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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.

Thursday
Oct022014

Birthday Parties at Thousand Oaks Community Center

 

The Thousand Oaks Community Center offers a fun and easy way to throw your child’s next birthday party.

With lots of locations and eleven themes to choose from, every party is customized to you and your birthday child’s needs. Our parties are an excitement packed celebration planned and hosted for children 3-12 years old that include decorations, balloons, crafts and games!

Packages start at $300 for a two hour party. For more information or to reserve a date call a party host at the Thousand Oaks Community Center (located at Thousand Oaks Community Park) on 2525 N. Moorpark Road at 805-381-2793 or visit crpd.org/parkfac/1koaks/birthdays/default.asp.

Sunday
Sep142014

Storytime on Sunday Afternoons at The Open Book Store in Thousand Oaks

The Open Book bookstore at The Oaks Mall, 2nd level hosts Sunday Storytime every Sunday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm, featuring stories, crafts and snacks. Visit www.theopenbook.biz for more info.

Monday
Sep012014

It's a Small World Indoor Play Center in Thousand Oaks

It's A Small World Inc. opened in September 2014 at 100 N. Rancho Road, Suite 1 in Thousand Oaks (one block north of Thousand Oaks Boulevard). It is an indoor play and celebration center, that will include rock climbing, zip line, bounce house, ball pit, gymnastics equipment, separate infant rooms, celebration room with refrigerator and separate birthday room. More information at www.smallworldindoorplay.com or call 805.557.1537. Updates at www.facebook.com/itsasmallworldinc.

Thursday
Aug212014

Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park Branch

There are two great local Conejo Valley libraries for kids and adults alike. The Grant R. Brimhall Library is at 1401 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks (805.449.2660) and the local Newbury Park Branch is at 2331 Borchard Road (805.498.2139). The main library has a huge children's section with a great 3,600 gallon aquarium in the hallway leading into the main library. Visit the library website at www.toaks.org/library to learn more.

As of August 2014, library hours are as follows (subject to change):

Grand R. Brimhall Library:

  • Mon-Thurs 11am to 8pm
  • Fri 10am to 6pm
  • Sat 10am to 5pm
  • Sun Noon to 5pm

Newbury Park Branch Library:

  • Mon-Wed Noon to 8pm
  • Thurs-Fri 10am to 6pm
  • Sat 10am to 5pm
  • Sun Closed

Both libraries are closed on major holidays

If you're looking for a place to cool off and relax during the summer months, you can't beat the Thousand Oaks Library. Nice and cool in there and plenty of spaces to grab a book and vedge out. Take advantage of it!

Other items of note:

  • The Thousand Oaks Library is not part of the Ventura County Library System (it was part of the system prior to November 1982) and thus your library card can only be used for books at these 2 libraries.
  • The size of the library collection is over 370,000 books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • The Grant Brimhall Library is 84,000 sq ft and the Newbury Park Branch is 17,000 sq ft.

Tuesday
Aug192014

Protégé Performing Arts Center in Westlake Village

Protégé Performing Arts Center is a new performing arts school in the North Ranch area of Westlake Village at 1145 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite D-1, offering classes in all styles of dance, singing, music and acting. Dance classes available for all levels and age ranges, including adults. Both group and private sessions are available. Birthday dance parties available too! Visit www.protegearts.com or call 818.532.7700 for more information.

Tuesday
Aug192014

RISE Volleyball Club in Thousand Oaks

RISE Volleyball Club is based out of La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks. The club offers indoor and beach volleyball training to youth athletes in the area, as well as a travel team, camps, clinics, private lessons, mentorship and more. Visit www.risevolleyball.com to learn more.

Tuesday
Aug192014

Free Airplane Rides for Kids in Camarillo and Santa Paula

Each month, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 723 offers free flights to youth ages 8 through 17, weather permitting. Reservations for the flights can be made by phone with the Young Eagle coordinator, Neal Fowler. He takes reservations the week preceding the first Saturday of the month. Neal can be reached at 805-647-6994.

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give young people the opportunity to fly in a general aviation airplane. EAA volunteers will explain what you will see and do pre-flight, then take you on a 15 to 20 minute flight. After the flight, your pilot will present you with your own Young Eagles logbook, along with an entry for the flight.

In Camarillo, flights take place from the EAA Hangar Area at 501 Aviation Drive at the Camarillo Airport on the first Saturday of the month. Look for signs; it is next to Commemorative Air Force, CAF Museum, and near the Animal Shelter. Please park on the street, Aviation Way. DO NOT PARK in the CAF Parking Lot.

In Santa Paula, flights are from Santa Paula Airport and take place on the first Sunday of each month. Look for signs.

Visit www.eaa723.org/young_eagles.html for more information.