Dog Parks In and Around Ventura County

Here's a compilation of parks in and around Ventura County as well as adjacent areas that have off-leash opportunities for your pooches. The days and times indicated below are subject to change; links to the local recreation and park districts have been provided below.

Thousand Oaks

Conejo Creek Dog Park at 1350 E. Avenida de las Flores is a 3 1/2 acre dog park with separate sections for large and small (30 lbs or less) dogs. Open daily 7 am to 8:30 pm; closed Thursdays 7-9 am and all day the 3rd Thursday of each month. www.crpd.org/parks-reservations/dog-parks.

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A bit brown at the Conejo Creek Dog Park due to the drought. But there are grassy sections too.

A bit brown at the Conejo Creek Dog Park due to the drought. But there are grassy sections too.

Additionally, Conejo Recreation and Park District opened three smaller off-leash area dog parks in 2015 at Estella Park, 300 Erbes Road, Thousand Oaks, Kimber Park, 3295 Bear Creek Road, Newbury Park and Walnut Grove Park, 400 Windtree Avenue, Thousand Oaks. These areas do not have grass. More details at www.crpd.org/parks-reservations/dog-parks.

Westlake Village

The 1.2 acre Westlake Village Dog Park opened to the public on July 21, 2018. The park features small and large dog areas, shade shelter with seating, pet wash stations and more. Located at the southwest corner of West Oak Crest Drive and Agoura Road. On street parking available. More info at www.wlv.org/420/Westlake-Village-Dog-Park.

Camarillo

The Friends of Camarillo Dog Parks is a volunteer organization that looks out for the needs of pooches and their owners in the Camarillo area. Learn more at www.camarillodogparks.com. They work with the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District to support dog parks in the city, which include:

Mission Oaks Park at 5501 Mission Oaks Boulevard has a designated off-leash area open the following time frames: Monday - Friday: 4pm-Dusk; Saturday - Sunday: Dawn-Dusk. Learn more at www.pvrpd.org/parks/park_list/mission_oaks_park.asp.

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Camarillo Grove Park at 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Road has a dedicated dog park that is open daily from 7am to dusk. The entire park is also an off-leash park Mon-Fri. On Sat/Sun, dogs are allowed off-leash only in the enclosed dog park area. You must pay to park here; $3/day weekdays, $5/day weekends and $55 for an annual permit. www.pvrpd.org/parks/park_list/camarillo_grove_park.asp.

The Springville Dog Park opened in September 2012 at 801 Via Zamora, Camarillo. Open 7 am to dusk daily; closed Fri mornings until 10:00 am for lawn maintenance.  www.pvrpd.org/parks/park_list/springville_park.asp

Simi Valley

The Simi Dog Park at 2151 Lost Canyons Drive is open daily from 7 am to dusk and is closed for maintenance on Thursdays from 7 am to 10 am. There's a separate area for large and small dogs. To get to the dog park, enter through Big Sky Park. www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/parks/simi_dog_park.php

Oak Park

The Oak Canyon Dog Park is located towards the top of Oak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Drive. Open 7 am to dusk daily; closed 7 am to 10 am Fridays for maintenance. There are areas for large and small dogs. www.rsrpd.org/oak_park/parks/oak_canyon_dog_park.php.

A view from above of the nicely appointed Oak Canyon Dog Park in Oak Park.

A view from above of the nicely appointed Oak Canyon Dog Park in Oak Park.

Ojai

The County of Ventura maintains the Mitchell Edelson Dog Park at Soule Park, 1301 Soule Park Road, Ojai. Open at 7:30 am daily and closes at 5 pm Nov-Feb, 6 pm Mar and Oct, 7:30 pm Apr, May, Sep and 8 pm Jun-Aug. Parking is $2 per vehicle on weekday; $4 on weekends/holidays. There are areas for larger dogs and dogs under 20 lbs. www.ventura.org/gsa/parks/mitchell-edelson-dog-park-at-soule-park

Oxnard

There is a designated dog park at College Park, 3250 South Rose Avenue, Oxnard. It is open 7 am to dusk daily. An additional dog park is at Campus Park at 5th and H Streets. Also open dawn to dusk daily.

Ventura

There is a non-gated off-leash dog park area at Arroyo Verde Park at the corner of Foothill and Day Roads in Ventura. It is available for off-leash use Tuesday through Sunday from 6 am to 9 am. 

There's a fenced in dog park at Camino Real Park at Dean Drive and Varsity Street in Ventura. Open every day from dawn to dusk.

More information at THIS LINK.

Calabasas

The Calabasas "Bark Park" is located at 4232 Las Virgenes Road. Open 5 am to 9 pm daily. www.cityofcalabasas.com/recreation/barkpark.html.

Moorpark

The City of Moorpark Dog Park is located within College View Park, 15400 Campus Park Drive. The entrance to the dog park is located at the south endpoint of College View Avenue on the southeast corner of the park. It is about 3/4 acre in size, with separate areas for small and large dogs. Open 7am to 5pm daily (7pm during Daylight Saving Time). Closed for maintenance Wednesdays from 7am to noon. There are age restrictions: kids under 6 years old not allowed in the dog park. Ages 6 to 15 are permitted, with adult supervision. More details at www.moorparkca.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Dog-Park-7.

View of the Calabasas Bark Park from the Bark Park Trail.

View of the Calabasas Bark Park from the Bark Park Trail.

Camarillo Bike Path Next to Calleguas Creek

Looking to take the kids on a nice, flat bike path unimpeded by cars? A great choice is the roughly 2 mile Calleguas Creek bike path from Pleasant Valley Fields at (100 Village at the Park Drive in Camarillo off the Dawson 101 exit) up to the corner of Flynn and Upland Roads in Camarillo.

Look at how nice and flat this bike path adjacent to Calleguas Creek is!

Look at how nice and flat this bike path adjacent to Calleguas Creek is!

This is a nice, smooth and flat bike path that goes under several bridges, including the 101 freeway, so that you don't have to worry about cars! You can park your car at Pleasant Valley Fields and ride up and back down the path. This is a comfortable path to learn on as well as just enjoy.

At the north end of the path, you can detour off the path to Pitts Ranch Park at 1400 Flynn Road, just a short block northwest of the path, and enjoy lunch.

More information about Camarillo bike paths, lanes and routes at www.cityofcamarillo.org/Administrative%20Services/GIS/Bikepath.pdf

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Calleguas Creek

Calleguas Creek

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza is one of the largest performing arts centers between Los Angeles and San Francisco at over 200,000 square feet.

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The City of Thousand Oaks Cultural Affairs Department oversees theatre productions for the Civic Arts Plaza, which encompasses two theatres – the 1,800-seat Fred Kavli Theatre and the 394-seat Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. The Plaza originally opened in 1994.

The performing arts center combines outstanding arts and entertainment with state-of-the-art technology and acoustics. Over 200,000 patrons and 35,000 children attend more than 350 performances annually. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza is funded through a unique public/private partnership between the City of Thousand Oaks and the Alliance for the Arts.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

There is something for everyone at this venue....musicals, cabaret, Broadway musicals, dance, concerts, big bands, the New West Symphony, ballet, plays, well known speakers and events for the kids. In front of the plaza is the Mary and Richard Carpenter plaza park.

Next door to the Plaza is The Lakes of Thousand Oaks, a great place to grab a bite to eat, do some shopping and enjoy the lakes and playground on the property.

Between 1926 and 1968 this location housed the 170 acre Goebel's Lion Farm (later called Jungleland), where many of the famous wild animals in Hollywood pictures lived.  There were elephants, lions, tigers, hippos, you name it.  Leo, the MGM lion, Mr. Ed the Talking Horse, and Getta, Tarzan's chimpanzee all lived there at some point.  Jungleland was a major draw in its day that played a large role in making Thousand Oaks what it is today.

A photo of Jungleland after it closed in 1969 (Image courtesy of Conejo Through the Lens, Thousand Oaks Library)

A photo of Jungleland after it closed in 1969 (Image courtesy of Conejo Through the Lens, Thousand Oaks Library)

The Civic Arts Plaza is located at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard (take the 101 East, left on Rancho exit, right on T.O. Blvd, and turn right into parking structure at Dallas Drive.  Visit www.civicartsplaza.com for more information or call 805.449.2787.

It takes good luck and timing for a novice photographer like me to capture the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza while driving south on the 101 freeway.

It takes good luck and timing for a novice photographer like me to capture the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza while driving south on the 101 freeway.

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Wheel Fun Rentals - Bike Rentals - Ventura

With a number of locations in Ventura and Santa Barbara, Wheel Fun Rentals provides an assortment of bicycles, quads, coupes, surreys, tag-alongs and other 2 to 4 wheel human powered vehicles for rides along the beach. They also offer a wide assortment of water vehicles...boats, surfboards, boogie boards, etc.

Nearby locations as of September 2019 are:

Oxnard- Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort, 2101 Mandalay Beach Road (805.984.1994)

Oxnard - Channel Islands Marine Emporium Landing, 3600 S. Harbor Blvd (805.910.7257)

Oxnard - Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge, 2101 W. Vineyard Avenue (805.278.2200)

Port Hueneme - Holiday Inn Express, 350 E. Port Hueneme Road (805.986.5353)

Ventura - Crowne Plaza, 450 E. Harbor Blvd (805.648.2100)

Ventura - Four Points by Sheraton, 1050 Schooner Drive (805.658.1212)

Ventura Pier 850 Harbor Blvd., Ventura (805.765.5795)

Ventura State Beach Picnic Area, 901 San Pedro, Ventura (805.650.7770)

Ventura Beach Marriott 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura (805.643.6000)

Santa Barbara - Hilton Beachfront Resort 633 East Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara (805.966.2282)

Santa Barbara - Near Stearns Wharf 24 E. Mason Street (805.966.2282)

For more information visit www.wheelfunrentals.com or call 805.650.7770.

Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Janss Marketplace at 275 North Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks (corner of Moorpark Road and Hillcrest) is an open air mall that has a large outdoor eating area, interactive water fountain, monthly Kids Fun Zone and outdoor kids play area.

Retailers and other businesses at Janss Marketplace include Gold's Gym, Ulta Beauty, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom Rack and others.

Eateries include Buca di Beppo, Panera Bread, Karma Indian Cuisine, Crazy King Kong Sushi, Lucky's Dog House, Sunset Terrace Restaurant, Greco's New York Pizzeria, Cold Stone Creamery, Sharky's, The Dudes' Brewing Company, Matcha Tea and Boba and Janchi Korean BBQ.

And for entertainment, there’s Regal Cinemas, Dojoboom Extreme Sports, Dave & Buster’s and the Conejo Valley Art Museum.

COMING SOON! Aldi and California Fish Grill.

Visit www.janssmarketplace.net/coupons for special offers/coupons at Janss merchants.

For more information visit www.janssmarketplace.net or call 805.495.4662.

In 2009 the Janss Marketplace added a NEOS Wall, a fun interactive game right outside the Golds Gym.  This game is free. 

Some former occupants of Janss Marketplace: Toys R Us (summer 2018) Wachovia Banking Center (closed April 2011), Akio’s Sushi (Oct 2012; now Crazy King Kong Sushi), Sizzler/Fuddruckers/Hooters (currently vacant), TGI Fridays (2012)/DISH (Nov 2013) (now Janchi), Aaron Brothers (2018), Tuesday Morning (June 2012), Radio Shack, Marshalls, Mervyn’s, Mann 9 Theatres/Regency Theatres (now Regal Cinemas), Burger King/Salad Gourmet (2016)/Poke Tiki (Apr 2019). Subway (August 2019).

The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard

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The Collection at RiverPark is an outdoor shopping center located on the northeast side of the 101 freeway in Oxnard, between the Oxnard and Vineyard exits.

The 650,000 sq ft center includes a combination of entertainment, retail, restaurants, various services, open space with fountains, parks and playgrounds and quality art. Parking is available on the streets as well as several parking lots.

As of February 2019, the following businesses operate at The Collection:

Retail: Here’s a small fraction of stores at The Collection - Chico’s, Finish Line, Forever 21, Gap, H&M, IT’Sugar, Jos. A. Bank, Lane Bryant, MAC Cosmetics, Pet Food Express, REI, Sleep Number, Soma Intimates, Target,, The Container Store, ULTA Beauty, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Whole Foods Market and many more.

Entertainment: Levity Live Comedy Club & Dinner Theater, Century RiverPark 16, Color Me Mine, The Painted Cabernet.

Other: Bank of America, 24 Hour Fitness SuperSport, Massage Envy Spa, Ventura County Credit Union and more.

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Restaurants include After’s Ice Cream, Ben and Jerry’s, Bottle & Pint (at The Annex), Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen, EMC Seafood, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Gen Korean BBQ, General Chow, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Larsen’s Grill, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. Los Agaves, Love Pho, Luna Grill, Maria’s Italian Kitchen, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Panera Bread, PokeCeviche, Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters, Red Robin, Seoul Sausage, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Starbucks, Taqueria El Tapatio, The Blend Superfood Bar, Whole Foods Bar Rincon and Yard House.

Also at The Collection: The Annex, a 16,000 sq ft collection of microshops, boutiques and eateries (included above). Across the street from Levity Live/Copper Blues.

There is unique public art placed throughout the center, including metal sculptures, ceramic tile murals, fountains and more. Shea Properties has spent around $1 million on art, bringing in seven artists for 18 individual art installations. Artists include Frank Bauer with his ceramic tile murals and benches and tile sidewalk medallions, and Michael Amescua with his cut metal sculptures.

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Visit www.thecollectionrp.com or visit their Facebook page to learn more. To get there from the 101 North, exit on Oxnard Boulevard and turn right. Turn right again on Town Center Drive.

Playground at The Collection

Playground at The Collection

Places that have come and gone from The Collection: Toby Keith's Bar & Grill closed in Spring 2015. Sabra Fish Grill opened in 2015 and closed in late 2017. Famous Dave’s BBQ. Gandolfo’s New York Deli, ANGL.

Conejo Creek Bike Path in Thousand Oaks

Conejo Creek Bike Path (Courtesy City of Thousand Oaks)

Conejo Creek Bike Path (Courtesy City of Thousand Oaks)

The Conejo Creek Bike Path is a 1.2 mile path in Thousand Oaks that connects Gainsborough Road on the south to Conejo Creek Park South (the playfields), Thousand Oaks Library and Thousand Oaks Teen Center.  This path was opened to the public in Spring 2011 and provides a nice, flat alternative to city streets as it goes under the 23 Freeway.

The paved path on Paige Lane ends at Janss Road across the street from the Library but you can cross at Janss Road at the crosswalk and from there get to a wide, fairly flat horse trail that takes you up to Avenida De Los Flores. I'd love if this path was longer.

The east end of Gainsborough Road has an access point to the Conejo Creek Bike Path

The east end of Gainsborough Road has an access point to the Conejo Creek Bike Path

Nice flat path adjacent to city streets and neighborhoods

Nice flat path adjacent to city streets and neighborhoods

The path takes you under the 23 Freeway

The path takes you under the 23 Freeway

The path ends at Janss Road, across from the Thousand Oaks Library Conejo Creek Park North.

The path ends at Janss Road, across from the Thousand Oaks Library Conejo Creek Park North.

The City of Thousand Oaks maintains approximately 80 miles of bikeways, including about 3 miles of bike paths, roughly 54 miles of bike lanes and another 20 miles or so of bike routes. The City takes bicycling very seriously...the City Council adopted a comprehensive Bicycle Facilities Master Plan in November 2010 to help prioritize future improvement projects around town.

Visit www.toaks.org/government/depts/public_works/streets/bicycle/home.asp for more information about City of Thousand Oaks bike routes, lanes and paths as well as a detailed map.

Ventura Harbor Village

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Ventura Harbor Village at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants.  The weather is always so cool over there it makes for a nice retreat.

There is a 36 horse carousel and arcade for the kids and plenty of outdoor activities available like kayaking, sailing, pedal boats, sport-fishing and cruises. Ventura Harbor Village hosts events and activities year-round, including music performances, kids' activities, themed events, festivals and more.

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Eateries at Ventura Harbor Village include 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese, Alexander's, Andria's Seafood Restaurant, Baja Bay Surf N' Taco, Boatyard Pub, Brophy Bros. Restaurant and Clam Bar, Coastal Cone (ice cream shop), Coffee Dock & Post, Copa Cubana, Fratellis Pizza & Brew, Harbor Cove Cafe, Le Petit Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant, Margarita Villa Mexican, Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar, The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood and The Parlor. You won't go hungry here.

The Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center is located adjacent to Ventura Harbor Village. Free admission and an awesome resource for learning more about the Channel Islands and its protected habitat.

Island Packers at the Harbor has numerous boat rides and is the only authorized concessionaire to transport folks to Channel Islands National Park. 

Ventura Boat Rentals rents out electric boats, paddle boats, kayaks, power boats and charters cruises in the Ventura Harbor.  So much fun to be had!

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Across the street from Ventura Harbor Village is beach access at Harbor Cove Beach (a safe beach protected by jetties) and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Local area beaches at THIS LINK.

More information at www.venturaharborvillage.com or call 805.642.8538 (or 877.89.HARBOR).

Arroyo Burro Beach Park in Santa Barbara

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Arroyo Burro Beach is a beach park managed by the County of Santa Barbara. It is also referred to as Hendry's Beach, as the Boathouse at Hendry's Beach is located here at 2981 Cliff Drive. Decent sized parking lot with restaurant serving up moderately priced meals and drinks indoors/outdoors, seven days a week from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Arroyo Burro Beach is a sandy beach, good for surfing, boogie boarding and fishing, with an adjoining park with grassy areas with picnic tables. Restrooms available. From the 101 take Las Positas Road south to Cliff Drive. Turn right and travel 1/2 mile to the park entrance. More information at www.countyofsb.org/parks/day-use/arroyo-burro-beach.sbc.

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Arroyo Burro also has a great doggie park! Dogs are required to be on leash through the parking lot but there's an area where dogs can run around in the ocean. Self service dog wash stations provided by County Park. Details at www.countyofsb.org/parks/dog.sbc.

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America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College

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Don't want to drive 45 minutes to the nearest zoo?  Well then, stop by local Moorpark College to visit the student-run America's Teaching Zoo

This five acre zoo housing nearly 200 exotic animals is part of the college's Exotic Animal Training and Management Program and is open each weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).  This interesting collection has included all sorts of animals, like alligators, geckos, monkeys, tigers, camels, snakes, ocelots and more. Animal show times at 12 pm and 2 pm. Animal demonstrations from 3:30-4 pm.

Galapagos Tortoise at America's Teaching Zoo

Galapagos Tortoise at America's Teaching Zoo

Students in the program are required to work most days and weekends.  For a truly unique wild animal experience, stop by and check it out. Don't expect anything fancy. This is a very low key place, but lots of fun as it is usually not very crowded and you can get really close to the animals. This huge Galapagos Tortoise is Clarence. Learn more about him here.

Admission (as of July 2019) $9 for adults and $7 for kids and seniors (checks and cash only). Under age 2 is free.

Visit zoo.moorparkcollege.edu or call 805.378.1441 for more information.

Another handsome occupant of the zoo - “Ghost,” the bald eagle.

Another handsome occupant of the zoo - “Ghost,” the bald eagle.

The Zoo is located at 7075 Campus Road in Moorpark.  Take the 101 North to the 23 North to the 118 East.  Exit Collins and turn left at the stop sign.  Go through 2 stoplights and turn right into the 2nd entrance past the stoplights.  Turn right in the parking lot and continue up the short hill to the right.

A zoo volunteer feeding the lion.

A zoo volunteer feeding the lion.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

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Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History makes for a great excursion to Santa Barbara with the kids.  There are eight exhibit halls with permanent exhibits featuring birds, mammals, insects, ocean life, a planetarium and more. Many of the exhibits are "hands on" with buttons and interactive features that kids particularly enjoy. There are an additional two halls for changing exhibits.

You and your kids can roam the nature paths and visit the well stocked gift shop, full of educational items. I can vouch for the fascination kids (and adults) have at this Museum. It is a very comfortable museum that in my experience is rarely is crowded. The "Museum Backyard" area and gardens has a picnic area, stream and other enjoyable features. The pond and stream often have tadpoles that captivate the kids.

The museum is open 7 days a week and is closed certain holidays. As of July 2019, admission is $15 for adults, $12 for 65+ seniors and teens (13-17) and $9 for children 2 to 12 years of age. Become a Museum member and you don't have to pay for admission. The Museum also offers birthday parties for members. Tax-deductible family memberships are currently $99/year.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara. More information at www.sbnature.org or 805.682.4711.

CReATE STUDIO in Westlake Village

CReATE STUDIO at 31840 Village Center Road in Westlake Village is a welcoming, walk-in, help yourself art studio geared toward creative exploration using a varied array of recycled, artistic and crafty materials. All ages can create treasured masterpieces using many interesting and everyday household materials to build, tape, glue, paint and invent! No two creations are alike. Stop in and enjoy the fun! To learn more, visit www.createstudiofun.com or call 818.575.9566

The studio is currently open Wednesday through Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday/Sunday from noon to 4pm.

Fees as of July 2019 are: $10.50 for ages 10 and under, $12.50 for age 11 and up. Studio fee includes up to 2 hours of studio time, including all materials used. Credit cards are accepted.

CReATE offers open studio time, Birthday Party Packages, Monthly Parents Night Out Nights, Machine Sewing Classes, Girls Confidence Classes, Messy Toddler Art Classes and special rates for school groups, scouts and homeschoolers.

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Creative Castle in Newbury Park

Located at 2323 Michael Drive in Newbury Park, Creative Castle is a full service retail bead store with a full line of beads and beading products. Classes, private sessions and special events like trunk shows also offered. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Hours vary. Visit www.creativecastle.com or call 805.499.1377 for more information.

I stopped by on a Saturday morning to check out the shop. My jaw dropped when I saw how many different types of beads and decorative items packed the store. There was a large room in the back completely full of folks beading together. Looked like a lot of fun.

Not being a "beader" myself, I asked if I could bring the kids in and create something for mom, getting help as we go. The answer was, of course we can. There were several nice employees ready to help us out.