The Conejo Valley Audubon Society Hosts Birding Activities Year-Round

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Founded in 1968, the Conejo Valley Audubon Society (CVAS) is an active chapter of the National Audubon Society. CVAS's 500+ members are from southeastern Ventura County and northwestern Los Angeles County. The chapter's membership is primarily from the cities of Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Fillmore, Moorpark, Somis and Camarillo.

CVAS hosts monthly programs at the Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology (aka Camarillo Bird Museum) and frequent birding field trips throughout the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. Recent trips include the Conejo Botanical Gardens, Santa Clara River Estuary, Hill Canyon, Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, Oakbrook Regional Park and others.

CVAS volunteers also consult with local residents interested in converting their yard into a native plant based oasis to help attract birds to your yard.

For more information about CVAS, visit www.conejovalleyaudubon.org.

Recurring Gourmet Food Truck Events In and Around Ventura County

Gourmet Food Trucks are one of the hottest trends around town today. Here's a compilation of recurring food truck events in and around Ventura County and adjacent areas for your dining pleasure!

Note: Dates/times can vary and change, so check with organizers, particularly if there is inclement weather.

Monthly Gourmet Food Truck Events

Downtown Oxnard First Thursdays Gourmet Food Trucks:  First Thursday of the month from 5:30pm to 9:30pm at Plaza Park, 500 South C Street. Enjoy over a dozen food trucks and live music. downtownoxnard.org/activities/food-trucks

#TBT Throwback Thursdays Food Truck Fest at Camarillo Ranch House: Every last Thursday of the month, Spring through October, at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road, Camarillo from 5pm to 9pm. Ten food trucks on hand plus beer and wine available for purchase. camarilloranch.org/home/ranch-events

Tuesday Food Trucks at Los Robles Greens in Thousand Oaks on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from May through October from 5-8PM.

Gourmet Food Trucks at the Pacific View Mall in Ventura: Every 3rd Friday of the month in the parking lot next to Trader Joe's, along Mills Road, from 5pm to 9pm. Features over 20 food trucks and live music. shoppacificview.com

Ojai Valley Food Truck Friday is the 1st Friday of each month from 5-9PM at Mira Monte Elementary School, 1216 Loma Drive, Ojai. Free family movie screening at 7:30pm. www.facebook.com/pg/ojaifoodtruckfriday

Food Trucks the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at Sunland Vintage Winery, 1321 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard, #108 in Thousand Oaks. 

Annual and Periodic Gourmet Food Truck Events

Here are a few annual gourmet food truck events for your dining pleasure. Food trucks make an appearance of course at hundreds of events throughout the year, but those listed here have them as a primary focal point of the event.

The Westlake High School Instrumental Music Boosters hosts a food truck festival in October (2007 event was October 8th). Details at www.whsfoodtruckevent.com

These are just a few. Something to add? Contact us!

Food Truck Fests No More: The Foothill Food Truck Fest at the Poinsettia Pavillion in Ventura was discontinued in September 2016.

Memorial Day Weekend Events and Activities Around Ventura County

Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971, but its beginnings go back to after the Civil War in 1868.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, cities in the North and South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. But in 1966, Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.

Traditionally, Memorial Day was May 30th each year. That was changed to the last Monday in May when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into law in June 1968 and put into effect in 1971.

In 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was enacted by Congress to ask Americans to pause in an act of national unity at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

Here is a compilation of activities and events this 2019 Memorial Day weekend around Ventura County and adjacent areas.

These are just some highlights...there's more in the CVG Events Calendar

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.

Exploring the Coca-Cola All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion at Dodger Stadium

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I've been a Dodger fan my entire life, having been born and raised in the Los Angeles area and moving to the Conejo Valley in the mid 1990s.

When I was a kid, my dad would take us to the game a couple times each season. We sat in the cheapest seats and on our way there would stop by McDonald's or In-N-Out Burger and bring food into the stadium.

Today, while still fans of the Dodgers, we rarely go to games. Just too many other things going on in our life. But I decided it would be fun to take the kids on a Saturday night.

BUYING TICKETS ONLINE

Plenty of tickets are available, but I had moderate sticker shock at the prices. The cheapest seats on the Dodgers ticketing website were $28 + $6.50 "Convenience" fee (whatever that means) and a $5.10 "Processing" fee. It certainly would be nice if all online ticket sellers just have one "all in" price that clearly shows the total price.

I was amazed at how terrible the Dodgers' ticketing website is, compared to other sites like StubHub and SeatGeek. They make you run Flash and don't provide a view from the seats like the other sites do.

In any case, I reviewed multiple alternatives to the Dodgers' ticketing website and went with StubHub. StubHub adds a service fee and a fulfillment fee to ticket prices. These fees vary based on event and ticket type. For the Dodgers game, the service fees were in the 23-25% range and fulfillment fees were $2. Factoring these fees in, StubHub still had the best overall prices for comparable seats out of the options I looked at.

PICKING THE SEATS

I was taking three kids to the game and my cheapest alternative were seats way, way up high in the Top Deck or Reserve areas. I didn't really want to be that high up, so I looked at the alternative of the bleacher seats. 

I'm not a fan of bleacher seats as they are just that - long benches with numbered seatbacks - no individual seats. I'm that guy who is annoyed the entire flight on a plane where the guy next to me's arm intrudes on my space. So bleacher seats probably are not the best idea for me.

But on second thought, we're only talking two to three hours and the kids would enjoy it. How bad could it be, right? So I decided to look at seats in the Coca-Cola All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion. They were about $20 to $25 more than the seats in the Left Field Pavilion, but ALL YOU CAN EAT sounded like a fun option with the kids.

The bleacher seats make you feel closer to the action IMO than the seats in nosebleed land.

The bleacher seats make you feel closer to the action IMO than the seats in nosebleed land.

THE ALL YOU CAN EAT PAVILION

If it were me and a buddy, I would not sit in the Coca-Cola All You Can Eat Pavilion because, well, I'm not big into gorging myself. But hey, I was with the kids, and thought it would be fun to just let em at it and not worry about cash. And indeed it was fun.

A few things to note. We are not talking about a gourmet selection in this deal. We're talking Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, iced tea and water). No ice cream, churros, cotton candy or beer (though those were available for sale). And no pizza, hamburgers or other food items. One pizza vendor walked by around the 7th inning; I suppose he was desperate to unload them at that point.

Is the All You Can Eat Pavilion worth it? Well it comes down to numbers. If you were to consume one Dodger Dog (cost is $6.50), one bag of peanuts ($5 estimate) and one drink ($6 insanely expensive), you are consuming $17.50 of Dodger Stadium cuisine. Throw in one other item, like another hot dog or nachos, and you've pretty much broken even on the deal. 

Two of the three kids with me "broke even." So I had to personally make up for the third kid's under-consumption. Indeed I was hungry on the drive from Thousand Oaks to Dodger Stadium, so I was prepared for the challenge. In fact, I went for a run that morning to ensure my metabolism was raring to go.

My take: 3 Dodger Dogs (really closer to 2 1/2 as I couldn't finish the 3rd one), 1 iced tea (refilled once), 2 bags of peanuts (I brought one home) and 2 bags of popcorn. Ignoring the refill, I think I devoured about $46 retail value in food.

Of course consuming all that salty food might make one thirsty. I woke up the next morning with a very dry mouth. And I certainly got my money's worth the night before so it was worth it. Kind of.

I had fond memories of Dodger Dogs going back to my childhood. They were great back then. But these Dodger Dogs were lukewarm at best and had kind of a metallic taste to them. I find the hot dogs at Costco, for $1.50, INCLUDING drink, to be more fulfilling.

The popcorn I thought was actually pretty good for pre-bagged popcorn. The peanuts were quite salty. The nachos were meh, not particularly good, according to the kids. 

THE BLEACHER SEATS

They weren't that bad. It was fun. The crowds were pretty mellow and there were a lot of families/kids out there.

There is zero room between your legs and knees and the row in front of you, but thankfully we didn't experience too much back and forth of people passing by as we were seated towards the middle of the row.

Great view of the field. We had to twist our necks a bit to see the big video screen, but it wasn't too bad.

There's nowhere to place your food and drinks, so you have to kind of balance the food in a tray on your lap. There's no cup holder for the drink. I placed my iced tea under the bench, where it was soon joined by trash. In fact, the amount of trash left by attendees was jaw dropping.

Quite a mess under the seats of the bleacher benches.

Quite a mess under the seats of the bleacher benches.

My back was a little tweaked by the end of the game, but I survived. Though the Dodgers lost, the game was entertaining, as was the between-inning on-screen shenanigans. It was a fun night out.

GETTING THERE AND PARKING

I decided to use the Waze app to tell me the best way, factoring in traffic conditions, to get to Dodger Stadium. Without the app, the natural way I would go would be the 101 east to the 134 east to the 5 south.

Waze informed me that I would get there 12 minutes faster from Newbury Park via the 23 north to the 118 east to the 5 south to the 134 east to the 2 south to the 5 south. Yep, a bit out of the way, but it worked like a charm. A very stress-free drive, with minimal traffic.

Going home was much more direct - 5 north to 134 west, then 101 west. If you find yourself in the right-hand lane on Stadium Way coming out of Dodger Stadium, you will be forced to go on the 5 south. Whoops, wrong way! But if you do find yourself in this situation, not to worry. Continue on the 5 about half a mile and take the Riverside offramp, turn right, then you'll soon see a 5 north onramp.

Parking at the stadium is $25. DO buy a parking pass on the Dodgers ticketing website in advance for $15 to save yourself $10. www.mlb.com/dodgers/ballpark/transportation/parking

Was fun catching a Justin Turner home run in the 4th inning.

Was fun catching a Justin Turner home run in the 4th inning.

IN SUMMARY

  • Dodger Stadium is just 40 to 60 minutes from the Conejo Valley and is a fun entertainment option for the entire family.

  • Plenty of seating options are available. The Coca-Cola All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion is a great option if your family enjoys Dodger Dogs, popcorn, peanuts, nachos and soft drinks.

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

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.

Over 140 Summer Camps and Programs In and Around Ventura County

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Looking for a summer camp within range of Ventura County? Here's a list of over 140 summer day camps and residential camps and programs in the area. Actually, there are hundreds and hundreds of individual camps available.

We've attempted to categorize the camps into three main groups; Traditional/Learning, Sports and Music/Arts, though many camps cover numerous fun activities all in one.

Know of more? Submit them here!

No doubt there will be some typos/errors on this list, so let us know if you find one.

Traditional Day Camps, Overnight Camps, Educational Camps and Other Camps

Sports Camps

Music/Arts/Science Camps