levels. Each Thursday morning (from July 10-August 28) you'll spend the morning enjoying the many benefits of yoga. 

These are just some of the ways you can learn something new in your Monmouth County parks. For more avenues of fun, visit our website.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Reel in Some Family Fun

There's nothing like spending special family time together in the parks. And we're always ready with fun events like the upcoming Freshwater Fishing Derby! Saturday & Sunday, June 14 & 15 is the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's annual No-License-Required fishing weekend, and we want to make sure everyone is taking advantage of it!

The Freshwater Fishing Derby offers the opportunity for both young and old to enjoy a day of fishing, no matter what your level of experience. Don't know how to fish? Our experienced staff members will be offering FREE hands-on clinics from 12:30-1:30 p.m. (both days) to show you how to cast and rig as well as answer any questions you may have. The derby will then run from 2-5 p.m. with prizes being awarded for the longest fish in three different categories. Fishing pole rentals are available at $5 each (cash or check only) and a container of worms is included with each registration.

You have two chances to get in on the fun, just in case one day works better than the other. So here are your Freshwater Fishing Derby details:

Saturday, June 14

Manasquan Reservoir Visitor Center, Windeler Road, Howell
Clinics from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; derby runs from 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, June 15 

Turkey Swamp Park, Georgia Road, Freehold
Clinics from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; derby runs from 2-5 p.m.

Cost for this event is $25 per family of 4 or $8 per person. Pre-registration is suggested and is available by visiting the registration page; derby rules are provided upon registration. Walk-ins are welcomed on the day of the event; cash and checks only on site.

Don't let this event get away! We can't wait to see you there! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Family Fun: Manasquan Reservoir Boat Tours

Boat Tours on the Manasquan Reservoir
Everyone can agree that there's something about the beauty of nature that is both thrilling and serene. Whether you're viewing an animal you had never seen before or a single moment of pure beauty as the sun caresses the rippling water, these glimpses into our natural world offer something special anyone can enjoy. And there's no better way to enjoy these experiences than with a Park System Boat Tour of the Manasquan Reservoir in Howell.

These 45-minute boat tours are narrated by our knowledgeable Park System Naturalists, offering information about the Reservoir as a habitat for a variety of beautiful creatures. Each tour provides the opportunity to view our local wildlife including turtles, egrets, herons, ospreys, and perhaps even one of our resident bald eagles! And let's not forget the picturesque views that are sure to amaze. Don't miss your chance to offer your entire family the excitement and joy of viewing and learning about the nature that surrounds us.

A variety of boat tours have been scheduled in order to meet the demands of our visitors' schedules:
Red bellied turtles
    May 3-October 13
    (Includes Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Columbus Day)
    2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m.Bald eagle
    July 9-August 27
    2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m. 
    May 2 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
    June 6 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
    July 4 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. 
    August 1 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
    September 5 at 5:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Cost for boat tours is $6 per adult and $3.75 per child 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center Bait Shop at any time on the day of the boat tour you intend to enjoy. Life jackets are provided and must be worn during the duration of the tour. Please Note: Boat tours are both weather and water level dependent.

If you have questions about the Manasquan Reservoir Boat Tours, please call 732-751-9453.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two Amazing Events on May 18!

This weekend there's so much to do in the parks! But there are two very popular events happening on Sunday, May 18, that may make it very difficult to choose which one to add to your family's schedule! So we want to give you all the details on both to allow you to decide.

Outdoor Adventure Expo

Outdoor Adventure Expo Children's Fishing Derby
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Held at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold, this is a terrific event for the outdoor enthusiast. Created to show residents the amazing outdoor adventure opportunities in our area, the Outdoor Adventure Expo allows visitors to:
  • Attend free lectures, demonstrations, mini-clinics and nature hikes. 
  • Explore fishing with your children during the free Children's Fishing Derby held from 12-2 p.m.
  • Meet vendors for activities that include canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, climbing, skiing and biking.
  • Discover local and regional outdoor adventure and sportsmen's clubs.
  • Test a variety of equipment including touring kayaks, white water kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, 25-foot climbing wall, and more!
No matter what adventure you're seeking outdoors, this yearly event will give you and your family something exciting to experience. Admission and parking are free; this event runs rain or shine.
Make a full weekend of it! Camping is available within Turkey Swamp Park; click here for full details.

Walnford Day

Walnford Day Wagon Rides
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Just one of the Monmouth County Park System's historic sites, Historic Walnford offers a look into the lives of the Waln family and the evolution of Walnford over the centuries - from an 18th century industrial village and family farm to an elegant country estate. The annual Walnford Day celebration - formerly held in the fall but now moved to spring - offers an amazing experience of the sights and sounds of the past. Check out all this fun-filled historic event has to offer:
  • Hands-on historical activities for all ages including writing with a quill pen or donning 18th century attire
  • A variety of historical and hysterical games
  • Blacksmithing, woodworking and spinning demonstrations
  • Self-guided tours of the beautiful main house from cellar to attic
  • Harpsichord and recorder duets in the front parlor from 1-5 p.m.
  • Horse drawn wagon rides from 1-4 p.m. (weather permitting)
This is a terrific event for the whole family offering a trip back in time that is both fun and educational. Make a day of it by bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy on the shady lawn or at provided picnic tables.

Can't choose between both events? Why not enjoy both? Turkey Swamp Park and Historic Walnford are less than a 30 minute drive from one another. There's nothing better than enjoying the parks in the spring!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Park Spotlight: Fort Monmouth Recreation Center

In August 2013, the Park System opened its first ever indoor recreation facility. Acquired by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), this 21,000 square foot recreation center was an exciting addition to the Park System's facilities. A long list of amenities that includes classrooms, a game room, and a gymnasium, have made the Rec Center a terrific new location for programs including arts & crafts, sports & fitness, and an array of special events. If you haven't taken a program or stopped in for a drop-in, you're missing out on a fantastic facility.

Check out some of what's upcoming at the Rec Center:

The following programs do not require pre-registration.

Craft Quest - Cultural Edition  
Mondays-Fridays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Discover the Craft Quest Box at the Recreation Center. Each month highlights a different country and features a related craft. Come by for the secret code to access the box to collect your craft kit and passport. For more information, contact Rachel Cohen at 732-542-1642, ext. 29. The cost is $10 per family; cash or check only please. Upcoming themes are:
        May - Mexico
        June - Africa
        July - United States
       August - Egypt

Drop-in Tuesdays at the Rec Center!   
Tuesdays from March 11-June 3 from 4-5:30 p.m.
(ages 6-10)
Join Rec Center staff after school for games and activities! Choose from gym games, foosball, air hockey, ping pong and bumper pool. Each week we’ll switch up an extra activity such as arts & crafts, science experiments or board games.
Cost: FREE!

Family Gym Time  
Mondays & Wednesdays from March 10-May 28 (closed May 26) from 12:30-2:30 p.m.  
(all ages, under 18 with adult)
Enjoy playtime with other families and make friends in a roomy, warm, indoor space for active play and socialization. We’ll have tunnels, gym mats, trampolines, scooters and other play equipment set up for your entertainment. This is an open play format with no instruction provided. Parent supervision is required and Rec Center staff will be present if you have questions or need assistance.
Cost: $10 per family per day; cash or check only.

Monday Night Open Teen Basketball   
Mondays, May 5 & May 12 from 7-8:30 p.m.
(ages 13-18)
Whether you’re on the team and looking for a place to practice or just love the game and want a place to play, drop-in and enjoy our courts.
Cost: $5 per person per night; cash or check only.

Book Swap    
Thursday, May 8 from 6-8 p.m.   (adults)
Sip, swap and connect. Enjoy reading? Looking for something different to read and to connect with people with similar interests? Stop by the park and bring an unwanted book(s) and swap it for something new. Don’t have a book to swap? That’s okay, there will be a stash for you to peruse. Light refreshments will be served. FREE!

Family Game Night   
Fridays,  May 9 & May 23 from 6-8:30 p.m.
(all ages, under 18 with adult)
Come with the family and play some games! Board games, table games, and gym games will be available for some good old family interaction. Play something familiar or learn something new, or do both! PLUS, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. you can try out our 25' rock climbing wall. The cost is $15 per family (2-4 people), $5 each additional person; cash or check only. 

Armed Forces “Thank You” Day   
Saturday, May 17 from  9 a.m.-3 p.m.    
Drop-in to create a thank you card for members of our armed forces. Make a patriotic sundae and join in a sing-along and other activities celebrating those who have served our country.
Cost: $5 per person; cash or check only. Veterans attend for free.

Armed Forces Week: Adult Open Gym Basketball     
Monday, May 19 from 7-8:30 p.m.; Tuesday, May 20 from 1-2:30 p.m.; Wednesday, May 21 from 8-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.   
Join us as we honor our heroes, both active and retired - drop-in to shoot some hoops on our full court gym.
Cost: $5 per person; cash or check only. Servicemen and women, past and present, attend for free with a valid military ID.

Armed Forces Week: Family Gym Time  
Sunday, May 18 from 11am-12:30 p.m.;
Thursday, May 22 from 1-2:30 p.m.; Friday, May 23 from 1-2:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 25 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  
(all ages, under 18 with adult)
Join us as we honor our heroes, both active and retired. Drop-in, enjoy playtime with other families and make friends in a roomy, indoor space for active play and socialization. We’ll have tunnels, gym mats, trampolines, scooters and other play equipment set up for your entertainment. This is an open play format with no instruction provided. Parent supervision is required and Rec Center staff is present if you have questions or need assistance. Cost is $5 per military family (with a valid military ID) & $10 per non-military family.

The following programs require pre-registration and a fee. Registration can be done online (24/7); by phone at 732-842-4000, ext. 1, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; or in person at Park System Headquarters, 805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft.

Basketball with Me & Dad/Mom
(ages 5-6, with adult)
Learn the basics of basketball on our outdoor courts. Parent and child will have fun while practicing the skills of passing, shooting, and dribbling. Parent participation is required.

Beginner Sewing & Beyond
Learn the basic sewing skills you will need to make clothing, items to beautify your home, gifts, etc. We will start by making a skirt and move on to other items as time allows. We will cover understanding and using a pattern, assembling a garment including inserting a zipper, hemming, etc.

Fat Loss Boot Camp
The only thing that gets the boot is body fat! A mix of body-weight and band exercises will assist to increase your ability to burn fat, strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, mobility, conditioning and overall fitness levels.

Engineering for Kids
(ages 4-14)
Calling all future engineers! Apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics to real-life problems. Hands-on learning connects innovation, collaboration, imagination and fun. Change the way your child thinks about math and science.

Glitzy Girlz Glamore Party Hour
(ages 6-12)
Come hang out with some Glitzy Girlz and have a night of pampering fun! Dress in your favorite outfits. We will enjoy straightening and curling our hair, pedicures, manicures, and light make-up. Come with your singing voices as we will have our karaoke machine set up for open singing.  

Glow in the Park
(ages 8-11)
Using glow sticks, flashlights, solar lights and a few other things, we will have a scavenger hunt, play volley-balloon, conduct experiments, try something artistic and have edible sparklers!  

Toddler Tumbling
(ages 3-5)
Beginner tumbling for the little ones interested in learning stretching, coordination, balance and tumbling skills. From forward and backward rolls to cartwheels, handstands and jumps, this introduction to tumbling class will teach basic tumbling, as well as strength and flexibility! 

To view a complete list of the Rec Center's drop-ins and upcoming programs, pick up a copy of the Park System's Summer Program Directory or visit us online.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coming Soon: 2014 Summer Program Directory

2014 Summer Program Directory
Summer is in the air as the Monmouth County Park System plans to release this year's Summer Program Directory. Are you ready to start planning your summer with fun, exciting activities in the parks? This summer's Program Directory is filled to the brim with park information, special events, terrific programs and so much more. When you browse the summer issue, be sure to check out some of the following.
  • Park System Spotlight: Do you love the beauty of the beach? Learn more about Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch, in this two-page informational article.
  • Summer Facility Profiles: Never been to one of our environmental centers? Discover what the Huber Woods and Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Centers have to offer.
  • Special Events: When the weather is warm the parks have so much to offer! Here are just a few of the events you can learn more about in the Summer Program Directory:
    • Monmouth County Fair  - This year's Fair is quickly approaching on Wednesday-Sunday, July 23-27, and is packed with entertainment, animal shows, amusement rides, tasty food, vendors, and so much more!
    • Eco Elephant Family Flea Market - Looking to sell items you no longer use? Get a table and earn some money as our visitors shop 'til they drop on Saturday, June 21 and Saturday, August 23.
    • Fishing Derbies - One fishing derby isn't enough! So we're doing three! The 2nd Annual Freshwater Fishing Derby takes place at the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, on Saturday, June 14 and then at Turkey Swamp Park on Sunday, June 15. Plus, if you enjoy surf fishing, don't miss our first ever Bayshore Saltwater Fishing Derby at Bayshore Waterfront Park on Saturday, August 30.
    • Deep Cut Gardens Open House - Learn more about this beautiful 54-acre site with free guided tours, lectures, activities, demonstrations and horticultural advice on Sunday, June 8.
    • Second Annual Sweet Corn Festival - There's nothing better than locally grown, sweet New Jersey corn in the summertime! This festival held at Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold on Saturday, August 16, offers live music, children's crafts and activities, our 25' rock climbing wall and of course delicious sweet corn.
  • Family Campfires: Bring the entire family and spend an evening under the stars. On page 6 you'll find a full listing of campfires held at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold that offer fun for everyone. The selection includes Are We There Yeti?, Touch-A-Truck at the Campfire!, Create Your Own Concert and more.
  • Adult Programs: Learn something new this summer, or refine your skills in a favorite hobby. From arts & crafts to horticulture to sports & fitness and more, the adults section of this year's Summer Program Directory offers something for everyone. Constant favorites are joined this summer by new programs that include Clay Handbuilding Techniques, Paella Outdoors, Gardening for Butterflies and Other Pollinators, Kayak Birding Expedition, Fat Loss Boot Camp and more!
  • Equestrian Programs: If you love horses, these programs are for you! And don't miss this year's  Student Horse Show featuring our Special People United to Ride (SPUR) equestrians showcasing their talents on Saturday, June 7.
  • Family Programs: Ready to spend some time together as a family? We want to make that time even more special by offering exciting programs like Mess Fest!, Boat and Breakfast, Micro-Safari, Summer Beach Luau Blast and more! 
  • Golf Programs: Looking to learn a new sport? Golf is a fun, popular sport that is easy to learn with the help of the Monmouth County Park System. Beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons are offered for ages 6-adult as well as a variety of clinics and other programs. If you're already an avid golfer, don't miss out on the Park System's summer tournaments; information can be found here.
  • Historic Programs: If you've never been to Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel or Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold, we've got some additional reasons to get you there this summer. Historic Longstreet Farm offers a view into the past with free drop-in programs such as Blacksmith Demonstrations, an Independence Day Celebration, and the Potato Harvest. This summer Historic Walnford is offering an array of free drop-ins which include Antique Autos, Roots of Rootbeer, and the returning Sweet Corn Festival to name a few.
  • Kids & Teens Programs: Is your child looking for something new and exciting to experience? We've got plenty of options both you and your children will love! Kids can improve drawing skills with Drawing Intensive, use science and technology during Engineering for Kids, enjoy fitness and fun with Circus Skills Camp, and so much more! Still on the look out for a terrific summer camp for your child? A variety of camps are still available; click here to find and register for summer camps.
  • Parent & Child Programs: Why not learn something new...together! You and your child can enjoy creation OR recreation. Create beautiful ceramic art during Ceramic Family Fun; decorate tea cups and enjoy the outdoors with Tea for Two; or play in the dark during Glo in the Dark Sports Campfire.
  • Special Needs Programs: At the Park System we work hard to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to participate in Park System programs with their non-disabled peers. Special Needs programs are also offered that bring together special needs children and young adults like Introduction to Golf, Recreational Swim, and Teen Scene. For additional information on programs for those with special needs or on our inclusion services, please email Lauren.
  • Trips: Let's go somewhere new! We're ready to hit the road with a variety of day trips and overnight excursions. Just a few of these locations include Historic Philadelphia, Untermyer Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, and Washington DC. The Park System makes it easy to enjoy a journey to somewhere new.
The above are just some of the fun you can look forward to in this year's Summer Program Directory.  Available this Friday, May 2, you can get your issue by mail, by visiting one of the Park System parks, or view it online. If you're not already on our mailing list, you can join by filling out our Program Directory Request form. Summer program registration begins at 8am on Wednesday, May 7.

See you in the parks!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Earth Day in the Parks

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated by over 20 million Americans. Today, more than one billion people around the world participate in various Earth Day activities. At the Park System, we believe in the importance of giving residents the opportunity to educate themselves about the environment, nature and the significance of the world around us through exhibits and programs at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell, and the Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown. But, for Earth Day, we kick things up a notch by offering a variety of free events that are educational and fun for the entire family. Join us for some or all of the following events:

Saturday, April 26
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
  • Activities: Pond Study, Pollinator Flower - Find the Scent, and Butterfly Lifecycle
  • Crafts: Grass heads (subject to change), Butterfly Craft, and Pollinator Craft
  • Outdoor Fun: Animal Shows at 12pm, 2pm & 4pm; Pollinator Talk at 1pm & 3pm; Short Eco-Boat Tours
  • Exhibitors: AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, 4-H Reptile Club, Monmouth County Master Gardeners, New Jersey Water Association, Monmouth County Audubon, Monmouth County Health Department, and New Jersey Mycological Association

Sunday, April 27
  • Celebrate the Shore
    Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth   
    Discover cool coastal animals such as whales, dolphins, crabs, and even tiny plankton during this interactive show and tell program. Tours will be given of the historic Seabrook-Wilson House, which dates back to the early 1700s. Tours will begin at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  • Spring Plant Walks
    Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown  
    The flowers are back in bloom. Discover the park’s floral beauty, hidden places, and native plants. Find out how to become an earth-friendly gardener and ways to compost. Walks will begin at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  • Nature Walks  
    Holmdel Park Shelter Building, Holmdel   
    Returning birds, emergent buds, and blooming wildflowers are just some of the sights we may enjoy while wandering with the Park System’s Roving Naturalist. Binoculars provided. Walks will begin at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  • Bio-Blitz 2014    
    Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown   
    Nature fun for all ages! Nature enthusiasts big and small can take the identification challenge and hardcore naturalists can survey their own Bio-Blitz plot. Take part in a group project to catalogue nature within our park. All equipment provided.
  • Snakes & Reptiles  
    Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown  
    This family-oriented show gives you the chance to see live snakes and reptiles found in New Jersey. There will also be freshwater pond creatures on view and a chance to identify animal scat. Shows will begin at 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  • Eco-Fashion Fun!     
    Thompson Park Visitor Center, Lincroft   
    Need to spruce up an old outfit? Join us while we help people look fabulous this spring by creating eco-friendly fashion jewelry and accessories from recycled materials.
 Do you have questions about these events? Email us or visit our website for more information.

It's Time for Spring!

This morning's icy start is a reminder of how badly we're ready for spring to arrive (and to stay a while). So let's think of warmer temperatures as we take a look at some of the fun you can have in the parks this spring!
  • Camping: Whether you’re looking for a night away from home or a memorable camping 'stay-cation' with family and friends, the campgrounds at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold are the place to be. This family-friendly campground features 64 wooded campsites (52 which can be reserved) and a long list of amenities which include electrical and water service, modern restrooms with showers and laundry areas, picnic tables, playgrounds, and much more.
  • Golf: Tee off at one of our eight beautiful golf courses at six locations! With five championship courses, two 18-hole executive courses, and a nine-hole par three course, Park System golf courses accommodate golfers of all skill levels. New to the game? Be sure to take advantage of our golf programs.
  • Playgrounds: Don't spend your days indoors, get into the swing of spring on a playground! Playgrounds provide children a place to play outside and build strong bodies and minds. The Park System offers amazing playgrounds at several parks and recreation areas throughout the county including Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, Atlantic Highlands; Shark River Park, Wall; and Tatum Park, Middletown. And don't forget the Park System's two universally accessible playgrounds offering fun for children of all abilities: Tony's Place at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch and Challenger Place at Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck.
  • Fishing: Looking to drop your line and see what bites? The Park System offers a variety of serene locations for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Please Note: Freshwater anglers ages 16-69 must have a NJ State fishing license; saltwater anglers must register with the state's free saltwater fishing online registry.
  • Boating: Warm weather offers the perfect setting for time out on the water. The Manasquan Reservoir, Howell has kayaks, rowboats and electric powered rowboats available for rent. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboats can be rented at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold. And don't miss canoe rentals on Marlu Lake in Thompson Park, Lincroft on various weekends throughout the spring/summer season. For full details and pricing information, visit our Canoe, Kayak & Boat Rental page.
  • Trails: Take in the beauty of the parks while enjoying some exercise as you walk, run or bike our trails. With over 120 miles of trails, the county parks have trails of all types, surfaces and lengths in many locations throughout the county.
  • Gardens: It's time to stop and smell the flowers! As spring chases away the colder temperatures, the flowers and trees begin to bloom once again. Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown, offers 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses that are planned as a living catalog of cultivated and native plant materials to be observed through the seasons. The beauty of the budding trees at the David C. Shaw Arboretum is a must see. Located within Holmdel Park, Holmdel, the arboretum's 22 acres contain hundreds of species, cultivars and varieties of ornamental trees and shrubs.
There's always something to do and see within your Monmouth County parks! Other ideas include strolling through our amazing historic sites (Historic Longstreet Farm and Historic Walnford); learning about nature during a Park System Naturalist led Boat Tour of the Manasquan Reservoir; dropping by Thompson Park to set out on your own geocaching adventure; or just relaxing with friends and family (or a good book) in the beauty of the outdoors.

Have questions about the parks or the activities mentioned above? Email us or check out our website for information.