Home to Historic Longstreet Farm, an arboretum, pond, and 10 miles of trails, Holmdel Park is akin to Duke Farms in its design. A picnicker’s paradise, there are large swaths of shaded grassy areas, more than enough space to socially distance, play ball, walk the dog, ride a bike, scooter, go fishing, and learn about 19th century agricultural practices.
My toddler and preschooler were enamored with this place when, at first glimpse, they were greeted by friendly sheep. My 22 month old gleefully exclaimed, “Mama! Baa. Baa.” Set in the 1890’s, this active working farm also features horses, chickens, cows, and a peacock roaming the grounds, a vegetable garden, museum complete with old timey wagons, and farmhands in period costume providing live seasonal demonstrations – from milking a cow and sheering sheep to knitting and woodworking. Check out the website for the demonstration schedule.
Hopping back on the trail, we stumbled upon David C. Shaw Arboretum which we pleasantly had all to ourselves. We enjoyed hunting for four leaf clovers, discovering fallen leaves bigger than my toddler’s whole body, and admiring the beautiful wildflowers before exploring more of the trail. Meandering across a wooden bridge with scenic views of a tranquil pond, we spotted turtles sunbathing and youngsters fishing for catfish. My 4 year old pleaded, “Mama, can we go fishing here?” We’ll be back again soon, but next time, with a fishing pole in hand.
The Park Mama Tips:
- There are open and clean bathrooms across from the farm, but timing is of the essence. They’re currently closed for cleaning between 11:00am-11:45am and 2:00pm-2:45pm.
- Dogs are permitted within the park on-leash, but are not permitted at the farm or arboretum.
- While we didn’t encounter any ticks, Monmouth County is reporting higher than normal tick sightings, so be sure to follow CDC’s tick prevention recommendations to avoid illness.
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