Wedding Reception Venues in Ventura County and Nearby Areas

100+ Free, Nearly Free Summer Movies in Ventura County!

Kids Eat Free in VC!

Local Beaches in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

 Over 160 Summer Camps In and Around Ventura County!!

Upcoming FREE Ventura County Area Events!!

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Moms Clubs in Ventura County

 

 

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Nightlife Activities In and Around Ventura County

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Free Concerts All Summer Along In and Around Ventura County!

Stay Cool in the Pool! Community Pools In/Around Ventura County

Frozen Yogurt in Ventura County

 


Ventura County Runs/Walks!

Compilation of FREE Stuff!

The CVG "Do Something" section contains hundreds of things to do throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas! For listings by category/type, CLICK HERE. Also visit Kid Fun, Fitness & Sports, Local Events, Local Buzz and Events Calendar for even more things to do!

Saturday
May232015

Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is accessible in Calabasas, at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, south of Mulholland. The park has over 8,000 acres of rugged, beautiful hills, trails and scenery. The park stretches from Agoura Hills down to Malibu, down to Malibu Lagoon State Beach, covering much of the 25 mile Malibu Creek that flows from Boney Mountain down to the Lagoon. Malibu Creek is the only stream channel that crosses through the Santa Monica Mountain range.

There are three natural preserves in the park, Liberty Canyon, Udell Gorge and Kaslow, which protect Valley Oaks, rare plants and volcanic formations.

Things to do in Malibu Creek State Park include hiking, running, biking, camping, picnicing, fishing and checking out the wildlife. There are over 35 miles of trails and fire roads throughout the park. A fun added bonus is the old M*A*S*H series set, filmed from 1972 to 1983, that resides there.

On a personal note, I love this place. It is beautiful and there and there are roughly 3 dozen different trails, many easy, and some...extraordinarily challenging. such as the Bulldog trail, taking you to 2,500 foot peaks with panoramic views out to the ocean and surrounding peaks and valleys.

Parking for the day at Malibu Creek State Park is currently $12, or you can park at the corner of Mulholland and Las Virgenes and make your way into the park. The park has 62 campsites and 4 RV sites. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614 for more information.

The Old M*A*S*H site is about 2 1/2 miles from the parking area.M*A*S*H siteThe Visitor Center is only a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and is generally open from noon to 4pm on weekends.There's also an interesting visitor center about 1/2 mile from the main entrance to the park. It is open on Saturday/Sunday from noon to 4pm, subject to availability of docents. Worth a stop as there are some neat things to see in there, including wildlife and rocks/artifacts and other useful information. You can also purchase drinks in there as well as a small assortment of other items.

Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park!

Thursday
May212015

The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard

The Collection at RiverPark is an outdoor shopping center located on the northeast side of the 101 freeway in Oxnard, between the Oxnard and Vineyard exits.

The 650,000 sq ft center includes a combination of entertainment, retail, restaurants, various services, open space with fountains, parks and playgrounds and quality art. Parking is available on the streets as well as several parking lots.

As of May 2015, the following businesses operate at The Collection:

Stores and other businesses include Century Theaters, REI, Target, Whole Foods Market, H&M, ULTA, 24-Hour Fitness, Bank of America, California Welcome Center, Charming Charlie, Color Me Mine, Massage Envy Spa, Sleep Number, Soma Intimates, Republic of Couture, Windsor, Painted Cabernet, White House Black Market, Polish NailBar, Jos. A. Bank, European Wax, Francesca's, Active Ride Shop, Lane Bryant and Chico's.

Levity Live Comedy & Dinner Theater is coming to the collecting in late 2015.

The Container Store is coming soon!

Restaurants include Famous Dave's, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Gandolfo's NY Deli, Gen Korean BBQ House, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Larsen's Grill, Maria's Italian Kitchen, Ben and Jerry's and Yard House. Sabra Fish Grill is coming soon and sweet shop It'Sugar is also anticipated to open in 2015.

Toby Keith's Bar & Grill closed in Spring 2015

There is unique public art placed throughout the center, including metal sculptures, ceramic tile murals, fountains and more. Shea Properties has spent around $1 million on art, bringing in seven artists for 18 individual art installations. Artists include Frank Bauer with his ceramic tile murals and benches and tile sidewalk medallions, and Michael Amescua with his cut metal sculptures.

For a map of The Collection, click here. Visit www.thecollectionrp.com or visit their Facebook page to learn more. To get there from the 101 North, exit on Oxnard Boulevard and turn right. Turn right again on Town Center Drive.

Playground at The Collection

Thursday
May142015

Over 150 Movie Theater Screens Around Ventura County

Here's a handy list of 18 movie theaters with over 150 screens throughout Ventura County and  adjacent areas. Click the links for theater websites and/or showtimes.


Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura

Regency Janss Marketplace 9, 255 North Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks (805.374.9656). This Regency theater offers up birthday party packages ranging from $20 to $25 per child. Packages include movie, party room for an hour, lunch or snack and arcade tokens. CLICK HERE for more information.

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas at The Promenade at Westlake (100 Promenade Way, Westlake Village) opened in September 2012 (8 screens)

Muvico Thousand Oaks 14, 166 West Hillcrest Drive. Muvico was purchased by Carmike Cinemas in November 2013 but continues to operate as Muvico. Tickets available at www.carmike.com/ShowTimes/Theater/320 or call 805.494.4702.

Regency Agoura Hills 8, 29045 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills (818.707.9966)

Regency Westlake Village Twin, 4711 Lakeview Canyon Road, Westlake Village (818.889.8061)

Camarillo/Oxnard/Ventura

Century Downtown 10, 555 East Main Street, Ventura (800.326.3264)

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May132015

City of Ventura Community Programs and Classes

The City of Ventura publishes a guide to city news, services, community events, classes and activities in January, May and October each year. Visit www.cityofventura.net/resident_resources/myventura to download electronic copies of this guide or visit www.ci.ventura.ca.us/erecreation to sign up for classes online. Or call 805.658.4726.

Wednesday
May132015

City of Calabasas Community Programs

The City of Calabasas offers a wide variety of community classes and programs year-round.  Includes aquatics, senior programs, sports, camps, mommy and me programs, tot classes, adult programs, workshops, etc.  Visit www.cityofcalabasas.com/recreation.html for more information and for winter and spring/summer and year-round schedules.

Saturday
May092015

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

The Griffith Observatory opened to the public in 1935 and is a Los Angeles icon. After 67 years of operation, it was closed for renovation in 2002 and reopened in Fall 2006. The original art deco 27,000 sq ft building built during the Great Depression was expanded by an additional 40,000 sq ft of public space. 

The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, 1,134 feet above sea level, with expansive views of the surrounding city, mountains and Hollywood sign. Other than the spectacular views outside, the inside of the Observatory features the 300 seat Samuel Oschlin Planetarium, 200 seat Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, public telescopes, dozens of exhibits and a cafe/gift shop.

Parking and entrance into the Observatory are FREE! Even if you're not into astronomy, you'll love the scenic views up there. It is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles. More information at www.griffithobservatory.org or call 213.473.0800.

 

The Observatory is owned and staffed by the City of Los Angeles Dept of Recreation and Parks. As of May 2015, hours are noon to 10pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 10pm Saturday/Sunday. Closed Mondays. Free public telescopes are available each evening the Observatory is open and skies are clear.

Saturday
May092015

Hill Canyon, Hawk Canyon and Western Plateau Trails in Thousand Oaks

In 2012, the Conejo Canyons bridge was constructed in Thousand Oaks, opening up more trails to explore in the Western Plateau area of Thousand Oaks, which ties into Wildwood Park. Check the map at www.cosf.org/website/html/western-plateau-hikes.html for trail maps.

The Hill Canyon bridge that takes you to all the action!Access the Conejo Canyons bridge to get to the Hill Canyon Trail, a flat path that after a mile takes you to an intersection where you can go straight ahead to the Hawk Canyon Trail, take a right turn to the Western Plateau Trail or veer left to make your way to the Arroyo Conejo Trail that takes you about 2 1/2 miles to the Rancho Conejo Playfields in Newbury Park.

The Hill Canyon Trail is as flat as they come. I see bikers, hikers and runner back here.

This creek parallels the Hill Canyon Trail

One path I enjoy is the Hill Canyon Trail to the Hawk Canyon Trail, which veers right towards the Western Plateau Trail, which loops back to Hill Canyon Trail.  Do take a look at a map first as signs are not always at trail junctures (the sign above is clearly an exception!). You can actually take the Hawk Canyon Trail as well as Western Plateau Trail to Newbury Park.

Western Plateau Trail

When you reach the Western Plateau Trail, if you go just a bit further north/northeast, you'll be rewarded with great views down the Conejo Grade towards Camarillo and the Oxnard Plain.

Views from the Western Plateau Trail on a bit of an overcast June morning.Access the Conejo Canyons bridge via Santa Rosa Road. Coming from Thousand Oaks, take Moorpark Road north down the Norwegian Grade, where it intersects with Santa Rosa Road. Continue about 3.7 miles on Santa Rosa Road and make a left on Hill Canyon Road. Drive down Hill Canyon Road and you will see a large, flat dirt parking area on the right, adjacent to Santa Rosa Valley Regional Park.

Friday
May082015

Western Plateau Trail Loop Hike From Newbury Park

If you're looking for a trail a bit off the beaten path, check out the Western Plateau Loop from Conejo Center Drive in Newbury Park.

The trailhead for this hike is adjacent to the City of Thousand Oaks Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 2010 Conejo Center Drive, Newbury Park. You can actually park in the dirt lot next to the trailhead and head on your way.

The trailhead on Conejo Center Drive. It is mostly downhill over the first half mile or so of this 5 mile round-trip hike until you get to the Hawk Canyon Trail turnoff. You can either go straight from here and do a clockwise loop via the Western Plateau Trail or you can turn right on Hawk Canyon, which is a direct route to the Conejo Canyons Bridge.

Hawk Canyon Trail is a fairly narrow, mostly single-track trail.The Hawk Canyon Trail is a fun, narrow trail surrounding by trees and other vegetatation, like you're in the middle of nowhere. There's an old car in a crevice as you approach the Conejo Canyons towards Santa Rosa Valley.

Odd to see this old car out in the middle of nowhere. Kind of a steep embankment so it would be somewhat challenging reaching this car.Bring a snack and sit at a picnic table in the middle of what feels to be nowhere. Then either head back the way you came or find your way to the Western Plateau Trail and loop back counter-clockwise back towards where you parked.

See the Conejo Open Space Foundation's map of this trail at www.cosf.org/website/html/western-plateau-hikes.html.

Wednesday
May062015

The Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Show in Ventura County

The Dinner Detective® Murder Mystery Dinner Show was voted 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 “Best Dinner Show” in Los Angeles and Denver. Having worked in the professional theater, TV and film industries for over 20 years, our collection of actors and producers have mastered the art of improvisational theatrical role playing and have ultimately created the perfect evening of entertainment for you and your guests. By hiding our actors among the customers and leaving everyone to suspect who is part of the show and who is not, our events are proven second to none.

The show is currently hosted at the Pierpont Inn in Ventura.

Every murder mystery admission ticket includes: An interrogation reception, hors d’oeuvres, fresh rolls and butter, salad, your choice of entree, dessert, wait staff gratuity for food service (beverage service and performer gratuity not included), and a tantalizing prize package for the Top Sleuth who comes closest to solving the crime.  There is also an open bar.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.thedinnerdetective.com/sites/ventura or call 888.963.9123. Other locations can be accessed on the main site at www.thedinnerdetective.com.

On Saturday nights, check-in begins at 6:15 PM, and the show begins promptly at 6:30 PM. On Friday nights, check-in begins at 7:15 PM, and the show begins promptly at 7:30 PM.  Special shows may start earlier or later; if you have any questions, please contact our box office at 888-963-9123.

Tuesday
May052015

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens in Santa Barbara

Located at 1500 Santa Barbara Street, adjacent to Alameda Park, Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is a beautiful botanic garden with over 75 tree and plant species. There's also a large koi pond with ducks and turtles floating around, picnic area, gazebo and walking paths. Gorgeous park quite suitable for weddings.

Formerly at this spot was the El Mirasol Hotel, which was purchased and donated to the city in 1975. An anonymous donor provided the funds to acquire the property, which was later was revealed at Alice Keck Park (after she passed away), of William Myron Keck, the founder of Superior Oil Company (now part of ExxonMobil).

Visit the City of Santa Barbara website at www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/parksrec/parks/features/horticulture/alicekeck.asp or call 805.564.5418 to make reservations.

Lots of turtles in the pond!

Monday
May042015

Ventura County Area Parks

Peppertree Park in Newbury ParkThere are hundreds of parks in Ventura County and surrounding areas. DOZENS of them are described in the Kid Fun section of CVG with pics and videos for you to check out!

But here is a compilation with links to all the various parks that we could track down in the area.

Agoura Hills: ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/government/departments/community-services-parks-recreation/parks-facilities/parks (6 parks)

Calabasas: www.cityofcalabasas.com/recreation.html (8 parks)

Camarillo: www.pvrpd.org/parks/default.asp (27 active and passive use parks)

Malibu: www.ci.malibu.ca.us/Facilities (6 parks)

Moorpark: www.moorparkca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/94 (17 parks)

Ojai: www.ci.ojai.ca.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={12C5B166-5B7C-48DF-AC8A-01D021A0FF7C} (7 parks)

Oxnard: www.oxnardrec.org/17/3/960/ (58 parks)

Port Hueneme: www.ci.port-hueneme.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=553 (5 parks)

Santa Paula: www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us/CommunityServices.htm (12 parks)

Simi Valley/Oak Park: www.rsrpd.org/park/parkaz.html (58 parks)

Conejo Valley (Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park/Westlake Village) crpd.org/parkfac/parklisting.asp (Over 60)

Thousand Oaks Community Park

Ventura: www.cityofventura.net/sub-section/parks-urban-forestry (47 parks)

Westlake Village: www.wlv.org/city_services/parks-rec.asp (6 parks)

Sunday
Apr262015

Malibu Wines Tasting Room

Malibu Wines Tasting Room is an outdoor tasting room open to guests ages 21 and older, 7 days a week from 11am-6pm. Malibu Wines has live music year round on Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 (weather permitting) and in the summer through September, also has Thursday movie showings and live music from 7-9 on Fridays and Saturdays through October. There is never an entrance fee, but there is a one bottle minimum purchase per group of 4 (most bottles range from $20-$35). Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Reservations are not necessary unless you have a group of 10 or more.

Malibu Wines is located at 31740 Mulholland Drive in Malibu. Visit www.malibuwines.com or call 818.865.0605 to learn more.

Sunday
Apr122015

Conejo Mountain Edison Road Trail in Newbury Park

The Conejo Mountain Edison Road Trail (also referred to as the Powerline Trail) in Newbury Park runs adjacent to the Dos Vientos community (trailhead on Via Ricardo gets you to it) and takes you up about 1,000 feet in a few miles of hiking/running.

You'll be treated to beautiful views of the entire valley stretching towards Boney Mountain in the distance, then off towards Camarillo and the Oxnard Plain. In the video below, I ran to the top of the mountain; you can also run down the other side, all the way down to Old Conejo Road...but there's a locked gate there. However, the Ventura County Trails website provides some alternative routes that may come in handy at www.venturacountytrails.org/TrailMaps/DosVientos/AreaTrails.htm

The Powerline Trail trailhead is on Via Ricardo in Newbury Park, just west of Via Pisa. You can extend the hike by half a mile (each way) by parking at Dos Vientos Community Park and taking the Park View Trail to Via Ricardo, where you will cross the street (there's a crosswalk) to the Powerline/Edison Trail.

The Conejo Open Space Foundation has a simple map of the trail and additional comments at www.cosf.org/website/html/conejo-mountain.html



Trailhead off of Via Ricardo

This shot was taken in late January 2015, when it was actually green up there!

Sunday
Apr122015

Soter Point at Marina Park in Ventura

Dedicated in 2011, Soter Point at Marina Park in Ventura consists of a shaded picnic area, benches, attactive landscaping and a 15 foot mermaid statue. Soter Point is the result of a private/public partnership between local Ventura residents and the City of Ventura.

The inscription on a plaque on the Mermaid of Soter Point tells the story:

This stunning landmark overlooking the Ventura Harbor represents a trailblazing cooperative effort to beautify our community through private citizens working with public agencies. Andy Soter developed and landscaped the area in memory of his daughter Andrea, a successful and much admired investment manager. The mermaid sculpture and its foundation were donated by Russian emigrants Alec and Tatyana Benke, as an expression of love for their new country, America. Samuel Povar created the first collaboration of this nature in 2007 as a tribute to his late wife Orianna and worked tirelessly to make this Marina Park project a reality. And, the Ventura City Council and the Coastal Commission gave their enthusiastic blessing. Now Povar, Soter, and Benke, all Ventura residents, hope to inspire others to use private capital along with public cooperation and support…to envision something beautiful and make it happen.

Soter Point is located at the southernmost point of Marina Park, a short walk from the main playground area of the park. With beautiful views looking out toward Ventura Harbor and picnic area cooled by sea breezes, Soter Point does not Disa-Point.

Bench faces south toward Ventura Harbor Village

INFORMATION ABOUT AND DIRECTIONS TO DOZENS OF LOCAL AREA BEACHES AT THIS LINK

Thursday
Apr022015

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is a very low key museum that makes for a great excursion to Santa Barbara with the kids.  There are eight exhibit halls with perrmanent exhbits featuring birds, mammals, insects, ocean life, a planetarium and more. Many of the exhibits are "hands on" with buttons and interactive features that kids particularly enjoy. There are an additional two halls for changing exhibits.

Some of the thousands of insects on display at the Cartwright Hall of Plants and InsectsYou and your kids can roam the nature paths and visit the well stocked gift shop, full of educational items. I can vouch for the fascination kids (and adults) have at this Museum. It is a very comfortable museum that in my experience is rarely is crowded. The "Museum Backyard" area and gardens has a picnic area, stream, "Dino Dig," and other enjoyable features. The pond and stream often have tadpoles that captivate the kids.

The museum is open 7 days a week and is closed certain holidays. As of April 2014, admission is $12 for adults, $8 for 65+ seniors and teens (13-17) and $7 for children 2 to 12 years of age. Become a Museum member and you don't have to pay for admission. The Museum also offers birthday parties for members. Family memberships are currently $80/year.

Free Family Sundays are on on the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, September, October, November, and December. No free days in May, June, July and August.

Also in the "Backyard" area of the Museum, there is a physical structure managed by the Santa Barbara Audubon Aviary that cares for birds of prey that are no longer able to survive in the wild. Often volunteers will bring these birds out for visitors to admire. These birds are beautiful.

The "temporary" exhibits are always interesting.  In Fall 2008 the Museum had an exhibit entitled "Giants - African Dinosaurs" that featured life size replicas of African dinosaurs and actual dinosaur bones.

Dino #1Dino #2Dino #3

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara. More information at www.sbnature.org or 805.682.4711.

The "Backyard" area of the Museum makes for a peaceful, rustic wedding/party venue.