mcps ft mon recreationPHOTO: Shoot hoops on the courts at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls.

LINCROFT –  February may be the shortest month of the year, but the Monmouth County Park System packs it with fun activities for residents to enjoy.  The schedule is as follows:


The Casual Birder

Thursday, February 2 at 9 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell 
Thursday, February 16 at 9 a.m.
Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan - Meet at the Activity Center.
Join a Park System Naturalist for this laid-back morning bird walk. We’ll meander for about an hour and see what birds we can find. No need to be an expert at identifying birds to enjoy this walk. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. Open to ages 8 and up. FREE!


Co-Ed Open Basketball - 20 & Up

Thursdays, February 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 8-10 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls
This basketball program is open to men and women age 20 and over. Emphasis of this program is exercise and fun. The cost is $5 per person per session. Cash or check only.


Surprise Story Time

Saturday, February 4 from 11-11:45 a.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Join us for a reading from a nature or garden-related book. If the weather is nice, look for the clue at the Horticultural Center's entrance that leads to the secret spot. If it’s rainy or cold, we’ll be inside. Recommended for ages 4-7 with adult. FREE!


Black and White and Read All Over

Saturday & Sunday, February 4 & 5 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Pull up a chair, sit back, and read all the news fit to print from 1820s-1860s. Look through the newspapers and magazines stored across generations in the attic at Walnford. FREE!   


Open Ceramics

Sunday, February 5 from 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft
Choose from a large selection of bisque fired pottery pieces to glaze and make your own. Children age 12 and under are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per hour plus price of bisque ware; cash or check only. Pieces will be fired in about a week.


Men's Open Gym Basketball

Sundays, February 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 8-10 a.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls
Shoot some hoops on our full court gym. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.


Roving Naturalist

Saturday, February 11 at 9 a.m.
Hartshorne Woods Park - Meet in the Rocky Point parking lot in Highlands.
Saturday, February 25 at 9 a.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft - Meet in the Marlu Lake area parking lot.
Join our Roving Naturalist for a walk. We'll discuss seasonal points of interest, search for signs of wildlife, and identify a bird or two. This is a 1.5-2 hour program, but feel free to join in or drop out at any point. Dress for the weather as light rain and snow are not deterrents. FREE!


Seashore Scientist 

Saturday, February 18 from 12-1 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch
Explore different aspects of oceanography through interactive discussions and hands-on experiments.  FREE!


Beach Craft Surprise

Sunday, February 19 from 1-2 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch
Make a beach-themed craft. While there, ask a Park System Naturalist your beach-y questions and watch as we feed our aquatic critters. The cost is $5 per person; cash or check only.


Nature Lecture Series: Seals of Monmouth County

Thursday, February 23 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth
Join a Park System Naturalist for this presentation that focuses on the behavior of the seals that call local waters home.  Discover where they come from, where to find them on our shoreline, and how we can protect seals from human disturbances and threats. FREE!


To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.