Part of the beauty of summer is the whim. Waking up on a beautiful day and saying, "I know we never got around to buying a boat but, let's go canoeing on the Navesink."
But the problem is, activities that involve equipment - like boats or bows and arrows or seine nets - all require some major planning. Which is a major killer of enthusiasm for those, who through no fault of their own, were born with an extra dose of whimsy.
Thanks to the good people at the Monmouth County Park System, anyone given to flying by the seat of her skinny jeans, can finally live free and enjoy all that summer has to offer without that dreaded word - pre-registration.
Here they are - 10 things pre-planned for you and ready for you to drop-in or not. And the best part is, all these activities are either free or cheap.
Fri. July 6 and Mon. July 9, Wed. July 11, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
- Seining on the Bayshore: Head to at Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth, to discover marine life while seining the bay. Meet on the beach near the fishing pier. Open to ages 5 and up, under 18 with adult. Weather permitting. Free. No groups.
Sat. July 7, 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
- Drop-in zip line: With the protection of a climbing harness, helmet, and belay system you will make several traverses more than 30 feet in the air. Drop in registration will open at 9 a.m. and line will close promptly at 11:30am. The cost is $10 cash or check only. Thompson Park, Lincroft.
Sat. and Sun., July 7 and 8 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Thompson Park canoe rental: Canoes will be available for a relaxing weekend paddle on Marlu Lake in Thompson Park, Lincroft. All equipment provided: limited number of canoes available. Ages 3 and up (under 18 with an adult). Fee is $15 per boat for 1-3 people for 2 hours. Cash or check only.
Sun., July 8 noon - 3 p.m.
- Open shoot archery: If you are looking to try your hand at archery, try an afternoon at an open shoot at the Thompson Park Activity Barn, Lincroft. All equipment will be provided. This is a non-instructional program open to ages 8 and up, under 18 with adult. $5 per person, cash or check only.
Sun., July 8 1-4 p.m.
- Points of light, candle laterns: Make a simple pierced lantern based on the historic example on display in the Illuminating Walnford, Lighting Before Electricity exhibit at Historic Walnford. Ages 8 and up. Free.
Tues., July 10 2 - 3:30 p.m.
- Eco-kayak drop-in tour on the Navesink River: Join a Park System Naturalist for a leisurely paddle on the beautiful Navesink River. Meet at the Claypit Creek section of Hartshorne Woods Park, Middletown. Novice paddlers welcome. All equipment is provided - single and tandem kayaks are available. Wear appropriate clothing that can get wet. Open to ages 12 and up, under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $20 per person. (cash or check) First come, first served. Will be cancelled in event of inclement weather.
Fri. July 13, 8 a.m.
- Guided nature walk: Join a roving Park System Naturalist for a walk in Weltz Park, Oakhurst, and learn about seasonal points of interest. Meet in the main parking lot. Feel free to join in the walk and ask questions. Free.
Fri. July 13 - Sunday July 15
- Hominy Hill Club Golf Championship: Held at Hominy Hill Golf Course in Colts Neck, this tournament is open all Golf Card holders. Application
Sat. July 14 and Sun. July 15, noon - 2 p.m.
- Threshing demonstration: Join the farmers as they thresh their wheat from the stalk on which it grows and from the chaff that covers it. See this labor-intensive way of harvesting and processing wheat at Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel.
Sat. July 14, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- The Horseless carriage comes to Walnford: Enjoy a display of pre-1948 automobiles, weather permitting, at Historic Walnford.