Monmouth County Park System fills January with winter fun

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The Monmouth County Park System has comprised a busy schedule–both outdoors and indoors–during the upcoming month of January.

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Here’s the schedule:

Roving Naturalist

Saturday, Jan. 4, at 9 a.m.

Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold – Meet in the main parking lot.

Join a roving naturalist for a leisurely walk and discuss seasonal points of interest, search for signs of wildlife, and identify a bird or two. This is a 1.5- to two-hour program, but feel free to join in or drop out at any point. Dress for the weather as light rain and snow are not deterrents. Free.

Yarn Bee

Saturday, Jan. 4, from noon – 2:30 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel.

Whether starting a new hobby or working on an old project, all are welcome to this gathering. Knit or crochet at one’s own pace, and farm staff will be on hand to assist those learning. Bring supplies or borrow for the session. Open to ages 10 and older; younger than 18 with adult. The cost is $5 per person; cash or check only.

Open Ceramics

Sunday, Jan. 5, 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 create. 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.

Wondrous Winter Walk

Wednesday, Jan. 8, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Big Brook Park, Marlboro – Meet in the parking lot.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Thompson Park, Lincroft – Meet in the Old Orchard parking lot.

Toss on winter gear and tag along with a park system naturalist while exploring nature in the wintertime. Open to all ages; younger than 18 with adult. Note that sturdy footwear is recommended; trails used may have inclines or tree roots to step over. Free.

Winter Beach Walk

Wednesday, Jan. 8, from 11 a.m. – noon.

Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan.

Take a guided walk with a park system naturalist along the beach while collecting and identifying some of the ocean’s natural treasures. Make sure to dress in warm clothing and bring along something to carry shells. Free.

The Casual Birder

Thursday, Jan. 9, at 9 a.m.

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

Thursday, Jan. 23, at 9 a.m.

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch – Meet at the Pavilion.

Join a park system naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk. Meander through the park for about an hour and a half to see what birds can be found. 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. The walk will occur even with light rain or snow, so come dressed for the weather. Free.

Cutting, Splitting and Hewing

Saturday, Jan. 11, from noon – 2:30 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel.

See the farm staff prepare firewood and learn about the tools they use. Open to adults. Free.

Seashore Open House

Sunday, Jan. 12, from 1-4 p.m.

Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center, Long Branch.

Enjoy seashore fun, light refreshments and hands-on activities that will entertain and educate all about the shore and the sea. Speak with a park system naturalist about one’s own shell collection or the aquatic animals on display. Create a beach keepsake to take home. Free.

Presentation: An Introduction to Lenape People

Thursday, Jan. 16, from 7-8 p.m.

Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen.

Learn via a PowerPoint presentation about local native people. Discover the daily life, beliefs and history of a people that once lived in New Jersey, southeastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware at the time of European exploration and colonization.  Open to adults. Free.

Cookstove Demonstration

Saturday, Jan. 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.

Open Shoot Archery

Sunday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft.

All equipment is provided for this open shoot. This is not an instructional clinic and NOT designed for beginners. Open to ages 10 and older; younger than 18 with adult. The cost is $10 per person; cash or check only.

School’s Out Drop-In Day

Monday, Jan. 20, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls.

Enjoy science exploration stations, take home kids creations and building fun during this self-guided program open to ages 5-10 with adult. The cost is $5 per child; cash or check only.

Parlor Games for Wintry Weather

Saturday, Jan. 25, from noon – 2:30 p.m.

Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel.

Play forgotten 1890s games, like Halma and Basilinda, or old-time favorites, like Backgammon, Checkers and Reversi. Open to ages 6 and older. Free.

To learn more about these Park System activities, visit 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.

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