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Wedding Reception Venues in Ventura County and Nearby Areas

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Moms Clubs in Ventura County

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Car and Motorcycle Clubs in Ventura County

Ventura County covers over 2,200 square miles, including 1,854 miles of land. Highways in Ventura include State Routes 1, 23, 33, 118, 126 and 125 and U.S. Highway 101. That's a lot of miles to cover and we love our evidenced by these local car and motorcycle clubs in and around Ventura County!

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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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Join a Local Ventura County Moms Club

If you're looking for local Ventura County groups to meet up with other moms for playgroups, activities and socializing, look no further than this list (includes only organizations with websites...Contact Us for additions).

(Last update September 2014...subject to change.)

Calvary Community Church MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

Camarillo Moms Club

Conejo Families Meetup Group

Conejo Valley Homeschoolers

Conejo Valley Mothers of Multiples

MOMS Club of Calabasas

MOMS Club of Camarillo - East

MOMS Club of Camarillo - West

MOMS Club of Newbury Park

MOMS Club of Simi Valley - East

MOMS Club of Simi Valley - West

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Restaurant Rewards Programs and Birthday Clubs Around Ventura County

It's nice finding Kids Eat Free deals around Ventura County but there are also dozens of local rewards program and birthday clubs that give you something for FREE!!!

This list includes programs where you get something for signing up or for being a repeat customer...a free burger, a coupon, dessert, etc. Excluded are programs that do not provide an obvious freebie (i.e. only sends you promotional emails).

These deals often change, so click through to the restaurant website to confirm the deal is still good. Let us know of any changes, broken links or additions!!



Real Rewards Program: Earn points for each ounce purchased and exchange points for free yogurt and birthday treats.

Locations: Simi Valley, Westlake Village, Oxnard, Ventura

Baja Fresh

Club Baja: Free taco for signing up and free burrito on your birthday

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Camarillo (2), Simi Valley (2), Westlake Village, Calabasas, Oxnard

Bandits Grill & Bar

Bandits' Roundup Club: Free birthday gift, specials and more.

Locations: Thousand Oaks and Camarillo

Barnes & Noble Kids' Club: Free birthday cupcake and $5 gift certificate for every $100 spent on kids' books, plus 30% off most kids' books.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Ventura, Woodl

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Register to Vote for the November 4, 2014 General Election by October 15th

The State of California makes it easy to register to vote online at The system will search the DMV database for your California driver license or ID card, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number.

While registering to vote, you will be asked if you want to disclose a political party preference, which currently includes: American Independent, Americans Elect, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, Republican and "Other." Or you can indicate that you prefer not to disclose your preference.

While registering, you can also choose a permanent vote by mail ballot, which is a nice feature that I've used for years.

The Ventura County Clerk and Recorder Elections Division will contact you when the registration is approved or if additional information is needed.

You can also use the online registration to re-register when you 1)

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Bench Yourself in the Conejo Valley

We have over 140 miles of public multi-use trails surrounding us here in the Conejo Valley managed by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) and hundreds of miles more in the neighboring Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Many of these great trails are highlighted here on Conejo Valley Guide.

All of this hiking, biking and running can make one tired. Not to worry...there are benches in strategic spots all throughout the area. And they all have great views! Here we highlight some of them. Click the images for more information about the trails leading to them.

Bench at the top of "Space Mountain" on the Los Robles Trail West

Benches at the top of Big Sycamore Canyon Point Mugu State Park (adjacent to Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park).

Another bench that overlooks Sycamore Canyon from the Boney Mountain TrailThe Upper Sycamore Canyon bench show in the picture above succumbed to the 28,000 acre Springs Fire of May 2013. After the image below was taken in mid-May 2013, the brittle seat of the bench fell apart. Perhaps some day the bench will be replaced.

Image of the Upper Sycamore Canyon bench after the Rancho Sierra Vista area in Newbury Park was ravaged by the Springs Fire of 2013

Bench on the west side of Tarantula Hill in Thousand Oaks

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Ventura County Area Schools in U.S. News 2014 Ranking of Nation's Top High Schools

In April, U.S. News & World Report published its 2014 ranking of the nation's best public high schools. The rankings were based on data from 31,242 public high schools and from that total, 19,411 schools with high enough enrollment and sufficient data to be ranked.

As in 2013 and 2012, schools were ranked based on: (1) how well students tested in state-level reading and math proficiency, taking into account disadvantaged student scores (who tend to score lower on tests); and (2) college readiness, based on how well schools prepare students for college-level work.

The median college readiness score, measured on a scale of 0 to 100, was 18.17 (it was 14.8 and 16.3 in 2013 and 2012). A readiness index of 100 means that all 12th graders took and passed at least 1 Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test.

There were 2,026 California high schools and over 2 million students enrolled during the 2011-2012 survey period. To be ranked in California, schools must receive either a gold (top 500 nationally) or silver (top 501 to 2,019 nationally) medal. 415 Callifornia schools received gold or silver medals (down from 501 in 2013).

Rankings of local high schools in the Conejo Valley, Ventura County and adjacent areas and summarized in the table above. There were 14 local schools that received gold or silver medal status and thus were ranked nationally and in California. Last year, Moorpark and Fillmore High Schools were on this list but were not ranked for some reason this year.

Topping the local school rankings for the 2nd year in a row was Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, which moved up 3 places to the 35 top rated school in California. Rounding out the top 5 were Westlake, Malibu, Oak Park and Calabasas High Schools.

Overall our local schools performed quite impressively! 19 out of the 23 schools on the list scored at or above the median college readiness scores.

While the rankings and underlying detailed information are interesting and informative, before coming to any conclusions, do check out the detailed school information available at


Drone Footage of Pepperdine University 9/11 Waves of Flags Display

Just when I thought I'd finally seen enough of the 2014 Pepperdine University 9/11 Waves of Flags display in rememberance of the 2,977 victims of the terrorist attacks in 2011, I saw this amazing video.  Kevin Foley, a "Droneographer," shot this footage that provides a new perspective on this spectacular annual display. Visit for more information about Foley's services.


2014 Pepperdine University Waves of Flags Display and 9/11 Memorial Service

Pepperdine University continues to honor lives lost on 9/11 this year with its stunning display of flags at Alumni Park, Malibu. Each flag, reflecting each victim's nationality, represents each of the nearly 3,000 victims of that tragic day. The flags will be on display until Monday, September 22nd.

Tom Burnett, an alumnus of Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management is one of the heroes remembered in this tribute. Burnett was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, in which passengers' attempt to take control of the hijacked airliner and divert it from reaching the terrorists' target, United 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania rather than striking a building or landmark in the nation's capital, causing more loss of human life.

As it has annually since September 2001, the Office of the Chaplain, the Department of Public Safety, and the Office of the President will host a brief memorial service at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, September 11th, at the Heroes Garden, a 14,880-square-foot outdoor sanctuary that overlooks the Pacific Ocean on one of the highest bluffs on the Malibu campus. The garden serves as a public space to pause, reflect, and honor those who sacrificed their lives on 9/11, including Burnett.

Guiding the time of prayer will be John D. Barton, visiting associate professor of religion at Seaver College and associate director of the Center for Faith and Learning, who will offer a brief devotional. This brief service brings together the Pepperdine and greater Los Angeles communities to remember, honor, and look ahead towards peace and reconciliation.


National Park Service Announces 2014 "Spirit of the Mountains" Photo Contest

"Corazon del Matador" People's Choice Best Photo 2013 (Photo Courtesy of Jazan Kozma)Amateur photographers from all walks of life are encouraged to submit their favorite snaps for the National Park Service’s popular Spirit of the Mountains contest.

Entries may be submitted in person at the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center, 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, from Saturday, September 20th until Saturday, October 11th.

“As in past years, anyone can participate in the contest by submitting a matted print,” said National Park Service ranger and contest coordinator Sheila Braden.

A highlight of the contest is critiquing by professional judges of all winning entries, to be held at the photo exhibition opening at 2 p.m. on November 2nd. All entries will be on display November 2-23 at the visitor center, located on the grounds of King Gillette Ranch.

First, second and third-place ribbons will be awarded. Categories throughout the Santa Monica Mountains and adjacent venues include plants, animals, scenics, People in Parklands and the 2014 challenge: Variations on Light. The overall winner will receive the Best of Show award.

Winning photos may also be published in “Outdoors,” a popular quarterly publication of events and programs with a circulation of 70,000.

Entry forms and instructions are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the visitor center (26876 Mulholland Hwy) or online at Submissions are limited to two photos per amateur photographer. For further information, call 805-370-2301.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country. encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological biversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit


The Parent Project┬« Training Program for Parents of Adolescent Children - Upcoming Ventura County Classes Available

The Parent Project® was created for parents with difficult or out-of-control adolescents between the ages 11 and 19. Parents learn and practice specific prevention and intervention strategies for destructive behaviors - truancy, alcohol and other drug use, gangs and other criminal behavior, running away, violence and suicide. Parents are self-referred or can be referred to Parent Project classes by officers in the field, juvenile detectives, diversion programs, court systems, mental health professionals and school officials.

This program is available locally in various Ventura County locations.  Many programs are free or charge only a small fee for a Parent Project workbook. Sessions generally are 10 weeks.

Some upcoming local Parent Project classes as of August 2014 are below. Providers and costs vary. Click the link above to register online for most classes, or call the phone numbers below.

  • Simi Valley: Simi Valley Police Department is offering a 10 week session on Tuesday nights beginning 9/16/14. Call 805.583.6219. Free ($20 deposit)
  • Thousand Oaks: Thousand Oaks Police Dept is offering 10 sessions on Thursday nights at Horizon Hills School in Thousand Oaks beginning 9/18/14/14. Call 805.449.2760
  • Thousand Oaks: Ventura County Sheriff's Office is presenting Spanish language sessions on Thursday nights starting 8/28/14. Call 805.449.2760. $20 textbook fee. Classes free.
  • Ventura: Pacific Coast Center for Family Counseling is currently offering 10 Tuesday night sessions that began 8/5/14. Call 805.794.0646. These classes do have registration and per session fees.
  • Camarillo: VC Sheriff and Camarillo Police Department is offering Tuesday night sessions that begin 9/16/14. No charge for sessions. Workbook $20. Call 805.388.5131.
  • Moorpark: Moorpark USD is offering Spanish language classes on Tuesday nights that begin 8/26/14. 805.558.5151
  • Santa Paula: The Esperanza Program is offering Spanish language classes on Friday nights that began 8/1/14. Free of charge. 805.276.7671

Additionally, Loving Solutions is a program designed for parents of 5-10 year olds with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD). The Moorpark USD is offerining Loving Solutions classes on Thursday nights beginning 8/28/14. $35 for materials; classes are free. Call 805.558.5151. Classes also currently offered on Monday nights in Ventura for a fee. Call 805.794.0646.

Previous sessions have also been offered in Oxnard, Ojai and Westlake Village. For more details about the Parent Project program, visit


El Tecolote Cafe in Camarillo Captured by Local Artist in Oil Painting

El Tecolote by Linda Dark of Camarillo

Linda Dark has lived in Camarillo since 1978. For the last 10 years she has captured local scenes in oil paint. She captured the historic El Tecolote, located at 333 N. Lewis Road, in the image above. El Tecolote serves up delicious, authentic Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

According to the El Tecolote website, World War II veteran Mike Loza opened his restaurant in Moorpark in 1946. The owls occupying the trees surrounding the restaurant were the inspiration for the name El Tecolote (The Owl).

The cafe was moved to a small house in Camarillo in 1948. It was so small that a frustrated customer helped finance a move to its current location in 1952. The restaurant is now owned and managed by the Guardado family. Visit or call 805.482.4318 for more information.

El Tecolate the night of Monday, September 8, 2014


City of Thousand Oaks 50th Anniversary Parade Planned for Saturday, September 27th

The City of Thousand Oaks celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year! As part of this celebration, the City is hosting a parade on Saturday, September 27th with the theme "Remembering the past, honoring the memories." The parade will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thousand Oaks Boulevard from Duesenberg Drive to Erbes Road.

The Thousand Oaks 50th Anniversary Parade will honor the past with a down home feel. There will be vintage (1964 and older) cars, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department Mounted Police, antique fire engines, local Conejo Valley area high school marching bands, equestrians, floats and much more. The parade is FULL, with over 100 entries!

A special edition to the parade is the 9/11 Angels, five Camaros dedicated to those who lost their lives on 9/11. Each Camaro displays every hero lost on 9/11 by name in gold lettering. There is an Angel vehicle for each of two Trade Towers, First Responders, Pentagon and Pennsylvania Flight.

The Parade begins at 9:00 am with a military flyover and Color Guard, followed by City officials, VIP’s, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, some of the original mayors who helped form the city, local school bands and drill teams, local service clubs, antique autos, police service units, floats from various organizations, horses, fire trucks and much more.

John Short, well known locally for his role as President of Thousand Oaks Little League for 12 years and other community endeavors, has been designated as

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2014 Pepperdine University Waves of Flags Display in Honor of 9/11 Victims

Once again, Pepperdine University students and volunteers have staged a display of nearly 3,000 flags in honor of each of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The display is at Alumni Park, at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. Each victim is memorialized with a flag reflecting their nationality.


Places Where Kids Can Eat Free in Ventura County

Here is a list of restaurants that have "Kids Eat Free" deals around Ventura County! These deals are subject to change at a moment's notice, so make sure to call the restaurants in advance! Let us know of any changes or additions! Now let's go EAT!!

Ventura County area daily deals and online coupon websites

Restaurant rewards programs at 100+ Ventura County eateries

Update 9/6/14: Magoo's Sports Grill at 722 N. Wendy Drive in Newbury Park offers a Kids Eat Free deal on Mondays. 1 kid per adult, dine in only, from kids' menu.

Update 8/23/14: Safire American Bistro in Camarillo announced via Facebook that all students from pre-school to high school will receive 50% off the regular menu or a free meal from the kids' menu for the entire month of September.

Update 8/23/14: Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard has an all day Kids Eat Free deal on Mondays, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Victoria T for pointing out that the Ventura location of Freebirds World Burrito at 5752 Telephone Road, has a Kids Eat Free deal on Tuesdays, all day, dine in only, for kids 12 and under, with purchase of an adult entree. 805.477.0174

Settebello at The Collection at RiverPark announced a Kids Eat Free deal all day on Mondays - get a free one topping kids pizza and soft drink with purchase of full-price pizza. 805-988-1095

Carrows is offering Kids Eat Free all day, EVERY day this summer for kids 10 and under, for each adult entree purchased. Valid only on dine-in orders. Local Carrows Restaurants at 1601 N. Oxnard Blvd in Oxnard and 2401 Harbor Blvd in Ventura.

Coco's Bakery/Restaurant has a Kids Eat Free deal all day, every day, for a limited time. One free kids meal (ages 10 and under) for each adult entree purchased. Local Coc

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