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Saturday
Feb082014

Southern California Lacrosse Association - Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Agoura, Calabasas, Oak Park

Southern California Lacrosse Association locally includes teams from Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Oak Park for boys and girls in grades 3 through 12. Visit scla-online.clubsetup.com for more information.

Individual team websites are as follows:

Westlake Lacrosse Club www.westlakelaxclub.com

Newbury Park Prowlers Lacrosse Club www.nplax.com

Agoura Lacrosse www.agouralax.com

Thousand Oaks Knights Lacrosse www.thousandoakslacrosse.com

Simi Valley Lacrosse - The Storm www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/svlacrosse

Oak Park Eagles Lacross www.hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=OAKPARKEAGLESLAXYOUTH&s=lacrosse&t=c

Calabasas Lacrosse www.calabasaslax.com

Saturday
Feb082014

Dance-O-Plex in Westlake Village

Dance-O-Plex has three state-of-the-art dance studios at 3396 Willow Lane #100 in Westlake Village. A sampling of classes offered includes Zumba, yoga, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, street jazz, tap, ballet, Tumble & Toes (3-5 years), Mini Movers (2 years), Bollywood, belly dance, break dance and more. For more information, visit danceoplex.com or call 818.824.4777.

Wednesday
Feb052014

Links to Hundreds of Parks In and Around Ventura County

Click the image for a list of links to parks throughout Ventura County

Sunday
Feb022014

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.

Saturday
Feb012014

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 we also 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.

 

Saturday
Feb012014

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:

Peppertree Playfields has multiple playing fields for soccer, baseball, etc. and is a popular spot for locl team sports.  It has 4 restrooms and is a nicely maintained park.  It has a decent sized play area and the smaller kids' play area was updated in the latter part of 2008).

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 nicely updated, 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.  Adjacent to Newbury Park High School.

Dos Vientos Community Park in Newbury Park (4801 Borchard Road) is also a large park that is relatively new, 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.  Adjacent to Thousand Oaks High School.

Conejo Creek South Playfields in Thousand Oaks (1300 E. Janss) 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.

Conejo Community Park in Thousand Oaks (Dover and Hendrix) is a nicely sized park that is well known in the summer for the CRPD free summer concert series...that alone makes this one of my favorite parks as it is a perfect venue for outdoor summer concerts on the grass.  In November 2008 a brand new $550K play area was completed between the community center and the Botanic Garden.  It 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.  

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 2 restrooms.  Parking lot is fairly small.  A fun place for the kids to run around.  Not a lot of fully grown trees at this park.

Old Meadows Park in Thousand Oaks (1600 Marview Drive) is hidden away off of Erbes Road in Thousand Oaks.  Kind of a quiet, low key, fairly undeveloped park that is geared towards the local neighborhood and younger children.

Banyan Park in Newbury Park (3571 Erinlea Ave) is a small neighborhood park with 2 restrooms, small covered picnic area and a kids playground area.

Lang Ranch Community Park at 3287 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks is about 10 acres (7 acres usable) with 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.

Newbury Gateway Park in Newbury Park (2250 Michael Drive) 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.  Park at Lamppost Pizza, eat and burn some calories off afterwards.

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

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

Waverly Park in Thousand Oaks (1300 Avenida de las Flores) 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 (particularly TOHS).

Wildflower Playfield in Thousand Oaks is located on Avenida de los Arboles at Canna Street, west of Lynn Road.  It 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 newest park in the Conejo Valley as of January 2013 is the 26 acre Del Prado Playfield in the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park. Click the link for more information.

Friday
Jan312014

Kidz Love Soccer Classes in Ventura County

Kidz Love Soccer provides fun, organized soccer classes and camps for children ages 2 - 12 years. We create a lively, positive and safe environment for kids to learn how to play soccer and develop a lifelong love for soccer and sports.

Kidz Love Soccer has a team of trained instructors that love teaching and bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the soccer field. Using our field-tested and age-appropriate proprietary curriculum, our youth classes teach kids all the fundamentals of soccer in a high-energy, non-competitive program designed to encourage good sportsmanship and a love for sports.

Kidz Love Soccer offers youth soccer classes and soccer camps in more than 130 locations throughout California, Oregon, and Washington, often through local city recreation and parks departments. Locally here in Ventura County Kids Love Soccer has a program in Simi Valley. Visit www.kidzlovesoccer.com for more information.

Thursday
Jan302014

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 24’ x 16’ 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, a 13’ x 13’ 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 2014. Sibling and military discounts available. For more information, visit www.theclubhousefunzone.com or call 805.639.0414.

From Conejo Joe: While I haven't had the opportunity to bring my little ones here, I have indeed visited Clubhouse Fun Zone and was impressed by the huge, nicely appointed warehouse space.  The extra tall ceilings and wide open spaces give the kids tons of room to play.  Parents were hanging out with laptops and books and...it actually felt kind of relaxing in there!

Thursday
Jan302014

Free Monthly Jewish Content Books from the PJ Library

Conceived as a giving library, PJ Library is a family engagement program designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families and their relationship to the Jewish community. We provide Jewish children, ages 6 months through 8 years old, a treasured, age-appropriate Jewish-themed book or CD FREE in the mail every month—that’s 12 packages each year. Along with the gift of children’s books and music, families receive a monthly e-newsletter and reading guides to enhance their PJ Library experience—all at no cost to the recipient.

This dynamic program has engaged more than 5,250 Jewish children in the 5 Valleys (Conejo, Antelope, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Simi) since launching in 2008 and 4,200 in the Greater Los Angeles Metro-City area since launching in 2010.

To sign up for PJ Library, visit our website at www.pjlibrary.org and enter your postal code to find your community.  For more information, please contact Jessica at JJablon@JewishLA.org.

PJ Library in Los Angeles program is made possible by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, generous local donors and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Monday
Jan272014

Chase Palm Park and Carousel in Santa Barbara

Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara is a huge park that sandwiches East Cabrillo Boulevard.  On the ocean side of Cabrillo the park consists of a palm-lined, narrow strip of park adjacent to East Beach with an oceanfront bikepath and walkway from Stearns Wharf to East Beach.  This side of the park is host to Sunday/holiday arts and crafts shows.  The 14,600 square foot Skater's Point skate park is also located on this side of the park.

The ocean side of Chase Palm Park, across Cabrillo Blvd. I wonder where they got the Palm from. hmm

Call 805.564.5418 for more information or visit www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/parksrec/parks/features/playgrounds/chase.asp.

On the other side of Cabrillo is a huge 10 acre parcel that features fountains, creeks, a lagoon, carousel, snack bar and a Shipwreck Playground modeled after an ocean schooner from the turn of the century.

The antique carousel is a beautiful, elegant throwback to another era.  The carousel is well maintained, plays fun music and is only $2 (as of 11/09) for a pretty darn long ride!  See pictures and video below.  The combination of Shipwreck Playground and the carousel makes this a can't miss Santa Barbara destination for they young set!  Not to mention...the park is walking distance to Stearns Wharf, the beach, bike rentals, State Street, etc.

Saturday
Jan252014

California Cartwheel Center - Newbury Park

California Cartwheel Center, located at 1111 Rancho Conejo Boulevard, Suite 510 in Newbury Park, has offered gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading training to toddlers through teens for over 25 years.

CCC offers classes, programs, events, camps, parties and more. For more information, visit www.californiacartwheelcenter.com or call 805.499.5228. Open Monday through Saturday, hours vary. On a personal note, our kids have thoroughly enjoyed the Kids Night Out events at CCC where they get to run around and enjoy the equipment and dine on pizza. A great, inexpensive option if you're looking to free yourself of your kids for a few hours on a Saturday night!

Birthday parties range from 90 minutes to 2 hours of private fun for your child and up to 25 guests. Two of our talented party directors will organize games and free play using all of our gymnastics equipment. For the grand finale, the birthday child may “fly” or “flip” in our birthday belt over the trampoline! Your kids are going to be smiling from ear to ear, so remember to bring the camera! For children turning 3 through 12.  Children under 3 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Friday
Jan242014

Sheldon's Art Academy - Oak Park

sheldons.jpgSheldon's Art Academy is located at 626 Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park (corner of Kanan and Lindero). Learn how to draw, paint, animate, landscape, sculpt, fashion design and more at this local art academy.  Classes are for kids, teens, college students and adult.  Learn from someone who has worked on TV, film, animation and commercials.  Individual training!

Visit www.sheldonsartacademy.com or call 818.706.9444 for more information.

Friday
Jan242014

Alameda Park in Santa Barbara

Ranking high up on the list of parks with COOL play areas around town is Alameda Park, located at the corner of Garden Street and E. Micheltorena Street in Santa Barbara. Alameda Park has an 8,000 sq ft mostly wooden play structure that was built by local residents. This is the most unique play structure of ANY park I'm aware of in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (though the newer play structure at Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas gives it a run for its money).

Your kids will fall in love with the nooks, crannies, steps, bridges and places to hide in this play structure. There are also swings and things to climb on. The park itself is 2 blocks long and one of the oldest parks in Santa Barbara. It is next door to the beautiful Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden. Plenty of grass, spectacular, large shade trees and much more make this a perfect picnic lunch stop when you're in town.

More information at www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/parksrec/parks/features/horticulture/alameda.asp.

Saturday
Jan182014

Skate Parks in Ventura

Skateboard facilities can be found at Westpark Community Center (450 W. Harrison Avenue), Hobert Park (Telegraph Road between Petit and Cambria) and the campus of Pacific High School (Dean Drive and College). These facilities were designed for both the novice and advanced skater. Protective gear is required.  These facilities are all free of charge and open from dawn to dusk.  More information at www.cityofventura.net or by calling 805.654.4550.

Wednesday
Jan152014

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley is a non-profit organization that provides time-tested programs offering leadership training, character development, fine arts, academic support, technology, health and fitness.

Clubs feature Learning Centers, Games Rooms, Computer Technology Centers, Fine Arts Rooms, Multi-Purpose Rooms, and Character and Leadership Centers. For grades 5 through 8.  Visit www.bgcconejo.org for more information. Also spring/summer camps for grades 1 to 12.

Local Clubs:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley offers a variety of indoor spaces for rent for family events, fundraisers and meetings at the Sequoia, Colina and Los Cerritos clubs listed above. Contact individual clubs for more information about facility rentals.

Sunday
Jan122014

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 Dr. between Lynn Rd. and Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks.

I have been to the KAG with my 2 young boys numerous times and not only did they love running around the place, but we enjoyed a nice little hike around the various trails and stream adjacent to KAG.  Not to mention, Conejo Community Park is just across the parking lot and across a short bridge away.  Nice place to hang out with the kids every so often.

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
Jan102014

Pleasant Valley Fields in Camarillo

Pleasant Valley Fields, located at 100 Village at the Park Drive in Camarillo off the Dawson 101 exit is an expansive, flat 55 acre park, with 23 acres of grass fields, including 10 full-size soccer and softball fields. There are 3 restrooms, a small playground area geared towards 5 to 13 year olds and nearly 600 parking spots. The park opened in Spring 2010.

View of Pleasant Valley Fields looking from east to west.

Playground area at Pleasant Valley Fields

Thursday
Jan092014

Boost Your Average Community Batting & Sports Center in Westlake Village

Located at 2326 Townsgate Road, Westlake Village, Boost Your Average (BYA) is a 15,000 sq ft indoor baseball and softball batting cage and multi sport training center.  Each of BYA's nine lanes are equipped with state of the art pitching machines that pitch both baseballs and softballs in every lane. Four of the lanes are fully automatic token operated cages where the batter can select baseballs or softballs from within the lane.

There's also a 3,500 sq ft indoor open practice field, fully turfed for fielding drills. It is also equipped with baseball and softball pitching mounds, two tees and soft-toss nets.

Learn more at www.BoostYourAverage.com or call 805.370.1025.

Wednesday
Jan082014

Chumash Indian Museum - Lang Ranch (Thousand Oaks)

Click the image for information about the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks

Tuesday
Jan072014

Kids Fun Zone and Outdoor Play Area at Janss Marketplace

Janss MarketplaceThe Kids Fun Zone craft events meets the last Saturday of every month from noon to 3 p.m. at the Janss Marketplace.  Kids Fun Zone membership includes lifetime membership cards, free seasonal crafts (rain or shine, while supplies last, for ages 12 and under), merchant discounts and birthday gifts. 

2014 dates are Jan 25, Feb 22, Mar 29, Apr 26, May 31, Jun 28, Jul 26, Aug 30, Sep 27, Oct 25, Nov 29 and Dec 27.

Signup online at www.janssmarketplace.net

For more information, visit www.janssmarketplace.net

In addition to the monthly Kids Fun Zone, Janss Marketplace has a small outdoor play area geared towards younger kids in front of the Old Navy store as well as an interactive water fountain area that is particularly fun for the kids in the warmer months of the year.