Bird Watching at Monmouth County Parks
Join a Park System Naturalist for the Casual Birder and other nature walks through May.

LINCROFT — Now that April showers have brought May flowers, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a county park.  From Mill Demonstrations to the Decoration Day Celebration, the Monmouth County Park System is bursting with activity.  Here’s what is planned:

Mill Demonstrations

Saturdays & Sundays, April 30 & May 1, May 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, and 28 & 29 at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.

Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold 

See the 19th century gristmill in action. Each demonstration lasts approximately 15 minutes. FREE!  

The Casual Birder

Tuesday, May 3 at 9 a.m.   

Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone – Meet in the Agress Road parking lot.

Tuesday, May 10 at 9 a.m.  

Clayton Park, Upper Freehold – Meet in the Emley’s Hill Road parking lot.

Tuesday, May 17 at 9 a.m.   

Hartshorne Woods Park – Meet in the Rocky Point parking lot in Highlands.

Tuesday, May 24 at 9 a.m.     

Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot.

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. FREE!  

Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap

Saturday, May 7      

Plant drop off from 8:30-10 a.m.

Plant selection from 10-11 a.m.

Tatum Park, Middletown – Use Red Hill Road entrance.

Gardeners are invited to bring established plants in one-quart, one-gallon or two-gallon containers and take home the same size and number of plants. Please label all plants. Herb and vegetable seedlings are allowed for an equivalent exchange. FREE!  

Creative Arts Festival

Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Thompson Park, Lincroft

See the works of artists and fine crafters from all mediums including pottery, jewelry, photography and painting. Events also include live music and food. Admission and parking are free.

Embroidery Demonstration

Saturday, May 7 from 1-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel 

View the lost art of applying decorative designs with a needle and thread during this demonstration. FREE!  

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturdays, May 7 & 21 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! 

Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir

Saturdays & Sundays, May 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29 and Monday, May 30 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.

Plant a Sunflower 

Sunday, May 8 from 12-2:30 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel  

Plant this year’s sunflower field. Visit the farm throughout the summer and watch as the Mammoth Russian sunflowers grow to over 10 feet tall! Participants are invited to return in the fall and harvest their very own sunflower. FREE! 

Splendid Spring Strolls

Monday, May 9 from 10-11:30 a.m.    

Clayton Park, Upper Freehold – Meet in the Emley’s Hill parking lot.

Monday, May 23 from 10-11:30 a.m.     

Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen – Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot.

Join a Park System Naturalist on a peaceful trail walk through the park. Sturdy footwear is recommended as trails used may have inclines or tree roots to step over. FREE! 

Open Shoot Archery

Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft

All equipment is provided for this open shoot. No outside equipment permitted. This is not an instructional clinic and NOT designed for beginners. If you are new to archery, register for one of our instructional classes prior to attending. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. The cost is $10 per person; cash, check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover accepted.

19th Century Woodworking Demonstration

Saturday, May 14 from 12-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See the carpenter use 19th century woodworking and carving tools. FREE!  

Piano Ballads from the Turn of the Century

Saturday, May 14 from 1-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Tap your feet, dance a one-step, or sing-along to popular turn-of-the-19th-century ballads as they are played inside the farmhouse. FREE! 

Walnford Day

Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

Experience the sights and sounds of history during this annual celebration of the site. Admission and parking are free.

Horse-Drawn Plowing Demonstration 

Sunday, May 15 from 12-2 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel 

Stop by the field and chat with the farm staff about the steps needed to ensure a good harvest, and maybe even get a chance to plow (with the farmer’s help). Weather dependent. FREE! 

Climb Time

Tuesday, May 17 from 3-6 p.m. 

Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen

Sunday, May 22 from 12-3 p.m.  

Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold 

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! 

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, May 21 from 1-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Hear melodies of the 1890s played on the accordion. FREE!  

Nature on the Move

Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m.

Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Meet in the Visitor Center parking lot.

Look for our colorful Nature on the Move van and join one of our Park System Naturalists for a 45-60-minute hands-on interactive program. FREE! 

Nature Lecture Series: Horseshoe Crabs Trying to Survive in a Modern World

Thursday, May 26 from 7-8 p.m.

Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Discover why the population of horseshoe crabs is declining, what people are doing to protect the crab through research, and what you can do to help. FREE!  

Thompson Park Canoe Rentals 

Saturday & Sunday, May 28 & 29 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 all ages; under 18 with adult. All rentals must be returned by 3 p.m. The cost is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for two hours. Cash or check only.

Historic Battery Lewis Tours

Saturday & Sunday, May 28 & 29 from 12-4 p.m.

Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands – Rocky Point section

Tour the restored Historic Battery Lewis and learn about the history of this important former coastal defense site. FREE!  

Decoration Day Celebration

Monday, May 30 from 12-3 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Enjoy the company of family and friends as we honor this early American holiday. 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 County Commissioners, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.

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