Wedding Reception Venues in Ventura County and Nearby Areas

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Wedding Reception Venues In Ventura County and Surrounding Areas

Conejo Valley Guide focuses primarily on events, activities and things to do in the Conejo Valley, Ventura County and surrounding areas.

Since we're out and about so much, we thought it might be helpful to have a comprehensive list of over 100 local wedding, wedding reception and meeting venues.

Interestingly, in February 2014, the Pew Research Center indicated that, after a three year decline in the number of marriages in the U.S. census data showed that new marriages increased by 2.6% in 2012 compared to 2011.

(Contact us for additions/edits to this list.)

Simi Valley, Moorpark, Somis Wedding Reception Venues

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park Wedding Reception Venues

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Christmas and Other Holiday Season Events Around Ventura County

Hop onto the holiday bandwagon and check out some of these dozens of events in and around Ventura County, most of which are FREE! Christmas parades, Santa visits, carnivals, train rides, holiday runs, holiday home tours, boutiques, nativity displays and lots of holiday music and entertainment!

This list will be updated regularly as we move our way through the Thankgiving and Christmas holiday season! Submit additions here.

Do contact event coordinators as things sometimes change! Also, some events require RSVP. 


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Painting the Light: California Landscapes of Richard Schloss Opens Dec 7 in Ventura

The Museum of Ventura County presents Painting the Light: California Landscapes of Richard Schloss, an exhibition of more than thirty-five paintings spanning the painter’s 40-year-career. Exhibit opens December 7th.

Summer Morning East Mesa (Richard Schloss)

The oil paintings of Richard Schloss are a testament to the beauty of the land and sea that surrounds us—traditional, impressionistic and yet always unique in the genre of landscape painting.  His exceptional and dramatic treatment of light creates and captures a moment in time that evokes memories of an unspoiled California.

Topa Topa (Richard Schloss)

Richard graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a Master of Fine Arts in 1979 and a BA in Italian in 1981.  Following his graduation, he lived and painted in the Santa Barbara area for many years.  It was during those years that Schloss became part of  a movement of landscape painters known as the Oak Group. This group of artists was committed to preserving open spaces by bringing public awareness to preservation efforts in areas throughout California, including the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, the eastern Sierra and Marin County.

Featured in the exhibition are works culled from private collections and galleries throughout California as well as four new works created recently which have never before been exhibited.

Richard Schloss is recognized as one of California’s best landscape artists. He is part of a tradition of California plein air painters and Impressionists, reminiscent of the early twentieth century artists including Edgar Payne, Maurice Braun, William Wendt, Granville Redmond and others who, over one hundred years ago led the way.  These artists, whether classically trained academic painters or self-taught artists, chronicled the scale, the scope and the picturesque expanse of California’s incredible vistas.  Today, Richard Schloss continues that same dedication to his subject matter in the form of his light-filled canvasses and awe-inspiring natural landscapes.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 East Main Street in downtown Ventura. Hours are 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $5.00 Adults (18 years & older) $3.00 Seniors (65 and older), Students & AAA members with ID, $1.00 Children (17-6 years old) Children 5 years old & younger are FREE. Paid events include free admission to the galleries, and the first Sundays of every month are free general admission for the public. For more museum information go to or call 805-653-0323.

Warm Light, Rancho San Fernando Rey (Richard Schloss)


U.S. National Park Service Free Entrance Days

As of November 2014, there are 401 national parks covering over 84 million acres throughout the United States and its territories.  The majority of these parks do not charge entrance fees (though parking fees often apply). As for 133 national parks that do have entrance fees, there are a number of designated "fee free" days each year.

Here are the National Park Service Free Entrance Days in 2015:

  • January 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • February 14-16 (Presidents Day Weekend)
  • April 18-19 (National Park Week opening weekend)
  • August 25 (National Park Service Birthday)
  • September 26 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

The parks that normally charge a fee that are free on the above dates are listed at California parks in this category include:

Plenty of other amazing national treasures are on this list, like Grand Canyon National Park.

And of course there are two national parks in Ventura County that are always worth exploring:

For more information about the National Park Service, visit


Ventura County 2-1-1 for Human Service Programs

Ventura County 2-1-1 provides a quick, easy, free and confidential way to obtain information and local referrals for these types of services:

  • Basic human needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and other support
  • Physical and mental health resources, including intervention services, crisis counseling, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and health insurance programs
  • Employment support, including unemployment assistance, job training, education assistance, transportation help, etc.
  • Support for elderly and disabled individuals, such as convalescent care, home health care, meal services and transportation services
  • Children, youth and family support, including childcare, after school programs, family resource centers, mentoring, recreation, tutoring, protective services, etc.
  • Volunteer opportunities and donations

Ventura County was the first county in California to launch 2-1-1 service on February 11, 2005.  The Ventura County 2-1-1 service is staffed 24 hours a day and is managed by Interface Children & Family Services with the support of the Ventura County United Way and First 5 Ventura County. Additional support is received from the County of Ventura, the County of Ventura Health Care Agency, the County of Ventura Human Services Agency, and the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Ojai and Thousand Oaks.

In addition to calling the 2-1-1 number, residents are encourage to search the 2-1-1 Ventura County Resource Database online at

For more information about 2-1-1, visit


Homeless Shelters in Ventura County Offering Hot Meals and Overnight Cots

Many of Ventura County's homeless find comfort in the warm, dry places open to them for sleeping overnight. Most shelters offer food--a hot meal for dinner, sometimes a pastry or bagel for breakfast and sack lunches for the road. Some facilities have showers. All depend on volunteers. Sometimes volunteers come forward to offer entertainment during dinner--a youth group singing, a bell choir. Or, more practical volunteers give free haircuts. Clothes and toiletries are donated.  Each shelter is an opportunity for those with compassion to help men, women and children in need.

Some people find shelter rules too hard to follow and so they live on the street even in cold, rainy weather. For instance. no pets are allowed and some do not want to be separated from their furry companions. But the rules are meant to keep the shelters safe.

Children and adults who sleep in a shelter must show proof of a recent, within 60 days, clear TB test before they will be allowed in a shelter. It's the law. Ventura County Public Health Clinics will provide free TB tests to shelter users. Anyone intoxicated or behaving in a disorderly manner will not be allowed inside any shelter site.

Some shelters, such as the one at the Oxnard Armory, require a one time intake interview and a photo taken upon entry. Shelter I.D. cards are issued.  Toiletries and a change of clothes are only allowed when brought inside in a clear plastic bag provided. There is limited, unsecured space for overnight storage of personal items.

Here is a List of Homeless Shelters available in Ventura County (courtesy of County of Ventura Human Services Agency) (Info current as of November and subject to change, so call first)

Our Place Shelter, 538 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, operated by

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Ventura County Animal Services Promotes and Protects the Welfare of Animals

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) is a division of Ventura County Public Health and a department of the Ventura County Health Care Agency. Ventura County Animal Services is committed to promoting and protecting the health, safety and welfare of the people and animals living in Ventura County.

VCAS's main animal shelter and administrative offices is located near the Camarillo Airport at 600 Aviation Drive. The shelter houses up to 400 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, livestock and exotic animals. The Simi Valley shelter at 670 West Los Angeles Avenue accepts strays from Simi Valley and Moorpark that can be reclaimed by local residents but due to space limitations are photographed and brought to Camarillo usually within 24 hours. Both shelters are currently open seven days a week. Visit for operating hours.

To reach either shelter, call 805.388.4341 or 888.223.PETS, Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday/Sunday 8 am to 4 pm. Field officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be reached through these numbers.

How to Adopt an Animal: Animals become available for adoption over varying periods, depending on if the animal has been given up for adoption or is a stray. All adopted animals must be spayed/neutered. In-county adoption costs $125, including certification of sterilization, preliminary vaccinations, first rabies vaccine, Ventura County license*, Trovan microchip for permanent identification, free obedience classes and a certificate for a free health exam at participating local veterinarians. You must be 18 or older with valid ID and commit to providing a "home" (not just a yard) for the animal.

*State law requires that dogs over four months of age be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. VCAS handles licensing for all of Ventura County except Thousand Oaks, Oxnard and Santa Paula, which have their own licensing programs. The City of Thousand Oaks contracts with the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter located at 29525 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills. The Agoura Hills shelter is open seven days a week and can be reached at 818.991.0071. City of Oxnard animal licensing information is covered at Visit the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center site at for licensing information in that city.

Adopt a doggie and make his day!

Harder to place cats or dogs over five years old are placed for a reduced option fee of just $60! And if you are 65 or older, the adoption fee for any animal is reduced to $60.

VCAS offers low-cast vaccination clinics (for rabies, canine Distemper-Parvo, canine Bordetella, feline FVRCP and rattlesnake vaccine for dogs year-round, usually from 7-8 pm at various locations around Ventura County. Check the website for details.

In the most recent fiscal year 2012-2013, 6,621 dogs were taken in by the VCAS Shelter, including 27% relinquished by owners and 73% strays and others. 72% of these animals were adopted or reclaimed, but 28% of the dogs were, sadly, euthanized. This percentage is actually lower than in previous years, while local volunteers help find foster homes for shelter animals.  One such group is the Ventura County Canine Rescue Facebook page at

Now for something fun. The SPCA of Wake County, NC put together this great "Take a Chance on Me" pet adoption video that will bring a smile to your face.


Live Beehive on Display at the Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum

The Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula contains nearly a thousand vintage farm items ranging from tractors, machines and tools as well as rotating art and photo exhibits as well as educational sessions for all ages. One other unique aspect of the Agriculture Museum is this live beehive exhibit, which bees can access through the exterior wall. Fascinating to see in person! This is a permanent display at the museum.

General public admission to the Agriculture Museum (as of November 2014) is $5 adults, $3 seniors, students and AAA members and $1 for children 6-17. Kids 5 and under are free. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ADMISSION FREE on FIRST SUNDAYS of the month.

For more information, visit the Museum of Ventura County website at or call 805.653.0323.


Visit the Camarillo Ranch House for a Taste of Local Ventura County History

Built in 1892, the Camarillo Ranch House is a grand, three-story, 15-room home built by Adolfo Camarillo in the Queen Anne Victorian style. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2003. The home features seven bedrooms, a grand staircase, tower bay, wooden refrigerator, wrap-around exterior balcony, hardwood floors and turrets.

The exterior and interior of the Camarillo Ranch House were restored by the City of Camarillo and Camarillo Ranch Foundation in 1999-2001.

The White Horse Stables were built in 1966 for the famed Camarillo White Horses. Breeding of the horses began in 1920 when Adolfo Camarillo acquired Sultan, a Spanish stallion, and bred him with a Morgan mare. The White Horses are now owned by members of the White Horse Association. Learn more about the White Horses at

Renovation of the historic 1905 Mule Barn at the Camarillo Ranch was completed in 2009.

Today the Camarillo Ranch is owned by the City of Camarillo and operated by the Camarillo Ranch Foundation. The Camarillo Ranch House operates as a museum, featuring rotating exhibits, along with historic home and school tours.

The 3 1/2 acre site is host to a number of community events each year and is available to private parties for weddings, parties, fundraisers and other eve

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Highlights of a Dozen Fun Things to See and Do In and Around Camarillo

Residents voted to incorporate Camarillo as a city on September 29, 1964 (the same day that Thousand Oaks residents voted to do the same). Today Camarillo has the 5th largest population out of 10 cities in Ventura County, with about 66,000 residents.

One neat feature of Camarillo is its revitalized Old Town on Ventura Boulevard, a one mile stretch adjacent to Highway 101 between Lewis Road and Carmen Drive. There is a mixture of eateries, galleries, salons, boutiques and shopping along the pedesterian friendly thoroughfare that has transformed the area. Parking is free. More at

Here are a dozen other fun things to explore, see and do in Camarillo:

The roughly 2 mile Calleguas Creek Bike Path from Pleasant Valley Fields to the corner of Flynn and Upland Road in Camarillo is a family favorite, providing 4 miles of bicycling round-trip. The path is adjacent to Calleguas Creek with several street undercrossings, keeping the path completely free of vehicular traffic.

Calleugas Creek Bike Path

McGrath Family Farm off the Central Avenue 101 offramp grows organic fruits, vegetables and flowers and is open 7 days a week from spring through fall. McGrath also offers farm tours, visits with the farm animals and "pick your own" produce. A quick, healthy and fun stop with the kids.

The Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing Aviation Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday at the Camarillo Airport with hangars devoted to preserving, displaying and flying World War II aircraft. Docents are extremely knowledgeable and eager to share information.  This is a Camarillo must-see.

Also at the Camarillo Airport is the annual Wings of Camarillo Air Show in the August time frame. This is a weekend display of restored World War II military aircraft in flight, aerobatic, vintage and experimental aircraft displays, classic cars and plenty of family fun. This is one event in Camarillo that you have to see up close at least once. Visit for more information.

Photo Credit: Scott Harrison

The Camarillo Ranch House is a 3-story, 14 room, 6,000 square foot Victorian home built by Adolfo Camarillo in 1892. The City restored the beautiful home to exhibit what it looked like during the 1914 to 1930 time frame. Today the house is a popular event venue and is open for docent-led tours several days a week. The Camarillo Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The Camarillo Ranch House is a popular wedding and other special events destination.

I'm amazed at how few of the people I talk to have heard of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, more popularly known as the Camarillo Bird Museum. The 22,000 sq ft non-descript facility in an industrial office park hosts a collection of ove

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Free Admission Days at Museums in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

The "Do Something" section of Conejo Valley Guide highlights over 250 things to do throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas, including over four dozen museums. Let's take a closer look at the museums on the list that offer free admission days. The information below of course is subject to change, so be sure to contact the museums first to confirm.

Historic Dudley House Museum in Ventura is open the 1st SUNDAY of the month most of the year and admission is free (donations encouraged).

Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park is open year-round free of admission.

Admission is free year-round at the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Galleries in Santa Barbara on State Street in front of the Amtrak Station.

Ojai Valley Museum offers free admission the 1ST FRIDAY of each month.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum offers free admission year-round; donations are welcomed.\

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum offers free admission the 3RD THURSDAY of each month.

Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula offers free admission on the 1ST SUNDAY of the month.

The unique Woolworth Museum in Downtown Oxnard is free to enter year-round.

Channel Islands Maritime Museum offers free admission on the 3RD THURSDAY of each month.

Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar offers free admission year-round to its showcase of vintage cars.

Admission to the Conejo Valley Art Museum is free year-round.

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Conejo Valley Meal and Shelter Program Providers

The following Conejo Valley locations take part in a program that provide year-round meal on designated nights of the week to individuals who are in need.  And from December to March, both dinner (6:30 pm) and overnight shelter is offered.

This information is current as of November 2014. Subject to change. Call in advance to confirm.

Sleeping facilities for up to 15 people during winter months. Visit for more information.
Visit for more information 

 Chinese Christian Church of Thousand Oaks
218 W. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks
Meal and overnight site from December-March


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A Visit to the Newly Opened Discovery Cube Los Angeles Science Center

Discovery Cube Los Angeles is a 71,000 sq ft hands-on science and education museum that opened on November 13th in Lakeview Terrace at the Hansen Dam Recreational Area.

This is a beautiful, two-story, open, airy and fun facility geared towards children but fun for all family members. We stopped by and explored the various interactive exhibits and wow, what an impressive array they have!

There's a great array educational exhibits on display at Discovery Cube LA. In the Inspector Training Course, kids receive touch screen tablets and learn to conserve resources and in a real-life home. Fun, educational and very interactive! The Aquavator is a virtual elevator that takes you into the earth's crust for a tour. Race to Zero Waste is a game-based exhibit teaching guests the correct way to sort trash and divert materials from the landfills.

Children are given tablet computers as they inspect this home for resource efficiencies!

The Discovery Market is an impressively put together supermarket where kids use computer-equipped shopping carts to learn how to read package levels, learn about nutrition and make healthy choices. The Making the Grade Gallery provides grade-specific interactive, scientific exhibits. The Planetary Research Station uses a suspended, animated globe to highlight information about the solar system, natural disasters and climate change.

The Discovery Market is an interactive learning experience that almost looks like a real store!

The Helicopter Tour gives a simulated birds-eye view

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Ventura County Area Listings in the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

As of March 2014, there are over 89,500 listings in the Register, with 1,175 additions in fiscal year 2013. The five general categories for National Register properties are: building, structure, site, district and object.

To be considered eligible for the Register, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. This involves examining the property’s age (generally at least 50 years old), integrity and significance.

To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places and to search its database, visit

Now let's highlight Ventura County area properties listed in the Register as of March 2014. Most of these you can visit (links provided where applicable):

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Old Mission Santa Barbara is a Cultural and Historic Local Landmark

The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786 and was the 10th of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. The Mission continues to be the chief cultural and historic landmark in the city of Santa Barbara. Home to a community of Franciscan friars, the Mission also has a retreat center with guest rooms, conference rooms, a fully equipped commercial kitchen and dining room, a beautiful church with a large and active parish, a museum and gift shop, a cemetery and mausoleum and ten acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Santa Barbara Mission in July 2013

Old Mission Church, Santa Barbara (1876), by Carleton Watkins, via Wikimedia Commons

Mission Santa Barbara is California Historical Landmark No. 309. According to the California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation website: Portions of five units of its extensive waterworks, built by Indian labor and preserved in this part, are a filter house, Spanish gristmill, sections of aqueducts, and two reservoirs, the larger of which, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city water system. The fountain and lavadero are nearby, in front of the mission, and a dam built in 1807 is located in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, one and one-half miles up Mission Canyon. Only ruins remain of the mission's pottery kiln, guard house, and tanning vats.

The Mission, located at 2201 Laguna Street, is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission as of November 2014 is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+) and $2 youth ages 5-15. Parking is free. There's also a docent guided tour Thursday and Friday at 11:00am; Saturday at 10:30am. Tour admission is $9 adults, $7 seniors, $4 for youth; children age 4 and under free. Roughly 60 minutes. Visit or call 805.682.4713 to learn more.