Christmas and Other Holiday Season Events Around Ventura County

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Hop onto the holiday bandwagon and check out some of these dozens of events in and around Ventura County, most of which are FREE! Christmas parades, Santa visits, carnivals, train rides, holiday runs, holiday home tours, boutiques, nativity displays and lots of holiday music and entertainment!

This list will be updated regularly as we move our way through the Thankgiving and Christmas holiday season! Submit additions here.

Do contact event coordinators as things sometimes change! Also, some events require RSVP.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Past Events:

  • Sat 11/11: Santa's Arrival at The Oaks Mall (10am to noon)
  • Sat 11/11: Annual Tree Lighting and Santa's Arrival at Simi Valley Town Center
  • Fri 11/17: Holiday Tree Lighting at The Promenade at Westlake
  • Sat 11/18: Tree Lighting at The Collection at RiverPark
  • Sat 11/18: TOHS Holiday Boutique
  • Sat 11/19: Santa Paws Event at Ventura Beach Marriott

Guide to Finding Family Friendly Bike Paths In and Around Ventura County

As a casual cyclist with young kids I usually steer clear of riding on busy streets, particularly those that don't have any type of bike lane on them. Thankfully there are nearly 80 miles of bikeways in Thousand Oaks, including 3 miles of bike paths, 20 miles of bike lanes and 54 miles of marked bike routes.  

The City of Thousand Oaks ranked #49 on the 2016 BICYCLING Magazine list of Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities.

Bike routes are shared with vehicles 

Bike routes are shared with vehicles 

Class I Bike Paths are separate from auto traffic and thus are great for family friendly cycling. Class II Bike Lanes are striped, painted and shared lanes adjacent to automobile lanes. Class III Bike Routes are marked by green signs that signify sharing with autos.

We also love taking our bikes to other places in and around Ventura County to enjoy other sights and surroundings. So how about if we highlight Class I Bike Paths throughout Ventura County, stretching from Thousand Oaks to Ventura.

Conejo Valley

The Conejo Creek Bike Path is a 1.2 mile path in the heart of Thousand Oaks that connects Gainsborough Road on the south to Conejo Creek Park and the Thousand Oaks Library. This is a nice, flat path, good for kids.

There is another Thousand Oaks bike path, the .5 mile Greenmeadow Drive connector bike path accessible on the west at Greenmeadow and Yellowstone, on the south side of Los Robles Greens. This is not a particularly interesting path but it does enable cyclists and walkers a path around the golf course to the Los Robles trailhead and Moorpark Road from Newbury Park. A bit hilly, too.

Entrance to Greenmeadow Avenue connector bike path in Thousand Oaks

Entrance to Greenmeadow Avenue connector bike path in Thousand Oaks

There is also the .8 mile bike path on the north side of The Oaks mall as well as the .5 mile Read Road Connector path accessible off of Olsen Road just east of the 23 freeway.

Sign at the Read Road connector path on Olsen Road east of 23 Freeway.

Sign at the Read Road connector path on Olsen Road east of 23 Freeway.

Medea Creek Natural Park has hiking, biking and fitness trails that stretch from Calle Rio Vista and Oaks Hills Drive in Oak Park on the north, then south past Medea Creek Lane and Conifer Street to a cul de sac entrance to the park at the west terminus of Tamarind Street. About a mile to mile and a half of paths, including paved and dirt paths.

Nicely paved path at Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park

Nicely paved path at Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park

Ventura

My personal favorite bike path in Ventura County is the Omer Rains Trail that runs the entire length of San Buenaventura State Beach.

Senator Omer Rains Ventura Oceanfront Bikeway Sign on Main Street next to Ventura Beach RV Resort

Senator Omer Rains Ventura Oceanfront Bikeway Sign on Main Street next to Ventura Beach RV Resort

We park the car at Marina Park in Ventura and ride a short distance north on Pierpont Blvd to the bike path entrance. This oceanfront path takes you past the Ventura Pier, through the Promenade area, adjacent to the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Emma Wood State Beach and beyond. Or you can get to the path from anywhere along the Ventura Promenade area.

Bike path along San Buenaventura State Beach

Bike path along San Buenaventura State Beach

Omer Rains Bike Path near Ventura Beach RV Resort on Main St.

Omer Rains Bike Path near Ventura Beach RV Resort on Main St.

Nice, newer paved section of Ventura beachfront bike path near Surfers Point

Nice, newer paved section of Ventura beachfront bike path near Surfers Point

The Ventura River Trail is a 6.3 mile asphalt pedestrian and bike path that follows the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way from Main Street in Ventura to Foster Park inland towards Ojai. You can easily connect from the Omer Rains Trail to the Ventura River Trail up to the Ojai Valley Trail for quite a long, nearly automobile-free ride.

The Ventura Harbor Bike Path takes you 1.2 miles from Market St and Arundell Ave in midtown Ventura southwest through farmland to E. Harbor Boulevard and Schooner Drive, near Four Points by Sheraton.

Bike path from midtown Ventura to the Harbor is not the most exciting path but it is a convenient way to ride to Ventura Harbor, Marina Park and adjacent areas.

Bike path from midtown Ventura to the Harbor is not the most exciting path but it is a convenient way to ride to Ventura Harbor, Marina Park and adjacent areas.

The La Conchita Bike Path between Rincon Point at the Ventura/Santa Barbara County Line adjacent to Highway 101 past La Conchita to Mobil Pier Road in Ventura was completed in September 2014. This path has leapfrogged into my own personal favorite in Ventura County because of its spectacular beach views. This is about 4 miles of bike path in the Oil Piers Beach to Mussel Shoals to La Conchita Beach to Rincon Point beach areas.

Bike paths rarely get better than this stretch along the southbound 101 and the Pacific Ocean in Ventura.

Bike paths rarely get better than this stretch along the southbound 101 and the Pacific Ocean in Ventura.

There's another short stretch of bike path at the east end of Navigator Drive that goes west, then south, around the Ventura West Marina.

Entrance to short bike path adjacent to Ventura West Marina.

Entrance to short bike path adjacent to Ventura West Marina.

Ojai

The Ojai Valley Trail is a 9 to 10 mile trail that parallels Highway 33 from Foster Park on the outskirts of west Ventura, to Soule Park in Ojai. It connects to the Ventura River Trail.

The Ojai Trail runs parallel to Ventura Ave/Ojai Ave.

The Ojai Trail runs parallel to Ventura Ave/Ojai Ave.

Simi Valley

The Arroyo Simi Bike Path is a two lane bike path in Simi Valley that runs from Madera Road, just south of Easy Street on the west, ending at Cochran Avenue between Fig Street and Ralston Street on the east. Roughly 6 to 7 miles.

Arroyo Simi Bike Path/Trail in Simi Valley.

Arroyo Simi Bike Path/Trail in Simi Valley.

Camarillo

We enjoy the newer, flat roughly 2 mile Calleguas Creek bike path from Pleasant Valley Fields up to the corner of Flynn and Upland Roads in Camarillo. Quick access from the Conejo Valley and a nice, relatively easy path good for all ages.

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!

Other Areas

There's an online bike map available on the Ventura County Transportation Commission website at www.goventura.org where you can find other Class I, II and II bike paths around the county. Here are some of them.

The Santa Paula Bike Trail takes you roughly 3 miles on the east near W. Main St and Peck Rd to (roughly) Dike Road on the west

The Fillmore Bike Path runs from south of Highway 126 (Telegraph Road) up past Shiell Park.

In Moorpark there's a .5 mile path at Country Trail Park, around the neighborhood to the west, back to Mountain Trail Street.

There's a bike path that starts at the ocean side of Oxnard Beach Park and takes you south all the way to Hollywood Beach and Channel Islands Harbor. Cross Harbor Boulevard and make your way into Channel Islands Harbor, where you can ride all the way to the south end of the harbor.

Bike path near Oxnard Beach Park and Channel Islands Harbor.

Bike path near Oxnard Beach Park and Channel Islands Harbor.

In Port Hueneme there's a bike path that starts off of Bard Rd, west of South J St, through Richard Bard Running Springs Park and takes you southwest all the way to Hueneme Beach.

If you're willing to venture a bit further away from Ventura County, the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path stretches over 20 miles, from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades to Torrance. Flat, adjacent to the ocean, and so many things to do along the way!

Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path in Pacific Palisades

Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path in Pacific Palisades

That should be enough to get you started! Looking for local cycling clubs? Find some of them at this link.

Events in Ventura County and Nearby Areas That Have Been Around Over 40 Years

Conejo Valley Guide is the most comprehensive resource ever known to human civilization for events, activities and things to do throughout Ventura County and adjacent areas stretching to Santa Barbara, Malibu and Calabasas, as all of you already know. We've noticed there are numerous events that have taken place in our local community for quite a long time! Let's take a look at the longest duration events in the area - those that have been around at least 40 years.

(By all means we know this list can't be 100% complete...so help us out by tipping us off to anything we've missed! Also, all these events/dates are subject to change, so be sure to visit the organizers' websites for more details.)

The 143rd Ventura County Fair will take place in summer 2018, the longest duration community event in the county. According to this Fillmore Gazette article, the VC Fair originated in 1874 at Pierpont Bluffs and Hueneme before moving to Seaside Park in Ventura. www.venturacountyfair.org

The Ventura County Fair is the longest-running community event in the area.

The Ventura County Fair is the longest-running community event in the area.

The Midsummer Festival at Vasa Park in Agoura Hills is hosted the weekend closest to June 24th each year by the Swedish American Central Association of Southern California to encourage the preservation of Swedish culture, traditions and customs.  The 98th iteration of this event will happen in June 2018. www.vasapark.org

The 93rd Annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta in Santa Barbara took place over five days, August 2-6, 2017. It is an annual festival that honors and preserves Santa Barbara’s history, spirit, culture, heritage and traditions with music, art, food, parade, tours and more in various locations. Learn more at www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org.

Simi Valley Days celebrates its 85th annual event in September 2018. This is a great community event with a carnival, family games, entertainment, vendors, food, an annual parade and much more.  Learn more at simivalleydays.org.

The 73rd Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show takes place in March 2018. It is one of the largest and oldest orchid shows in the United States. www.sborchidshow.com

The 68th Annual Santa Paula Christmas Parade takes place on the first Sunday after Thankgiving 2017, Quite a tradition for this town that was incorporated in April 1902! www.discoversantapaula.com/SantaPaula_Calendar.htm

The 67th Annual Oxnard Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will occur in December 2017 (generally the first Friday night of the month), making it one of the oldest traditions in Ventura County. And the tree is the County's tallest, at about 110 feet! downtownoxnard.org

The 65th Annual Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade in 2017 is Santa Barbara's only nighttime parade, generally on the first Friday night of December.  www.santabarbaradowntown.com/about/downtown-holiday-parade

The 64th Annual Semana Nautica 15K in Santa Barbara takes place on July 4, 2018 and on July 4th of each year. It is the oldest foot race on the Central Coast. www.sbrunning.org

The 61st Conejo Valley Days carnival, that happened on May 11-14, 2017, is the oldest event of its kind in Thousand Oaks. The event officially became called Conejo Valley Days in 1956; previously referred to as a "Community Circus" when held at the old Jungleland (now The Lakes) compound conejovalleydays.us.

Scene from Conejo Valley Days Parade of 1970.

Scene from Conejo Valley Days Parade of 1970.

The 58th Annual Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival will take place at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in May 2018. The event was established in Topanga Canyon and moved around a bit as it grew and moved to the current venue in 1990. It is one of the largest acoustic music events in Southern California. Learn more at www.topangabanjofiddle.org.

The second-longest running Christmas parade in Ventura County is the Camarillo Christmas Parade, which celebrates its 57th annual event in December 2017 www.pvrpd.org

The 56th Annual Simi Valley Halloween Carnival took place on 10/31/17 at Rancho Santa Susana Park. Hosted by the Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District, this is one of the longest running Halloween carnivals in Ventura County. www.rsrpd.org

The 56th Annual Spirit of 76 Foundation 4th of July Parade takes place July 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara and is the longest-running 4th of July parade in the Ventura County/Santa Barbara area. www.spiritof76sb.org

Local area gem and mineral societies have been organizing fun annual shows for decades, including the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society's 56th Annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Lapidary Show set for March 2018. vgms.org/category/gem-show.

The 52nd Annual Parade of Lights at Channel Islands Harbor will dazzle spectators in December 2017. This may well be the longest-running boat parade in Ventura County. Great fun watching the boats lighted up at the Harbor. www.channelislandsharbor.org

Orange you glad the 51st Annual Santa Paula Citrus Festival will take place in July 2018, to my knowledge the longest-running produce/food related event in Ventura County www.santapaulafestival.org

Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park hosted its 51st Annual Easter Sunrise Service on Easter Day 2018, quite possibly the longest running local Easter service in Ventura County www.piercebrothersvalleyoaks.com

The 48th Annual Westlake Village 4th of July Parade and Party in the Park will likely be taking place yet again on July 4, 2018, making it the longest running Conejo Valley area 4th of July parade. www.wlv.org

The oldest Ventura County 4th of July fireworks show is the 47th Annual Simi Valley 4th of July Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza hosted by the Simi Valley Rotary in 2017. www.simivalleyrotary.org

The 49th Annual Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society Galaxy of Gems Expo will take place in November 2018, making it the 2nd oldest gem and mineral show in Ventura County. These shows are interesting and fun for the whole family and have great learning opportunities for the kids. www.oxnardgem.com

The 47th Annual Malibu Arts Festival planned for the last weekend of July 2018 is possibly the longest running arts festival in the nearby area! www.malibu.org

The 45th Annual Santa Barbara Greek Festival is anticipated to take place in July 2018. www.santabarbaragreekfestival.org (The Ventura County Greek Festival is not far behind at 40 years in June 2018 www.vcgreekfestival.org.

The Westlake Village Garden Club's 44th Annual Garden Tour took place in April 2017, making it the longest running garden tour in the area. www.westlakevillagegardenclub.com

The 3rd longest running gem and mineral show in the area is hosted by the Conejo Gem & Mineral Club. Its 44th Annual Pageant of a Thousand Gems Show will occur in April 2018 in Newbury Park. www.cgamc.org

The 43rd Annual Scandinavian Festival at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks takes place in April 2018.  www.scandinavianfest.org

The 41st Annual Ojai Art in the Park event will take place Memorial Day weekend 2018. This I believe is the longest-running outdoor art show within Ventura County. www.ojaiartcenter.org

This is just a tiny fraction of ALL the great events that take place in Ventura County and surrounding areas each year that are highlighted in the Events Calendar and Local Events section of Conejo Valley Guide.

How to Change Background Themes In the New Firefox Quantum

For over a decade I've been a Firefox user but in recent years my Web browser usage has migrated more towards Google Chrome because Firefox has slowed and consumed too much memory. I frequently had to close and restart Firefox as it slowed and/or froze so frequently.

Today when I turned on my computer, Firefox installed version 57.0, Firefox Quantum. Mozilla says that it is better, faster and uses less memory! GOOD! They also say it is 30% "lighter" than Chrome, which alludes to memory usage. GREAT!

Hoping for the best with this new Firefox update! But one thing annoyed me when it first opened on my screen. The tabs were dark with white font. I don't like that. I right-clicked and messed around, hoping to change it back to the light background I was used to, to no avail. I searched the Web for answers and couldn't find anything quickly for mere mortals like myself.

Then I happened upon the quite simple answer and screenshotted it for those, like me, who aren't fans of change when forced upon us.

Here's the annoying (to me in any case) browser tabs and menu that came with the new Firefox Quantum. How to change it? Click the menu item and scroll to Customize.

Here's the annoying (to me in any case) browser tabs and menu that came with the new Firefox Quantum. How to change it? Click the menu item and scroll to Customize.

In the Customize menu screen, click Themes.

In the Customize menu screen, click Themes.

Then you will see the background Themes that came with Firefox Quantum. I changed it from the Default Theme to the Light Theme and, wallah, my issue was gone. There are plenty of other Themes out there by clicking Get More Themes. Not me, though. I like it simple.

Then you will see the background Themes that came with Firefox Quantum. I changed it from the Default Theme to the Light Theme and, wallah, my issue was gone. There are plenty of other Themes out there by clicking Get More Themes. Not me, though. I like it simple.

Firefox color scheme is back to the same ole boring look I've used for years. YES!

Firefox color scheme is back to the same ole boring look I've used for years. YES!

Laugh it Up! Live Comedy in and Around Ventura County

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Looking for laughs around Ventura County? Here are some great options to consider.

The Ventura Harbor Comedy Club (located at Ventura Harbor Village), features top-notch comedy five nights a week. Admission is generally $15 plus a two drink minimum. The club is owned by comedians Andy Fernandez and Randy Lubas.

Levity Live Comedy Club at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard is now open, offering a weekly lineup of stand-up comedy. 

Jason Love hosts a monthly comedy show, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Night, at the Paseo Camarillo Regency Theater on the 3rd Wednesday night and at the Westlake Village Twin the 1st Wednesday night of each month. Shows start at 7:30pm.

Jason also hosts periodic comedy shows at the AMC DINE-IN Thousand Oaks 14 (formerly Muvico) at The Oaks mall, including New Year's Eve and Valentine's Night shows. Tickets at fandango.com or at the box office.

Comedy & Cocktails at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo is another comedy venue hosted by Jason Love on the last Friday night of each month. For information, visit www.studiochannelislands.org or call 805-383-1368. Next show is 9/29.

Jason Love also hosts "Live Standup Comedy on the Hill" at the Hillcrest Center in Thousand Oaks. This is a monthly show on designated Saturday nights. (Upcoming dates: 12/9, 1/13/18, 2/10/18)

And yet another local comedy show hosted by Jason Love is at the Studio Movie Grill at the Simi Valley Town Center at 7pm the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Jason Love hosts a lot of shows, doesn't he!? Check them all out in one place at www.jasonlove.eventbrite.com.

Ventura Improv Company, offers improv shows at various Ventura venues, including Bell Arts Factory and NAMBA Performing Arts Space.

The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills is known primarily for great music acts but they also have top-notch comedians on hand all the time! Ticket costs vary. Reserve a dinner table and get guaranteed seating!

The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza hosts all types of performances...musicals, concerts, lecture, ballet, dances, plays and, sometimes, comedy!

Upcoming 5K, 10K and Other Ventura County Area Running and Fitness Events

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Start training for upcoming 5K, 10K, half marathon and other Ventura County running and fitness events! We've made it easy for you to find a local race by tracking local events right here. So go on, get moving, lace up those shoes and start training! CLICK HERE for local running groups and clubs.  Training for a marathon? Check out 26.2 Training Tips for Your First Marathon!

CONEJO JOE'S TRAINING BLOG

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For great running shoes from local businesses that know a lot about them, try the following:

Future Track Running Shoe Store (30125 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills)

Mile 26 Sports (1450 E. Thompson Boulevard, Ventura)

Road Runner Sports (1714 Newbury Road, Newbury Park)

Foot Pursuit Run Shop (4324 Cochran Street, Simi Valley)

Inside Track Running Shoe Store (2437 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura)

Fleet Feet Sports (982 South Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village) (Opened in April 2016)