El Parque de la Paz "The Peace Park" in Thousand Oaks

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El Parque de la Paz "The Peace Park" is located at 2580 Pleasant Way in Thousand Oaks, tucked south of Thousand Oaks Boulevard behind Mouthful Eatery, Allen Motors, Harold's House of Omelettes and other businesses.

This five acre park dotted with oak trees was dedicated in 1990 by Thousand Oaks City Council.  Amenities include a Jungleland themed playground area, horseshoe pits, basketball court, picnic tables and restrooms. Learn more at www.crpd.org/parkfac/parks/lapaz.asp.

Jungleland themed drinking fountain.

Jungleland themed drinking fountain.

Adjacent to the park is Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 109, the Crowley House.

Who has horseshoes to use at these horseshoe pits!? Looks fun!

Who has horseshoes to use at these horseshoe pits!? Looks fun!

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Free Admission Days at Museums in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

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The "Do Something" section of Conejo Valley Guide highlights over 250 things to do throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas, including over four dozen museums. Let's take a closer look at the museums on the list that offer free admission days. The information below of course is subject to change, so be sure to contact the museums first to confirm.

Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, Moorpark

Admission to the Conejo Valley Art Museum is free year-round.

There is no admission charge at the Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum that opened at the Simi Valley Town Center in December 2018 (massive collection of vintage skateboards and skating artifacts). Open (as of January 2019) Thursday/Friday 2-9PM, Saturday 10AM-9PM and Sunday 11AM-7PM.

The Santa Susana Depot and Museum in Simi Valley is open to the public on weekends, free of charge.

Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme

Historic Dudley House Museum in Ventura is open the 1st Sunday of the month most of the year and admission is free (donations encouraged).

Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park located at the Ventura Harbor is open year-round free of admission.

Channel Islands Maritime Museum offers free admission on the 3rd Thursday of each month.

U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme offers year-round free admission.

Free admission at the Museum of Ventura County in Downtown Ventura the 1st Sunday of the month.

Free First Saturdays from 11am to 4pm at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Old Town Camarillo.

There is no admission charge at the Pleasant Valley Historical Museum and Botanical Garden in Camarillo. Open weekends.

There is no charge for looking through the windows into the A.J. Comstock Fire Museum in the Figueroa Street Mall in Downtown Ventura.

Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore

Ojai Valley Museum currently offers free admission the 3rd Friday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm.

Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula offers free admission on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Santa Paula Art Museum offers free admission on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the 1st Sunday of each month with no admission charge.

California Oil Museum in Fillmore is free admission year-round, though there is a suggested donation of $4.

Santa Barbara

Admission is free year-round at the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Galleries in Santa Barbara on State Street in front of the Amtrak Station.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum offers free admission year-round; donations are welcomed.

Free Family Days at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, September, October, November, and December. 

Other Areas

Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar offers free admission year-round to its showcase of vintage cars.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles offers free year-round admission.

Kidspace Kids Museum in Pasadena offers Free Family Night from 4pm to 8pm the 1st Tuesday of each month, except September.

The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades is free of charge year-round.

California ScienCenter in Exposition Park is free admission year-round.

Bank of America offers free admission to over 150 museums around the country the first full weekend of each month.

1956 Rolls Royce Phantom Saloon at Nethercutt Automotive Museum.

1956 Rolls Royce Phantom Saloon at Nethercutt Automotive Museum.

You like FREE!? Click here for hundreds of other free activities and things in and around Ventura County!

U.S. National Park Service Free Entrance Days

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There are over 400 national parks covering over 84 million acres throughout the United States and its territories.  The majority of these parks do not charge entrance fees (though parking fees often apply). As for the 124 national parks that do have entrance fees, there are a number of designated "fee free" days each year.

Here are the National Park Service Free Entrance Days in 2019:

  • January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

  • April 20 (First Day of National Park Week)

  • August 25 (National Park Service Birthday)

  • September 28 (National Public Lands Day)

  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

The parks that normally charge a fee that are free on the above dates are listed at www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm. California parks in this category include:

Plenty of other amazing national treasures are on this list, like Grand Canyon National Park.

And of course there are two national parks in Ventura County that are always worth exploring:

For more information about the National Park Service, visit www.nps.gov.

Places Where Kids Can Eat Free in Ventura County

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Here's a list of restaurants that have "Kids Eat Free" deals around Ventura County! These deals are subject to change at a moment's notice, so make sure to call the restaurants in advance!

 Let us know of any changes or additions! Now let's go EAT!!

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Fire Island Grill at 1230 Madera Road, Simi Valley currently (August 2019) offers a Kids Eat Free deal on Saturdays/Sundays. Get a free kids chicken bowl or mac and cheese with the purchase of an adult entree. Kids must be under 8 and present.

PizzaRev locations in Thousand Oaks (Oaks Mall) and Camarillo (Premium Outlets) are currently (as of July 2019) offering a free Kids’ Meal with the purchase of a regular entree and drink on Sundays. One free meal per transaction in restaurant only. Children 12 and under. Child must be present. www.facebook.com/PizzaRevCamarilloCA/photos/a.807337842641127/2813286562046235 Call to confirm - T.O. 805-230-3482 and Camarillo 805-482-0419

Buca di Beppo currently (July 2019) has a Kids Eat Free deal for dine-in only. One free kids meal for each purchase of a small entree. Two free kids meals for each purchase of a large pizza, pasta or entree. Child must be present (no Home Alone situations lol). Located at Janss Marketplace. www.bucadibeppo.com

Buca di Beppo Kids Eat Free Deal - July 2019.

Buca di Beppo Kids Eat Free Deal - July 2019.

Red's Barbecue at 3090 Cochran St, Ste A1 in Simi Valley is offering Kids Eat Free every Thursday from 11am to close. Get up to 2 free kids' menu meals for every adult meal ordered. Dine in only. Ages 11 and under only. (Reconfirmed 4/16/19)

Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays 4pm to close at Patron Mexican Bar & Grill, 1620 Newbury Road, Suite 2, Newbury Park. One kids meal with purchase of an adult meal for kids 12 and under.

Kids Eat Free all day on Mondays/Tuesdays at Macaroni Grill. For ages 12 and under with purchase of adult entree. Location at 2920 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley. 

D'Amore's Famous Pizza at 300 N. Lantana in Camarillo is currently offering a Kids Eat Free deal on Sundays all day for ages 4 to 12. One child per paid adult meal, dine in only. Call 805.445.6534 to confirm.

Denny's offers Kids Eat Free for 10 and under from 4 pm to 10 pm on designated nights. Up to 2 free kids meals for each paid adult entree. Call location to confirm.

Maria's Italian Kitchen offers Kids Eat Free on WEDNESDAY nights from 4pm to close for kids under age 10 with purchase of adult entree, limited to 2 children per family. Located at 29035 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Agoura (818.865.8999), 23331 Mulholland Dr., Woodland Hills (818.225.0586) and at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard (805.988.3300)

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.

Playground installed at the Camarillo Premium Outlets in 2019.

Playground installed at the Camarillo Premium Outlets in 2019.

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.

Free and Nearly Free Movies All Summer Long Around Ventura County

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Stay cool this summer of 2019 with several hundred free and nearly free ($1 to $4) movies in and around Ventura County and surrounding areas! These movies are at local movie theaters, parks, libraries and other locations!

Agoura Hills: Kids $2 Summer Movie Series at Regency Theatres on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30 am June 18 through August 8.

Camarillo: $1 Movies at Edwards Camarillo Palace Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10AM from June 18 to September 4.

Camarillo: Free Movies in the Park Friday nights at various Camarillo parks July 12 through August 16.

Malibu: CineMalibu Summer Movies at Malibu City Hall on 7/20 and at Malibu Bluffs Park 8/17, 9/14 and 10/19.

Moorpark Free Movies in the Park on 6/22, 7/20 and 8/17 at three different parks.

Oxnard: Summer Movie Clubhouse at Century Riverpark 16 - 10 films for $5 or $1 per show on Monday mornings at 9:45 am starting June 17 through August 19.

Santa Barbara: Free Outdoor Family Movies on Friday nights at the Santa Barbara Courthouse July 5 to August 23.

Simi Valley: $1 Movies at Regal Civic Center Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10AM from June 11 to September 4.

Simi Valley: Outdoor Movies (free) and "Dive In" Movies ($3) hosted by the Rancho Simi Rec & Park District in June, July and August.

Simi Valley: Studio Movie Grill at the Simi Valley Town Center is offering up $1 Children's Summer Movies every weekday of the week starting June 10 through August 9.

Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park Libraries host free movie screenings on various dates

Thousand Oaks: $1 Movies at Regal Janss Marketplace on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:30am, June 11 to September 4.

Thousand Oaks: Free movies on Friday nights in July at the Conejo Valley YMCA.

Ventura: Kids $2 Summer Movie Series at Regency Theatres on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for 8 weeks, from June 18 through August 8 at 10:30 am.

Westlake Village: Free screening of Moana on July 27th at Berniece Bennett Park

Westlake Village: Summer Kids’ Movie Series at Cinepolis at The Promenade at Westlake mid-June to mid-August.

Woodland Hills: Movies on the Green at Warner Ranch Park on five Saturday nights from July 20 to August 17.

Movies/dates subject to change. Contact organizers to confirm.

AND HOW ABOUT FREE CONCERTS IN AND AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

La Conchita Bike Path Between Mobil Pier Road in Ventura to Rincon Point

My choice for most awesome Class I Bike Path in Ventura County is the La Conchita Bike Path that runs from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura (southwest of Mussel Shoals) to Rincon Point. The path is directly adjacent to the southbound Highway 101.

Entry point to La Conchita Bike Path at Rincon Point Rd/Bates Rd (directly adjacent to the 101 onramp).

Entry point to La Conchita Bike Path at Rincon Point Rd/Bates Rd (directly adjacent to the 101 onramp).

This distinct path premiered in September 2014 and provides for roughly 4 miles of unimpeded views of the Pacific Ocean on the west and is directly adjacent to the hustle and bustle of Highway 101 on the other side.

Do views from a bike path ever get any better than this!!??

Do views from a bike path ever get any better than this!!??

Class I bike paths are great to bring the entire family on as they are completely separate from street traffic. My kids love this path because it is flat, in great condition and is just so beautiful that its hard not to ride this path without a smile.

This separates the path from southbound 101 traffic. Pretty amazing riding carefree adjacent to the 101.

This separates the path from southbound 101 traffic. Pretty amazing riding carefree adjacent to the 101.

We brought the bikes to Rincon Beach Park to start our journey on the north end of the path. (Alternatively, park at Rincon Point or on Rincon Pt Road.) You first get to see surfers at the world famous Rincon Point, then on to the La Conchita Beach area.

One of several beach access points to the La Conchita Beach area.

One of several beach access points to the La Conchita Beach area.

There are several beach access points along the path.  As part of this project, Caltrans built an undercrossing to enable folks to walk to the beach from La Conchita

After La Conchita you reach a stopping point at the small community of Mussel Shoals, where you can stop at the Cliff House Inn for a drink and check out the man-made Rincon Island.

A quick stop to view the man-made an inaccessible Rincon Island

A quick stop to view the man-made an inaccessible Rincon Island

Walk your bikes across the offramp to the next bike path entry point, on to the next section of path that half circles southeast to its endpoint at Mobil Pier Road.

You cross here (signs indicate you must walk bikes across) to the next access point.

You cross here (signs indicate you must walk bikes across) to the next access point.

You will see beach area here referred to as Oil Piers Beach. There used to be piers here but they were taken down in 1998.  There is parking on Mobil Pier Road for beach/bike path access; you can park here and ride the path the opposite direction.

The beauty continues (except for the graffiti) as you ride towards Mobil Pier Road.

The beauty continues (except for the graffiti) as you ride towards Mobil Pier Road.

Mobil Pier Road is the endpoint of this Class I path, but, you can continue south if you'd like by taking the Mobil Pier Road underpass below the 101 to Pacific Coast Highway going south, past Hobson Beach Park, Rincon Parkway, Faria Beach Park and so on. This section is not Class I path but I've taken my kids here and we enjoy it.

Great stuff! A Ventura County "Bucket List" item that all of you have to try!