mcps wind sea fest kite

mcps wind sea fest kitePHOTO: Wind & Sea Festival at Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

LINCROFT —  From the last dip in the pool to the Harvest Home Festival, September is filled with family-friendly activities thanks to the Monmouth County Park System.   Here’s what is planned:

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, September 2 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Hear music from yesteryear played on an accordion. FREE!   

Mill Demonstration 


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.

Saturdays & Sundays, September 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 23 & 24 and 30 & October 1 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See the 19th century gristmill in action. FREE!         

Games Galore 

Saturday-Monday, September 2-4 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

End the summer with a long weekend of family fun by playing some historical games. FREE!

Seabrook-Wilson House Tours

Sundays, September 3, 10, 17 & 24 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!             


The Casual Birder 

Thursday, September 7 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!           


Butterfly Walk 

Friday, September 8 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown – Meet in the parking lot.
Friday, September 22 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Holmdel Park, Holmdel – Meet in the Ramanessin Trail parking lot.

With a Park System Naturalist, identify butterflies found in the fields. Walk may be a mile or more. Open to ages 7 and up, under 18 with adult.  FREE!         

Amazing Stick Bugs

Saturday & Sunday, September 9 & 10 at 11 a.m. 

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Meet these amazing insects up close and learn about them. FREE!


Cookstove Demonstration

Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Visit the out kitchen and see what’s cooking on the woodstove. FREE!         


Climb Time

Sunday, September 10 from 1-5 p.m.
Clayton Park Activity Center, Upper Freehold

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!           

Bonsai Day

Sunday, September 10 from 12-4 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

Join the Park System and the Deep Cut Bonsai Society for this event that features bonsai demonstrations and displays.  Bonsai experts will be on hand to answer questions. Admission and parking are free.

Sunday Fun 

Sunday, September 10 from 2-5 p.m.
Clayton Park Activity Center, Upper Freehold

View soap making and Shibori dying techniques first hand. Try fabric dying for yourself. The cost for hands-on fabric dying is approximately $3-5 per person; cash or check only.


9/11 Memorial Ceremony 

Monday, September 11 at 8 a.m.
Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook, Atlantic Highlands

This remembrance ceremony honors the memory of those lost.  Rain or shine.

Wind & Sea Festival

Saturday, September 16 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

Celebrate all things water during this family-friendly event.  Activities include kayaking, fishing, kite flying, volleyball, sandcastle building, and so much more.  Admission and parking are free.  Some activities may have a fee.  Parking at the Belford Ferry Terminal.

Jersey Shore Rose Society Show

Saturday, September 16 from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

See the Jersey Shore Rose Society’s 46th Annual Rose Show. Entries submitted for judging will remain on exhibit for visitors from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Free garden tours will be offered and consulting rosarians will be available to answer your questions. FREE!          

All About Monarch Butterflies

Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17 at 10:30 a.m.

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Join us for an in depth discussion on these butterflies. FREE!    

Cornbread Contest

Sunday, September 17 at 12:30 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

Enter into this contest by bringing the equivalent of a 9” x 13” pan of cornbread and a typed copy of your recipe at 12:30 p.m. Visitors will be able to taste and vote on their favorites between 1-2:30 p.m.  Winners announced at 3 p.m. FREE!             

Corny Joke Contest 

Sunday, September 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

Tell your best family-friendly jokes during this contest. FREE!          

Nature Lecture Series: Journey of the Monarch Butterfly in Monmouth County

Thursday, September 21 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Discover the life history of monarch butterflies, what they eat, their fascinating migrations, and threats to their long-term survival during this talk by a Park System Naturalist. FREE!         


Open House Barn Dance

Friday, September 22 from 7-9:30 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft

Give square dancing a try during this fun, family-friendly barn dance.  FREE!     

Great Fall Perennial Plant Swap

Saturday, September 23 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown

Bring perennials in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers and take home the same size and number of plants. Please label all plants. Houseplants may also be exchanged, but no annuals please. Plant intake from 8:30-10 a.m. Plant selection from 10-11:30 a.m. FREE!    

Roving Naturalist

Saturday, September 23 at 9 a.m.
Huber Woods Park, Middletown

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 an 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!

Have a Seat: Weaving Cane

Saturday, September 23 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See how cane is woven to create a sturdy seat while you learn a bit about furniture history and admire a variety of chair styles and seat materials. FREE!        



mcps longstreet wagon

Harvest Home Festival

Sunday, September 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel 

This old-fashioned fair is reminiscent of the 1890s. Visitors can enjoy wagon rides, games and live entertainment. There are also ongoing crafts demonstrations and a Home & Garden competition. Admission and parking are free.

Eek-O-Fabulous Costume Swap

Drop Off:  Monday-Friday, September 25-29 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. & Saturday, September 30 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Swap:  Sunday, October 1 from 12-2 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls

Upcycle gently used kids’, adults’, and even pet costumes for a spooktacular new-to-you ensemble. Costumes must be dropped off in advance at Dorbrook Recreation Area Visitor Center, Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Huber Woods Environmental Center, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center or Thompson Park Visitor Center. For each costume you bring, receive a token entitling you to a “new” costume the day of the swap.  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.

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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...