• Start your holiday preparations today by registering to participate in The Allentown Village Initiative’s Christmas Wreath Decorating Contest. Registration is open at www.allentownvinj.org. All you need to do is put your creative talents to work and decorate a wreath in any style, using materials of your choice. Then ask a business owner on Main Street in Allentown for permission to hang the wreath on their shop door by Nov. 26. Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 31, voting will be open for everyone visiting town to choose their favorite wreath. The winner will receive a gift basket valued at $75; second and third place will receive $30 and $25 gift cards to their favorite Allentown small businesses. Winners will be announced on Jan. 7. Details: Annette DeFalco, 609-218-0410
• From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13, the Monmouth County Park System will host its fall craft show at the Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls. This seasonal craft show features the work of local artists and crafters. Items include: doll clothes, holiday ornaments and decorations, jewelry, sea glass art, needlework, decoupaged plates, pottery, and more. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the park system TTY/TDD number is 711.
• Monmouth County Park System will present mill demonstrations Nov. 13-14 and 20-21 from 1-4 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Walnford Road, Upper Freehold Township.
See the 19th century gristmill in action. Free. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000.
• Monmouth County Park System will present the Casual Birder on Nov. 23 at 9 a.m. at
Crosswicks Creek Park, Upper Freehold Township, meet in the Province Line Road parking area. Join a park system naturalist for a bird walk. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. Free. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000.
• Monmouth County Park System will present Nature on the Move – Autumn Nights on Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. at Perrineville Lake Park, Millstone Township, Agress Road parking area; and Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Walnford Road, Upper Freehold Township. Look for the colorful Nature on the Move van and join a park naturalist for a 45- to 60-minute hands-on interactive program. Free. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000.
• Monmouth County Park System will present Edible History Series: Coffee Cake on Nov. 13 from 2-3 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Walnford Road, Upper Freehold Township.
Drop in for a cup of coffee and a piece of coffee cake made from a 19th century recipe. Free. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000.
• Monmouth County Park System will present No More Grist for the Mill on Nov. 27-28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Historic Walnford, Walnford Road, Upper Freehold Township.
Decorate a stocking, take a selfie in a sleigh, and sip on a cup of hot cocoa to celebrate the start of the holiday season. Take a tour of the historic house, built in 1773, and enjoy the rumbling of the gristmill during its last run of the year. Free. Details: www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or 732-842-4000.
• Allentown Arts, a program of The Allentown Village Initiative, presents “Musical Generations,” the faculty and students of Mill Pond Music Academy in concert, at 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Allentown United Methodist Church, 23 Church St., Allentown. Admission is free (donations gratefully accepted). Details: 609-208-9991 or visit www.allentownvinj.org
• The 2021 Discussion Series will continue with “Can You Use A Little More Joy!” via a Zoom webinar at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16. The presenter will be Janet Kester, an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for seniors facilitator at the University of Colorado. She will discuss the value of learning new things in order to maintain a novel outlook on life. The series is sponsored by Kathy Lo Bue, managing director, Glen Eagle Advisors, LLC. The series is free, non-sectarian and open to the community. Call 732-866-6660 for the registration link.
• Donovan Delivers is a Robbinsville-based charity which offers financial assistance to families who have lost a child at birth. Although Donovan Delivers was unable to hold its annual charity event due to the pandemic this year, it has paired up with Bruno’s One Sweet Ride, 19 N. Main St. Allentown. The shop will allow customers to make a donation to the charity when making a purchase in person or online by indicating DD on the fundraiser code when checking out. Bruno’s has a selection of chocolate items especially for the holidays and is known for its hot chocolate bombs. The fundraiser will run until Dec. 31. Details: www.donovandelivers.com or https://brunosonesweetride.com
• The New Egypt Elks Lodge will host Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 19, two seatings: 8:30-10 a.m. or 10-11:30 a.m. Each child will receive a gift from Santa. Pre-sale tickets only; limited seating. Menu includes (subject to change): pancake station, toppings, French toast, scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon and pork roll, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice and more. Cost: Adults (13-59), $12; Seniors (60 and over), $11; Child (4-12), $8; Children 3 and under, free. To reserve: https://form.jotform.com/neelks2457/breakfast-with-santa. Paper tickets will not be issued. Reservations are non-refundable unless they can be re-sold before the event. Any reservation not paid by Dec. 9 will be cancelled to allow for others to purchase. Payment can be made via Zelle at email@example.com or Venmo Mike Walsh at 732-600-8442. Credit, debit, check or cash accepted at the lodge.
• The Allentown Village Initiative (TAVI) invites area residents to join a special effort to patronize local businesses. Register at www.allentownvinj.org to receive a weekly email highlighting Allentown’s shops and restaurants. The email will showcase unique products, services and specials offered by entrepreneurs throughout Allentown and Upper Freehold Township. There is no charge to participate. To register and for more information, visit www.allentownvinj.org
• CentraState Medical Center has launched a new online grief support group led by licensed clinical social workers certified in grief counseling to assist individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The group is open for adult members of the community who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The private groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for participants to share their emotions and struggles. The group meets via Zoom on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 3 p.m. To register, call 732-303-5170 or email Ametzger@Centrastate.com or Ssouza@Centrastate.com
• Samaritan Center, a joint ministry of St. Thomas More and Old Tennent Presbyterian churches, operates a food pantry to provide supplementary food for those in need in Manalapan, Marlboro, Englishtown and Millstone Township. For information, call 732-446-1142 and make an appointment. Donations of funds and food are gratefully accepted to support the operation of the center. Volunteers are always welcome.
• Embroiderers’ Guild of America – Monmouth Chapter is dedicated to teaching and sharing the joys of needlework. The organization welcomes stitchers of all levels. Evening stitchers will meet via Zoom on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Day stitchers will meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. Details: Toni, 732-462-5540, or visit website:www.mcega.org
Items for the Datebook may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.