mcps family fun trailPHOTO: Join the Park System for Earth Day activities including nature walks, snake and reptile shows, and more.

LINCROFT, NJ — From stories in the gardens to Earth Day nature walks, the Monmouth County Park System fills April with family-friendly fun. Here’s what’s planned for the month:

Surprise Story Time 

Saturday, April 1 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.  FREE!

Turtle Meet & Greet

Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2 at 12 p.m.

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Meet some of the Environmental Center's resident turtles. FREE!

 

Mill Demonstrations

Saturdays & Sundays, April 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16, 22 & 23 and 29 & 30 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See the 19th century gristmill in action. FREE!

Open Ceramics

Sunday, April 2 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, April 2, 9, 23 & 30 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.

 

Co-Ed Open Basketball - 20 & Up

Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27 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.

 

The Casual Birder

Thursday, April 6 at 9 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell – Meet in the parking lot.
Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen

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!    

 

Seashore Scientist

Saturday, April 8 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch
Explore different aspects of oceanography through interactive discussions and hands-on experiments. FREE!      

 

19th Century Woodworking Demonstration 

Saturday, April 8 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See the staff use 19th century woodworking tools. FREE! 

 

Spring Peeper Walk

Saturday, April 8 from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen
Explore the woods and wetlands of the park during this naturalist-led walk and look for amphibians. FREE!     

Roving Naturalist 

Saturday, April 8 at 9 a.m.
Shark River Park, Wall
Saturday, April 22 at 9 a.m.
Tatum Park, Middletown – Meet in the Holland Activity Center 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!

Blacksmith Demonstration 

Sunday, April 9 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Come see what the Blacksmith is making in his workshop. FREE!        

 

Daylily Seminar

Sunday, April 9 from 1:30-4 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Learn how to hybridize daylilies and pick up other fascinating daylily culture tips as experts share their knowledge and passion for gardening with daylilies. FREE!   

Climb Time

Thursday, April 13 from 3-7 p.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – next to the Filly Run parking lot

Try the Park System’s 25’ portable climbing wall. This is a great opportunity to experience the sport of rock climbing close to home. Climbers must be 42” or taller and age 8 or older (under 18 with adult). FREE!       

Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap

Saturday, April 22 from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Bring plants in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers and take home the same size and number of plants. Please label all plants. Plant intake from 8:30-10 a.m. Plant selection from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring Craft Show

Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tatum Park Red Hill Activity Center, Middletown
Find a unique, hand-crafted gift for yourself or a special person in your life during this show.  Admission and parking are free. 

Earth Day Activities 2017

Saturday, April 22 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
We're celebrating Earth Day with free eco-activities throughout the county. Here’s what is planned:

 

Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Celebrate the shore as we discover cool coastal animals and artifacts like whales, sea turtles, fish, crabs and even tiny plankton during this interactive touch and tell program. Tours will also be given of the historic Seabrook-Wilson House, which dates back to the early 1700s.

 

Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

Beautiful flowers are back in bloom. Discover this charming park’s floral beauty, hidden places, and native plants. Find out how to become an earth-friendly gardener.

 

Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown

See snakes and reptiles during a family-oriented show that gives you the chance to see live and exciting animals and nature artifacts found in the state. There will also be freshwater pond creatures on view and an opportunity to see kid-friendly interactive exhibits inside the Environmental Center.

 

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Come and explore the beautiful woods and wetlands of the Manasquan Reservoir. The day will include nature walks, live reptile and amphibian presentations, children’s crafts, and more. Activity times: animal presentations at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; nature walks at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

 

Thompson Park Visitor Center, Lincroft

Promote environmental awareness and have fun making crafts that celebrate endangered wildlife and Mother Earth. Our fun crafts for kids are hands-on ways to teach your child about our beautiful planet and make cool art.

Spinning and Knitting Demonstration

Saturday, April 22 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Learn about the art of spinning fleece and see a knitting demonstration. FREE!      

Watch the Cooper Work His Trade

Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23 from 12-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See master craftsman Tom Kelleher create a wooden bucket using centuries old techniques and tools. FREE!          

Open Shoot Archery

Sunday, April 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft
Join us for this open shoot. All equipment is provided. No outside equipment permitted. This offering is designed for experienced archers. Open to ages 10 and up (under 18 with adult). Cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

Snake Meet & Greet

Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m.

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Meet one of the Environmental Center's resident snakes. FREE!

 

Seabrook-Wilson House Tours

Sundays, April 23 & 30 from 1-4 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

Visit this house, which dates back to the early 1700s, and see displays on the ecology of the bay and local history. FREE!      

National Go Birding Day

Saturday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Celebrate “National Go Birding Day” by picking up some bird watching tips and practicing them in the field. FREE!    

Cookstove Demonstration 

Saturday, April 29 from 12:30-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Watch the staff fire up the cookstove and prepare a dish as it would have been done in the 1890s. FREE!       

Become a Garden Ambassador

Saturday, April 29 from 1-3 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

Spend a couple of hours touring the gardens and learning how to be a welcoming, informative presence on the grounds. Ages 18 and up are welcome.  Please dress comfortably for a guided walk through the grounds.

Sheep Shearing/Wool Days 

Saturday & Sunday, April 29 & 30 from 12-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

This annual demonstration allows visitors to appreciate the work of an old-fashioned sheep shearer. FREE!      

To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com 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.