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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!

Wednesday
Apr232014

Camarillo Grove Park

Camarillo Grove Park is located at the bottom of the Conejo Grade at 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Road (Camarillo Springs exit). This is kind of an interesting, off the beaten path park that has a variety of interesting activities. There is an off-leash dog park where you can bring your pooch. There is a small playground area for the kids. There are several large outdoor covered group picnic areas that are popular for parties.

Additionally, there are some fun trails for roughly a mile or so of hiking and exploring. At the back (east) end of the park you'll see the trail sign. the lower loop is fairly short, with some interesting, large rock formations. The upper loop is more significant and steep and provides for some nice views.

This park offers multiple options for hiking. The lower loop is an easier gently sloping trail with oak trees, sage, volcanic rock formations, and more.  You can even take dogs off-leash on weekends Saturdays and Sundays before 10 a.m.

The park opens at 7:30 a.m. until dusk. There are parking fees at this particular park to help pay for the upkeep of the park. As of April 2014 these fees are $2 on weekdays, $5 on weekends and $8 on holidays.

Learn more at www.pvrpd.org/parks/dog/grove.asp.

Monday
Apr212014

Paramount Ranch Recreation Area in Agoura

Paramount Ranch Western Town Arial View (Courtesy NPS)Paramount Ranch is located in Agoura off of Cornell Road, between Kanan Road and Mulholland.  Click here for a map in a pdf file on the National Park Service website.    Paramount Pictures originally purchased 2,700 acres here for use as a "movie ranch" in 1927 and since then, hundreds of movies and TV shows have been filmed there.  A permanent western town was built there in the early 1950s using old Paramount Pictures props.  You can literally walk through history as the buildings are still there and you are free to walk freely around the buildings (but you can't walk inside them).  This is a site to behold for any fans of old movies.

A list of movies filmed at Paramount Ranch is here.  These include films like The Last Outlaw (Gary Cooper), The Virginian (Gary Cooper), Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn (Jackie Coogan), Million Dollar Legs (W.C. Fields), Adventures of Marco Polo, Remember  the Night (Barbara Stanwyck) and many more.  From 1992 to 1997, the TV show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (featuring Jane Seymour) was filmed there.

In addition to the western town, there are restrooms, picnic areas and plenty of hiking trails at the park.  Please be very careful around the set as these are one of a kind and very old.  More information at www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/paramountranch.htm or call the NPS at 805.370.2301.

Monday
Apr212014

Ty Warner Sea Center - Santa Barbara

Ty Warner Sea Center in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Ty Warner Sea Center is a fun, engaging, interactive marine education facility located on Stearns Wharf. Owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Ty Warner Sea Center fulfills the mission of the Museum to inspire a passion for the natural world.

We love this place!  This is a not a huge museum but it is worth stop by with the kids every now and then. Very hands on! There's a shark tank where you can interact with and pet the sharks and other sea life, a 1,500 gallon tidepool tank and various other displays such as an octopus, moray eel, jellyfish, etc. There's also an area of where they dredge up sand and sea life from below and let you sift through it, looking for interesting things under easy to use microscopes.

Make a day of it in Santa Barbara, have lunch, stop by the carousel at Chase Palm Park, ride bikes along the beach, shop and eat on State Street, etc.

The Sea Center is located at 211 Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara and is open daily between 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (at Noon), Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. As of April 2014, admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+) and teens (13-17) and $5 for children (2-12). But BETTER YET...do as we did and purchase a family membership at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and get in FREE anytime you want to both museums! It's great!

For more info visit www.sbnature.org/seacenter or call 805.962.2526.

Sunday
Apr202014

Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu

Charmlee Wilderness Park is a 532 acre park located at 2577 Encinal Canyon Road in Malibu, just 15 miles from the Conejo Valley. It is located within the Santa Monica Mountains. There are over eight miles of hiking trails, a nature center, picnic areas and more. Park hours are 8 a.m. to sunset and the nature center is open on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available for $4. Visit the City of Malibu website at www.malibucity.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Charmlee-Wilderness-Park-8 for more information, trail maps and more or call 310.457.7247.

Photos below courtesy of Suzy Demeter Photography.

Saturday
Apr192014

Conejo Canyons Bridge and 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.

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.

Sign on Santa Rosa Road at Hill Canyon (coming from Camarillo)Parking area on Hill Canyon Road, as seen from the Canyon Overlook Trail leading to Lizard Rock

Park and you'll see the Conejo Canyons bridge just south, which takes you to the Hill Canyon Trail. Or go west to the steep Canyon Overlook Trail, a zig zagging hill that takes you to Lizard Rock in Wildwood Park. The hill is a fun challenge with the kids and you'll be rewarded with great panoramic views towards Boney Mountain, Camarillo, Ojai and Simi.

Conejo Canyons Trail Users Bridge that takes you to the Hill Canyon Trail

 Conejo Canyons Views

Views toward the west

View towards Lizard Rock

Friday
Apr182014

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.

When completed, the 650,000 sq ft center will include 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 April 2014, the following businesses operate at The Collection:

Larger Stores: Century Theaters, REI, Target, Whole Foods Market, H&M and ULTA. Soon a new 24-Hour Fitness will open.

Restaurants: 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 and Yard House. Additional eateries to open in 2014 include Larsen's Grill, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Maria's Pronto, Toby Keith's Bar & Grill and Ben & Jerry's.

Additional Shops/Other: Bank of America, California Welcome Center, Charming Charlie, Color Me Mine, Massage Envy Spa, Sleep Number, Soma Intimates, Republic of Couture, Windsor, Painted Cabernet and Chico's. Additional stores planned to open in 2014 include European Wax, Francesca's, Jos. A. Bank, Polish NailBar and White House Black Market.

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.

Monday
Apr072014

Thousand Oaks Philharmonic

Founded in 2000, the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic is 40 musician orchestra with musicians from the Greater Ventura County area that performs three series of concerts per year. The TO Phil performs at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and several other locations. For information about upcoming concerts, visit www.tophil.org.

Monday
Apr072014

Patriot Airsoft in Newbury Park

Patriot Airsoft is a 12,000 sq ft indoor airsoft field located at 1260 Rancho Conejo Blvd, #1 in Newbury Park. The field is available for ages 10 and up. Open play 5 days a week. Patriot also offers birthday parties, team parties, coorporate events and more.

Visit www.patriotcqb.com or "like" Patriot's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Patriot-Airsoft/161415527257599?sk=wall&filter=12.

Airsoft involves shooting round, plastic bb's from replica firearms. Games last from 6-15 minutes each and people can join at any time during the day.  There are referees on the field who orchestrate the games and ensure all players' safety.

Players are welcome to come in and learn about the sport, take a tour, listen to a safety briefing and then begin playing!  Anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a full fask mask, which can be brought or rented there.  Players can bring their own guns, that will be chronographed to determine that they are within the 350 fps (feet per second) limit of our indoor field. 

NEW: Patriot Airsoft hosts monthly Nerf Night on designated nights from 5-10PM (check the schedule on Patriot's website for dates). All ages are welcome to join in the fun. Come play Nerf on our simulated battlefield! $10 admission, $5 gun rental. Bring your own gun and we will supply you with darts! Must bring eye protection...sunglasses, shooting glasses, etc. Snacks available for sale.


Monday
Apr072014

Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

The main entrance of 1,765 acre Wildwood Park is at the corner of Avenida de los Arboles and Big Sky Drive in Thousand Oaks. The Chumash Indians lived in Wildwood Park for nearly 8,000 years, until the early 19th Century, when the Spanish colonized California. Eventually the park became owned by the Janss Corporation, which sold it to the Conejo Recreation and Park District in 1967.

Wildwood Park is an extremely popular spot for hiking and CRPD regularly hosts nature hikes there (nighttime hikes, family s'mores hikes, "all about owls" hikes, wildflower hikes, etc. The park has 14 trails covering 17 miles, including 2 year-round waterfalls (Paradise Falls and Little Falls).  Wildwood Park is known for its spring wildflower displays from January to June.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT HIKING TO THE TEEPEE, INDIAN CAVE AND PARADISE FALLS

The park hosted a number of movie/TV productions in the 1930s to the 1960s, including Spartacus, Wuthering Heights, Wagon Train, The Rifleman and Gunsmoke.

Call the CRPD at 805.495.2163 for more information about the park. But for LOTS of detailed information about Wildwood Park, including trail maps and pictures, visit the Conejo Open Space Foundation website at www.cosf.org/website/html/wildwood.html.

Monday
Apr072014

Los Robles Trail System in Thousand Oaks

The Los Robles Trail winds from Potrero Road, just east of Wendy Drive in Newbury Park, to Foothill Drive near Fairview Road (near Hampshire Road in Westlake Village). A popular access point is at South Moorpark Road and Greenmeadow Avenue in Thousand Oaks.

Along with its many connecting trails (Triunfo Canyon Trail, Rosewood Trail, White Horse Canyon Trail, Los Padres Trail and more), it offers plenty of space for hikers, bikers and equestrians to share the open space.

If you're looking for a nice, easy, one mile trail hike with the kids, the Oak Creek Canyon Loop is a nice one to do. Or extend the Oak Creek Canyon Loop to an easy 3 mile hike to the Los Robles Nature Walk.

For some of the most spectacular views of the Conejo Valley, try hiking up to Angel Vista Peak in Newbury Park.

This nearly 2,000 acre ridgeline trail system with its many neighborhood feeder trails is located at the southern portion of the Conejo Open Space. The Los Robles Trail also traverses several open space areas including Los Padres, Los Vientos, Conejo Ridge. Hope Nature Preserve, Old Conejo, Deer Ridge, Rancho Potrero and Ventu Park.

One spectacular view of the western Conejo Valley from the Los Robles Trail.

To the west of Los Robles is Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa and Point Mugu State Park which creates a public backcountry of over 27,000 acres of open space that stretches to the Pacific Ocean at Sycamore Cove. This scenic region is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and provides panoramic views of Hidden Valley, the Conejo Valley and the Channel Islands.

Los Robles Trail trailhead and parking area on Potrero Road in Newbury Park

The Los Robles Trail has historical significance. On February 28, 1776, Juan Bautiste de Anza and his band of 198 settlers came through the Conejo Valley on their way from Mexico to San Francisco. Though the 101 freeway is the actual route, the National Park Service has designated the Los Robles Trail as the official recreational route so that everyone can enjoy the only national historical trail in the state of California.

Approximately 25 miles of trails provide a contiguous route from Westlake Village to Newbury Park with several shorter loops into narrow canyons and up steep ridges. The adjoining open space areas are managed by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), a joint powers authority created by the City of Thousand Oaks and the Conejo Recreation and Park District in 1977.

Unless you are an ant, this Los Robles Trail map is too small to read...click it for a full-size pdf map!

For more information about the Los Robles Trail, visit the Conejo Open Space Foundation website at www.cosf.org/website/html/los-robles.html.

Thursday
Apr032014

Ventura Flea Market - Ventura County Fairgrounds

The Ventura Flea Market is held near the ocean in Ventura and is a great place to shop. The event features antiques, used and new merchandise sold by over 500 vendors, more than 5,000 buyers visit the Market each time it is held.  The Ventura Flea Market is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. A special Early Bird admission is available from 6am to 9am at $10.00 per person. Regular admission starts at 9 a.m. at $5.00 per person, all children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  (Prices current as of April 2014) No pets are allowed.

Upcoming Dates as of 4/1/14

  • May 18,2014
  • June 29, 2014
  • September 28, 2014
  • November 23, 2014

Visit www.rgcshows.com/Ventura.aspx or call 323.560.SHOW (7469) for more information.


Monday
Mar312014

Toastmasters Clubs in Ventura County

Established in 1924, Toastmasters International is a world leader at helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience. The nonprofit has 292,000 members in 14,350 clubs around the world, offering a proven, fun way to practice and hone communication and leadership skills.

Most meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.  There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.

There are over 80 local Toastmasters clubs throughout Ventura County. They meet on different days of the week in various locations, in the morning, during the day or at night.

First step is to find a local club.  There is a search function at www.toastmasters.org that allows you to search for a club by zip code, by meeting day and by meeting time. 

Here is just a sampling of some of the 80+ local Toastmasters clubs in Ventura County and adjacent areas:

The list goes on. Contact us if you would like to post additional information about your club!

Thursday
Mar272014

Paint A Dream in Simi Valley

Paint A Dream is located at the Simi Valley Town Center. This is a large, nicely appointment ceramics/painting studio where you select a piece of pottery of the shelves, paint it and five days later pick up your beautiful, glazed work of art! Cost as of March 2014 is a $6 studio materials fee, plus the price of the pottery, which is worth not having to clean up the mess!  Great place for birthday parties, teambuilding, family nights, fundraising and more. Visit www.paintadream.com or call 805.520.9500 for more information.

Thursday
Mar132014

Stagecoach Inn Museum - Newbury Park

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is a replica of a Monterey style inn, the 1876 Grand Union Hotel. The complex also includes a Chumash Indian village, an early California adobe, a pioneer house and a few other buildings. There is a nice park adjoining the property along with nature trails and a stream that make this a nice place to bring the entire family.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is State Historical Landmark No. 659.  The original structure was destroyed by fire in April 1970 but has been rebuilt and relocated.  It was originally located at the corner of what is now Ventu Park Road and the 101 Freeway, where a historical marker has been placed.

The Stagecoach Inn is located at 51 South Ventu Park Road, Newbury Park.  Call 805.498.9441 or visit www.stagecoachmuseum.org for more information! The Conejo Valley Historical Society is also based out of this location.

Monday
Mar102014

Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa in Newbury Park

We are fortunate to have such great trails and views of Boney Peak from in Newbury Park. At Wendy and Potrero is the Western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains where Sycamore Canyon cuts through Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa and Point Mugu State Park.



Roughly a mile easy hike from Wendy/Potrero gets you to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center where you can explore some native Chumash items and educational information and chat with rangers. This is a nice little hike to take the kids on. There are restrooms and water at the center, which is open from 9 to 5 on weekends.

You can get easier access to the center by parking in the adjacent National Park Service parking lot via Lynn Road to the access road at Via Goleta in Newbury Park.

Another mile and a half of hiking gets you to a neat waterfall, which is fun to check out with the kids but somewhat more strenuous of a hike. (Do note that in recent years (2012-2014), the waterfall has barely flowed due to low rainfall.) Here is more information about the Boney Mountain Trail, leading up to Hidden Valley Overlook, the waterfall and Danielson Monument.

Click here for a pdf file describing these and other local trails or go to the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/samo.  Visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/rsvsatwiwa.htm for a map and site information on the National Park Service website.