mcps nature story time

mcps nature story timeHead over to the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center for Nature Story Time on Wednesdays, January 16, 23 & 30 from 11-11:30 a.m.

LINCROFT – Don’t hibernate this January; head out to your county parks!  It’s never been easier thanks to all the great family-friendly activities the Monmouth County Park System has planned for the month.   Here’s the schedule:

The Casual Birder

Thursday, January 3 at 9 a.m.
Henry Hudson Trail – Meet in the Popamora Point parking lot in Highlands.
Thursday, January 24 at 9 a.m.  
Hartshorne Woods Park – Meet in the Claypit Creek section in Locust.
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. FREE!   


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.

Wondrous Winter Walk

Thursday, January 3 from 10-11:30 a.m.       
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Meet in the Old Orchard parking lot.
Thursday, January 17 from 10-11:30 a.m.       
Clayton Park, Upper Freehold – Meet in the Emley’s Hill parking lot.
Thursday, January 31 from 10-11:30 a.m.         
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell – Meet in the parking lot.
Tag along with a Park System Naturalist as you explore the serenity that is nature in the wintertime. FREE!

Winter Beach Walk

Friday, January 4 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan
Take a guided walk with a Park System Naturalist along the beach, collecting and identifying some of the ocean’s natural treasures. Make sure you dress in warm clothing and bring along something to carry shells. FREE!   

Night Skies Hike and S’mores

Saturday, January 5 from 6-8 p.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Meet at the Ski Hut.
Go stargazing with a Park System Naturalist during this short hike. After, warm up by the fire pit enjoying s’mores, warm drinks and music. Bring binoculars if you have them. Remember to dress for the weather. Rating: Easy, some seasonal trail conditions could be challenging: ice, snow, mud. If there is snow we will be using snowshoes that we provide. Open to ages 7 and up; under 18 with adult. FREE!   

Historic Myths BUSTED

Saturday & Sunday, January 5 & 6, 12 & 13, and 19 & 20 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Learn to sort fact from fiction as we explore some common historical misunderstandings and share fun facts and credible accounts about the past.  FREE!   

Open Ceramics

Sunday, January 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.

Roving Naturalist

Saturday, January 12 at 9 a.m.
Crosswicks Creek Greenway – Meet in the Province Line Road parking lot in Allentown.
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 and snow are not deterrents. FREE!  

Stitches in Time

Saturday, January 12 from  12-2:30 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Join the farm staff for an informal session on hand-sewing basics – learn five basic stitches, easy mending techniques, or bring a project with you to work on as we converse. Open to ages 7 and up. FREE!  

Blacksmith Demonstration

Sunday, January 13 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Come see what the Blacksmith is making in his workshop. FREE!   

Nature Story Time

Wednesdays, January 16, 23 & 30 from 11-11:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
Enjoy nature-themed stories with your little one age 2-5 year. FREE!   

Nature Lecture Series: Seals of Monmouth County

Thursday, January 17 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth
Come to this talk about the variety of seals that call the shores of Monmouth County home each winter. FREE!   

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturday, January 19 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Visit the out kitchen and see what’s cooking on the woodstove. FREE!   

Turtle Meet & Greet

Saturday & Sunday, January 19 & 20 at 1 p.m.

Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell

Meet one of our resident turtles and learn about these creatures. FREE!  


Seashore Open House

Sunday, January 20 from 1-4 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch
Enjoy seashore fun, light refreshments, and hands-on activities that will entertain and educate you and your family about the shore and the sea. Speak with a Park System Naturalist about your own shell collection or the aquatic animals on display. You can even create a beach keepsake to take with you. FREE!   

School’s Out Drop-In Day at the Fort

Monday, January 21 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls

Enjoy Science Exploration Stations, Take Home Kids Creations and Building Fun during this self-guided program open to ages 5-10 with adult. The cost is $5 per child per day; cash or check only.

Parlor Games for Wintry Weather

Saturday, January 26 from 12-2:30 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Play forgotten 1890s games like Halma and Basilinda, or old-time favorites like Backgammon, Checkers and Reversi. Open to ages 6 and up. 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...