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Spring into fun with Park System activities

LINCROFT — The Monmouth County Park System has slated many activities for April, including the Spring Craft Show, Earth Day celebration and the Creative Arts and Music Festival. Activities are free unless otherwise specified.

“Drop-In Surprise Story Time” for children age 3-7 with an adult will begin at 11 a.m. April 2 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. If the weather is nice, look for a clue at the Horticultural Center’s entrance that leads to a secret spot. If it’s rainy or cold, story time will be held inside the Horticultural Center.

“Mill Demonstrations” will be held each Saturday and Sunday in April from 1-4 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold. Experience the gristmill in action.

“Men’s Open Gym Basketball” will take place from 8-10 a.m. April 3, 10, 17 and 24
at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls. Shoot hoops in the Recreation Center’s full-court gym. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.

“Ask a Naturalist” will begin at 10 a.m. at various locations. Explore a trail with a Park System naturalist. Meet April 2 at the Union Transportation Trail by the Millstream Road parking lot in Upper Freehold; April 11 at the Charleston Springs Golf Course by the Stonebridge Trail parking lot on Stagecoach Road, Millstone; and April 27 at the Weltz Park parking lot on West Park Avenue in Oakhurst.

“Roving Park System Naturalist” will begin 9 a.m. April 3 at Shark River Park’s main parking lot in Wall and at 9 a.m. April 23 at Tatum Park’s Holland Activity Center parking lot in Middletown. Join a naturalist for a walk and learn about seasonal points of interest.

“Open Ceramics” will be held from 12:30-4:30 p.m. April 3 at the Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft. Choose from a large selection of fired pottery pieces to glaze. Children 12 and under are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per hour with an additional fee for bisqueware; cash or check only. Pieces will be fired in about a week.

“Music Man Rich Marzec” will perform from 1-3 p.m. April 3 at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel. Enjoy music from the 1890s.

“Open Shoot Archery” will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 3 and 23 at the
Thompson Park Activity Barn in Lincroft. The shoot is open to experienced archers age 10 and up. Children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All equipment is provided. No outside equipment permitted. The cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

“Co-Ed Open Basketball” for men and women age 20 and up will be held from 7-9 p.m. April 4, 11, 18 and 25 and 8-10 p.m. April 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.

“Coffee Club Mahjong” will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. April 5, 12 and 19 at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center. Shuffle tiles and build walls as you play this ancient, fast-paced game. Both American and Chinese rules will be followed. All levels welcome. The cost is $4 per person per day; cash or check only.

“The Casual Birder” is a morning bird walk for those age 8 and up. One session will begin 9 a.m. April 7 at the Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area in Manasquan. Meet at the Activity Center. Another session will be at 9 a.m. April 21 at Deep Cut Gardens, Middletown. Meet in the parking lot. Join a Park System naturalist for about an hour and look for birds. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow.

“Felting Demonstration” will take place from 1-3 p.m. April 9 at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel. See how the process of felting wool is used in garments.

“Blacksmith Demonstration” will be from 1-3 p.m. April 10 at Historic Longstreet Farm. Come see what the blacksmith is making in his workshop.

“Baaa-ack to Baaa-sics, Working with Wool” will be from 1-4 p.m. April 10 at
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold. Learn about the how and why of working with wool.

“Seashore Scientist: Bivalves — The Ocean’s Amazing Natural Filters” will begin noon April 16 at the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch. Learn about the incredible water-cleaning ability of bivalves during this interactive discussion. There will also be hands-on experiments.

“Knitting Demonstration” will be from 1-3 p.m. April 16 at Historic Longstreet Farm. Learn about the art of knitting.

“Monarch Butterflies” will be at 11 a.m. April 16 and 17 at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Howell. Watch a presentation on these fascinating creatures.

“Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap” will be held April 23 at Deep Cut Gardens. Plant drop-off will be from 8:30-10 a.m. Plant selection will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Bring plants in one-quart or one- or two-gallon containers and take home the same size and number of plants. Label all plants. Herb and vegetable seedlings may also be exchanged. Invasive plants will not be accepted.

“Spring Craft Show” will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 23 at the Tatum Park Red Hill Activity Center, Middletown. Find a unique, handcrafted gift. Admission and parking are free.

“Sheep Shearing/Wool Days” will be from 12-3 p.m. April 23 and 24 at Historic Longstreet Farm. See the work of an old-fashioned sheep shearer.

“Earth Day Activities 2016” will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 24. Celebrate Earth Day with free eco-activities at the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Deep Cut Gardens, Huber Woods Environmental Center, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Thompson Park Visitor Center and Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold. For specific details about activities, visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

“National Go Birding Day” will begin 10:30 a.m. April 30 at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center. Get birdwatching tips and practice them in the field.

“Creative Arts and Music Festival” will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 30 and May 1 at
Thompson Park. Enjoy live music and see the works of fine artists from all mediums, including pottery, jewelry, photography and painting. Admission and parking are free.

To learn more, call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711.

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