Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Start 2017 Off in the Parks!

The start of a new year is often a time for making resolutions to better your life. This could mean getting in shape, taking up a new hobby, or spending more time together as a family. At the Monmouth County Park System, we've got you covered with all of these goals! Check out these ideas...

Getting in Shape

Whether you're looking to lose a few pounds, tone your body, or just get more active, the Park System offers a wide variety of programs to get you where you want to be.

  • Basic Belly Dance - Offered on Thursday nights from January 12-March 16, this fitness class teaches the fluid movements of Middle Eastern dance that are fun while improving flexibility, coordination and strength. Pre-registration and fee are required. 
  • Pilates Mat Workout - Offered on various dates starting this month, this class focuses on your abdominals, lower back, hips and thighs to help strengthen and lengthen muscles, improve posture and flexibility, and work on your deep abdominals. Both morning and evening sessions are available. Pre-registration and fee are required.
  • Zumba Toning - Join this dance fitness party that will torch those calories with strength-training dances that are exciting and fun. Offered on Tuesday mornings, January 10-February 28, this is the perfect class to get you moving for a total body workout. Pre-registration and fee required.
  • A wide variety of fitness classes are offered throughout the year in the parks. Click here for a full listing of what is currently available and keep an eye out for our spring volume of the Parks & Programs Guide, being released Friday, February 3, for even more added programs.

Start a New Hobby

The Park System offers so much to choose from when it comes to learning something new. From getting in touch with your artistic side, to learning how to cook new recipes, or discovering a culture in a different way, there's something for everyone!
  • Calligraphy - Offered on Wednesday afternoons from January 11-March 1, this step-by-step introduction the the beautiful art of calligraphy will give you the basics to get you started in creating your own invitations, greeting cards, posters and more. Pre-registration and fee required.
  • Looking to learn new recipes beyond your everyday repertoire? Our cooking classes will have you delving into a variety of new and fun foods. Upcoming programs include Cooking for One (or Two), Chocolate is for Lovers, and Super Bowl Appetizers. For a full list of upcoming culinary programs, click here.
  • Ceili Irish Dance for Adults - Get ready to kick your heels up as you delve into the culture of Irish step-dancing during this fun program that will teach you steps such as the reel and the jig. You'll also learn some basic Irish terms and a background into Ireland's Gaelic history during this program held on Friday nights from January 27-April 7.
  • For more upcoming classes that will introduce you to something new, check out our website

Spend More Time as a Family

There are plenty of things you can do together in the parks no matter what your age or budget. 
  • When the temperatures are more mild, heading out to the parks is free. You can have some fun on one of our playgrounds, take a walk or bike ride on any of our numerous trails, or take a walk back in time at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel or Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold. 
  • A bit of a chill in the air? Stay warm and explore one of our environmental centers! At the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell, you'll learn about wetlands ecology and wildlife and habitat protection through interactive exhibits. At the Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown, you'll get a glimpse at local Native American history as well as reptiles and amphibians. Entry into our environmental centers is free.
  • Be sure to check our This Weekend in the Parks page each week to see what fun events or drop-in programs are available to keep you active and exploring.
  • There are a wide variety of parent & child programs available for registration through the Park System. From arts & crafts to culinary arts, nature to playgroups and much more, there's plenty to have you and your child enjoying fun times together. Check out the programs coming up by clicking here

These are just some of the things you can do to start your new year off right. For more ideas on what you can do in the parks this year, visit us online at