MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ — 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:
Open Swim at the Fort: Friday, September 1 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Monday, September 2-4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls Keep cool in the pool! The cost is $7 per person, $20 per family (up to four). Costs are per day; cash or check only.
Boat Tours of the Manasquan Reservoir: Friday, September 1 at 5 p.m. & 6 p.m./Saturday-Monday, September 2-4 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.
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!
Thompson Park Canoe Rentals: Saturday & Sunday, September 2 & 3 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. Fee is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for two hours. Cash or check only.
Mill Demonstration: 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!
Co-Ed Open Basketball – 20 & Up: Thursdays, September 7, 14, 21 & 28 from 8-10 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls This basketball program is open ages 20 and over. Emphasis of this program is exercise and fun. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.
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 outdoor kitchen and see what’s cooking on the woodstove. FREE!
Open Ceramics: Sunday, September 10 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.
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.
Men’s Open Gym Basketball: Sundays, September 10, 17 & 24 from 8-10 a.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls Shoot some hoops on our full court gym. The cost is $5 per person per session; 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.
Annual 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!
School’s Out Drop-In Days: Thursday & Friday, September 21 & 22 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls Enjoy Science Exploration Stations, Take Home Kids Creations, Building Fun, and Open Gym Time during this self-guided program open to ages 5-10. The cost is $5 per child per day; cash or check only.
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!
Open Shoot Archery: Sunday, September 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft Join us for this non-instructional open shoot. All equipment is provided. No outside equipment permitted. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult . Cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.
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 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.