Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Are You Thinking Spring? We Are!

February means spring is getting closer, which also means it's time to register for spring programs with your Monmouth County Park System. This year's spring volume offers more than 250 programs and special events for you and your family to discover. From learning a new hobby to playing in a tournament, there's something for everyone! Here's just a sampling of some of the programs available:
  • Around the World with Food (ages 9-11) - If you have a budding chef at home, they'll love learning about the food of other cultures around the world during this hands-on cooking experience.
  • Beginner Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (adults) - Get in the latest water craze. This program offers instruction on strokes, paddling technique, safety and equipment selection.
  • Beginners Surf Fishing Clinic (ages 14 and up, under 18 with adult) - One of our Park System Naturalists will guide you in the basics of surf fishing. One hour of indoor instruction will be followed by three hours of fishing on the beach.
  • Bricks 4 Kidz Spring Break Camp (ages 5-9) - If you're child loves building with LEGOs, we've got the perfect spring break camp planned. They'll spend their week off building, designing and exploring architecture, engineering and technology with LEGO bricks and motors.
  • Canoe Discovery (adults) - Learn the basics of canoeing so you can enjoy all that paddling has to offer. Our instructors will teach you basic water safety and various paddling strokes.
  • Disc Golf League (ages 16 and up) - Our first ever disc golf league will meet weekly at Wolf Hill Recreation Area's brand new disc golf course.
  • Dog Obedience: Basic Obedience (ages 14 and up) - Bring your beloved four-legged friend to learn the basic commands in becoming a well-mannered canine companion.
  • Early Spring Containers (adults) - Learn tips and techniques for designing and planting containers that will brighten your doorstop through the spring. 
  • FootGolf Family Frenzy (all ages) - FootGolf combines soccer and golf in a fun-filled game the entire family can enjoy. Give it a try at our 9-hole course at Bel-Aire Golf Course. 
  • Grow Plants in Boxes (ages 7 and up, under 18 with adult) - Learn how to grow simple plants to beautify areas around your house. 
  • My First Fish (ages 6-12, with adult) - Kids will get a kick out of reeling in their first big one! This catch and release program is guided by a Park System Naturalist and includes all necessary equipment.
  • Springtime Fun at the Fort (ages 6-12) - School is out and this is the perfect way to keep your kids having fun for the week. Activities include games, art, experiments, sports and more!
And be sure to save the date for these upcoming special events:
  • E. Murray Todd Half Marathon on Sunday, March 6 at 9 a.m. This 13.1-mile course begins at Brookdale Community College and runs through Lincroft, Holmdel and Colts Neck. Cost to pre-register is $35 per person (due March 1). To register or for more details, click here.
  • Spring Craft Show on Saturday, April 23 at Tatum Park, Middletown. The perfect place to shop for Mother's Day, this annual craft show offers unique, hand-crafted gifts for the special person in your life.
  • Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap on Saturday, April 23 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. Swap your plants for something new. Bring your plants in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers and take home the same size and number of plants. Plants may be dropped off between 8:30-10 a.m. for inspection; then select your new plants between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. FREE!
  • Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Spend the day celebrating our Earth in various parks throughout the county. Discover coastal animals at Bayshore Waterfront Park, take a tour of the gardens at Deep Cut Gardens, meet snakes and reptiles at Huber Woods Environmental Center, explore the woods and wetlands of the Manasquan REservoir Environmental Center, design some eco-fashions at Thompson Park, or take a nature walk at Turkey Swamp Park. For full details on these Earth Day activities, see page 8 of your Spring Program Directory.
  • Creative Arts & Music Festival on Saturday & Sunday, April 30 & May 1 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Thompson Park, Lincroft. Enjoy a day at the park as you peruse the artists of the Park System's second annual juried arts festival. Fine artists from all mediums will be featured as well as musicians, art activities, and food vendors. FREE!
  • Walnford Day on Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Historic Wanlford, Upper Freehold. Step back in time as your family experiences hands-on historical activities and crafts, games, exhibits, horse drawn wagon rides, music, historic demonstrations and more! FREE!
  • Special People United to Ride Horse Show on Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sunnyside Equestrian Center, Lincroft. Enjoy a day of fun as our SPUR riders showcase their riding skills. FREE!
  • Superhero Fun Run on Saturday, May 21 from 9-11 a.m. at Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck. Assemble your superhero squad for a fun adventure through the park during this fun, noncompetitive race. Cost is $10 per person. To register or for more details, click here.  
  • Sk8 Jam on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch. This amateur skateboarding contest offers contests for beginner, intermediate and advanced level skateboarders as well as a bowl contest. Cost is $15 per person. To register or for more details, click here.
  • Bayshore Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 21 from 4-7 p.m. at Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth. Fun for the entire family, this derby is open to both beginners and experienced anglers. Prizes will be awarded for the longest fish caught in three different age categories. Cost is $8 per person, $4 each additional person. To register or for more details, click here.
These are just some of the fun things you can do in the parks this spring. For more, check out the Spring Program Directory. Get on the mailing list to receive the Program Directory by calling 732-842-4000. Registration for spring programs begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10. 

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