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!