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Wedding Reception Venues in Ventura County and Nearby Areas

Upcoming FREE Ventura County Area Events!!

Labor Day Weekend Events In and Around Ventura County

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Car and Motorcycle Clubs in Ventura County

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

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Eleven of My Favorite Things to Do In and Around the City of Ventura

Incorporated in 1866, the City of Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County. The official name of Ventura is the city of San Buenaventura. Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Franciscan priest Junipero Serra on March 31, 1782 and was named after Saint Bonaventure. Enough with the history are some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful city!

You can't miss the 1,600 foot long Ventura Pier, with its panoramic views, fishing and ocean-breezes. There's a cool little playground area in the sand just west of the pier, bicycle rentals nearby, miles of beachfront bike path and Surfers' Point. San Buenaventura State Beach stretches from the Ventura Pier down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys.

Ventura Harbor Village is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants. There's an arcade with an antique carousel, boat rides, kayaking and sailing and quick access to family-friendly Harbor Cove Beach and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Also within a short walking distance is the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, an inspirational and interactive source of information about the Channel Islands National Park. Bring the kids!

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park. You can drive up there, or park above the historic Ventura City Hall building and walk to Grant Park via the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. This nice 1 mile trail, opened in October 2012, will give you a nice little workout, with views along the way.

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail

Golf N' Stuff is a family favorite, especially when it's really hot in the Conejo Valley and you're looking for an outdoor alternative to the beach.  The kids never tire of the two 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper boats, large, nicely appointed arcade, go karts and bumper cars. Sign up with their email club and receive periodic 2 for 1 deals.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Another popular family choice is oceanfront Marina Park in the Ventura Keys, a decent sized park with plenty of grassy area, a newer playground, the popular zip line and path to adjacent picnic and viewing area Soter Point. We enjoy riding bikes from the park to the Ventura Beach Path.

Marina Park zip line

In Downtown Ventura, the Museum of Ventura County hosts a collection of over 30,000 pieces of fine art and historical items and a changing lineup of exhibits displaying items of local relevance. The Museum's Research Library houses over 150,000 resources related to the history of Ventura County. And the Museum regularly hosts public events geared towards all ages as well as free admission the first Sunday of each month.

Those are some highlights! But there's more!

Over 40 things to do in the City of Ventura

Over 40 kids' activities in the City of Ventura

Nearly 50 sports and fitness activities in the City of Ventura

Upcoming events in the City of Ventura


California's New "Three Feet for Safety" Bike Passing Law Takes Effect September 16th

Beginning September 16, 2014, a new law takes effect that requires motorists that are passing a bicycle on a highway to have at least 3 feet of clearance from the bicycle. Violations of this new Three Feet for Safety Act (AB 1371) can result in a $35 fine. The fine increases to $220 if the driver collides with the bicyclist while in violation of the law (which if you think about it how would they not be violating the law if they collided...hmm).

This law basically clarifies the existing law, which says cars must pass bicyclists at a "safe distance."

Now let's say you're driving on a two-lane highway like Potrero Road in Thousand Oaks where there's no bike lane and cars are coming the opposite direction as you approach a group of cyclists. What should you do? Obviously slow down so that you can pass with at least 3 feet of clearance after cars coming the other way have passed. Just make sure you're not crossing a double yellow line.

Two lane Potrero Road in Hidden Valley

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, this law does not prohibit a bicyclist from passing a car by less than 3 feet. But that's because bicyclists present much less risk to car drivers than vice versa.

One may think, how in the world will anyone know if it is 3 feet vs 2 1/2 feet, etc. Short of attaching a yardstick to the side of your car, I guess we'll have to use our best judgment.

Speaking of here for some fun bike paths in and around Ventura County.


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.

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 Chair of the Parade Committee and would love to hear from the community. Whether you are interested in volunteering, helping with coordination or provide moral support, be sure to visit to learn more. Contract John directly at

Scenes from parades past (photos courtesy of parade sure to visit the Parade website to see dozens of these great blasts to the past):


Opening of "essential ingredients" Painting Exhibit at Buenaventura Gallery on Sept 9th

Opening September 9 at the Buenaventura Gallery in downtown Ventura is "essential ingredients," an exhibition of paintings by Gail Pidduck.

“This show is different from my normal work,” said the longtime Santa Paula artist known for colorful plein-air California landscapes and her depictions of rural life and people in the Santa Clara River Valley. “I wanted to explore visually the things that are important to me in life, and have some fun.”

On display through October 4 will be 15 of Pidduck's oil-on-canvas works created over the past year. She will attend an opening reception 5-7 p.m

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Labor Day Weekend Events In Ventura County and Surrounding Areas

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The second Labor Day holiday was on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday.

Oregon was the first state to officially enact Labor Day as a holiday by law on February 21, 1887, followed that year by Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Since then, all 50 states have made Labor Day a state holiday.


So what's going on in Ventura County over Labor Day Weekend!?  Here goes:

Fri 8/29 to Mon 9/1: 33rd Annual Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off, Carnival and Fair

Fri 8/29: Free concert at Heritage Square in Oxnard featuring reggae band Dirty Rice

Fri 8/29: Free screening of "The Nut Job" at Pierce Farm Center in Woodland Hills

Aug 29-31: Ventura Improv Festival

Sat 8/30: Kids Fun Zone at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Sat 8/30: 5th Annual Santa Barbara Tequila Harvest Festival

Sat/Sun 8/30-31: 12th Annual Ventura Nationals Car Show at VC Fairgrounds

Sat 8/30: Live Birds of Prey Program at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center in Ojai

Sat 8/30: Music Under the Stars -  "Skinny Little Twits" (classic rock) at Olivas Adobe Ventura

Sat 8/30: Acadiana (Zydeco/Cajun) performs at Peninsula Park at Channel Islands Harbor

Sat 8/30: Free concert featuring Mary White Band (country/rock) at Simi Civic Center Pla

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Compilation of Public Beaches Spanning From Oxnard to Hueneme to Malibu 

In a separate post, we highlighted beaches ranging from Carpinteria down south to the beaches at the Ventura Harbor. This is the 2nd installment of local area beaches that stretch from McGrath State Beach on down to the beaches gracing Malibu. We hope these compilations prove useful in guiding you to all the oceanfront fun Ventura County and adjacent areas have to offer!

Additionally, here's a compilation of beaches in the Santa Barbara area (excluding Carpinteria).

McGrath State Beach has 2 1/2 miles of beach that is great for walkers, sunbathers and surf fishers. Swimming, surfing, and water sports are discouraged because of rip currents. McGrath also has a campground with 174 sites, restrooms and coin-operated hot showers. Make reservations by calling 800.444.7275. There's also a .2 mile nature trail through jungle-like vegetation along the banks of the Santa Clara River. McGrath is 5 miles south of Ventura off the 101 freeway via Harbor Boulevard. Visit or call 805.968.1033 for more information. Parking is $10 as of August 2012.

Mandalay Beach Park is 94 acres of undeveloped beachfront land located south of Reliant Energy's Mandalay Generating Station. The natural sand dunes and the wetlands ecosystem are recognized for their important natural value and houses several threatened bird species. This is a passive, natural open space park with no support facilities. The sandy ocean beach and adjacent coastal dunes are available for public day use only. The beach is managed by the County of Ventura on behalf of the California State Parks Department. Located at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and 5th Street in Oxnard. Visit

Oxnard Beach Park has one of the best kids' play areas around town, restrooms, lots of grass, and easy access to miles and miles of beach. The sand dunes are really large in Oxnard. The park is located at 1601 S. Harbor Boulevard. More info at

Hollywood Beach is a great spot for swimming, sunning and viewing the Channel Islands offshore. Free public beach volleyball courts, public restrooms on the north end of beach, on-street parking and lifeguards on duty between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Located right next to Channel Islands Harbor off of Harbor Boulevard.

Silver Strand Beach is a 1 mile long sandy beach about 150 yds

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Be the DD and Win! Designated Driver Program at Various Ventura County Venues

Launched in 2011, Be the DD and Win! is a designated driver program that has become popular in various downtown Ventura, Thousand Oaks and Camarillo bar venues. The campaign includes the popular Prize Posse, a group of 10 or more volunteers who take to the streets to reward Designated Drivers with prizes and swag, all the while delivering the message that it is cool to Be the DD.

On event nights, the Prize Posse meets at a designated location. Each venue has taken Project SAFER's Responsible Beverage Sales/Service training course as well as "Be the DD and Win" preparation training.

Customers will be asked if they have a non-drinking designated driver for the night. If they do, the DD receive a yellow wristband which has a pull tab with raffle numbers.

When the Prize Posse arrives (generally after 10PM), volunteers distribute information that helps reduce DUIs, as well as candy, swag and beads, all while promoting how cool it is to be a DD! Later, a raffle is drawn and the winner is breathalyzed to assure sobriety. If the winner passes, a photo is taken and the Prize Posse heads to its next location.

Here are some upcoming Be the DD and Win Prize Posse events as of August 23, 2014. 

Ventura venues on 8/29, 11/21: Anacapa Brewing Company, Barrelhouse 101, Bombay Bar and Grill, El Rey Cantina, Paddy's and The Tavern.

Thousand Oaks venues on 10/10: Brendan's, Crown & Anchor, Sunset Terrace and Tipsy Goat

Camarillo venues on 9/5: Brendan's, El Rey Cantina and Outlaws

Simi Valley venues on 9/26: The Arena, Chop Shop and Junk Yard

Learn more at

This project is collaboration of Project SAFER, Ventura Police Department, Thousand Oaks Police Department, Camarillo Police Department, Straight Up Ventura County, and Ventura County Behavioral Health Alcohol & Drug Programs.


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

Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Oak Park Wedding Reception Venues

Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme Wedding Reception Venues

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Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Adopts Even/Odd Irrigation Schedule

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) provides water to over 65,000 residents in Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and unincorporated areas of western Los Angeles County.

In response to the statewide drought, LVMWD has adopted outdoor irrigation restrictions to three days a week. The LVMWD Board of Directors approved this restriction on August 12th.

Properties with even-numbered addresses may irrigate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Properties with odd-numbered addresses may irrigate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The restriction applies to potable and recycled water users.

Watering is permitted at any time using a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle, a 5-gallon bucket or a drip irrigation system. Customers will be given time to make adjustments to their irrigation controllers. Enforcement begins September 1st.

Customers violating the outdoor irrigation restrictions and conservation measures below can be fined. After a written warning for the 1st violation, additional violations within a 12 month period can result in fines of $100, $200 and $500. Fifth violations can result in the installation of flow restrictors or even termination of service.

The following conservation measures are in effect:

  • Potable water shall not be us

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Ventura County Fire Department Offers Free Car Seat Safety Inspections

For those of you with kids looking for some help in ensuring your child safety seats are properly in place, consider the Ventura County Fire Department Child Passenger Safety Program.

Members of the Department are trained and certified through the National Highway Transportation Safety Association as a Car Seat Safety Technician. The Program educates parents on proper use and installation of child safety seats. The department provides free car seat inspections, installation guidance, product recall checks and informative literature.

Program locations near the Camarillo Airport, CHP Ventura, Crowley House in Thousand Oaks, CHP Moorpark and Moorpark Family Resource Center. More information at this link.

Volunteers from the VCFD Child Passenger Safety Program are knowledgeable and friendly!More on California child passenger seat belt laws and safety information


Ventura County Area Daily Deals, Coupons and Other Bargain Hunting Websites

Launched in November 2008, Groupon popularized the deal-a-day concept for daily discounted "coupons" or gift certificates good for deals at local retailers and service providers, such as spa treatments, classes, restaurants, massages, tanning salons, haircuts, offering 50% to as much as 90% off retail price.

An entire industry has been spawned by Groupon and there are now hundreds of daily deal sites around the world. Locally here in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County, was the first site to launch a daily deal program, back in April 2010.

Deal-a-day sites can be addictive. Some people I know buy deals all the time, while others like to take a look every now and then. Generally you purchase a deal, pay, print the certificate and use it before it expires.

Below are websites that offer daily deals, anytime deals and/or good old fashioned coupons in the Ventura County area*: - Daily deals centered in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas.

Conejo Valley Corridor - Offers a discount card fundraising program that benefits local schools and non-profits while offering everyday discounts at over 85 local area businesses. - Companion site launched by owners of

Groupon Ventura County - Groupon started this VC daily deal site in October 2010. Ventura County - Came to Ventura County in April 2011.

Amazon Local Ventura County - Daily deal aggregator with both local deals and deals from national chains and online merchants. - Has both everyday printable coupons and limited time vouchers that are usually available a day or two. Covers businesses throughout Ventura County. - Offers an array of discount gift certificates at local restaurants. Worth checking out. Do be aware of minimum purchase requirements when you buy. - Sign up and receive 10% cash back when you dine at over 100 local restaurants. For each dollar members earn, MOGL puts 10 cen

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2014/2015 Ventura County Area School Year Start, End and Winter/Spring Break Dates

Everyone is on different school schedules...from Conejo Valley to Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura, etc. Let's take a look!

Note: This list is for informational and amusement purposes only.  Please be sure to double-check school start dates with your local school to be sure!

The first day of school for the 2014-2015 school year ranges from August 11th at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks to August 28th at the Rio School District.

Schools listed below by order of first day of school.

La Reina High School

  • 1st Day of School: Mon, August 11
  • Winter Break: Fri, December 19 to Friday, January 2 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Thurs, April 2 to Friday, April 10 (7 days)
  • Last Day of School: Fri, May 22

Santa Paula Unified School District

  • 1st Day of School: Wed, August 13
  • Fall Break: Mon, November 24 to Friday, November 28 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Monday, January 5 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Mon, March 30 to Friday, April 10 (2 weeks)
  • Last Day of School: Wed, June 10

Fillmore Unified School District

  • 1st Day of School: Thurs, August 14
  • Fall Break: Mon, October 13 to Fri, October 17 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Mon, January 12 (3 weeks + 1 "staff development" day)
  • Spring Break: Wed, March 30 to Monday, April 6 (8 days)
  • Last Day of School: Thurs, June 11

Simi Valley Unified School District

  • 1st Day of School: Tues, August 19
  • Thanksgiving Break: Mon, November 24 to Friday, November 28 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Monday, January 5 (2 weeks + 1 day)
  • Spring Break: Mon, March 30 to Monday, April 6 (1 week + 1 "staff development" day)
  • Last Day of School: Fri, June 5
  • NOTE: Possible furlough days on the calendar: Feb 13, Mar 27, May 22

Ventura Unified School District

  • 1st Day of School: Tues, August 19
  • Fall Break: Mon, October 20 to Friday, October 24 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Friday, January 2 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Fri, April 3 to Friday, April 10 (1 week + 1 day)
  • Last Day of School: Thurs, June 11

Santa Monica-Malibu School District

  • 1st Day of School: Tue, August 19
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Monday, January 5 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Mon, April 7 to Fri, April 18 (2 weeks + 1 day)
  • Last Day of School: Fri, June 5

Oxnard School District (Elementary/Middle Schools)

  • 1st Day of School: Wed, August 20
  • Thanksgiving Break: Mon, November 24 to Fri, November 28 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Friday, January 9 (3 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Mon, March 30 to Friday, April 10 (2 weeks)
  • Last Day of School: Thurs, June 18

Moorpark Unified School District

  • 1st Day of School: Wed, August 20
  • Fall Break: Mon, November 24 to Fri, November 28 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Friday, January 2 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Mon, March 30 to Friday, April 6 (1 week + 1 day)
  • Last Day of School: Fri, June 12

Oxnard Union High School District

  • 1st Day of School: Wed, August 20
  • Thanksgiving Break: Mon, November 24 to Fri, November 28 (1 week)
  • Winter Break: Mon, December 22 to Friday, January 2 (2 weeks)
  • Spring Break: Mon, March 30 to Fri, April 3 (1 week)
  • Last Day of School (finals): Tues, June 9

Las Virgenes Unified School District (Agoura/C

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The Conejo Free Clinic Provides Medical and Legal Services to Those in Need

The Conejo Free Clinic (CFC) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1976 that provides medical and legal services to those who may have no access to care. The CFC provides services to over 5,000 people annually in our community.

Medical services provided by CFC include primary and preventative general medical services, pediatric clinics, including childhood and school-required immunizations, women's health services such as health exams, mammograms and other tests as well as patient advocacy services when necessary. Legal service clinics take place the first four Tuesday nights of each month.

All CFC providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, RN's, medical assistants, receptionists, etc.) are volunteers. The office is managed by a staff of four employees, supported by a 15 member Board of Directors from the community.

CFC helps those who don't have adequate access to medical car

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City of Simi Valley Level 1 Water Shortage Restrictions Became Effective August 1st

To comply with the State Water Resources Control Board emergency regulations requiring all water retailers in California to mandate water use reductions, a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage is in effect as of August 1, 2014. The Board of Directors of Waterworks District No. 8 (the Simi Valley City Council) has declared a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage, effective August 1, 2014.

(The Golden State Water Company is currently considering similar restrictions, their customers may reference for updates. Note – City restrictions apply to Golden State Water Company customers also.)

All residents and businesses provided water by the City of Simi Valley, must immediately:

  •  Reduce landscape irrigation, limiting to 45 minutes per week per irrigation station/zone through October 31 (with exceptions for “smart” controllers, drip or low water emitting fixtures, and stream rotors with 70% efficiency)
  • Fix leaks, breaks, or malfunctions promptly, in no case longer than 72 hours.
  • All residents and businesses within the City of Simi Valley must:
  • Irrigate before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m., no more than 15 minutes per irrigation station/zone;
  • Cease any excessive irrigation flow and/or runoff;
  • Cease washing or spraying pavement (or any exterior hard surfaces) with exceptions when necessary, to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards;
  • Only wash a vehicle using a hose with an automatic trigger shut-off nozzle;
  • Use only recirculated water in decorative fountains or water features.

Commercial restrictions within the City of Simi Valley include:

  • Restaurants and bars may only serve water upon customer request;
  • Lodging establishments must provide guests the option to decline daily linen service;
  • Commercial car washes and decorative fountains must use recirculated water.

And irrigation restrictions to customers provided water by the City will change November 1:

  • Further reduce irrigation beginning November 1, 2014 to only 30 minutes per irrigation/zone, through March 31, 2015.

Visit for water supply updates, water conservation resources, rebates, incentive programs and more. For local information and resources such as Water Wise Gardening in Ventura County, visit