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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The Ventura County Classical Guitar Society Meets Monthly and is Open to the Public

What a small world it is. A Ventura County resident named Peter contacted us regarding making some additions to the local Live Music and Other Nightlife Options compilation.

Not more than a week or two later, while harvesting produce for local charity Food Forward, I struck up a conversation with another volunteer. His name was Peter. After a bit of bantering for over an hour, I mentioned Conejo Valley Guide® to him, to which he replied, "Oh, I know that website!" After a few more back and forths, I discovered that this was the same Peter that had recently emailed the site. Small world!

Peter told me that the Ventura County Classical Guitar Society is a hidden gem. The group of classical guitar enthusiasts meets generally the last Wednesday of the month at the Pleasant Valley Recreation & Park District Senior Center (1605 Burnley Street, Camarillo).

He said that it is a fun session to attend is free and open to the public. Members of the group as well as guests perform for the group starting at 7PM (guest performers start at 8PM). Donations are accepted for guest performers.

So if you're up for an enjoyable evening of live classical guitar performances, visit www.vccgs.com and check out upcoming performances.

Upcoming planned performances as of April 2019:

  • 4/24: David Rogers

  • 5/29: Michael Nigro

  • 6/26: James Edwards

  • 7/31: Cameron O’Connor

  • 8/28: Carlos Gonzales

  • 9/25: Jesse Davis

  • 10/31: Benjamin Shearer

Easter Egg Hunts and Other Fun Easter Activities Around Ventura County

Here at Conejo Valley Guide we have a special place in our heart for Easter fun! The bunnies of the Conejo Valley and surrounding Ventura County areas are planning ahead to make this Easter memorable.

We have the Germans to thank for the Easter Bunny concept, which came about in the 1500s. Hares and bunnies are signs of fertility and eggs signify rebirth. The Germans brought Easter traditions to America and it wasn't until after the Civil War that Easter became widely celebrated.

Easter Sunday 2019 is April 21st! Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. As a result, Easter Sunday ranges from March 22nd to April 25th

Upcoming Easter season events and activities in and around Ventura County (list will be updated regularly; dates/time subject to change, so check with event organizers to be sure):

Tue, Apr 16: Easter Egg-stravaganza at The Commons at Calabasas (5:30-7:30PM)

Wed, Apr 17: Easter Egg-Stravaganza at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks

Fri, Apr 19: The Hoppin’ Cinema at CLU Community Pool (6PM)

Sat, Apr 20: City of Moorpark Easter Egg Hunt (10AM-1PM)

Sat, Apr 20: Girls Scout Troop Easter Egg Hunt in Newbury Park

Sat, Apr 20: Spring Egg Hunt and Arts & Crafts Show in Oak Park (9:30AM-2PM)

Sat, Apr 20: Easter Egg-stravaganza at The Promenade at Westlake (1-4PM)

Sat, Apr 20: Easter Eggstravaganza and Spring Craft Fair in Camarillo (10AM-2PM)

Sat, Apr 20: Spring Egg Hunt at Rancho Santa Susana Park in Simi Valley (9-11AM)

Sat, Apr 20: Easter Celebration at Malibu Country Mart (Noon-3PM))

Sun, Apr 21: Easter Lunch Train at Fillmore & Western Railway

Sun, Apr 21: Easter Sunrise Service at Pierce Brothers Westlake Village

Fun for the Kids at Local Ventura County Shopping Malls

Shop and plop yourself down while your kids get entertained or, better yet, entertain themselves.  Here is a roundup of kids' activities and play areas at local shopping malls.  In addition to these ongoing activities, seasonal/holiday events are posted regularly here on Conejo Valley Guide.

The Lakes at Thousand Oaks offers a kids club on selected Wednesday mornings.  The Lakes has nicely appointed outdoor playground with swings, slide and sandbox, large grassy area, two lakes and waterfall.

Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks has Kids Fun Zone arts and crafts on the last Saturday of the month.  There is a small outdoor kids play area for the little ones and an impressive outdoor water fountain, not to mention a NEOS interactive play wall. The DojoBoom Extreme Air Sports attraction opened in November 2017 and is a huge draw for kids of all ages, not to mention adults!

The Commons at Calabasas offers a Kids Club for kids 10 and under on Tuesday nights at 6pm typically March through October as well as an Edwards Theater.

Simi Valley Town Center has a small outdoor kids play area, dragon structure and $2 mini train rides. There’s also the Rockin’ Kids Play Center and Studio Movie Grill to round out the action.

The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks offers an indoor kids play area for little ones, Build-a-Bear Workshop a Gymboree Play & Music and Young Art Lessons Children’s Art Store. The outdoor shops area often has large scale games out.

Pacific View Mall in Ventura has a nice kids' play area near the food court, Le Funland, a Build a Bear and a monthly Kids Club.

Camarillo Premium Outlets expanded by 220,000 sq ft in April 2009 with The Promenade, which has a Spanish style courtyard area.  In 2019, small kids playground area was constructed at The Promenade.

The Promenade at Westlake does not have a kids play area but they do have several nice fountains, live music on most summer weekends, the upscale Cinepolis movie theater and a koi pond.

The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch in Newbury Park has a small playground and grassy area with a pond and bridge.

Lakeshore Learning in Ventura is a great store to buy learning toys and products for kids.  It offers free crafts every Saturday from 11am to 3pm.

Malibu Country Mart has a nice outdoor kids' playground area with cool ocean breezes.

The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard has the 16 screen Century TheatreColor Me Mine ceramics studio and a nice outdoor playground/park area. The Seaside Steamer offers trackless train rides Fri through Sun. The Annex Food Hall at The Collection offers a Kids Club the last Wednesday of the month.

Tell Me a Little Bit About Newbury Park

Newbury Park is a community located in the western portion of Thousand Oaks. It became part of Thousand Oaks by community vote sometime in the 1960s and 1970s. Thousand Oaks became a city in October 1964.

A view of Newbury Park from Boney Peak in March 2015.

A view of Newbury Park from Boney Peak in March 2015.

Egbert Starr Newbury (Photo Courtesy Conejo Valley Historical Society)

Egbert Starr Newbury (Photo Courtesy Conejo Valley Historical Society)

Newbury Park is named after Egbert Starr Newbury, who owned thousands of acres of land in the Conejo Valley after moving to California from Michigan for health reasons in 1871.  Newbury was one of the three largest Conejo Valley landowners of his time. He and his wife Fannie became the first postmasters in the Conejo Valley in 1875.  The post office was located in a small compound near their house, which was located at the current location of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

The other major landowners at that time were John Edwards, who owned much of the current Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks area north of the 101, and Howard Mills, who owned much of what today is Westlake Village and Hidden Valley.

Edwards sold 10,000 acres of what is now central Thousand Oaks to Edwin and Harold Janss in 1893.  The Janss Corporation also bought thousands of acres of land in Newbury Park (Friedrich, Running Springs and Borchard Ranches) in 1962.  Apparently there was an effort to incorporate Newbury Park as a city in 1963 but it failed when it lacked sufficient votes.

Over a 30 month period beginning in the Fall of 1876, only 6 inches of rain fell in the Conejo Valley.  This drought brought devastation to landowners, most of whom lost their crops and livestock and had to sell at a loss or went bankrupt.  The Newburys were no exception; they moved back to the midwest in 1877.  Egbert fell ill to pneumonia in 1880 and passed away at the young age of 36.

The Newburys lived here only six years, so why is it still called Newbury Park? Because the name of the Newburys' post office never changed! The Newbury Park Post Office has changed locations a number of times (including 1602 Newbury Road from May 1968 until it moved to its current location at 3401 Grande Vista Drive in 2013). So the Newbury name and legacy live on here in the Conejo Valley.

Horse tied to a sign indicating the Newbury Park Post Office, in 1909. The location was near modern-day Lynn Ranch. (Courtesy of the Thousand Oaks Library Local History Photo Collection).

Horse tied to a sign indicating the Newbury Park Post Office, in 1909. The location was near modern-day Lynn Ranch. (Courtesy of the Thousand Oaks Library Local History Photo Collection).

Sources: "The Conejo Valley - Old and New Frontiers" by Carol A. Bidwell and "The Newburys of Newbury Park" by Miriam Sprankling

But wait...there's more to Newbury Park! Casa Conejo is also part of the Newbury Park community but is not an incorporated part of Thousand Oaks. It is considered a census-designated place in Ventura County, with its own Municipal Advisory Council. Casa Conejo is the first planned community in Newbury Park and was built in the early 1960s. It is has an area of .5 square mile and is bound by Borchard to the South, Old Conejo Road to the North, Jenny Drive (East of Newbury Park High School) to the West and Sequoia Middle School to the East.

Interested in historical pictures of the area going back to the 1950s?  Click here to read about the work of prolific Conejo Valley photographer, Ed Lawrence. 

Click here for a history of Thousand Oaks.  Thousand Oaks is over 56 square miles and Newbury Park represents about 40% of that square footage.

Three dozen or so things to do in Newbury Park

Another three dozen or so kids' activities in Newbury Park

Yet another three dozen or so sports and fitness activities in Newbury Park

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Options for Thousand Oaks Residents

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The City of Thousand Oaks Public Works Department's "GoGreen" website has hundreds of conservation tips relating to composting, energy conservation, hazardous waste disposal, recycling and trash, reuse programs, water conservation, living green advice, and much more. Check it out at www.toaks.org/GoGreen.

Like me, you may have a lot of junk lying around the house that you'd like to get rid of but are not allowed to place in the trash

Since May 2014, the City has run a permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility located next to the Service Center at 2010 Conejo Center Drive, Newbury Park.

Residents of Thousand Oaks and unincorporated areas of Ventura County may sign up to drop off items at this facility on Fridays/Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, except certain holiday weekends, at THIS LINK. Advance registration is required.

Items accepted at these monthly collection events include acids, motor oil, antifreeze, asbestos, nail polish/remover, automatic switches, oil filters, batteries, paints, cement, paint thinners, chlorine, fertilizers, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, propane cylinders, fire extinguishers, rodent poison, garden chemicals, smoke detectors, gasoline, solvents, used frying oil, household cleaners, weed killers and more. They do not accept tires, medications. business waste and other items.

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One person's hazardous waste is another's gold! The City's Hazardous Waste Material Reuse Program allows residents to take away certain items previously disposed of, such as cleaners, paint, pool chemicals, motor oils, adhesives, etc. Selection obviously will vary. No appointment needed. Just stop by ReUse Store (same location as waste collection facility) on Friday/Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the weekly collection events described above.

The ReUse store will be closed weekends associated with the following holidays: President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

There are also convenient hazardous waste disposal for other items:

Batteries: Community Centers at Borchard Park, Dos Vientos and Thousand Oaks (next to TOHS), Home Depot, Goebel Senior Center, Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park Libraries, City Hall and Thousand Oaks Transportation Center.

Motor Oil/Filters: See THIS LINK.

Electronic Waste: Best Buy, Goodwill Industries, PC Recycle, Waste Management and Gold Coast Recycling Center. More info at THIS LINK.

Fluorescent Lights/CFL's: Home Depot Newbury Park

Unwanted and/or expired medications can be dropped off throughout Ventura County at designated police stations, such as the East Valley Police Station Lobby at 2101 E. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. Open Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm.

Visit toaks.org/GoGreen for updates.

Over 25 Things to Do in Agoura Hills

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The City of Agoura Hills incorporated in 1982 and is part of Los Angeles County. But we consider Agoura to be part of our family, consisting of Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Oak Park and other communities that form the Conejo Valley.

Agoura Hills has an area of 7.86 square miles, with a population just under 21,000. It became the 83rd city in Los Angeles County when residents voted to incorporate, just one year after neighboring city Westlake Village incorporated.

Here is a compilation of things to do in the City of Agoura Hills.

Trails and Hiking

  • Malibu Creek State Park is an 8,000 acre wonderland of trails, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. The Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park is extremely popular. Equally if not more popular is the hike to the M*A*S*H television show set. Bring your camera!

  • Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons include 4,000 acres of terrain with dozens of miles of trails to explore in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountain range. Popular with cyclists, runners and hikers.

  • Paramount Ranch, maintained by the National Park Service on Cornell Road in Agoura Hills, was used by Paramount Pictures for over 80 years of film and television production. Another local must-see. (HOWEVER, ALL BUT TWO WESTERN TOWN STRUCTURES WERE DESTROYED IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF 2018; THERE ARE PLANS TO REBUILD THE WESTERN TOWN.)

  • The 64 acre Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura Hills is also managed by the National Park Service and features hiking and an outdoor amphitheater area. (SEVERELY DAMAGED IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF 2018, HOWEVER)

A "must do" in the Agoura Hills area is the hike to the old M*A*S*H TV series set in Malibu Creek State Park.

A "must do" in the Agoura Hills area is the hike to the old M*A*S*H TV series set in Malibu Creek State Park.

Kids

Fitness Related

Ah yes, comic relief courtesy of Caltrans signmakers in 2013 when a new Agoura Hills sign on the 101 was put up   filled with typos  . It was subsequently   corrected  .

Ah yes, comic relief courtesy of Caltrans signmakers in 2013 when a new Agoura Hills sign on the 101 was put up filled with typos. It was subsequently corrected.

Other Entertainment, Things to Do and Annual Events

The old Agoura sign on Agoura Road at Lewis Road.

The old Agoura sign on Agoura Road at Lewis Road.

Closed: Troutdale was a local fishing pond for those looking for the experience of fishing but without the hassle of driving far! Located just off of Kanan Road, near Triunfo Canyon. It appears to be closed as of summer 2018 but perhaps it will re-open one of these days.