Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area Programs in Ventura County

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Free events and programs at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area locations in Ventura County and adjacent areas are highlighted below! (updated periodically to remove past activities). For additional details and other event locations, visit samofund.org/calendar.

Most activities subject to cancellation if there's significant rain.

10/26, 11/24, 12/28 - Welcome Walk at Malibu Creek State Park 10am to 12:30pm - Join a docent for a refreshing walk along Malibu Creek, through a wooded valley. Learn about fire restoration, plus the park’s animals, plants, early inhabitants, and movies filmed on location. Meet at the Main Trailhead parking lot (second, lower lot) by the restrooms.

Sun 10/20, 11/17, 12/15, 1/19/20, 2/16, 3/15, 4/19, 5/17, 6/21, 7/19 8am to 11:30am - San Fernando Valley Audubon Bird Walk at Malibu Creek State Park - Considered the recreational crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park has over 8,000 acres of rolling tall grass plains, oak savannahs and dramatic peaks. It’s no wonder many call it “The Yosemite of Southern California.” Seasoned birders and beginners alike will enjoy good bird watching and a beautiful, easy hike. Meet at the second (lower) day-use parking lot. Entrance to the park is on the west side of Las Virgenes Rd., just south of Mulholland Hwy. Entrance fee is $12 per car.

Sat 11/2, 12/7, 1/4/20, 2/1 8:30-10am - Birds of the Santa Monica Mountains Walk at King Gillette Ranch - Bring your binoculars, bird guide, and/or camera and join us for an easy bird walk around the grounds of King Gillette Ranch. This area attracts many songbirds, water birds, woodpeckers, and raptors and we are always treated to something interesting. Kids are welcome and the walk is less than a mile at a very easy pace as we stop often to observe the birds. We leave promptly at 8:30 from the flagpole. Heavy rain cancels (but I will be there for anyone who wants to walk in it!). See you there!

Sat 10/19 6:30-8:30pm - Movie Night at Malibu Creek State Park featuring “The Second Time Around” - From 1946 to 1974 today’s park was a movie ranch owned by 20th Century Fox where dozens of movies and TV shows were made. Join us on for a romantic comedy with Debbie Reynolds as the innocent city girl who travels to the wildness of the frontier west. Filmed in CinemaScope. Park in the lower lot and walk a short distance to the outdoor amphitheater. Parking is $3 an hour. $12 maximum.

10/20 10am to noon and 1-3pm - Gourd Necklace Workshop at Rancho Sierra Vista - Get creative with Potawatomi artist Nadiya Littlewarrior as she presents a workshop on making and decorating gourd necklaces. The first workshop begins promptly at 10am. The second workshop begins at 1pm. Please be on time. All ages welcome. Materials will be provided.

To sign up for a work shop follow the links below:

10 am workshop

1 pm workshop

Sun 10/20 2-3:30pm - Who Lives Here? Jr. Ranger Program at SM Mountains Visitor Center - Join a ranger and learn something cool about the many different owls in the Santa Monica Mountains. Practice your scientific exploration skills with an owl pellet dissection activity. Earn a Jr. Ranger badge and get sworn in by a ranger! Family friendly fun for all ages.

Fri 10/25 6:30-7:30pm - Park After Dark at Paramount Ranch - Go behind the scenes with a ranger and explore Paramount Ranch at night! See the eerie remains of Western Town. Stand on a dangerous, abandoned racetrack. Gaze into the sky to see the stars that still shine here. Bring a flashlight, water, and wear sturdy shoes. Stargazing will be available if the sky is clear. (805) 370-2301.

Sat 11/2 9-10:15am - Yoga on the Mountain at SM Mountains Visitor Center - Trying to find a new way to exercise and connect with nature?

Yoga instructors Dawn and Greg will lead a 1-hour Yoga session and end with live acoustic music! We invite people of all skill levels to join us on an outdoor yoga class at our King Gillette Ranch Visitor Center.

Parking is free, but please arrive 10 mins early to the class.

Please bring your own Yoga mat and water. Limited supply of yoga mats to borrow for first timers!

Must RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/yoga-on-the-mountain-tickets-75041636555

11/3 10am to noon and 1-3pm - Make an Authentic Native American Pinch Pot at Rancho Sierra Vista - Join Navajo – Pueblo of Isletas Native, Rowan Harrison, as he will teach and demonstrate how to create your very own small, traditional, hand-coiled pottery.

The first workshop begins promptly at 10am. The second workshop begins at 1pm. Please be on time. Materials will be provided. All ages welcome.

To sign up for a work shop follow the links below:

10 am workshop

1 pm workshop

11/9 9:30am, 11:30am and 2pm - Medicinal Plant Walk with Jim Adams PhD at SM Mountains Visitor Center - Professor Jim Adams, PhD, of the USC School of Pharmacy, leads a plant walk on the medicinal uses of California native plants. Adams is trained in Chumash healing and will discuss traditional recipes for making healing medicines.

Coauthor of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, Adams will be available to sign his book.

Walks will begin at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2pm

Reservations Required. Email samo@wnpa.org or call 805-370-2301 for reservations and more info.

11/9 10-11am at SM Mountains Visitor Center - Coffee with Nithya Raman - The King Gillette Ranch Visitor Center is proud to host “Coffee With…” featuring local scientists, professors, and experts. Casually chat about social and environmental topics while you sip fresh, locally roasted coffee. We provide the coffee; you provide the mug!

On Saturday, November 9, from 10:00-11:00 am, join urban planner and community advocate Nithya Raman for a talk about the connections between homelessness issues and Los Angeles’ natural, open spaces.

RSVP at www.eventbrite.com/e/coffee-with-nithya-raman-tickets-75489094915

11/17 10am-noon and 1-3pm - Make a Dream Catcher at Rancho Sierra Vista - Come make a dream-catcher with Wichita tribal artist Michael Williams. He will teach the basics of creating your very own dream-catcher using natural resources.

There are two workshops available. The first workshop begins promptly at 10am. The second workshop begins at 1pm. Please be on time. Materials will be provided. All ages welcome.

To sign up for a work shop follow the links below:

10 am workshop

1 pm workshop

Sat 11/16 5:30-9pm - Fall Star Party at Paramount Ranch

Join rangers and astronomers for stargazing! Telescopes will be set up in the field next to Western Town. If conditions permit, see the cold, icy worlds of Uranus and Neptune as well as our distant neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy.

Dress warmly. In order to preserve night vision, red flashlights and headlamps are preferred. Restrooms are available. The event is free and accessible. Rain or fog cancels.

12/1 10am-3pm - Winter Solstice Festival at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa - Join us for a full day of Native American hand-crafted art, music, storytelling, dance demonstration, and family fun.

More than a dozen Native American Indian artists will show and sell artwork reflecting Chumash, Tongva, Wichita, Hupa, Cahuilla, Apache, Kumeyaay, Dine/Navajo, and many other Native cultures.

This is a great opportunity to purchase beautiful and unique Native American art for the holidays and meet our local artists.

Native American flute music, traditional dance demonstrations, and stories will be performed throughout the day. All ages welcome.


Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas

Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas

King Gillette Ranch - View from near Inspiration Point

King Gillette Ranch - View from near Inspiration Point

Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park

Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park

Directions to various locations

Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons: Ventura Fwy (101) to Chesebro Rd exit. Turn north on Palo Comado Canyon Rd then right on Chesebro Rd. Go north 1 mile to park entrance. Turn right and follow road to parking lot.

Circle X Ranch: Pacific Coast Hwy to Yerba Buena Rd. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Circle X Ranch contact station.

Sandstone Peak Trailhead: 1 mile north of Circle X Ranch contact station on Yerba Buena Rd. Parking lot is on left.

Mishe Mokwa Trailhead: 1.75 miles north of the Circle X contact station along Yerba Buena Road. Parking lot is on right.

King Gillette Ranch: Ventura Fwy (101) Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Turn left on Mulholland Hwy. Park entrance is 0.1 mile on right.

Malibu Creek State Park: Ventura Fwy (101) Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Park entrance is 0.25 mile south of the intersection on Las Virgenes Rd. From Pacific Coast Hwy: north on Malibu Canyon Rd to park entrance on left.

Paramount Ranch: Ventura Fwy (101) to Kanan Rd exit. South on Kanan 0.5 mile. Left on Cornell Way and veer to right. South 2.5 miles, entrance is on right side of the road.

Peter Strauss Ranch is located at 30000 Mulholland Highway, Agoura Hills.

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa: Ventura Fwy (101) to Lynn Rd exit. South on Lynn Rd 5.25 miles to Via Goleta. Park entrance is on the left at Via Goleta. Continue all the way to a parking lot where the road ends. To get to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, walk 0.3 mile up gravel road from the parking area to brown wooden building. 

Wendy Trailhead: Ventura Fwy (101) to Wendy Dr. exit. South on Wendy Dr to dirt pullout at intersection with Potrero Rd.

Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch: From Ventura Fwy (101): Exit Las Virgenes Rd. Go 3 miles south on Las Virgenes Rd to Mulholland Hwy intersection (traffic light). Turn left on Mulholland Hwy. Go 0.1 mile and turn right into entrance of King Gillette Ranch. The visitor center is the first building on your right. 26867 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Archaeology Day at Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch on October 19, 2019

October is California Archaeology Month, and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is celebrating it with Archaeology Day on October 19 from 10 to 4 p.m. The family friendly event will take place at the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch.

The following activities will take place:

  • Native American performances

  • An opportunity to dig up “artifacts” like an archaeologist in the hands-on excavation box

  • Practice throwing an atlatl spear at a target

  • Watch flint knapping demonstrations as experts turn stone into arrowheads

  • See genuine local artifacts on display

  • Learn more about history and prehistory with our hands-on replica artifact tables

  • Learn about the difference between archaeologists and paleontologists (hint: archaeologists don’t dig for dinosaur bones)

  • Presentations by local archaeologists

  • Learn about anthropology programs in local schools

  • Learn about Native American history and become a Junior Ranger!

This event & parking is free and open to the public. Sign up is optional and can be done here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/archaeology-day-tickets-72413323199

Questions about this event? Call (805)-370-2301 or email: Samo_Interpretation@nps.gov.

Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitors' Center - King Gillette Ranch is located at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Nights of the Jack Halloween Jack O'Lantern Experience at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas October 3rd to November 3rd

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Television production and event industry veterans Ben Biscotti, Tony Schubert and Bobby Rossi have announced that “Nights of the Jack” will return to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas from October 3 – November 3.

Local residents will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a Halloween wonderland, filled with thousands of hand-carved Jack O’Lanterns at this ranch, which is steeped in history. Legend has it that in 1824, at the top of the Calabasas grade on the original El Camino Real, a rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagonload of pumpkins while en route to Los Angeles. Sometime later, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. As a result of the surprising event, the area was dubbed Las Calabasas—"the place where the pumpkins fell."

Tickets are on sale now at nightsofthejack.com. Guests who reserve tickets for opening weekend (October 3-6) will receive a 25% discount.

Nights Of The Jack is more than your traditional Halloween attraction. Vast grounds of intricately hand-carved and illuminated pumpkins will welcome visitors as they make their way through the half-mile trail around the ranch. This year, in partnership with Nickelodeon, the event will feature a special SpongeBob SquarePants installation, which brings to life fan-favorite SpongeBob characters and iconic Bikini Bottom places through an illuminated pumpkin display, as well as an Are You Afraid of the Dark? pre-show tent space to include twisted surprises, along with an interactive augmented reality experience. The grounds will also feature a live pumpkin carver, gift shop, food trucks from some of Los Angeles’ most popular dining destinations, "The Spookeasy Bar" @ Nights of the Jack, which will serve traditional alcoholic beverages as well as specially crafted Halloween cocktails, and tons of other “Instagrammable” moments for all to enjoy!

Times: October 3 - October 27: Thursday-Sunday, from 6:00pm – 11:00pm, October 28 – November 3: Monday-Sunday, from 6:00pm – 11:00pm

Tickets at nightsofthejack.com.

Trunk or Treat Halloween Spectacular Event in Calabasas on Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trunk or Treat Halloween Spooktacular – Thursday, October 31, 2019, 3:30pm-5:30pm

The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas is hosting its 8th Annual Trunk or Treat Halloween event. Parents dress up those little monsters in their Halloween costumes and bring them out for some safe trick-or-treating fun! Trick or Treat from trunk to trunk of local businesses and locals that have come out to show their support for their community! Enjoy popcorn, games, candy, activities, prizes and more. Don’t miss out on this FREE event!

For more information call 818-880-2993 or visit www.ahccc.org.

Pumpkin Party at the Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas on Saturday, October 26, 2019

"Pumpkin Party" at the Leonis Adobe Museum on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM featuring:

Halloween crafts, feed the ranch animals.
Free pumpkins for the kids!
Live interactive kids music and more.

In the spirit of Halloween, guests are encouraged to wear costumes! Pumpkins for the kids are included with your admission so get here early to get your free pumpkin! (Quantities are limited and are only available while supplies last.)

Members FREE
Non-Members $8 per person (3 yrs. & up)
Under 2 yrs. free
 
Leonis Adobe Museum is located at 23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas (next to the Sagebrush Cantina).

leonisadobemuseum.org  |  818-222-6511

2019 Calabasas Pumpkin Festival at De Anza Park on October 19-20

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The 2019 Calabasas Pumpkin Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday, October 19-20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Juan Bautista de Anza Park, 3701 Lost Hills Road. There will be live bands, contests, reptile and wildlife shows, inflatable rides and giant slide and youth carnival games. Pumpkin patch,  pumpkin foods and flavors, pumpkin beer, pumpkin crafts and professional pumpkin carver. Admission includes inflatables and giant slide along with all the other fun highlighted above! 

$5 per person in advance (BEFORE 10/14/19 at De Anza Park Office, Calabasas City Hall, Calabasas Chamber of Commerce and Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center); $10 at the gate. $5 for active military, veterans and 60+. Kid under 2 are free.

Saturday Special! Free admission before 11:00am for kids in costume ages 6 & under.

FOR PURCHASE AT SITE: Food and beer, jewelry and other craft items, children's craft projects, balloons & face painting, pumpkins & pumpkin treats.

Event entrance and parking at the corner of Lost Hills Road & Agoura Road (NOTE: No parking or entry along Las Virgenes - Malibu Canyon Road).

For more information visit www.calabasaspumpkinfestival.com or call 818.222.5680.

2019 City of Calabasas 4th of July Fireworks, Fun Runs, Splash Party and Pet Show

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The City of Calabasas will proudly host the community’s annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at Calabasas High School on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and fireworks show begins at 9:00 p.m. The family-oriented, fun-filled event will feature live music, a family fun zone and the grand fireworks display! 

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available at City Hall (100 Civic Center Way) starting June 1 and at the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center (23400 Park Sorrento) and Juan Bautista De Anza Park (3701 Lost Hills Road) until July 4. The event usually sells out in advance of July 4th.

The $10 admission price includes parking, entertainment and all activities.  Children under 2 years of age are admitted free. Picnic items permitted (no bottles or open containers).  Food & drinks available for purchase on site: barbecue, sausages, roasted corn, kettle corn, snow cones & more. The Fireworks Spectacular is an alcohol and tobacco free zone. No bottles, pets or umbrellas are permitted.

Summer Splash Party at the Tennis & Swim Center, 2300 Park Sorrento, on July 4th from noon–5:30 pm. Free swimming and tennis, family BBQ, fun, games, and more! For information (818) 222–2782.

42nd Annual Lakeside Fun Run presented by the Calabasas Park Homeowners Association. Events begin at 7:45 am and include 4 & 2 mile runs, 2 mile walk and 1/4 mile races for youth. For information call (818) 222–2782 or visit www.imathlete.com. Pre-register by July 1st for discounted fee.

Pet Show presented by the Calabasas Park Homeowners Association at the greenbelt at Calabasas Lake at 11am. All pets welcome. Register onsite. Call 818.222.2782 for information.

More information at cityofcalabasas.com/events/fireworks.html.

2019 Bulldog 50K and 25K Runs in Malibu Creek State Park on Saturday, August 24th

Bulldog 50k and 25k

Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas

Saturday, August 24, 2019

50K at 7am, 25K at 8am

The challenging and popular Bulldog runs consist of two races - the 25K Trail Run and the 50K Trail Ultra Run, which are conducted simultaneously. Come join us and run in the beautiful scenic Santa Monica Mountains recreational area beginning at our base camp in Malibu Creek State Park.

The course offers inspirational vistas of untamed terrain and sweeping ocean views. The challenging trail weaves through the mountains on single track and fire roads.

Visit ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=61451 for more information and to register for these challenging events.