Halloween Events and Activities In and Around Ventura County

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Here, once again, is our boo-rific compilation of Halloween events, activities and goings on around Ventura County and surrounding areas for the 2019 Halloween season! Spooky houses, pumpkin patches, trick or treating, carnivals, community events, storytelling and more! 

Dates/times subject to change; contact event organizers to confirm. For calendar view, click here.

Pumpkin Patches in Ventura County and Surrounding Areas

Ongoing Events/Activities

Other Events/Activities

Conejo Grade from Green in March to Golden in October 2019

The Conejo Grade is the section of Highway 101 that connects the Conejo Valley with Camarillo.

It is a four mile stretch of freeway with a significant 7% grade. The original Conejo Grade was constructed by the California Highway Commission in 1914-1915 - a route that had 49 twists and turns, making it somewhat hazardous to drive. It has been widened and realigned several times since the 1930s to remove most of those twists and turns.

Today the main change we see along the grade is the color of the surrounding hills; from green in the spring to gold in the fall. Here’s a view of that change in color in March 2019 to October 2019 as seen from the Western Plateau Trail in Thousand Oaks.

EVOLUTION OF THE CONEJO GRADE OVER THE YEARS

Evolution of the Conejo Grade in Ventura County Over the Last 100 Years

Horseshoe shaped section of the Conejo Grade in the 1920s.

Horseshoe shaped section of the Conejo Grade in the 1920s.

The Conejo Grade is the section of Highway 101 that connects the Conejo Valley with Camarillo. It is a four mile stretch of freeway with a significant 7% grade.

Going down the Conejo Grade from Newbury Park to Camarillo today.

Going down the Conejo Grade from Newbury Park to Camarillo today.

At 3:30 p.m. on the afternoon of May 1, 1937, a newly upgraded and realigned Conejo Grade premiered after a day of celebration commencing at the ranch of Adolfo Camarillo. Camarillo, the namesake of what in 1964 became the City of Camarillo, donated the right of way to enable the grade to be realigned. Actor Leo Carrillo entertained guests at Camarillo's ranch at the bottom of the grade.

Grand opening of the newly realigned Conejo Grade on May 1, 1937.

Grand opening of the newly realigned Conejo Grade on May 1, 1937.

The old Conejo Grade was constructed by the California Highway Commission in 1914-1915. The previous route had 49 twists and turns, making it somewhat hazardous to drive(albeit somewhat less steep than the current grade). The newly aligned Conejo Grade cut the number of curves by 75%.

Another view of the Conejo Grade before it was realigned in 1937.

Another view of the Conejo Grade before it was realigned in 1937.

The new 1937 Conejo Grade cost a total of $570,000, which is less than the average cost of a house in the Conejo Valley today! Over a year and a half, the project employed about 100 workers who put in over 272,000 hours, excavating over 800,000 cubic yards of mostly hard rock. Talk about rock stars!

In the 1950s and 1960s, Caltrans further widened and improved Highway 101 over the Conejo Grade.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Caltrans further widened and improved Highway 101 over the Conejo Grade.

Several decades later, as Ventura County grew and the cities of Camarillo and Thousand Oaks incorporated in 1964, Caltrans continued to widen and improve the highway to what it is today.

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Source for historical information: "California Highways and Public Works" (May 1937) - official journal of the State of California Division of Highways, Department of Public Works.

Special thanks to the Pleasant Valley Historical Society for providing historic photos.

No Sales Tax on Diapers and Menstrual Hygiene Products in California in 2020-2021

Sleep tight! No sales tax on your diaper in 2020 and 2021, babeeee!

Sleep tight! No sales tax on your diaper in 2020 and 2021, babeeee!

Here’s something to factor into your budgets beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. California Senate Bill 92 signed by Governor Newsom eliminates sales and use taxes on diapers for infants, toddler and children, as well as on menstrual hygiene products, including tampons, specified sanitary napkins, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups.

But the taxes only go away for two years, unless the law is extended.

This is good news, or at least temporarily good news, for women and families of diaper-wearing kids.

I didn’t keep tabs on how many diapers we went through when the kids were of diaper-wearing age, but It seems to me every few hours was about par for the course. Perhaps 8 diapers a day. At an average of say 25 cents per diaper, that could add up to over $700/year in diapers.

As of today, one would pay $54.25 in sales taxes on $700 worth of diapers in Ventura County (7.75%). That creeps up to $66.50 in Los Angeles County (9.5%).

Why was this put into place? SB 92, published June 28, 2019, indicates “the specific goals, purposes and objectives of this act are to promote public health by increasing the affordability of, and expanding access to, diaper and menstrual hygiene products.”

Logical questions I have no answers for:

  1. Why did they not eliminate the sales taxes on adult diapers? (Asking for a friend.)

  2. Why did they eliminate the sales taxes for only two years?

  3. Was there not a men’s product to apply the sales tax break to? How about a tax break on beer for a couple years!? That would be cool!

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!

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Pumpkin Patches in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

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The star of the Halloween show is the pumpkin. According to my favorite resource Wikipedia, the name pumpkin originated from the Greek word pepon ("large melon"). The French called it pompom. The British changed it to pumpion. Then American colonists changed it to pumpkin. Why? Heck, I dunno.

Pumpkins are gourd-like squashes and technically are a fruit. They can range in size from 1 lb to 1,000 lbs.

But who cares about all that...what we REALLY want to know is, where are the pumpkin patches in Ventura County and surrounding areas!? Well, here are some choices...but make sure to call before you go for hours, etc.

OTHER HALLOWEEN EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch locations at 4075 Telegraph Road in Ventura (adjacent to Ventura College) is open 11am to 8pm October 12 to October 31, 2019. In addition to pumpkins, they offer free games and prizes for the kids. There's also a location at the Pacific View Mall in the Trader Joe's parking lot 9/28 to 10/31. Visit bigwavedaveschristmastrees.com/pumpkin-patch.html or call 805.218.0282. 

Bennett's Best Pumpkin Patch is now openat 28900 Roadside Drive (near Do It Center) in Agoura Hills as well as at 4995 Kanan Road (Kanan at Agoura Road). bennettsbest.net

Fillmore & Western Pumpkinliner Trail Rides in October

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Boccali Ranch Pumpkin Patch at 3277 E. Ojai Avenue in Ojai will be open 7 days a week from 10am to 7pm from October 5-31, 2019. Daytime hayrides $3 for adults, $2 for children on Sat/Sun 11am to 5pm, free children’s hay maze. “Haunted” nighttime hay rides 7-9pm Fri/Sat 10/11-12, 18-19 and 25-26. www.boccalis.com/pumpkinpatch.html

McGrath Brothers Great Pacific Pumpkins is located at 5100 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura. Tractor hay rides, hay maze, horse drawn hay rides and farm animals on hand. More information at www.greatpacificpumpkins.com or call 805.644.1235. Open daily in October from 9am to 6pm.

Prancer's Pumpkin Village is open September 28 through October from 11am to 9pm weekdays and 10am to 9pm weekends at 3075 Johnson Drive in Ventura (adjacent to the 101 freeway). In addition to an array of pumpkins, they offer pony rides, bouncers, hay maze, petting zoo and other activities. Visit prancersvillage.com. Admission is $4 and includes free hay ride.

The Santa Paula Rotary's Pumpkin Patch at the Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula will be open every weekend in October 2019, starting October 5-6, from 10am to 5pm. Gigantic corn MaiZe, hay wagon rides, the infamous "Pumpkin Chucker" and more on hand. $8 admission.

Seasonal Adventures Pumpkin Patch is located near the Simi Valley Town Center on Erringer Road and in Thousand Oaks at 450 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Pumpkins, petting zoo, rides, inflatable attractions and more (no admission cost; activities vary in cost). www.seasonaladventures.com/locations Open October 1-31, weekdays 1-9pm and weekend 9am-9pm.

Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch just east of the Simi Valley Town Center.

Stu Miller's Pumpkin Patch just east of the Simi Valley Town Center.

The 22nd Annual Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival in Moorpark is open September 28 to October 31, 2019 with themed events each weekend, massive pumpkin patch and lots of fun activities.

The Underwood Farm Center in Somis at 5696 Los Angeles Avenue also has a pumpkin patch along with its year-round animal center.

Calabasas Pumpkin Festival October 19-20

Bennett's Best Pumpkin Patch on Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills

Bennett's Best Pumpkin Patch on Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills

Pumpkins no longer: 

McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch, which was located at 5156 McGrath Street, Ventura, is no longer operating in 2019 after 40 years in business. David McGrath bodes farewell and announces his retirement at www.mcgrathstreetpumpkinpatch.com.

Sick With the Flu? Know What To Do!

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Influenza (or flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with others except to get medical care.

Know the symptoms of Flu

Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: Fever* or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness). Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Take Antiviral Drugs if your doctor prescribes them!

Antiviral drugs can be used to treat flu illness. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications.

CDC recommends that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu and people who get flu symptoms who are at high risk of serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high risk medical condition.

Stay Home When Sick

When you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible. Remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw tissues in the trash after you use them. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

*Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine before resuming normal activities.

www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm