MIDDLETOWN —  This August go kayaking on the Navesink, see history come to life, discover what lives in Sandy Hook Bay, and more!  Throughout the month, the Monmouth County Park System has planned the following family-friendly activities:

Tidal Tuesdays 

Tuesdays, August 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 at 11 a.m.
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan
Join a Park System Naturalist to discover exciting things about nature and our coastal habitats. Each week take part in a different activity such as meeting creatures that we find in our seine net or creating crafts from natural materials found along the shore. Programs run for about 30-60 minutes. For details on the activity for the week, please call 732-751-9453. FREE!          


Life in a Rotting Log 


We treat each of our patients as part of the family at Atlantic Highlands Animal Hospital. We offer top-quality surgical and dental treatments for cats and dogs. For the best pet care in the Atlantic Highlands, NJ, call us at (732) 291-4400. https://www.atlantichighlandsvet.com

Wednesday, August 2 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen –
Meet in the Monastary Lane lot. 
Look for crickets, worms, millipedes, beetles and more while discovering how a diversity of animals depends on a healthy forest. Please dress to get dirty. Closed-toe shoes only. Open to ages 8 and up, with adult. FREE!       


Seining Along Sandy Hook Bay

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, August 2-25 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

Join us for this hands-on nature program. Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other sea creatures as we pull a seine net through the calm waters of Sandy Hook Bay. Closed-toe shoes are required. Meet on the beach near the park entrance. Parents or guardians are required to stay with and supervise their children. No swimming during the event. Weather permitting. FREE!        


Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir

Wednesdays, August 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m.
Friday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays, August 5 & 6, 12 &13, 19 & 20 and 26 & 27 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell

These 45-minute tours are narrated by Park System Naturalists and include opportunities to view local wildlife. The cost is $6 per adult and $4 per child, age 12 and under. Please call to confirm schedule as tours are both weather and water level dependent. All tours leave from the Visitor Center.


The Casual Birder

Thursday, August 3 at 9 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Meet in the Environmental Center parking lot.
Thursday, August 17 at 9 a.m.
Tatum Park, Middletown – Meet in the Holland Activity Center parking lot.

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!               



Thursday, August 3 at 11 a.m.         
Tatum Park, Middletown – Start in the Red Hill Activity Center parking lot.
Thursday, August 10 at 11 a.m.        
Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold – Start in the parking lot nearest the Shelter Building.
Thursday, August 17 at 11 a.m.          
Big Brook Park, Marlboro – Start in the grass parking lot near the pond.
Thursday, August 24 at 11 a.m.          
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth – Start in the Activity Center parking lot.
Thursday, August 31 at 11 a.m.           
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen – Start in the Monastary Lane parking lot.
Follow the Enviro-Quest signs to where a Park System Naturalist is waiting. Once there, join in nature-related activities, crafts or games for 30–60 minutes of nature fun. FREE!       


Thompson Park Canoe Rentals

Saturdays & Sundays, August 5 & 6 and 19 & 20 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft

Canoes will be available for rent on Marlu Lake. All equipment provided; limited number of canoes available. Open to ages 3 and up, under 18 with adult. Fee is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for two hours. Cash or check only.


Drop-In Surprise Story Time 

Saturday, August 5 from 11-11:45 a.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
Join us for story time! A clue at the entrance will lead you to the secret spot in the gardens. If the weather isn’t nice, we’ll be inside the Horticultural Center. Recommended for ages 4-7. FREE!


Penny Rug Demonstration 

Saturday, August 5 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See the art of penny rug making in action. FREE!         


Mill Demonstrations

Saturdays & Sundays, August 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20 and 26 & 27 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
See the 19th century gristmill in action. FREE!     


Open Ceramics

Sunday, August 6 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.


Ice Cream: Edible History

Sunday, August 6 at 3 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Help crank, and then consume, several ice cream batches made from historic recipes. FREE!      


Seabrook-Wilson House Tours

Sundays, August 6, 13, 20 & 27 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!         


Butterfly Walk

Friday, August 11 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Meet in the Environmental Center parking lot.
Friday, August 25 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Meet in the Marlu Lake parking lot. 
Together with a Park System Naturalist identify butterflies found along the trail. Walk may be a mile or more. Open to ages 7 and up, under 18 with adult. FREE!    


Roving Naturalist

Saturday, August 12 at 9 a.m.
Weltz Park, Oakhurst – Meet in the West Park Avenue parking area.
Saturday, August 26 at 9 a.m.
Big Brook Park, Marlboro – Meet in the Route 520 parking area.

Join our Roving Naturalist for a walk and 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 is not a deterrent. FREE!  


Climb Time 

Sunday, August 13 from 12-4 p.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Filly Run parking lot

Try our 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!   


Nature Lecture Series: Herons, Egrets and other Wading Birds

Thursday, August 17 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Discover the unique characteristics of wading birds during this talk by a Park System Naturalist. We will also find what we can do to protect these beautiful birds. FREE!       


You Can Sail

Friday, August 18 at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell

See if sailing is for you during this on-the-water class where we provide the captain, you provide the crew. Limited number of boats available; maximum three people per boat. Sailors age 8 and up welcome with an adult. The cost is $40 per boat; cash or check only.  


Eco-Elephant Family Flea Market

Saturday, August 19 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck

Browse vendors at this outdoor market for the one-of-a-kind item you did not even think you needed. Admission and parking are free.


Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, August 19 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Hear music from yesteryear played on an accordion. FREE!     


Potato Harvest 

Saturday & Sunday, August 19 & 20 from 12-2 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Help the farm staff bring in the crop. Then stop by the summer kitchen for some 19th century inspiration on how to prepare them. FREE! 


Open Shoot Archery

Saturday, August 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft
Join us for this open shoot designed for experienced archers. All equipment is provided. No outside equipment permitted. Open to ages 10 and up (under 18 with adult). Cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.


Smocking Demonstration

Sunday, August 27 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See the art of smocking in action during this demonstration. 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.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...