mcps county fairPHOTO: Experience the thrill of the Monmouth County Fair, held Wednesday-Sunday, July 24-28 at East Freehold Showgrounds, Freehold. 

MIDDLETOWN —  July is Parks & Recreation month and the Monmouth County Park System is filling it with family-friendly activities for county residents to enjoy.  Here’s what is planned:

Drop-In Kayak Tour of Swimming River

Monday, July 1 from 9-10 a.m.  
Swimming River Park, Red Bank

Novice paddlers welcome. All equipment is provided; both single and tandem kayaks available. First come, first served. Tours depart on time. Program limited to 12 participants. Wear appropriate clothing that can get wet. The cost is $20 per person; cash or check only. Open to ages 12 and up; under 18 with participating adult.

Seining Along Sandy Hook Bay

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, July 1-31 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

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!     

Tidal Tuesdays – Seining the Cove

Tuesdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at 11 a.m.
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan

Join a Park System Naturalist for this free seining program. Discover a variety of fish, crabs and other sea creatures as we pull in our seine net. Closed-toe shoes are required. Parents or guardians are required to stay with and supervise their children. No swimming during the event. Weather permitting. FREE!     

 

Fishing 101 – A Beginner's Guide to Fishing

Wednesdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell - Meet at the Visitor Center Bait Shop.

Learn how to rig, bait, cast, and, hopefully, catch your first fish at the Reservoir. Come and go at any time. Bait and tackle provided. Open to all ages; under 14 with adult. Fishing license required for ages 16-69. No groups please. FREE!    

Drop-In Kayak Tour of the Manasquan Reservoir

Manasquan Reservoir, Howell - Use the Environmental Center entrance on Georgia Tavern Road.
Wednesdays, July 3 & July 17 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Novice paddlers welcome. All equipment is provided; both single and tandem kayaks available. First come, first served. Tours depart on time. Program limited to 12 participants. Wear appropriate clothing that can get wet. The cost is $20 per person; cash or check only. Open to ages 12 and up; under 18 with participating adult. 

Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir

Wednesdays, July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. & 4 p.m. 
Friday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. 
Saturdays & Sundays, July 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21 and 27 & 28 at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. & 5 p.m. 
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell - All tours leave from the Visitor Center. 

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 732-751-9453 to confirm schedule as tours are both weather and water level dependent.

Independence Day Celebration

Thursday, July 4 from 12-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel 

Join the farm staff as they celebrate the holiday with games and contests. FREE!    

Historic Battery Lewis Tours

Fridays, July 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 12-4 p.m.
Saturdays, July 6, 13, 20 & 27 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.   
Sundays, July 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 12-4 p.m.
Hartshorne Woods Park, Highlands – Use the Rocky Point entrance.
With a Park System Historian as your guide, tour the newly restored Historic Battery Lewis and learn about the history of this important former coastal defense site.  FREE!    

Thompson Park Canoe Rentals

Saturdays & Sundays, July 6 & 7 and 20 & 21 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.  The cost is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for two hours; cash or check only.

 

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturdays, July 6 & 20 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!  

Threshing Demonstration

Saturday & Sunday, July 6 & 7 from 12-2 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel
Take a step back in time and watch an antique threshing machine in action. FREE!

 

Mill Demonstrations 

Saturdays & Sundays, July 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21 and 27 & 28 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See the 19th century gristmill in action. Weekend demonstrations run through November.  FREE!

Open Ceramics

Sunday, July 7 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.

Seabrook-Wilson House Tours     

Sundays, July 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 9-11 a.m. 
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth 

Enjoy a guided tour of this house, which dates back to the early 1700s and was constructed in several phases over the course of two hundred years. The house is also open from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays through October for self-guided tours. FREE!    

Enviro-Quest

Thursday, July 11 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.  
Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone – Start in the Agress Road parking lot.
Thursday, July 18 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.  
Clayton Park, Upper Freehold – Start at the trail head's parking lot on Emley's Hill Road.
Thursday, July 25 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.   
Big Brook Park, Manalapan – Start in the parking lot. 

Follow the Enviro-Quest signs to where the Park System Naturalist is waiting. Once there, join in nature-related activities, crafts or games for 30–60 minutes of nature fun. FREE!    

Roving Golfzilla

Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Dorbrook Recreation Area, Colts Neck

See if you can hit golf balls through the hands, feet, or mouth of Golfzilla. All are welcome. This is a non-instructional offering, however, if needed we will teach you the very basics of the golf swing. All equipment is provided. FREE!   

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, July 13 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Hear music from yesteryear played on an accordion. FREE!    

Penny Rug Demonstration

Saturday, July 13 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

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

Open Shoot Archery

Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft

Join us for this open shoot. All equipment is provided. No outside equipment permitted. This is not an instructional program and is designed for those already familiar with archery techniques. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. Cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

 

Roving Naturalist

Saturday, July 13 at 9 a.m.
Wickatunk Recreation Area, Marlboro - Meet in Airport Meadows parking lot.
Saturday, July 27 at 9 a.m. 
Crosswicks Creek Park, Upper Freehold - Meet in Polhemustown Road parking lot.

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!

 

Look! I’m Sailing!

Sunday, July 14 - Sailboats will leave the dock between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.   
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell – Use the Visitor Center’s entrance on Windeler Road.

We'll provide the captain, you provide the crew. Limited number of boats; maximum three people per boat. Open to ages 5 and up; under 18 with participating adult. The cost per boat is $25 for 30 minutes, $40 for 1 hour; cash or check only.

Climb Time

Sunday, July 14 from 12-4 p.m.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen

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. The cost is $2 for three attempts or climbs; cash or check only.

Weaving a Seat - Chair Caning

Sunday, July 14 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See the almost forgotten craft of cane chair seats demonstrated. FREE!   

The Casual Birder

Thursday, July 18 at 9 a.m. 
Crosswicks Creek Park, Upper Freehold - Meet in parking area across from 4 Polhemustown Road.
Thursday, July 25 at 9 a.m. 
Huber Woods Park, Middletown - Meet in Environmental Center parking lot. 

Join a Park System Naturalist for this laid-back morning bird walk and 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 11 and up; under 16 with adult. FREE!   

Monmouth County Fair

Wednesday-Friday, July 24-26 from 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 27 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, July 28 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
East Freehold Showgrounds, Freehold

This annual tradition includes 4-H exhibits, amusement rides, entertainment, home and garden competitions, opening night fireworks (weather permitting), and more. Admission is $8 per person; age 12 & under enter 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.