America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College

Moorpark Teaching Zoo Sign
AmericasTeachingZoo_logo.jpg

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, elephants, emus, 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.

The zoo is open on weekends with an admission fee of $8 for adults and $6 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.

Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store in Oak Park

Treasured Memories.JPG

Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store opened in June 1997 and has grown and evolved with the scrapbook industry to provide customers with the best memory preservation solutions on the market. They offer supplies, classes, parties, events and more.

Located in the Oak Park Shopping Center at 612 Lindero Canyon Road, Oak Park.  Visit www.treasuredmemoriesca.com or call 818.889.6639 for more information.

During normal business hours, Treasured Memories offers complimentary space in their project room. Call the store in advance to ensure space and availability.

Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park

NOTE: MUSEUM AND PARK TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS A RESULT OF DAMAGE SUSTAINED FROM THE WOOLSEY FIRE IN NOVEMBER 2018. CHECK THE WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES.

Reported 11/11/18: Oakbrook Park sustained fire damage and the replica Chumash village was completely lost. However, a majority of the oak trees survived.

ChumashMuseum_front.JPG

Located in Lang Ranch at the top of Westlake Boulevard near Avenida de los Arboles at 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks, the Chumash Interpretative Center / Chumash Indian Museum contains Chumash artifacts and historical items, nature walks and tours of the beautiful local Oakbrook Regional Park area.  The museum is open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Admission price is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors 65+ and $3.00 for children under 12. There is no charge to walk the trails in the park.

OakbrookRegionalPark_sign.JPG

The Chumash Indian Museum is located on a historical Chumash village site and contains a large collection of Chumash artifacts.

ChumashIntCtr.jpg

Stroll around the 436 acre Oakbrook Regional Park, a Ventura County historical landmark #90 (designated in 1983). 

Contact the Center for more information about these and other events, field trips, weddings and birthday parties at www.chumashmuseum.org or 805.492.8076.

To protect the wildlife, dogs are not allowed here.

ChumashIndianMuseumPic1.JPG
ChumashIndianMuseumPic2.jpg

Golf N' Stuff Ventura

For hours of amusement check out Golf N' Stuff off of Highway 101 in eastern Ventura. Golf N' Stuff features two 18-hole miniature golf courses, Indy style race cars (go-karts), bumper boats, bumper cars, laser tag and a large arcade. You must be 4' 8" tall to drive the go-karts and at least 4' tall to drive the bumper boats and bumper cars.

 The famous Golf N' Stuff Castle seen from Highway 101 in Ventura.

The famous Golf N' Stuff Castle seen from Highway 101 in Ventura.

Wow, talk about a fun venue for a kid's birthday party! Parties include pizza, cake, golf, rides, etc. Lots of things to do for everyone at Golf N' Stuff. The arcade is one of the largest around town.

Golf N' Stuff is open 365 days per year! Yes, it is even open Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day! There is also a snack bar that serves an assortment of items, like mini pizzas, hot dogs and pretzels. Enough to provide plenty of carbs for your activities.

Sign up for their email club and receive periodic special deals, like 2 for 1 mini golf, etc. A no brainer. There are also printable coupons on the Golf N Stuff site at golfnstuff.com/ventura/coupons.html.

Golf N' Stuff is located at 5555 Walker Street, Ventura. More info at www.golfnstuff.com or call 805.644.7131.

Exit the 101 off Victoria, head North to Moon Drive, which turns into Walker, and turn left. The park is on the right hand side.

GolfNStuffSign.jpg
GolfNStuffCtr.jpg
GolfNStuffCtr2.jpg
GolfNStuffC2H10.jpg

Color Me Mine Thousand Oaks

ColorMeMine.jpg

Color Me Mine is a ceramic painting studio where you drop by anytime and select from over 400 ceramic pieces to design and paint. . For the price of a studio fee and the item you choose to paint, you can paint all day using 60+ colors and supplies! They glaze and fire your work in a kiln and your work of art will be available in 5 to 7 days.

The Thousand Oaks Color Me Mine location is at the Paseo Market Square in Thousand Oaks at 3707 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard, near Al Mulino Eatalia and The Melting Pot.

More information at thousandoaks.colormemine.com.

Color Me Mine Ceramics Studio in Calabasas

ColorMeMine_logo.jpg

Are you looking for a creative way to spend quality time with the ones you love? Paint ceramics with your friends and family at Color Me Mine at 23641 Calabasas Road, Calabasas! Pick from hundreds of ceramic pieces for kids, the kitchen, bath, pets and more. Design and paint them any way you like. We have over 70 underglaze colors to choose from. Not an artist? Not to worry! We have talented and friendly staff to help you. We'll fire your one-of-a-kind ceramic masterpiece for you to take home and enjoy.  More information at www.calabasas.colormemine.com or call 818.222.4922.

Color Me Mine Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio in Oxnard

ColorMeMine_logo.jpg

Are you looking for a creative way to spend quality time with the ones you love? Paint ceramics with your friends and family at Color Me Mine Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio located at The Collection at Riverpark, at 2710 Portico Way, Oxnard!

Color Me Mine is a ceramic painting studio where you drop by anytime and paint a pre-made bisque pieces. For the price of a studio fee and the item you choose to paint, you can paint all day using 60+ colors and supplies! They then glaze and fire your work in a kiln and your work of art will be available in 5 to 7 days.

In addition to a vast array of tableware, painters can select from a variety of vases, frames, jewelry boxes, figurines, and more!

More information at www.oxnard.colormemine.com or call 805.981.8631.

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.

Marty's Hobbies in Thousand Oaks

MartyHobbiesFront.jpg

Marty's Hobbies is a family owned and operated hobby shop that has operated in the Conejo Valley since 1976. In 2018, the store relocated to a huge new location at 270 Conejo Ridge Avenue, Thousand Oaks

The new location has all the items it had at the previous location - plastic models, airplanes, slot racing cars, trains, toys and much more. 

The store has a huge RC Race Track, RC Crawler Course, Drone Course and Slot Car Track. You can access the tracks on an hourly, daily or monthly membership basis. 

Marty's also offers birthday parties now for both kids and adults. Parties include track time, expert staff time to train your attendees, party room use, karaoke machine, gaming system and more.

Visit www.martyshobbies.com or call 805.497.3664 for more information.

MartysHobbiesRCOffroad.jpg

Painting with a Twist Thousand Oaks

Painting with a Twist TO.JPG

Painting with a Twist Thousand Oaks opened on November 30, 2017 in the Clear Oaks Plaza at 1867 Thousand Oaks Boulevard

Painting with a Twist provides customers with paint, a canvas and brushes that lead to a fun evening with friends and a finished piece of art.  And yes, you receive professional instruction to create your work of art as well as access to wine.

The studio is 3 rooms, consisting of an art bar and private party room (both 21+ only) and a family room that is alcohol-free for kids’ classes, young adult parties and family fun-time events. The studio art bar offers wine, beer, soft drinks and hot beverages for sale.

Private Parties are great for groups of 10 or more; age restrictions apply to each studio room. For private family events, children under the age of 7 must be supervised by an adult family member at all times.

For more information visit www.paintingwithatwist.com/studio/thousand-oaks or call 805.372.7928.

Train Rides at Griffith Park

Griffith Park & Southern Railroad

The Griffith Park & Southern Railroad has operated almost continuously since 1948.  GP&S Railroad, 4400 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles (near Los Feliz and Riverside) and Travel Town Railroad, 5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, Forest Lawn exit from the 134 Fwy.) are open 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day.

If your kids are Thomas the Tank Engine fans, then this is a no-brainer half day excursion.  We visited GP&S over a Memorial Day weekend and the kids could not get enough of the 1 mile mini-train ride, traveling over 2 bridges, a tunnel and a mini-Western town.

Travel Town is a 3/8ths of a mile track that does 2 loops, so you do get 1/4 of a mile more ride for your money on the GP&S track.  Both rides are $2.75 per person as of March 2018 ($2.25 for seniors over age 65). GP&S also has a simulator ride, pony rides and concession stands.  Travel Town also has a railroad equipment history museum as well as dozens of old-time railroad locomotive and cars.

For more information, visit www.gprah.com or call 323.664.6903 (GP&S) or 323.662.9678.

Pics and vid from a trip to Travel Town in April 2011.

TravelTown1.jpg
TravelTownMiniTrain.jpg
TravelTownLocomotive2.jpg
TravelTownLocomotive.jpg
TravelTown3.jpg

The Ultimate Escape Rooms at Ventura Harbor Village

The Ultimate Escape Rooms are a recent addition to Ventura Harbor Village. There are four different themed rooms that a group of up to eight people are have to escape within a 60 minute time frame.

But how? The room is full of puzzles, riddles and props that the group must decipher to come up with the ultimate "code" to escape the room. Using the combined efforts of your group, you must review the clues and solve a series of puzzles to make your way out of there.

Yes, I have tried it with a group of 11 to 14 year old kids and we had a fun time trying to get out of there. Although we were unable to figure out the final piece to our puzzle, we enjoyed it. And don't worry...if the group needs clues, you can all raise your hands and you will be given a bit of help.

They do not allow you to bring personal belongings like cell phones into the rooms, but lockers are provided. 

The current room themes as of January 2018 are: The Wizards Lair, We Are All Mad Here, The Attic and Adrift. Pricing is $39 per person but do check for special deals. We booked the entire room for a birthday party via a Groupon deal.

We tried "We Are All Mad Here." Quite an interesting assortment of items on display in the room. This was an experience that none of us have ever had and the kids and I worked together to ultimately fail to get out of the room...but succeed in having fun!

Learn more at www.theultimateescaperooms.com.