Fishing with Dad at Monmouth County Parks System
Celebrate all things water during the Wind & Sea Festival.

MIDDLETOWN — Whether you’re looking to soak up the last bit of summertime fun or welcome autumn with open arms, your county parks are the place to be this September.  Even better, the Monmouth County Park System is filling the month with family-friendly activities.  Here’s what is planned:

Yarn Bee

Saturday, September 4 from 12-2:30 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Whether just starting a new hobby or working on an old project, all are welcome to this gathering! The relaxed atmosphere means no pressure – you can knit or crochet at your own pace, and farm staff will be on hand to assist those needing a little extra help. Bring your own supplies. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. The cost is $5 per person; cash or check only.

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturdays, September 4 & 18 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
See what’s cooking on the woodstove and discover how recipes, cooking techniques and kitchens have changed since the 1890s. FREE!

Thompson Park Canoe Rentals

Saturday & Sunday, September 4 & 5 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. All rentals must be returned by 3 p.m. Fee is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for two hours. Cash or check only.

Open Swim at the Fort

Saturday-Monday, September 4-6 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Area, Tinton Falls
End the summer with a splash by keeping cool in the pool. The cost is $10 per person; $30 per family (up to four). Costs are per day; cash or check only.

Historic Battery Lewis Tours

Saturdays, September 4, 11, 18 & 25 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, September 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 1-3 p.m.
Hartshorne Woods Park – Rocky Point section, Highlands
Tour the newly restored Historic Battery Lewis and learn about the history of this important former coastal defense site. FREE!

Mill Demonstration

Saturdays & Sundays, September 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19 and 25 & 26 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
See the 19th century gristmill in action. FREE! 

Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir

Saturday-Monday, September 4-6 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. Life-jackets required. Tickets can be purchased on day of tour only.

The Casual Birder

Tuesday, September 7 at 9 a.m.  
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan – Meet in the main parking area.
Tuesday, September 14 at 9 a.m.  
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Meet in the Visitor Center parking area.
Tuesday, September 28 at 9 a.m.  
Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck – Meet in the soccer field parking area.
Join a Park System Naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk and meander through the park for about an hour and a half to see what birds we can find. No need to be an expert at identifying birds to enjoy. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. FREE!

Butterfly and Pollinator Garden Tour

Friday, September 10 at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, September 15 at 11 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell
This beautiful garden is designed to provide habitat for wildlife, especially pollinators and butterflies. Get a personal tour and learn about the native plants which make it a home. Tours are approximately 30 minutes and may be cancelled due to rain. FREE! 

Open Shoot Archery

Saturday, September 11 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft 
This open shoot is NOT a beginner instructional program. If you are new to archery, register for one of our instructional classes prior to attending. All equipment is provided. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. The cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

Preserving the Harvest

Saturday, September 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Learn about 19th century techniques for preserving food such as salting, jelling and drying. FREE! 

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, September 11 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Hear melodies of the 1890s played on the accordion. FREE! 

Bonsai Day

Sunday, September 12 from 12-4 p.m.
Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown
The Park System presents this event with the Deep Cut Bonsai Society. Experience this intricate and ancient art through demonstrations and displays, with experts on hand to answer your questions. Admission and parking are free.

Climb Time

Sunday, September 12 from 1-4 p.m. 
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen
Tuesday, September 28 from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch
Try the Park System’s 25’ portable climbing wall. You must be 42” or taller to climb. Open to ages 8 and up; under 18 with adult. FREE!  

Awesome Autumn Amble

Monday, September 13 from 10-11:30 a.m.
Huber Woods Park, Middletown – Meet in the Environmental Center parking lot.
Explore the trails with a Park System Naturalist and discuss all manners of plant and animal phenomenon. Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. FREE!

Nature Lecture Series – Sea Turtles of Monmouth County

Thursday, September 16 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Activity Center, Port Monmouth
Join a Park System Naturalist for this talk on sea turtles including threats and ways to protect this ancient aquatic reptile. FREE!   

Wind & Sea Festival

Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth
Celebrate all things water-related such as kayaking, fishing, kite flying, sandcastle building, and so much more during this family-friendly festival. Admission and parking are free. Some activities may have a fee. Parking at the Belford Ferry Terminal.

Fall Plant Swap

Saturday, September 18
Plant intake from 8:30-10 a.m.
Plant selection from 10-11:30 a.m.
Tatum Park, Middletown  – Use Red Hill Road entrance.
Bring perennials in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers (maximum of 15 plants) and take home the same size and number of plants. Please label all plants. Houseplants may also be exchanged, but no annuals, please. FREE! 

Piano Ballads

Saturday, September 18 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Join in a sing-along with ballads from the turn of the century. FREE! 

From Fleece to Skein

Sunday, September 19 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Watch as staff spins fleece into yarn using centuries-old techniques. FREE!

Annual Cornbread Contest

Sunday, September 19 from 12:30-3 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold
Bring your favorite homemade cornbread in a 9”x13” pan and a typed copy of the recipe between 12:30 and 1 p.m. Peer tasting and voting will take place from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Ribbons will be awarded at 3 p.m. by our panel of judges and the popular vote. All ages are welcome!

Open House Barn Dance

Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft
Give square dancing a try during this fun, family-friendly evening with the Middletown Ramblers!  Open to all ages; under 18 with adult. FREE! 

Harvest Home Festival

Sunday, September 26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
This old-fashioned fair is reminiscent of the 1890s. Visitors can enjoy games, competitions and live entertainment.  Admission and parking are free.

Learn more about your parks

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 County Commissioners, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks and Recreation agency.

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