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Monday
Feb162015

Oxnard Beach Park

The Oxnard Beach Park is located on South Harbor Boulevard, South of Wooley Road and next to the Mandalay Suites Hotel in Oxnard.  The park has an awesome, large pirate-themed play area. There is a larger structure for 5 to 12 year olds and a smaller one for younger kids.

This park is just a short walk to the beach, where you and the kids can spend time digging holes, building sand castles and running from the waves.

The park has a large grassy area, restrooms, BBQ grills, bike paths, etc.  It does cost money to park here. Last time I was there it was $1 per hour.

For more information, contact the Oxnard Recreation & Community Services Department at www.oxnardrec.org/17/3/960.

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

Ojai Skate Park

The Ojai Skate Park is located at 414 E. Ojai Avenue.  The facility is free and hours vary.  Visit www.ojaiskatepark.com or call 805.646.1872 (Ojai Recreation Department) for more information.  The City also offers skateboard classes at the skate park.

Interesting sculpture in front of Ojai Skate Park

Tuesday
Jan272015

Parks In and Around Ventura County

There's dozens of local area parks highlighted at www.conejovalleyguide.com/kids-activities-blog/category/parks that have play areas for the kids.

The Do Something section of the site has even more parks compiled at www.conejovalleyguide.com/dosomethingblog/tag/parks. All told we have well over 300 parks to park ourselves in and around Ventura County and adjacent areas.

So grab that leash and see you at the park!

Monday
Jan262015

Twinkle Toes Dance Academy in Camarillo

Twinkle Toes School of Dance is located at 801 Avenida Acaso in Camarillo. Classes for little ones (boys and girls) includes ballet, lyrical, jazz, and hip-hop. Visit www.twinkletoesdance.net or call 805.910.5873 for more information.

Sunday
Jan252015

Seaside Steamer Train Rides For Kids at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard

The Seaside Steamer at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard offers trackless trains rides around The Collection for $3 per rider. The train is open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sundays. Boarding is on Park View Court, adjacent to Toby Keith's.

thecollectionrp.com/connect/news/detail/104/seaside-steamer-offers-train-rides-for-kids-of-all-ages

Sunday
Jan252015

Real So Cal Soccer Club - Conejo Valley, SF Valley

Real So Cal Soccer Club is a high level competitive club based in the San Fernando and Conejo Valley areas.  Real So Cal is one of the most successful and highly respected youth soccer organizations in the United States The program supports over 800 competitive players on 50 teams from ages 8 to 18 boys and girls, as well as a 3,000 player recreational league.

Players can begin in a recreational program at age four and continue developing as a player with through the age of 18. Real So Cal is a member of the California Youth Soccer Association - South. For more information visit www.realsocal.org.

Sunday
Jan252015

Kids' Adventure Garden in Thousand Oaks

The Kids' Adventure Garden (KAG) at the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The KAG provides an exciting place for children to learn about nature and gardening.  The garden features a tree house, zoo garden, hydroponic pod and much more.  Free.  Enter at 350 W. Gainsborough Rd. at Jeanine Drive between Lynn Road and Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks.

We've been to the KAG numerous times when the kids were younger; they loved running around the place and exploring around the nearby trails and stream.  Not to mention, the kid-friendly Conejo Community Park is nearby.

The KAG is only open on Sundays, 11 am to 3 pm.  Visit www.conejogarden.org/KidsGarden for more information and pictures.

KAG is also available for birthday parties on Saturdays for a donation.  Call 818.889.0560 for more information.

Friday
Jan232015

Brandon's Buddies Free Kids Club in Calabasas

Brandon's Buddies is a FREE KIDS CLUB that meets every month at Brandon's Village at Gates Canyon Park located at 25801 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Calabasas. This playground is the first fully-accessible playground in the region. The day may include Integrated Play, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts, Entertainment and Treats.  Please feel free to bring a sack lunch.

All children with and without disabilities and their families who want to spend a great day playing in the sunshine and making friends are invited to participate!

Brandon's Buddies gives children with disabilities the opportunity to play with their typically-able peers, while giving their parents a chance to share experiences and advice with other parents/caregivers.  It gives children without disabilities the chance to get to know their peers and gain greater awareness and compassion.

For more information, visit The K.E.N. Project website at www.kenproject.com or call 818.222.8118.  Or visit the KEN Project calendar at www.kenproject.com/calendarofactivities.html

Note from Conejo Joe: The group meets USUALLY (some exceptions) the first Saturday of each month from 11 am to 1 pm. But make sure to check in advance.  Or just show up.  The park is awesome!

Upcoming dates (as of 1/23/15):  2/7, 3/7, 4/11, 5/2, 6/6, 7/11, 8/1, 9/12, 10/3, 11/7, 12/5

Friday
Jan232015

YMCA of Southeast Ventura County - 4 Locations

YMCA of Southeast Ventura County serves the areas of Agoura, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. General information at www.triunfoymca.org or call 805.497.3081 x104.

Conejo Valley YMCA is located at 4031 North Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks (805.523.7613). Open 7 days a week. Facility has a 25-yard indoor heated pool) activity room, fitness center, gym, outdoor multi-sport court, frisbee golf/horseshoes, hiking and biking trail, babysitting, swim lessons, etc. www.triunfoymca.org/conejo

Triunfo YMCA is located at 31225 La Baya Drive, Suite 106, Westlake Village (818.707.9622). Closed on weekends. Facility has aquatics, fitness center, classes, camps, child care and various sports. www.triunfoymca.org/Triunfo

Simi Valley YMCA is at 3200 Cochran Street (805.583.5338). Open 7 days a week. 25 yard swimming pool, fitness center, indoor cycling, child care, camps, classes, sports, etc. www.triunfoymca.org/SimiValley

Miller Family YMCA is located at 320 Via Las Brisas, Newbury Park (Dos Vientos). Open 7 days a week. 25 yard indoor swimming pool, fitness center, indoor cycling, sports, youth flag football league, youth soccer program from March-May for kids ages 3-8 years old. child care, etc. www.triunfoymca.org/miller

Monday
Jan192015

Over 4 Dozen Community Parks in the Conejo Valley

The Conejo Recreation and Park District maintains over 4 dozen parks in the Conejo Valley. These parks contain over 20 tennis courts, close to 30 basketball courts, dozens of softball/soccer fields, nearly 150 swing sets, around 100 slides, dozens and dozens of play structures and jungle gym equipment and countless other fun things for the kids.

Some observations below based on personal experiences:

Pepper Tree Playfields has multiple playing fields for soccer, baseball, etc. and is a popular spot for local team sports.  The park has four individual restrooms and is nicely maintained, with a decent sized play area and smaller kids' play area that was updated in 2008. There's also a .8 mile fitness trail course that runs around the perimeter of the park.

Conejo Creek Park - North in Thousand Oaks behind the Thousand Oaks Library is easily my kids' favorite park.  It is large, has nicely appointed play areas, plenty of restrooms and parking and a large duck pond with a 720 foot creek joining them.  This park is officially known as "The Ducky Park" in our household.  The playground also has a NEOS, an interactive, electronic game with flashing lights, music and sound effects.

If you are a duck fan, Conejo Creek Park - North will not disappoint you. There are more Ducks per square foot here than the Anaheim Ducks locker room!

Borchard Community Park in Newbury Park (Reino Road and Borchard Road) is another large park with multiple playing fields, restrooms, separate play areas for older and younger kids that are quite interesting and newly updated with a farm motif in Fall 2014, tennis courts and a community center where hundreds and hundreds of CRPD classes are held each year.  This is truly a community park with a large diversity of activities taking place year-round.

Dos Vientos Community Park in Newbury Park (4801 Borchard Road) is also a large park that has multiple restrooms, numerous playing fields, separate play areas for large and small kids, a large, covered picnic table and BBQ area, lots of parking and is another active community hub with hundreds of CRPD classes taking place each year.

Thousand Oaks Community Park (2525 N. Moorpark Road) is a large park that holds numerous annual CRPD events (such as the extremely popular "Touch-a-Truck" event near Father's Day, Halloween events, etc.) and hundreds of CRPD community classes.  Nice playground there too, including the popular "Ant Hill."  This is where the Thousand Oaks Community Center is located - a hub for CRPD activities and programs.

Conejo Creek South Playfields at 1300 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks is primarily used for team/league sports, both day and night.  However, other events often take place there, such as Conejo Valley Days, Circus Vargas and various CRPD community events like an annual Easter egg hunt. Although there are no playground areas here, the Conejo Creek Bike Path runs through this park to the Thousand Oaks Library, making it a perfect place to take your young ones who are learning how to ride a bike!

Conejo Community Park at Dover and Hendrix in Thousand Oaks is a nicely sized park that is well known for the extremely popular CRPD free summer concert series.  In November 2008, anew play area was completed between the community center and the Botanic Garden that includes a rock and rope climbing area and a skateboard "simulator" for 5 to 12 year olds, along with a separate play area for the younger set.  There's also a creek that runs through the park and the Kids' Adventure Garden adjacent to the park open on Sundays only is a great activity for your younger set.

Rancho Conejo Playfields on North Ventu Park Road in Newbury Park has a large expanse of grass for soccer games and a baseball diamond.  There is a fun kids area there and restrooms are present.  A fun place for the kids to run around.  Not a lot of fully grown trees at this park.

Old Meadows Park at 1600 Marview Drive in Thousand Oaks is hidden away off of Erbes Road in Thousand Oaks and is where the CRPD Therapeutic Recreation Unit is located.  Kind of a quiet, low key, fairly undeveloped park that is geared towards the local neighborhood and younger children. The park features a “SenseAbility Playground” geared towards children with special needs with a sensory interactive play area stimulating senses and abilities. But all kids are welcome!

Banyan Park at 3571 Erinlea Ave in Newbury Park is a small neighborhood park with restrooms, small covered picnic area and a small kids playground area.

Lang Ranch Community Park at 3287 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks has a large open space for baseball, soccer, etc., a nice playground, a basketball court, etc.  Right across the street from the Chumash Indian Museum and Oakbrook Regional Park.  Plenty of parking on the street and restrooms are available.

Newbury Gateway Park at 2250 Michael Drive in Newbury Park is a small neighborhood park with no restrooms and a play area.  There really isn't any parking other than across the street at the shopping center.

Spring Meadow Park at 3282 Spring Meadow in Thousand Oaks is close to Cal Lutheran University and is a smaller neighborhood park with limited facilities.

Stagecoach Inn Park at 51 S. Ventu Park Road in Newbury Park is a relatively small park with no restrooms and a small kids play area. There is one basketball court.  It is adjacent to the Stagecoach Inn Museum and parking is fairly limited.

Waverly Park at 1300 Avenida de las Flores in Thousand Oaks is a fairly small, older park geared towards local residents.  If you like to run, this park is popular for the local cross country crowd.

Wildflower Playfield at Avenida de los Arboles at Canna Street, west of Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks  has 19 acres, tons of grassy area for soccer and baseball, a nice playground area, 4 tennis courts, a basketball court, restrooms and more. Some unique looking playground equipment at Wildflower (see below).

The 26 acre Del Prado Playfield in the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park opened in January 2013, with a cool new playground, tennis and pickleball courts, restrooms, plenty of parking, playfields and nearby hiking. Click the link for more information.

Monday
Jan192015

Build-a-Bear Workshop - The Oaks Mall

Build-a-Bear Workshop, located on the 2nd floor of The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, offers your little ones the ability to customize their own stuffed critters in a very experiential setting.

We've been to several birthday parties at Build-a-Bear (including our own son's 5th birthday party) and the process they take the kids through is enjoyed by all.

Birthday party fun back in the 2008 time frame

Kids get to choose the bear or other furry creature, add a "sound" or "voice," stuff it, choose a heart, stitch, fluff, name it, receive a birth certificate, dress it and transport the newborn home in a cute cardboard condo. And of course accessorizing the new family member requires follow-up visits. 

This is the only Build-a-Bear Workshop in Ventura County and it was completely remodeled in 2013.

For more information, visit www.buildabear.com or call 805.449.8704.  The store is open 7 days per week; 10am to 9pm, Mon-Sat, 11am to 6pm Sun.

Monday
Jan192015

Delano Athletica Junior Gymnastics in Ventura

Delano Athletica is a junior gymnastics program for kids ages 3+. Classes are tailored to build confidence and coordination in young people. Weekly 1-hour lessons are held at 4476 Dupont Court, Ste. B, Ventura.  First class is FREE! Recreational gymnastics and movement classes also offered for children with special needs. Call 805/889-8031 or visit www.delanoathletica.com.

Tuesday
Jan132015

Bob Kildee Community Park in Camarillo

Bob Kildee Community Park is located at 1030 Temple Avenue (at Ponderosa) in Camarillo. This 13 acre parkhas newer play equipment and restrooms, 6 lighted tennis courts, handball courts, horseshoe pits, soccer fields, picnic shelters and BBQ pits, 3 lighted baseball features, the Pleasant Valley Skate Park, and Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center. More information at www.pvrpd.org/parks/active/kildee.asp.

The park is named after the Pleasant Valley Recreation & Park District's first Chairman of the Board from 1962-1966 and again in 1968.

As you can see from the photos below, the play area has some pretty cool and unique equipment!

Tuesday
Jan132015

Pleasant Valley Skate Park in Camarillo

 

Pleasant Valley Park at 1030 Temple Avenue (at the corner of Temple and Ponderosa) opened in 1998 when it became the first special district in the State of California to open a skate park. It quickly became one of the most heavily used recreational facilities in the district.

The Pleasant Valley Skate Park is a 12,000+ sq ft concrete park that features beginner, intermediate, and more advanced areas for skaters.

Hours of operation vary by day and time of year and are split each day between skating and biking. Check www.pvrpd.org/recreation/skatepark/park_schedule_n_hours.asp for details.

You must have a pass to enter the park, which is currently only $20 per year or $5 per session. Annual passes can be purchased at the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 E. Burnley Street. Helmets are required. Only skateboards, in-line skates and BMX style bikes are allowed.  Visit www.pvrpd.org/recreation/skatepark or call 805.482.1996 for more information.

Tuesday
Jan132015

Camarillo Girls Fastpitch Softball League

The Camarillo Girls Fastpitch Softball league has been around since 1984.  For girls ages 4 to 16.  Teams play in the spring at locations throughout Camarillo.  More information at www.camarillogirlssasoftball.com.

Tuesday
Jan132015

Camarillo Pony Baseball Association

Camarillo Pony Baseball Assocation offers two scheduled games per week for each team (except the Shetland league, which only plays one game per week), and operates six days a week. 

Team selection and field preparation is done in early February with practices beginning the end of the month. The season begins in early March, with over 80 teams playing two scheduled games a week, Monday through Saturday until early May. The next two weeks mark the beginning of our double-elimination post-season tournament, which continues until the Memorial Day weekend when no games are scheduled. All teams in the competitive leagues (Mustang and up) participate with a chance to become tournament champions. The All-Star teams begin their practices following the Memorial Day weekend and are entered in the appropriate tournaments, either in town or traveling. Ages 5 through 19.

More information at www.cpba.org or call 805.388.0829.

Sunday
Jan112015

New West Symphony VIP Family Club

The New West Symphony VIP Family Club is a special concert experience for children ages 7 to 13 and their families. The program is designed for children and their parents or guardian wishing to learn more about a symphonic orchestra and the joys of classical music.

Membership in the program offers tickets to Masterpiece Series concerts at substantial savings, special intermission programs including back-stage tours, an opportunity to meet guest artists, Symphony musicians and more and specially prepared materials to enhance your children's experience.

Tickets for each concert are $14/child and $24/adult (as of January 2015; subject to change) when accompanied by a child.  Two adults per family. Visit www.newwestsymphony.org/VIPClub.php or call 805.558.4412 for more information.

Saturday
Jan102015

The Clubhouse Fun Zone in Ventura

The Clubhouse Fun Zone, located at 4535 McGrath Street, Unit B in Ventura, opened in October 2008. This indoor play facility appeals to both adults and children in that in addition to all of the play equipment, it offers three computer stations with free internet access, free WiFi, Sirius satellite radio, couches, chairs and a variety of reading material.

For the kids, there is a tri-level clubhouse themed modular climbing structure featuring two large slides, a zig-zag step climb, teeter tunnel, snake pit and ball pit, a large collection of Children’s Factory soft play activity components, an inflatable bouncer, Little Tikes play structures that create an imaginary town (including a café and gas station, school bus, fire truck, etc.), ride-on vehicles, train table, air hockey table and popular ride-on roller coasters. Recommended for kids 6 and under but all ages welcome.

The Clubhouse also offers a range of drinks and snacks that includes self-service gourmet coffee and tea as well as birthday party packages. The facility is open to the public Monday through Friday and weekends for private parties.

Admission $8 per kid as of January 2015. Sibling and military discounts available. Open 10am to 4pm Mon-Fri (available for private parties on weekends). For more information, visit www.theclubhousefunzone.com or call 805.639.0414.

 

Friday
Jan092015

Gates Canyon Park / Brandon's Village - Calabasas

Brandon's VillageThe 7 acre Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas includes picnic areas with barbeques, fitness course, children's play area, basketball court, tennis courts and plenty of open grass area.  The park is north of the 101 freeway and east of Las Virgenes.

Designed by Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization that designs and builds universally accessible playgrounds, and opened in October 2006, Brandon’s Village features playground equipment that is over 70% independently playable for children with disabilities and also provides meaningful and stimulating play opportunities for able-bodied children.

Gates Canyon Park / Brandon's Village is located at 25801 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Calabasas. Call 818.880.6461 or visit www.cityofcalabasas.com/vtour/parks-recreation/gates-canyon.html for more information.

There is a huge play area for 5 to 12 year olds with many unique features not seen in other parks, such as a unique roller-driven slide and a large "swaying" ship. There is also a separate play area for younger children. The video below doesn't quite do the place justice but will give you some feel for how cool Brandon's Village is.  This is a "must visit" place in my opinion if you live in the area with kids!

Thursday
Jan082015

Ventura County Library System

The Ventura County Library system contains books, magazines, CDs, eBooks, audio books and more. A list of locations in the system is below. Visit the library website at www.vencolibrary.org for an online catalog and much more information.

The VC Library system also has a collection of eBooks and Audio Books that are available for use on your computer, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Android and other devices. There are thousands of eBooks and Audio Books in the online collection covering fiction, nonfiction and children/teen books.

To check out books at the libraries and obtain materials online, you'll need to obtain a library card at any of the libraries in the Ventura County Library system. The initial card is free.

Libaries in the system are as follows (additional details at www.vencolibrary.org/locations).

Avenue Library, 606 North Ventura Avenue, Ventura (805.643.6393)

Fillmore Library, 502 Second Street, Fillmore (805.524.3355)

E.P Foster Library, 651 East Main Street, Ventura (805.648.2716)

Museum of Ventura County Historical Research Library (805.653.0323)

Meiners Oaks Library, 114 North Padre Juan, Ojai (805.646.4804)

Oak Park Library, 899 North Kanan Road, Oak Park (818.889.2239)

Oak View Library, 555 Mahoney Avenue, Oak View (805.649.1523)

Ojai Library, 111 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai (805.646.1639)

Piru Library, 3811 Center Street, Piru (805.521.1753)

Ray D. Prueter Library, 510 Park Avenue, Port Hueneme (805.486.5460)

Saticoy Library, 11426 Violeta Street, Ventura (805.647.5736)

Albert H. Soliz Library (El Rio), 2820 Jourdan Street, Oxnard (805.485.4515)

Although the VC Library System does not prefer this, you can check out books from one library in the system and return them to another one. 

Local libraries in Ventura County and nearby areas run by local municipalities and thus not part of the Ventura County Library System. You check out books at these other libraries but will need separate library cards at them.

Simi Valley Library

Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park Libraries

Moorpark City Library

Camarillo Public Library

Agoura Hills Library and Westlake Village Library (members of Los Angeles County Library System)