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Gateway National Recreation Area
Highlands, NJ, 07732
United States

(732) 291-2368

A fully-licensed nonprofit child care and preschool located in the Fort Hancock Historic Landmark District of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.



The Junior Ranger program teaches young children about the habitats and history of Sandy Hook through fun, hands-on activities. The program is being offered from 10 AM to 11 AM weekly on Wednesdays from June 23 to August 30. Children will learn through hikes, walks, and demonstrations. Parents are required to accompany their children for the entire program. Space is limited, call (732) 872-5970 to make reservations.


SUMMER 2017 Schedule

Week 1  Who are the Law Enforcement Rangers in Sandy Hook? 

Week 2  Splishy, Splashy, Squishy: Let’s go seining!

Week 3 Sensory Nature Walk

Week 4  Trash or Treasure

Week 5  Crabby Crabs Love Company

Week 6  Fill the Bill

Week 7  What is the Buzz about Bees?

Week 8  Where is My Home? Animal Migration

Week 9 Fossil Hunter

Week 10 Splishy, Splashy, Squishy: Let’s Go Seining!

Week 11 Incredible Bats


In partnership with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service, we host a Junior Marine Biologist program that is intended to introduce our students to natural sciences and teach them the importance of our marine ecosystem. Activities include science-based arts and crafts, touch tanks, tours, videos and hands-on demonstrations. The Junior Marine Biologist Program runs monthly.  All SHCCC students aged 2 and older are invited to participate.


Session  1 -January: All About Sharks

Session 2 -February:  Horseshoe Crabs

Session 3 -March:  Flounder

Session 4 -April: Recreational Fishing

Session 5 -May: Local Fish

Session 6 -June: Lets go Fishing

Session 7 -July: Research Vessels

Session 8 - August: Black Sea Bass


Monmouth County Parks System is bringing their special programs to SHCCC. Children will learn information on the life cycle, habitat and habits of animals with an emphasis on the role each has in nature during live animal presentations. Park Naturalists will visit the Center and teach the children about the natural world through stories, rhymes, games, songs and crafts.


July 10: Live Animal Presentation

July 21: Live Animal Presentation

July 27:  Live Animal Presentation

August 27: Nature Story Hour: Funny Freckled Frogs

August 18: Nature Story hour: Silly Snakes

August 24: Nature Story Hour: Turtle Tales