Where to Play Pickleball in Ventura County and...What IS Pickleball?

Pickleball court at Del Prado Playgrounds in Newbury Park.

Pickleball court at Del Prado Playgrounds in Newbury Park.

According to www.whatispickleball.com, pickleball is oversized ping pong played on a badminton sized court with a tennis sized net. Pickleball originated in Bainsbridge Island, Washington in 1965 when congressman Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell created the game for their families to play.

Pickleball is played with a perforated plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball that weighs about an ounce and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping pong paddles. Pickleball is an indoor/outdoor sport that is easy to learn and, like tennis and ping pong, can be played singles or doubles. Learn more about pickleball at www.usapa.org.

Today, the sport of pickleball is governed in the U.S. by the USA Pickleball Association. which was founded in 2005 to promote the sport. There are over 150,000 pickleball players and over 2,000 pickleball courts across the country.

While I have not played pickleball myself, I'm intrigued when I watch the video below. Looks like a lot of fun, and certain does look like playing ping pong while standing on an oversized ping pong table (or undersized tennis court, if you will).

Pickleball is growing in popularity here in the Ventura County area. Here is a list of public pickleball courts in and around Ventura County.

"Pickleball player Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." (Somebody had to say it.)

Stay Cool in the Pool! Community Swimming Throughout Ventura County

Stay cool this summer and year-round at some of these community swimming pools, water parks and splash pads in Ventura County and surrounding areas. For updates and additions, contact us!

Conejo Valley (Conejo Recreation & Park District)

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Community Pool at Cal Lutheran University Samuelson Aquatics Center is a year-round facility, offering recreational and lap swimming 7 days a week. Call 805.241.0894 or visit www.crpd.org. Admission is $3 ($2 for 62+). Current schedule at www.crpd.org/programs/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp. Water is heated up to 82 degrees year round.

Newbury Park High School Community Swimming Pool is at 456 Reino Road and is anticipated to be open to the public from June 10 to August 16, 2019. Recreational swimming to be offered Mon-Thu 1-4pm, Sat 12:00-3:00pm (6/15 to 7/27 only) and Mon 7-9pm. Only $3 ($2 for 62+). Call 805.498.6906 or visit www.crpd.org/programs/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp.

Thousand Oaks High School Community Swimming Pool is at 2323 N. Moorpark Road and offers recreational swimming Mon to Thu 1-4pm and Wed 7-9pm from June 10 to August 15, 2019. Only $3 ($2 for 62+). Call 805.496.8564 or visit www.crpd.org/parkfac/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp.

Free open swim at the CLU Community Pool and NPHS pool from noon to 4pm on the 4th of July 2019! (TOHS pool will be closed on the 4th.)

Conejo Valley/Agoura - Other

Childrens' Splash Pad/Water Area at Oak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Drive, Oak Park. Hours of operation are generally Memorial Day weekend through September 30th. 10am to 7pm. Free of charge. 818.865.9304

Kids love the Interactive Fountain at Janss Marketplace.

Moorpark/Simi Valley

Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District offers a large community swimming pool at Rancho Simi Community Park, 1765 Royal Avenue. Pool hours at www.rsrpd.org/recreation/aquatics.php . Admission age 3 and up is $3 ($1 for 65+). Visit www.rsrpd.org/recreation/aquatics.php or call 805.584.4436.

Rancho Tapo Splash Pad

Rancho Tapo Splash Pad

Childrens' Splash Pad Area at Rancho Tapo Community Park, 3700 Avenida Simi. Free. Opens Memorial Day weekend through September. Hours are 11am to 2:30pm and 3:30pm to 7pm daily.

Simi Valley Aquatics is available for swim lessons and birthday parties only.

Simi Valley Family YMCA heated indoor swimming pool open 7 days/week.

Camarillo/Oxnard

Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center offers an indoor swimming pool with eight swimming lanes, a one meter diving board, 65 foot spiral water slide, outdoor splash zone and more. Pool heated between 81 and 83 degrees. Open Monday through Saturday. $3 for ages 4+, free to ages 3 and under and $2.50 ages 60+ and military. Visit www.pvrpd.org/howdoi/aquatics/default.asp or call 805.987.8198. 

  • $2 admission on Fridays from 6:30-8:30pm

  • Free recreational swim from 1-4pm on 4th of July

  • Family Float Night from 4-7pm on July 20th (free rec swim)

  • Family Fitness Day from noon to 3pm on June 1st (free rec swim)

Camarillo Family YMCA heated indoor swimming pool open 7 days/week. Call 805.484.0423.

Oxnard Aquatic Center is located at Oxnard High School, 3400 W. Gonzales Road and the Hueneme High School Pool is at 500 W. Bard Road. Summer recreational swim from 11 AM-1:45 PM at both Oxnard & Hueneme pools Monday – Friday and offers lap swimming, diving boards, and open swim. Call 805.278.0910 (Oxnard) and 805.385.7772 (Hueneme). $4 per session.

There's a "Pop Jet Fountain" at The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard, on Town Center Drive in front of the Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar and adjacent to Larsen's Grill.

Ventura and Up the Coast

Ventura Community Park Aquatics Center has a 50 meter competition pool, playground pool, two slides, fun, fun, fun! Open swim free for age 2 and under, $8 for ages 3 to 61 and $5 for 62+. Visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/612/Aquatics or call 805.654.7511 for details. Open June 18 to Sept 9, 2019 for the summer.

Casitas Water Adventure is open all summer with a multi-level jungle gym with waterfalls, bridges and slides in a lagoon in water only up to 18" deep for little kids and a lazy river with waterfalls, bridges and jet sprays with inner tubes for the whole family. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 805.649.2233 or visit www.casitaswater.org/lower.php?url=water-adventure for details. Cost is $13 per person all day on weekdays, $15 on weekends/holidays or just $7.50 if you come during the last 3 hours.

Ventura Family YMCA has 2 indoor heated swimming pools and is open 7 days/week.

Carpinteria Community Pool is located at 5305 Carpinteria Avenue. Day passes are $4.25 for kids, $7.00 for adults, $5 for seniors. Recreational swimming on Saturdays from 11am to 2pm. Visit www.carp-pool.com or call 805.566.2417 for information.

The Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center at Marina Park in Ventura is a U.S. Sailing Association certified facility for lessons in sailing, kayaking and navigation for all ages.

Other Places Around Town

The Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center located at 23400 Park Sorrento is open 7 days/week. Only $3 for adults, $2 for seniors $1 for kids under 13. Pool hours vary. Visit www.calabasastsc.com/aquatic.html or call 818.222.2782. Pools heated to 82 degrees year-round.

Malibu Community Pool at Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive. Outdoor pool heated to 82 degrees. $3 per person. Visit www.malibucity.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Malibu-Community-Pool-7 or call 310.589.1933 for details.

The Fillmore Aquatics Center at 575 1st Street opens Memorial Day through Labor Day each year for recreational swimming Monday through Friday from 11:30am-3:45pm and Saturdays 10am to 4pm. More information and fees at fillmoreca.com/fac.htm or 805.524.4902. 

The Ojai Recreation Department hosts public recreational swimming at Villanova Preparatory School, 12096 North Ventura Avenue.. Visit www.ojairec.com or call 805.646.5581 for information about hours and fees.

And let's not forget the incredible BEACHES close by! CLICK HERE for links to over 40 publicly accessible beaches throughout Ventura County, stretching north to Carpinteria and south to Malibu.

Water Parks Outside of Ventura County

Knott's Soak City in Buena Park (about 70 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad (135 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Raging Waters Water Park in San Dimas (75 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia (50 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Hansen Dam Aquatic Center in Lakeview Terrace with a large pool, cabanas and two water slides. 

Hillside Letters in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County

There are over 500 hillside letters, or “mountain monograms,” in the United States, including 81 in California. What are hillside letters, you ask. They are simply large single letters, abbreviations and sometimes even messages erected on a hillside, usually by a school or town.

The Big “C” overlooking UC Berkeley (From Wikipedia; public domain)

The Big “C” overlooking UC Berkeley (From Wikipedia; public domain)

One well known hillside letter is a giant concrete block letter “C” built in the hills overlooking UC Berkeley that was constructed on March 23, 1905.

We have our share of hillside letters here in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County, some of which you may be aware of…others, perhaps not.

The mountain monograms visible in our neck of the wood include:

The letters CLU on Mt. Clef Ridge above Cal Lutheran University are maintained by students.

Hilltop A overlooking Agoura High School up a steep hill. Made out of wood, I believe.

Here is a view of the letter VC north of Ventura College in late April 2019.

Here is a view of the letter VC north of Ventura College in late April 2019.

If you drive north up Catalina Street, west of Ventura High School, you will be able to see this letter V on the hillside.

The letter F is located in the hills west of Fillmore and is quite easy to see.

This letters SP letters in the hills south of Santa Paula is cleared brush. They originated originated in 1922. More information on THIS PAGE.

Happy Face Hill in Simi Valley is not a mountain monogram but is perhaps the visible hillside attraction throughout Ventura County.

Forty-Seven Things to Do In Thousand Oaks

The City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated on September 29, 1964. Most of Newbury Park was annexed by the city in the 1960s/1970s. Casa Conejo, Newbury Park's first planned community built in the early 1960s and the Lynn Ranch area of Thousand Oaks are unincorporated areas of Ventura County that technically are not annexed into the City of Thousand Oaks. Why that is, I'm not sure. The City of Thousand Oaks also annexed the Ventura County portions of Westlake Village in 1968 and 1972. A bit complicated, eh?

Enough history for now! Let's look at the future...like tomorrow or this coming weekend. Here are 47* things to do in the City of Thousand Oaks in random order.

*It started out as 47 things to do but we've lost count since originally posting this.

View of Boney Mountain from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

View of Boney Mountain from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

Older version of City of Thousand Oaks sign.

Older version of City of Thousand Oaks sign.

Jumping and Climbing Options In and Around Ventura County

If your kids are bouncing off the walls around the house and need to jump off some steam, perhaps they need a new environment for jumping and/or climbing in and around Ventura County. Here are some options to consider.

DojoBoom Extreme Air Sports opened at the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks in November 2017, offering over 50,000 square feet of trampolines, launching decks, foam pits, obstacle course, climbing wall and much more.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is located at 2825 Johnson Drive in east Ventura. Similar to Sky High, Sky Zone offers wall to wall trampolines with open jump sessions, a "SkySlam" court and more.

Platinum Sports Center is located at 160 W. Cochran Street in Simi Valley, offering, among many other things, an indoor trampoline court for bouncing off the walls and play slam dunk volleyball, dodgeball and other fun activities during open gym time.

Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing is at 880 Hampshire Road, Suite A, Thousand Oaks, 10,000 sq ft climbing area with sections ranging from 25 feet to 45 feet tall. Fun for all ages. We've enjoyed some fun birthday parties here. Boulderdash also has a facility in Chatsworth.

The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center at 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas features, among other things, a 35 foot rock climbing wall.

Santa Barbara Rock Gym is an 8,500 sq ft facility located at 322 State Street, Santa Barbara.

Sky High Sports - The Trampoline Place in Camarillo used to be an option…but closed in the summer of 2018 . But there's also a Sky High Sports in Woodland Hills.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

For more seasoned climbers, there is a sheer cliff used by rock climbers at Westward Beach in Malibu as well as near the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park.

Hillcrest Open Space in Thousand Oaks is Abloom in Mustard and Lupine

The hilly Hillcrest Open Space Preserve is covered yellow and purple in a display worthy of view. In fact, I’ve never seen this much lupine in one place in my 25+ years in the Conejo Valley. The Hillcrest Open Space main trailhead is not the easiest place to access due to the lack of any parking on Hillcrest Drive in that area, but there’s also another entry point highlighted in THIS POST. You will also enjoy the colors just driving by.

Not particularly the best trail for young kids as it is one of the hillier trails in the area. But not a problem for some. (On that note family and stroller-friendly local area trails at THIS LINK.

Hillcrest Lupine 4.11.19.JPG
Lots of yellow going on around here (achoo!)

Lots of yellow going on around here (achoo!)

Just a small smattering of poppies in the Hillcrest Open Space.

Just a small smattering of poppies in the Hillcrest Open Space.