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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)

Wednesday
Dec312014

Platinum Sports Center in Simi Valley

The 30,000 sq ft Platinum Sports Center facility at 160 W. Cochran Street in Simi Valley is a one stop location with elite level gymnastics equipment, indoor urban freerunning course, trampoline park, sports training and more. The facility also has a state of the art audio/visual system, pro shop, snack bar, viewing areas and free Wi-Fi. There's also Platinum Dance, Platinum Mixed Martial Arts, Platinum Urban and Platinum Fitness classes.

For more information, visit www.platinumsportscenterus.com or call 805.527.6662.

More details:

Open gym is a supervised, non-structured, open play time that includes use of Platinum’s X-Zone (Trampoline Park and Urban Park). Participants also have use of Platinum's multi-dimensional gymnastics training facility, which includes spring floors, tumble tracks, foam pits and more. Participants may choose the gymnastics training facility without use of the X-Zone. Pricing varies. Visit platinumsportscenterus.com/x-zoneopen-gym for details.

Current (Dec 2014) hours for X-Zone/Open Gym are Fridays 8-10PM (ages 7+) and Saturdays 6-8PM (ages 4-12) and 8-10PM (7+).

Trampoline Park open hours as of Dec 2014 are 3:30-8PM Mon-Thurs, 2:30-7PM Fri, 9:30-11:30AM and 1-5PM Sat and noon to 4PM Sun.

The facility also has a rock climbing wall that is available for private events.

Wednesday
Dec312014

Calabasas Academy of Dance

Calabasas Academy of Dance offers classes in ballet, pointe, tap , jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, break dancing and musical theater dance. The training is geared towards both aspiring professionals and students who may choose another career path. Faculty consists of highly trained individuals who have danced professionally in ballet companies, Broadway shows, and TV & film. Located at 4505 Las Virgenes Road, Suite 102, Calabasas. Visit calabasasacademyofdance.com or call 818.880.8152 for more information.

Monday
Dec292014

Rock City Studios in Camarillo

Located at 2258 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo, Rock City Studios is a facility that offers private lessons, rehearsal studio, recording studio, drum lab and a stage for performances.  Rock City is managed by music professionals who have spent their careers in the recording industry.  They have professional recording equipment on hand there.  I've been to the facility and they have their act together!  For more information, visit www.rockcitystudios.org or call 805.383.3555.

Saturday
Dec272014

Santa Susana Park in Simi Valley

Santa Susana Park is a quiet park adjacent to the Santa Susana Railroad Depot in Simi Valley. There is a large play area, grassy picnic areas as well as a covered picnic area, restrooms and more. But of particular interest to my kid are the large sandstone rock formations they climbed into and onto. The park is located at 6503 Katherine Road, off of Kuehner. More information at www.rsrpd.org/park/santasusanapark/santasusanapark.html.

Monday
Dec012014

O'Ryan DelToro Balloon Artist for Hire

OK, this is not exactly an everyday "thing to do" for the kids, but we were so wowed by the work of O'Ryan DelToro, Balloon Artist at a recurring event in Thousand Oaks that I had to add this to this comprehensive list of Kids' Activities and Birthday Party Ideas around Ventura County.

In short, O'Ryan, who has honed his craft over the last 13+ years, is the most amazing balloon artist that my kids and I have ever seen. O'Ryan is no ordinary balloon artist. You ask him to make a monkey, and he's gonna use a dozen balloons to make that monkey...or a moose, Spiderman, Justin Bieber...whatever you want, he'll make it. 

Call O'Ryan at (818) 678-9486 or email him at balloonartist@live.com to hire him for your next birthday, wedding or office party. You will not be disappointed. Your kids' jaws will drop in amazement! Learn more at www.losangelesballoonartist.com.

Friday
Nov212014

Thousand Oaks Girls Softball Association

Thousand Oaks Girls Softball Association (TOGSA) is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA). TOGSA provides organized, recreational softball programs to over 200 girls ages 5 to 14 each year.

Registration starts in November for league play starting in the spring of each year. Visit www.togsa.org for more information.

Saturday
Nov082014

Gamez on Wheelz Mobile Gaming

We bring a Mobile Video Game Theater to YOUR location! 

The Gamez On Wheelz Game Truck is packed with the latest video games and most exciting gaming environment right to your door to make your party or event a winner every time! Play the most popular games with your family, friends or co-workers in climate-controlled comfort. 

Our game truck is packed with state-of-the-art electronics, a killer lighting and sound system and multiple flat-screen HDTV’s that virtually immerse you in the ultimate gaming experience. The Rock Band stage is equipped with guard rails, lights and fog machine so you can jam out like a rock star!

Visit www.gamezonwheelz.com or call 805-804-3092 for more information and to book your party today!

Friday
Oct312014

KidzCity in Woodland Hills

KidzCity, Inc is a licensed play, educational and party center where you can safely drop your kids off or stay, chat or work in our work rooms for no extra charge. KidzCity offers a variety of kids' activities, including video games, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, board games, toys, dress up activities and more.

Open on no school days and holidays for fun play and activities, as well Parents' Night Outs on Fridays, camps, after school programs, birthday parties and more. All ages, including adults. Located at 20841 Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills (in Target center next to DeSoto 101 freeway exit.

More info at www.kidzcity.us or 818.887.7516.

Sunday
Oct192014

Sky High Sports - The Trampoline Place in Camarillo

Sky High Sports - The Trampoline Place, opened at 166 Aviador Street, Camarillo in October 2010.  Located in a huge, 42,000 sq ft facility, there are half a dozen areas that have trampolines on the floors and walls. This is a one of a kind place in Ventura County.

In addition jumping up, down and around, you can play dodgeball, there is an area geared towards kids under 10 with its own two trampoline courts and several bouncers, an arcade and more. There's also a laser tag area available for 30 minute sessions.

This quickly became one of the most popular indoor fun places in Ventura County!  A great place for active birthday parties!

As you can see, there is quite a large area of trampolines on the floors and walls. There is a separate section geared towards kids tooOn one side of Sky High is an arcade with skill-based games and on the other side is this kids' game area where you earn tickets and cash them in for prizes.

Quite popular with the younger set. Bounce off the walls into a humongous pile of foam cubes.Another extremely popular activity at Sky High is the Dodgeball area, open to players of all ages.

Sky High Sports also has a separate "sanity" room for adults with a number of TVs, as well as a huge projection TV, as well as free WiFi. The Sky High Cafe offers up a variety of delicious pizzas, subs, paninis, wraps, salads and other goodies.

Sky High is open 7 days a week and walk-ins are always welcome. Current hours (as of April 2014) are 11am to 9pm Sunday/Monday, 2pm to 9pm Tuesday through Thursday and 11am to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Visit cam.jumpskyhigh.com or call 805.484.6300 for more information. Current pricing (updated October 2014) is $12/hr + $3 per additional hour Monday-Thursday, $12/hr Friday-Sunday and on holidays (as well as certain other times, such as spring break).

 

Sunday
Oct192014

MacKinnon Dance Academy

The MacKinnon Dance Academy is located at 2200 Outlet Center Drive, #420 in Oxnard. This 4500 sq ft facility has been located at The Palms Outlet Center since December 2006 but has been in operation for over 3 decades in Oxnard. Children and adults from beginners to advanced students can take classes in tap, jazz, ballet, Scottish Highland and other types of dance.  More information at www.mackinnondance.com or 805.485.0115.