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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!



Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula

The Museum of Ventura County's Agriculture Museum opened in Santa Paula on September 25, 2011. The realization of more than 40 years of effort and dedication by supporters, the Agriculture Museum is housed in the landmark restored Mill building, at 926 Railroad Avenue, beside the railroad tracks and across from the depot in Santa Paula. The Mill was built in 1888 as an agricultural warehouse, and later served as a feed and grain outlet and an antiques mall.

The Agriculture Museum is operated as a satellite of the Museum of Ventura County, located in Downtown Ventura. Museum members will have membership privileges at both facilities.

The 12,000 sq ft building is owned by the Ventura County Transportation Commission, which invested $1.86 million in renovations to bring it up to code. The Museum of Ventura County has a 99-year lease to occupy the building at $1 a year. The museum is financially responsible for tenant improvements and all operating and maintenance costs.

The Agriculture Museum focuses exclusively on the county’s agricultural heritage, telling the story of local farming and ranching from the Mission period to the present and beyond.

The heart of the Agriculture Museum’s collection is a remarkable assemblage of vintage farm equipment and tools amassed over the years by a group of longtime county residents, led by Oxnard farmer Bob Pfeiler. The collection includes tractors, blacksmith anvils, plows, grain drills, bean threshers, orchard wind machines and hand-operated nut hullers. In addition, the museum owns an impressive collection of clothing, periodicals, photographs and other unique artifacts. Containing nearly 1,000 items, the museum’s farm collection is one of the most extensive in the state and ranks as an important national collection. There's also a live indoor honeybee exhibit that is mesmerizing to watch for kids and adults alike!

The museum features both permanent and changing exhibits. Permanent exhibits focus on broad thematic areas relevant to agriculture, including history, geography, technology, water, labor, economics, and the mechanics of farming. The exhibits describe how Ventura County’s agricultural roots have shaped the region, describe the role agriculture continues to play in the economy, landscape and culture of the county, and examine the issues and forces that will shape the industry’s future.

General public admission to the Agriculture Museum (as of November 2014) is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and AAA members with ID, $1 children 6-17, and free for children under age 6. 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.


Museum of Ventura County in Downtown Ventura

The Museum of Ventura County is the most comprehensive resource for local history in the county.  There are exhibitions, galleries, and an extensive research library with over 140,000 books, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps and other historical materials.

The museum is open from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday.  General admission (as of November 2014) is $5 for adults $3 for seniors, students and AAA members (with ID), $1 for children ages 6 to 17. Kids 5 and under are free. Located at 100 E. Main Street, Ventura.

Free admission and family fun the 1st Sunday of each month.

For more information, visit or call 805.653.0323.


The 3,500 sq ft river-rock walled, state-of-the-art Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Event Pavilion is used for lectures, programs and a variety of Museum events. It can seat 200 for dinner, with the option to tent the front plaza for an additional 140 guests. Could be a great wedding venue!!


Camarillo Ranch House

The Camarillo Ranch House is a 3-story, 14 room, 6,000 square foot Victorian home built by Adolfo Camarillo in 1892.  Adolfo is the son of Juan Camarillo, who purchased the land in 1866.  Adolfo operated the ranch from the time of Juan's death in 1880 until 1948.  Adolfo's name proliferates in Camarillo and the local high school was named after him after he gave 50 acres of land for that use.

Camarillo Ranch HosueThe 4.5 acre ranch was given to the City of Camarillo by the Centex Company in 1997.  Today the property includes the house, a historic red barn and a stable.  In 2001, the City of Camarillo completed a $1.5 million restoration of the beautiful home to exhibit what it looked like during the 1914 to 1930 time frame. The Camarillo Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Docent-led tours of the house are currently (as of November 2014) offered on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last tour starts at 2 p.m.). Donation of $5 per visitor is requested.

The property is used for many special events and can be reserved for private events like weddings and receptions.  My family visited the Ranch House last December during the Christmas holidays and it was quite festive, both inside the house and outside in the nicely maintained grounds. 

The Camarillo Ranch House is located at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road.  Visit or call 805.389.8182 for more information.

Footage from the Camarillo Country Music Fest and Chili Cook Off Held at Camarillo Ranch on 9/6/09:

Morton Bay Fig TreeEast Garden Gazebo at Camarillo Ranch House


The Woolworth Museum in Downtown Oxnard

What is believed to be the only Woolworth Museum in the world is located in the Woolworth Building (circa 1950) at 210 West Fourth Street, Oxnard (4th and A Streets). This small, unique museum contains all sorts of nostalgia associated with the F. W. Woolworth Company, one of the original "five and dime" stores.

The Woolworth Building is an 16,800 square foot building completed in 1950 that was completely redeveloped in 2003. It is now occupied by office tenants and the Fresh and Fabulous Cafe.

Many of the old items in the museum exemplify what Woolworths used to sell. Other items relate directly to this building and the people who worked there, including two managers and a woman who worked here on the first day that the store opened in 1950. There are souvenirs from the Woolworth Building in New York, which was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1913

There is a collection of books related to the Woolworth stores. There are several items from old lunch counters, including dishes and menus, as well as some items that relate directly to the pivotal civil rights sit-in that took place at a Woolworth lunch counter in 1960.

Photos of various Woolworth stores from 1878 through the 1960s are seen throughout the building. There is a working antique dial pay-phone, a take-your-own photo booth from the 1940s and games and vending machines from the 1930s through the 1960s.


There is a vintage cash register, like those found in most stores in the 60's and 70's, displayed so visitors can push down "No Sale" so that the cash-drawer pops open with the familiar ch-ching, bell ringing and all, and the wooden drawer can be examined and closed.

Also seen is a 1959 Cavalier 96 Coke machine, which dispenses ice cold vintage coke a nice quite as vintage price of $1.25.

So stop by sometime! Just walk in. No attendants and no entrance fees.  Enjoy! And have lunch while you're at it!  The museum is typically open from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday.

For more information and pictures, visit

More throwback items in the men's room at the Woolworth Building. The have Boraxo soap in there too!


Conejo Valley Art Museum

Founded in 1978, the Conejo Valley Art Museum is a non-profit organization that supports local arts in the Conejo Valley. Over the years it has resided in several locations in Thousand Oaks while the Museum's Board of Trustees work towards obtaining additional funds to acquire a permanent home.

Since 2011, Janss Marketplace has generously offered up a space across from Gold's Gym. Here, CVAM presents quality exhibits of contemporary, ethnic and historical origin, as well as changing exhibits. There is also a gift shop that stocks folk art from around the world, jewelry, art objects, cards and books, as well as a small  reference library. Admission is free. The Museum is currently open Wed-Sun from noon to 5pm.

The CVAM's primary annual fundraiser is its annual ArtWalk in Thousand Oaks that takes place on the first weekend of June. ArtWalk is a two-day juried fine art and designer craft show.

For more information about CVAM, visit

Brief tour of space at the Janss Marketplace as of mid-July 2012 is shown below.


Old Mission Santa Barbara

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.

More than 200 years later, 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.

Self-guided tours are available through the main entrance. Tour tickets may be purchased in the main entry, and each visitor will be provided with a museum guide available in 8 different languages. The Mission is open daily from 9am to 4:30pm in the summer (4:15pm other months of the year). Tour admission (as of November 2014) is $7 for adults (ages 16-64), $5 for seniors 65+, $2 youth 5-15 and free to 4 and under. Parking is free.

Points of interest within the Museum and garden tour include a Sacred Garden, Video Room (watch a 18 minute video), Cemetery (1789 to present; contains burial sites of early Santa Barbara settlers and Native Americans), Church, Museum (originally used as living quarters for missionaries and their guests), The Serra Shop (souvenirs and gifts), Fountain (built in 1808) and Aqueduct (ruins of the Mission's early water system visible next to cemetery outside walls).

The Mission Museum also offers docent guided tours Thursday and Friday at 11:00am and Saturday at 10:30am. Admission is $9 for ages 16-64, $7 age 65+ and $4 youth 5 to 15. Children age 4 and under free. Roughly an hour in duration.

Visit for more information or call 805.682.4713. It is located at 2201 Laguna Street, just around the corner from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which we LOVE to visit.



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. (or dark, whichever comes first). Parking is available for $4.

Visit the City of Malibu website at for more information, trail maps and more or call 310.457.7247.

To get there from the Conejo Valley, take the 23 (Westlake Boulevard/Decker Canyon Road) toward the ocean and turn left on Lechusa Road. Continue on Encinal Canyon Road and look for the sign on the right.

Photos below courtesy of Suzy Demeter Photography.


Triunfo Creek Park in Westlake Village

Owned and maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, 600-acre Triunfo Creek Park in Westlake Village/Agoura provides deep oak woodland, native grasslands and blankets of wildflowers in the springtime. The main feature of the park, the Pentachaeta Trail, is named after the Pentachaeta lyonii, a federally-listed endangered flower found in the park. The yellow, daisy-like flower is found only in Southern California, and blooms between April and June.

An informational kiosk at the trailhead interprets the Pentachaeta lyonii, as well as other unusual wildflowers found on the site such as the Chocolate Lily, and the White Globe Lily. The site also provides access to hiking trails on the Westlake Vista parcel, also owned and managed by the Conservancy.

Pentachaetta Trail to the east. Westlake Vista Trail towards the Las Virgenes Reservoir on the west.

Views from Westlake Vista Trail towards, well, but of course, Westlake VillageLas Virgenes Reservoir in close proximity to Westlake Vista Trail (but surrounded by a fence, so don't get your hopes up!)

Directions: The main trailhead with kiosk is on Triunfo Canyon Road east of the southern terminus of Lindero Canyon Road. There are a small number of off-pavement parking spots there. The other end of the trail is at the west end of Triunfo Canyon Road about 1.5 miles west of Kanan Road. I've hiked this with my boys at ages 7 and 9 and they did fine. A little whiny on the time I'll bring snacks.

Directions: From the 101 Freeway in Westlake Village exit Lindero Canyon Road. Take Lindero south to Triunfo Canyon Road. Turn left. The trailhead is located opposite Oak Forest Mobile Home.

Visit for more information.

Map courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Demolished car sitting near Westlake Vista Trail.


CSU Channel Islands University Park in Camarillo

CSU Channel Islands University Park is a 367 acre parcel located adjacent to CSU Channel Islands off of S. Lewis Road in Camarillo. It is a regional educational and recreation area owned and operated by California State University Channel Islands.

The park is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. Do note that there are no facilities at this park, like restrooms and drinking fountains. You can walk, hike, run, bike, etc. and perhaps come across some wildlife.

Disbanded dairy farm in the distance at CSU Channel Islands ParkOne item of historical interest at the park is the "Scary Dairy," a dairy farm located on the parcel that closed in the 1960s and and was disbanded and subsquently vandalized and graffittied upon over the decades.

"Scary Dairy"From Camarillo, take Lewis Road south to Camarillo Street and turn left (east).  Cross the bridge over Calleguas Creek and the entrance is on the left. Parking is $6 per vehicle (as of November 2014). Visit for more information.

Bring cash to pay for parking at entrance ($6 as of Nov 2014)


Mullin Automotive Museum

Opened in Spring 2010 and located at 1421 Emerson Avenue in Oxnard, the Mullin Automotive Museum is a 47,000 square foot facility with a collection of over 50 French Art Deco cars from the 1930s and 1940s, including Bugattis, Delages, Delahayes, Hispano Suizas, Talbot-Lagos and Voisins. Peter W. Mullin is the founder/owner of the Museum and the collection.

The Museum is open to the public generally only 1-2 days per month. Click here for more RSVP information. Visit or call 805.385.5400 to learn more and to purchase tickets. As of July 2014, admission is $15 for adults, $10 for 65+, $8 for ages 3 through 11 and free for 2 and under. Active Military FREE with ID. Private visits also available for $40 per person.

Upcoming 2014 dates (as of 11/6/14) are as follow (you must buy tickets in advance to reserve a spot):

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sat, Jan 10, 2015

Sat, Jan 24, 2015

Sat, Feb 14, 2015

Sat, Feb 28, 2015

Sat, Mar 14, 2015

Sat, Mar 28, 2015

This museum and its contents are STUNNING to say the least!! More photos at THIS LINK.



Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad in Simi Valley

Visit a fully restored Southern Pacific Railroad depot that was built in 1903 with both freight and passenger trains rushing by at the Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad. The depot served passengers and farmers in Simi Valley for over 60 years, with a classic passenger waiting room featuring a pot-belly stove, the depot was also headquarters for local freight shipments.

The depot is a museum filled with hundreds of items having both railroad and local historical significance. The depot is owned and managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, which took it over from the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1973. The depot was moved to its current location and after 10 years of neglect was restored to its current state by 1996. The depot was restored to what it looked like in 1938.

Also at the depot is the Santa Susana Model Railroad Club’s large operating HO scale model railroad. Located inside the depot's freight room, the layout of the railroad portrays Simi Valley during the mid 1950s. Trains run each weekend, with Sundays being the best day to see several trains operating simultaneously.

The depot is located on the grounds of Simi Valley’s beautiful Oak Knolls Park. For you rail fans, the depot is adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad’s busy “Coast Line,” which is also utilized by both Amtrak and Metrolink passenger trains. You will standing in close proximity to passing trains, so get ready to wave!

The depot is located at 6503 Katherine Road in Simi Valley.  For more information and a map to the depot/parking, visit or call 805.581.3462.  The Depot is opened Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm to 4pm.


Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park in Moorpark

Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park is a 3,000 acre wilderness area with 12 1/2 miles of trails in Moorpark maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. I've hiked back here from time to time and rarely see anyone in these quiet canyons!

There are a couple entry points to Happy Camp Canyon. The one shown above is adjacent to Rustic Canyon Golf Course, 15100 Happy Camp Canyon Road, Moorpark. The other, main entry point shown below is at 14105 Broadway Avenue, Moorpark. Park here and hike to the canyon entrance point.

If you're looking for relatively flat trails well suited for comfortable hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, Happy Camp Canyon is a good choice.

You can take the main Happy Camp Canyon Fire Road for quite a ways and either head back the way you came or take the more strenuous Middle Range Fire Road back and catch some great view up there. I veered north up a steep maintenance road to some power lines to catch some nice views below.

Or try the 8 mile, strenuous, South Ridge Loop (via the Middle Ridge Fire Road).  Begin at the canyon gate; about 100 yards beyond, turn right and follow a dirt road up to the ridge top. Continue east along the Big Mountain Ridge to a junction, enjoying views on your right of Moorpark, Simi Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains, and all the way to Channel Islands. At the junction, turn north and drop down into Happy Camp Canyon. When you reach an old corral (and picnic area), turn west and walk back to the entrance gate on Happy Camp Canyon Fire Road (in the canyon bottom), approximately four miles. 

There is no cost for parking here. For more information, visit and for a park map, click

NOTE: Because of sensitive habitat, no dogs are allowed past entrance gate.


Hillcrest Open Space Preserve in Thousand Oaks

The Hillcrest Open Space Preserve is an area bound on the south by Hillcrest Drive, on the east by Westlake Boulevard and on the west by La Granada Drive. I don't know the exact boundary on the north side. Years ago I ran the trails from time to time back there but it had been some time, so I took the kids over to the White Sage Trail trailhead off of Hillcrest Drive, just west of Blue Mesa Street, about half a mile west of Westlake Boulevard.

There is zippo parking to be found on that stretch of Hillcrest Drive and the nearest crosswalks from the other side of Hillcrest Drive, where you can find parking on residential streets, is at Westlake Boulevard (1/2 mile east) and Duesenberg Drive (1/3 mile west). I've parked on Blue Mesa Street and run across Hillcrest but would not recommend that as the cars speed along on that busy boulevard.

In any case, this is a fun little excursion, particularly if you enjoy a steep hill to climb and beautiful panoramic views of the area.

The hill looks a bit intimidating but the grade actually, in my humble estimation, ain't that bad.

You can also continue on to the top of the hill and do a loop of roughly 3 miles or so. 

On the way back down, we were treated to some mighty beautiful pre-rain sunset views.

Another access point to the Hillcrest Open Space is the southeast endpoint of La Granada Drive (at Crown View Ct), east of Erbes Road in Thousand Oaks.  This 4 1/2 mile, hilly loop is a great way to view the local scenery, from the Conejo Grade to the Civic Arts Plaza and most everything else. More on the Hillcrest Open Space Loop trail on the COSF website.

Trailhead access point at the end of La Granada Drive


Make Meaning in Thousand Oaks

Make Meaning opened at The Oaks Shopping Mall in February 2013. Located in the outdoor shops area of the mall, upper level, south side, first store outside of the mall, Make Meaning offers seven creative experiences to both kids and adults, including customized soap, candles, paper, ceramics, glass, jewelry and cake decorating. Walk in and start creating something unique. No admission or membership fees. Speciality classes and events are also available.

This is quite a large store, open, light and airy, with an upbeat atmosphere. How do I know? Because we checked it out! My son painted a piggy bank he hand-selected and at the table next to us I admired a pretty neat looking customized candle and cake. Everyone was happy in there!

The staff are called Associate Creativity Enthusiasts (ACE's), there to help you through the process. And that they were. I was able to just walk in and they kind of took over with my son while enjoyed watching him in his creative efforts. And they took care of the prep and the mess.

For more information, visit or call 805.582.1107.

My son's froggy piggy bank masterpiece in it final stages. Make Meaning glazes it and fires it, then you pick it up in 4 days.






Neat selection of supplies to individualize your cake!

Or customize your own soap. Quite a unique concept and very well done.


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), awesome opportunities abound for hikers, bikers and equestrians to enjoy the open space.

If you're looking for an 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.

A rugged, single track trail popular with mountain bikers and hikers is the Los Robles Trail West that goes up "Space Mountain" in Thousand Oaks. And Los Robles Trail East is another nice hike accessible from several points.

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.

Additional Los Robles Trail trailhead points west of the Rosewood Trail trailhead to Angel Vista Peak include Felton Street, east of Lynn Rd in Newbury Park (end of cul de sac) and Potrero Road, about 1/4 mile east of S Wendy Drive in Newbury Park (parking lot available).

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 it for a full-size pdf map!

For more information about the Los Robles Trail, visit the Conejo Open Space Foundation website at