• Join the Rutgers Master Gardeners at a free festival for children of all ages from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Monmouth County Agricultural Building, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold Township. There will be nature inspired activities, crafts and educational exhibits, live butterflies, ladybugs, rabbits, snakes, bees and more. Food, ice cream, fresh produce and other vendors will be on hand. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Details: 732-303-7614.
• The Jackson Library will screen a documentary film about sharks at 10:30 a.m. July 24.
The film investigates sharks’ importance to ecosystems and humankind’s mass
destruction of the species worldwide. The 88-minute film is rated PG. Registration is required for this free event. To register, call 732-928-4400.
• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct the following blood drive which is open to the public: July 25, 2-8 p.m., Howell Elks, 84 Ramtown‑Greenville Road, Howell. To donate blood or for information on how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org
• There will be a pie-eating contest at the Monmouth County Fair, Freehold Township, on July 28. Pies are donated by Wemrock Orchards, Freehold Township. Children 12 and under will compete at 1 p.m. Children 13 and up will compete at 1:15 p.m. On-site registration for both contests begins 11 a.m. inside the dining tent by the Main Stage; space is limited. The fair runs from July 24-28. Admission is $8 per person; children 12 and under are free. Follow the Monmouth County Park System on social media. Upcoming fair contests will be announced on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, offering an opportunity to win admission tickets and more. Details: www.MonmouthCountyFair.com or 732-842-4000.
• The Jackson Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson, will host a blood drive sponsored by the American Red Cross from 2-7 p.m. July 31. Teens at least 16 years old may donate with permission of a parent or guardian. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. To make an appointment, call 732-928-4400, ext. 3808, or 1-800-733-2767, or register online at redcrossblood.org
• Pinelanders Youth Soccer Club, Howell, is accepting registration for players age 2 to 18 for the Fall 2019 recreational soccer season. Games are played on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Visit www.pinelanders.com for information and to sign up. Register early to be sure of placement and avoid late fees. Families registering for the first time may use coupon code LBH7GFTV by July 21 to save $10 off total fall fee.
• The Howell Heritage and Historical Society will present “Vaudeville at the Jersey Shore” at 7 p.m. July 26 at the Ardena Baptist Church Hall, 593 Adelphia Road, Howell. Heather MacDonald will portray actress Mabel Fenton as she relives a bygone era with music, memories and a demonstration of the “pie in the face” gag that Fenton and her actor husband Charles Ross originated more than a century ago. This is a free event, all are welcome and light refreshments will be served.
• The New Jersey State Museum, 205 W. State St., Trenton, is presenting “Many Inspired Steps” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing that took place on July 21, 1969. Currently on view through Nov. 10, the exhibition uses a variety of objects and images to examine the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, the pioneers of space travel and other state connections to the landing and the space program. Admission is free; donations requested. Details: 609-292-5420 or visit statemuseumnj.gov
• Representatives of the CentraState Associated Auxiliaries will be present in the atrium of the Star and Barry Ambulatory Campus, West Main Street, Freehold Township, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 17 to accept gently used costume jewelry as a donation to the CentraState Associated Auxiliaries for a future jewelry extravaganza sale at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township.
• “New Jersey Baseball: From the Cradle to the Major Leagues” is on exhibit at the Morven Museum and Garden, Princeton, until Oct. 27. The exhibition tells the story of New Jersey’s role in the history of early organized baseball through artifacts, text, images and other visuals. There are interactives that offer educational opportunities, as well as demonstrations with hands-on experiences. Details: morven.org
• Drop-in kayak tours of the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell, (use the Environmental Center entrance on Georgia Tavern Road) will be held from 11 a.m. to noon July 17. Novice paddlers welcome. All equipment is provided; single and tandem kayaks are available. First come, first served. Tours depart on time. Program limited to 12 participants. Wear appropriate clothing that can get wet. The cost is $20 per person, cash or check only. Open to ages 12 and up; under 18 with participating adult. Details: 732-842-4000.
• Fishing 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 17, 24 and 31 at the Manasquan Reservoir, Howell (meet at the visitor center’s bait shop). Learn how to rig, bait, cast and, hopefully, catch a fish at the reservoir. Come and go at any time. Bait and tackle provided. Open to all ages; under 14 with adult. Fishing license required for ages 16-69. No groups. This is a free event. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Jackson Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson, will host “Shore to Age Well: Medication Management and Alternatives” at 11 a.m. July 16. This program will cover alternative forms of pain management, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, yoga, massage therapy, local anesthetics, topical medications, biofeedback, exercise and NSAIDs. Registration is required for this free event. To register, call 732-928-4400.
• The Jackson Library, 2 Jackson Drive, Jackson will host “Mosquito and Tick Prevention” at 2:30 p.m. July 16. Join pest control experts from Mosquito Joe to learn how to fight mosquitoes and ticks at home; “Brain Joggers” at 10:30 a.m. July 22. Exercise your mind by playing games and working puzzles; “Evening Film” at 6 p.m. July 22. Call the branch for film information; “Coloring for Adults” at 10 a.m. July 23. Rediscover the joy of coloring. Coloring sheets and art supplies will be provided; “Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners” at 11 a.m. July 26. Learn to integrate the gentle art of mindfulness. The class will focus on working with conscious awareness, breath and a body scan. Meditation will be followed by a question and answer session. Wear comfortable clothes. Registration is required for these programs. To register, call 732-928-4400.
• New Jersey Blood Services will conduct blood drives which are open to the public. The following blood drives are scheduled: July 12, Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 Route 9, Freehold Township, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To donate blood or for information about how to organize a blood drive, call 1-800-933-2566.
• The Heart of New Jersey Chorus is looking for members in all voice parts. Open rehearsals are being held during the summer. The chorus rehearses Wednesday from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Millstone Township Primary School, 18 Schoolhouse Road, Millstone Township. Details: Visit honj.org or call 732-446-9782.
• The Jackson Library will host the following health programs: “Shore to Age Well: Medication Management and Alternatives” will take place at 11 a.m. July 16. This program will cover alternative forms of pain management. Registration is required for these free events. To register, call 732-928-4400.
• The seventh annual Howell-Farmingdale 5K Run and Race Walk in memory of Walter Reitsma and all young people who lost their battle to addiction will be held at Howell High School at 6:15 p.m. Aug. 28. All ages welcome. The event will benefit CONTACT of Ocean and Monmouth Counties, a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline. Special pricing for individuals age 19 and under. All registration fees discounted when registered by Aug. 26. Visit www.contactoceanmonmouth.org for a race application form with full details or register online at https://register.compuscore.com/contact5k
• The Monmouth County Fair will return to the East Freehold Showgrounds, Kozloski Road, Freehold Township, from July 24-28. Hours for the fair are 5-11 p.m. July 24-26; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 27; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 28. The 2019 Main Stage entertainment is as follows: July 24, Start Making Sense, a Talking Heads tribute band; July 25, Big House Band; July 26, Jake’s Rockin’ Country Band; July 27, School of Rock, and Jobonanno and the Godsons present “The Spirit of Asbury Revue” and July 28, Last Whippoorwill. Details: 732-842-4000.
• The Howell Chamber of Commerce will host a Howell Business Expo from 4-8 p.m. July 16 at 4831 Route 9 North, Howell (Lanes Mill Marketplace, former Barnes & Noble store). Meet and shop local businesses and township services. Free admission. Food tasting, $5 per person. Vendor opportunities for chamber members and non-members. Sponsorship opportunities for members. Online registration and applications are available at www.howellchamber.com or call 732-363-4114.
• DowntownFreehold.com has announced its 2019 Thursdays Rock concert lineup. The free concerts take place at the Monmouth County Hall of Records Plaza from 7:30-9:30 p.m. All ages welcome. The bands are: July 11, Rockit Fish; July 18, Soul Project NOLO; July 25, The Springsteen Experience; Aug. 1, Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band; Aug. 8, Joe Baracata Band; Aug. 15, Stephen Martines; and Aug. 22, Full Throttle. Details: DowntownFreehold.com
• The Friends of the Howell Municipal Alliance meets on the first Monday of each quarter at 7 p.m. at the Echo Lake Pavilion, Howell. Attendees may share their ideas and perspective in an informal environment to enrich the community’s commitment to substance abuse prevention. No membership is necessary. Details: 732-938-4500, ext. 4012.
• The Jackson Library will host “Knit-Chat-Chain Volunteers” on Mondays. Guests are welcome to join fellow hook and needle enthusiasts and create items to donate to charitable organizations, and to work on their own projects. Knitters and crocheters of all skill levels are welcome. Yarn will be provided. Meeting times alternate between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Call 732-928-4400, check the monthly brochure, or visit theoceancountylibrary.org/events for specific dates and times.
• The Jackson group of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Ocean County, will meet from 12:30-2 p.m. each Wednesday at the Brighter Days Community Wellness Center, 268 Bennett’s Mills Road, Jackson. DBSA is dedicated to helping those who suffer from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Supportive family members or friends of people who suffer from mental health difficulties are also welcome to attend. No registration, dues or fees are necessary. Details: Maureen, 732-536-5826, or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Ocean County veterans meet monthly to discuss relevant subjects and to plan recreation opportunities. Topics include the transition to civilian life, the VA system, substance use, PTSD/other mental health issues and more. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at Journey to Wellness Center, 25 S. Shore Drive, Toms River. Details: 732-244-0940 or email email@example.com
Items for the Datebook may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit items at least two weeks prior to a scheduled event.