As You Wish Pottery Painting Place in Simi Valley

As You Wish Pottery Painting Place is located at the Simi Valley Town Center. This is a large, nicely appointment ceramics/painting studio where you select a piece of pottery off the shelves, paint it and a few days later pick up your beautiful, glazed work of art!

Great place for birthday parties, team building, family nights, fundraising and more. Visit www.asyouwishpottery.com or call 805.520.9500 for more information. Open seven days a week.

Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum in Simi Valley

The Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum opened at the Simi Valley Town Center in December 2018. It is located directly across from the Vans store in the mall in a space of over 10,000 square feet.

The International Skateboarding Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by Todd Huber. It was created to honor the passion, dedication and contributions to skateboarding history and culture by skateboarders and cultural icons through the decades.

The Museum displays hundreds of skateboards and other skating artifacts going back decades. There is also an art gallery, gift shop, theater/library (over 600 skating videos as well as skating magazines) and skate shop.

The Museum also has a mini skating ramp with a fun wall ride available to local youth for a fee.

Admission to the museum is free. Donations to the non-profit are always welcome. Hours are currently (January 2019) Thursday/Friday 2-9PM, Saturday 10AM-9PM and Sunday 11AM-7PM.

Visit www.skateboardinghalloffame.org for more information.

Over 150 Movie Theater Screens Around Ventura County

Here's a handy list of 19 movie theaters with over 150 screens throughout Ventura County and adjacent areas. Click the links for theater websites and/or showtimes.

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas at the Promenade at Westlake (100 Promenade Way, Westlake Village)  (8 screens). Order food and drink from your seat and enjoy. cinepolisusa.com/locations/cinepolis-luxury-cinemas-westlake-village

AMC Dine-In Thousand Oaks 14, 166 West Hillcrest Drive at The Oaks Mall. Tickets at www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/los-angeles/amc-dine-in-thousand-oaks-14. $5 Tuesdays all day for AMC Stubs members.

Regal Janss Marketplace 9 is located at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks, 255 North Moorpark Road. Previously it was a Regency Theater (closed 12/31/15) and prior to that it was a Mann Theater. www.regmovies.com/theaters/regal-janss-marketplace-9/C00300689804

Former Muvico (now AMC Dine-In) Thousand Oaks.

Former Muvico (now AMC Dine-In) Thousand Oaks.

Century Riverpark 16 at The Collection at Riverpark

Century Riverpark 16 at The Collection at Riverpark

Edwards Camarillo Palace 12 and IMAX, 680 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo (805.383.8879) (Located adjacent to The Promenade section of Camarillo Premium Outlets. www.regmovies.com/theaters/edwards-camarillo-palace-stadium-12-imax/C00287009669

Plaza Stadium Cinemas 14, 255 West Fifth Street, Oxnard (805.487.8380). www.santarosacinemas.com/plaza-14

Regency Buenaventura 6, 1440 Eastman Avenue, Ventura (805.658.6544). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=14 Dollar Tuesdays!!

Regency Paseo Camarillo Cinemas (3 theaters), 390 North Lantana Street, Camarillo (805.383.2267). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=3

Roxy Stadium 11, 5001 Verdugo Way, Camarillo (805.388.0532). www.santarosacinemas.com/roxy-11

Simi Valley/Moorpark

Regal Civic Center Plaza 16 & IMAX, 2751 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley (805.526.0232). www.regmovies.com/theaters/regal-simi-valley-civic-center-stadium-16-imax/C00745385306

Simi Valley 10 Tristone Cinemas, 1457 E. Los Angeles Avenue (805.526.4329) simivalley.tristonecinemas.com

Studio Movie Grill at the Simi Valley Town Center opened on October 22, 2015, with 9 screens and over 950 seats. www.studiomoviegrill.com/quicktickets/california/simi-valley/2019/1/11

Other Local Theaters

Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 6, 4767 Commons Way, Calabasas (818.223.0223). www.regmovies.com/theaters/edwards-calabasas-stadium-6/C00791471576

Regency Santa Paula 7, 550 West Main Street, Santa Paula (805.933.6707). regencymovies.com/main.php?theaterId=19 Seats just $5 on Sundays!

Ojai Playhouse at 145 East Ojai Avenue (805.646.1011) (1 screen) - CLOSED FOR REPAIRS

CLOSED

Regal Malibu Twin at 3822 Cross Creek Road, Malibu (310.456.6990) (closed in September 2017)

Long Canyon Trail in Simi Valley

Long Canyon Trail is an easy to hike trail in the Wood Ranch section of Simi Valley, located at the corner of Wood Ranch Parkway and Long Canyon Road (take Wood Ranch Parkway south until it ends, and turn right into the parking lot). It is quite a peaceful place to do some light hiking with the family. And the views as you can see are beautiful.

About a .7 mile hike to the top of the canyon connects you with the Lang Ranch / Woodridge Open Space in Thousand Oaks. Great views from the top towards Simi Valley,  Thousand Oaks and beyond, towards the Channel Islands on clear days.

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Technically I believe this bench is in the   Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space   in Thousand Oaks, which connects with the Long Canyon Trail. Nice view here towards Simi Valley.

Technically I believe this bench is in the Lang Ranch/Woodridge Open Space in Thousand Oaks, which connects with the Long Canyon Trail. Nice view here towards Simi Valley.

Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad in Simi Valley

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Visit a fully restored Southern Pacific Railroad depot that was built in 1903 with both freight and passenger trains rushing by at the Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad. The depot served passengers and farmers in Simi Valley for over 60 years, with a classic passenger waiting room featuring a pot-belly stove, the depot was also headquarters for local freight shipments.

The depot is a museum filled with hundreds of items having both railroad and local historical significance. The depot is owned and managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, which took it over from the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1973. The depot was moved to its current location and after 10 years of neglect was restored to its current state by 1996. The depot was restored to what it looked like in 1938.

Also at the depot is the Santa Susana Model Railroad Club’s large operating HO scale model railroad. Located inside the depot's freight room, the layout of the railroad portrays Simi Valley during the mid 1950s. Trains run each weekend, with Sundays being the best day to see several trains operating simultaneously.

The depot is located on the grounds of Simi Valley’s beautiful Oak Knolls Park. For you rail fans, the depot is adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad’s busy “Coast Line,” which is also utilized by both Amtrak and Metrolink passenger trains. You will standing in close proximity to passing trains, so get ready to wave!

The depot is located at 6503 Katherine Road in Simi Valley. For more information and a map to the depot/parking, visit www.santasusannadepot.org or call 805.581.3462.  The depot is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm.

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Corriganville Park in Simi Valley

NOTE: Corriganville was severely burned in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018 and was closed until 1/11/19. It is open again.

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Corriganville Park is a historical 206 acre park located at 7001 Smith Road in Simi Valley that is owned and operated by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. The park has over four miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, sandstone cliffs, an oak forest, seasonal stream, shaded picnic areas, Camp Rotary Youth Campground, picnic shelter and more.

The park is named after Ray "Crash" Corrigan, a stuntman/actor who owned the park from 1937 to 1965, when over 3,500 movies, TV shows and commercials were filmed there. In 1949, the Corrigan Movie Ranch opened as a Western-style amusement park with a train ride and stagecoach ride that in the late 1950s had greater weekend attendance than Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.

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Bob Hope bought the property in 1965 and renamed it Hopetown, but filming stopped after a year. The ranch burned down in the 1970s and all that is left are the cement slabs and exterior rock walls of the barn. You've got to visit the Santa Susana Depot Museum around the corner from Corriganville and see the model of what Corriganville looked like in 1960, then visit the park to see the slabs and imagine what it was like back then.

There is an interpretative trail at Corriganville with 20 markers that provide information about the vegetation and surroundings as well as some of the history. Visit www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/parks/corriganville_park.php for a link to pdf brochures with information about the history and trails of the park. Or call 805.584.4400.

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Simi Valley Town Center

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The Simi Valley Town Center is a 600,000 sq ft open-air shopping, dining and entertainment center in the heart of Simi Valley, off the 118 freeway between First Street and Erringer Road at 1555 Simi Town Center Way.  This mall opened in fall 2005. 

Eateries at the Town Center include Corner Bakery Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen, Coconut Crab, Larsen's Grill, Red Robin and Buffalo Wild Wings. Macy's anchors the west end of the mall (the east end, also previously a Macy’s is vacant as of December 2018). There’s also Jamba Juice, Go Fish Sushi, Starbucks, Sweetie’s Sweet Shop, Chocolate Savvy, Dip It! Chocolates and Simi Valley Home Brew.

The 41,211 sq ft Studio Movie Grill opened at the Town Center on October 22, 2015, with nine screens and over 950 seats. It is a beautiful theater offering stadium seating and fixed lounge seats with individual dining tables and service.

This is also a nice mall for the kids, as there is plenty of room to run around and explore in the open air setting.  There is a kids' play area, oak trees, mosaic dragon, outdoor fireplace, koi pond and gardens to explore.  There are also train rides available for $2 per child at Center Court.

Lot of shops geared towards the kids, including Black Belt USA Tak Kwon Do, Gotta Dance, Inspire Dance Studio, As You Wish Pottery Painting Place, Kid Gloves Boxing, Rockin’ Kids Play Center and the new Skateboarding Hall of Fame Museum and Skate U across from the Vans store opening December 15, 2018.

Other shops include the Five Below discount store that opened on October 12, 2018, Marshalls, Tilly’s, Lewis Galleries, Gymboree, Victoria’s Secret, Brighton Collectibles and more.

There’s also the Museum of Military History Posters and Memorabilia. Quite an impressive array of military posters and artifacts on hand.

Small outdoor kids' play area (geared towards little ones)

Small outdoor kids' play area (geared towards little ones)

Visit www.shopsimivalleytowncenter.com for more information.

Previously at the Simi Valley Town Center:

A lot of businesses have come and gone from the Simi Valley Town Center in years past. Here are some of them.

Apple Store (9/15/17), Urban Home, Limon Latin Grill, Souplantation (9/25/16), Anthopologie, Brookstone, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Eddie Bauer, Forever 21, Gamestop, Haagen-Dazs, Gymboree Play & Music, Hot Dog on a Stick, Hot Topic, J. Stephens, Jos. A Bank, Lane Bryant, Lucky Brand Jeans, Nine West, The Body Shop, Things RememberedUrban Outfitters, White House Black Market, Z Gallerie, Zales and Zumies, among others.

Museum of Military History Posters and Memorabilia at the Simi Valley Town Center

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10049 and Simi Valley Town Center host an impressive display at the Museum of Military History Posters and Memorabilia

Hundreds of military posters and historical artifacts are on display that were graciously provided by local veterans and collectors. Artifacts include old weapons, munitions, posters, newspapers, uniforms and much more. Several Vietnam Veterans were on hand, imparting stories and background information to us as we strolled around.

Hours are 11am to 4pm on weekends and noon to 3pm on Wednesdays. There is no admission fee, though donations are encouraged to support local veterans.

More info at www.vfwpost10049.com/museum.html.

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Military Mule with armament (not live of course lol) on display.

Military Mule with armament (not live of course lol) on display.

Color Mi Vino in Simi Valley

Color Mi Vino: Paint, Wine, Fun is joining the latest big trend...painting with a glass of wine. They are located at 2955 B-2 Cochran St, Simi Valley (Sycamore Square Shopping Center).

Under the guidance of a trained artist, enjoy painting your masterpiece with a glass of wine, beer or non-alcoholic beverage. All supplies will be provided and no experience is required. You will be guided every step of the way.

Visit colormivino.com or call 805.285.2842 for more information.

Oak Park Campground in Simi Valley

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Located at 901 Quimisa Drive in Simi Valley, the Oak Park Campground is a rustic 100.5 acre open space park that is surrounded by gentle, rolling hills and an abundance of coastal sage scrub brush. This natural environment supports a multitude of California native wildlife species, such as a raptors, roadrunners, sagebrush lizards, and alligator lizards. The park is ideal for group RV camping in a secluded setting.

Day use is $2 per day ($4 on weekends) (as of July 2018). Camping is $32 per day.

Plenty of things to explore in this 100 acre space! Learn more or make reservations at www.ventura.org/inland-parks/oak-park-simi-valley or call 805.654.3951.

The video shot below was on a Sunday night around 7 p.m. in July 2010. There was for the most part nobody there! What a great opportunity to camp with your kids locally! I guess my only concerns about the location would be that the park is sandwiched between the 118 freeway and the railroad tracks...though I did not encounter any noise issues in my brief drive-by.

Rocky Peak Park in Simi Valley

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The 4,800 acre Rocky Peak Park is located in the Santa Susana Mountains, adjacent to the 118 freeway between Yosemite Avenue and Rocky Peak Road in Simi Valley. It is visually stunning to see as you drive up the 118 grade east towards the San Fernando Valley.

View of Rocky Peak Park from Highway 118 driving eastbound

View of Rocky Peak Park from Highway 118 driving eastbound

There are large sandstone structures, unusually balanced rocks, caves and other interesting formations throughout Rocky Peak Park. Plenty to explore and views abound!

The main entrance to the park is the Rocky Peak Trail, which runs north/south over about five miles of fire roads. It is moderately strenuous, with lots of hard, rocky surfaces, so make sure to wear solid shoes for this trail. Be prepared for panoramic views of Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley as the trail is nearly on the Ventura/Los Angeles County line.

To get there from the west, take the 118 east to Kuehner Drive, turn right where after a few miles it becomes Santa Susana Pass Road, until you see the Rocky Peak overpass. The trailhead is across the freeway, but parking is very limited, so plan to park on Santa Susana Pass Road, where plenty of street parking is available.

Lots of rocky surfaces on the Rocky Peak Trail as you can see

Lots of rocky surfaces on the Rocky Peak Trail as you can see

Trails that intersect the Rocky Peak Trail going east/west include the Hummingbird Creek Trail, Chumash Trail and Las Llajas Canyon Trail. Not far into Rocky Peak Trail you'll see a sign that indicates the Hummingbird Creek Trail.

No doubt about it...you'll have some really nice views of Simi Valley from up here!

No doubt about it...you'll have some really nice views of Simi Valley from up here!

After reaching the 2,715 foot Rocky Peak and taking in the views, if you're up to it you can continue north where you will pass by the Chumash Trail and Las Llajas Canyon Trail.

The Rocky Peak Trail terminates north of Blind Canyon in Las Llajas Canyon. You must then double back to return to the trailhead, or take the three mile Chumash Trail down to the westernmost boundary of the property at the end of Flanagan Drive in Simi Valley.

Chumash Trail is about 3 miles of steady climb from Flanagan Drive. To get to the Chumash Trail trailhead, take the 118 to Yosemite, go north, turn right on Flanagan to the end. Park on the street.

The Hummingbird Trail was built by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, starting near Kuehner Drive and the 118 Freeway. The trail leads up to the main Rocky Peak Trail. During and just after the rainy season, the trail passes cascades flowing down the sandstone boulders and cliffs. It is about 2 miles or so each way. Take the 118 to Kuehner, go north to the parking area about a quarter of a mile away.

Clearly marked sign on Rocky Peak Trail showing the Hummingbird Trail turnoff

Clearly marked sign on Rocky Peak Trail showing the Hummingbird Trail turnoff

Rocky Peak Park is maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Learn more at lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=51. Dogs are allowed on these trails on leash.

Peering down upon the northwest San Fernando Valley from Rocky Peak.

Peering down upon the northwest San Fernando Valley from Rocky Peak.

Mt. McCoy Trail in Simi Valley

The Mt. McCoy Trail is located on the west side of Simi Valley with a trailhead at the corner of Washburn Street and Los Amigos Avenue (off the west end of Royal Avenue).

The trailhead at the corner of Washburn St and Los Amigos Avenue

The trailhead at the corner of Washburn St and Los Amigos Avenue

The Mt. McCoy trail is distinctive as there is a large white cross at the top of the mountain, which is about a 600 or so foot climb. From the trailhead, go straight and then take the switchbacks up the mountain.

At this first juncture, keep going straight (south) to the switchbacks. Turn right and you'll be going straight up the steep hill, like we did the first time.

At this first juncture, keep going straight (south) to the switchbacks. Turn right and you'll be going straight up the steep hill, like we did the first time.

Actually, after just a few hundred feet from the Washburn/Los Amigos trailhead, you'll reach a juncture where you either go straight (which is correct) or take a trail to the right, which is much steeper, but a much more direct path to the top. We made the mistake of taking that path the first time and it got us right up to the cross, but it is pretty steep.

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The trails here are all really nicely groomed, thanks to the Rancho Simi Trailblazers and RSRPD. There are dozens of "shortcuts" along the trail but try to stick to the main path. Taking the correct path, with its switchbacks and twists and turns, is a bit over a mile to the top of Mt. McCoy, where you will be treated to panoramic views of the entire Simi Valley and the other direction towards the Reagan Library.  In fact, there are paths from the top that take you in other directions, including  a fire road that intersects with Presidential Drive to the Reagan Library.

View of the cross from about halfway up

View of the cross from about halfway up

A couple benches at the top of the hill to take in the beautiful views

A couple benches at the top of the hill to take in the beautiful views

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The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District owns 200 acres surrounding Mt. McCoy and the Rancho Simi Trailblazers helped construct the nicely maintained trail. Learn more at www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/trails/mt_mccoy_trail.php.

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Looking down from the cross to the south, where the benches and trailhead are.

Looking down from the cross to the south, where the benches and trailhead are.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

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A local must-see is the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, located at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley.  With sweeping hilltop views of the surrounding valleys, this 153,000 sq ft museum on 100 acres is incredible and quite interesting for all ages.  A wealth of memorabilia and artifacts from throughout Reagan's life is on display at the museum.

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In February 2011, over 26,000 sq ft of new exhibits and dozens of interactive displays spanning Reagan's life were introduced.  There are 24 galleries that pay tribute to our 40th President's life. You can act in a movie with Reagan, deliver his inaugural address with a teleprompter, set the table for a state dinner, learn about his economic policies in interactive games, read his handwritten diary, ride a horse alongside Reagan at Rancho del Cielo, and much more. There is also a full-scale Oval Office replica and a 9 1/2 foot, 6,300 lb section of the Berlin Wall on display.

Volunteer docents are very friendly, helpful and extremely knowledgeable, they are there to help guide you through your visit and answer your questions.

Exhibits include: Intro Theater, Foundations of a Leader, GE Theater, Governor Years, Victory & Inauguration, Assassination Attempt, The Oval Office, First Lady, Berlin Wall, Rebuilding America, Threat Theater, Peace Through Strength, Summits, American Heroes, Ranch & Camp David, Post Presidency, Mourning Ronald Reagan, Legacy Theater, National Treasures Gallery, Mary Jane Wick Gallery (Special Exhibits) and the Air Force One Pavillion (1st Level: Marine One, 2nd Level: History of the Flying White House, Presidential Motorcade, 3rd Level: Flights of Freedom, Air Force One Theater, Board Air Force One). Outside is a decommissioned F-14 Tomcat, a replica of the White House Rose Garden, a piece of the Berlin Wall and President Reagan's Memorial Site.

The Air Force One Pavilion opened in October 2005.  It features the actual Air Force One aircraft used from 1973 to 2001 and you can walk through aircraft when you visit the museum.  There are also motorcade vehicles, helicopter and other items on display. 

In addition to the permanent exhibits discussed above, there are always temporary exhibits on display. Check out the museum's website for details.

Dine at the Reagan Library! Reagan's Country Cafe offers panoramic views and is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, 7 days a week. You can access the cafe without entering the Museum. The Ronald Reagan Pub is located inside the Air Force One Pavilion and offers drinks and prepackaged sandwiches and other items.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Parking is free of charge. Admission costs vary based on the special exhibit on hand. Tickets for museum admission during the Genghis Khan exhibit 2/16/18 to 8/19/18 are $25 for ages 18 to 61, $22 ages 62+, $18 ages 11 to 17 and $15 for ages 3 to 10. Children 2 and under are free. Active U.S. Military with ID are also FREE. More information at www.reaganfoundation.org or by calling 805.577.4000.