Thousand Oaks is a city located in Ventura County, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. There are plenty of family-friendly things to do here. So many, in fact, that you’ll be planning to make several repeat visits just so you can take it all in.
Gardens of the World
2001 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Gardens of the World was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Hogan, the founders of “Pleasant Holidays.” The Hogans want to share with others the beauty they have found all around the world. Here, families can participate in a 45-minute, docent-led tour or can engage in a self-guided tour. As you stroll, you’ll encounter several gardens including “The Japanese Garden,” “The Mission Courtyard,” and “The Italian Garden” to name a few. (Call ahead before visiting to confirm the Gardens are open since they do sometimes close for inclement weather. Also, call ahead to reserve a docent tour). The Gardens of the World are also closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
350 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
At this shopping center, you’ll find a variety of family-friendly stores including Apple, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Disney, Gymboree, JCPenney, and more. In addition, The Oaks hosts a Farmer’s Market each Thursday from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm. (Although the Market is closed each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day). More than 50 farmers and food vendors are on hand to tempt your senses.
Chumash Indian Museum
3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
The Chumash Indian Museum serves as a “historical site and a living history center.” Families will have the chance to learn about the native Chumash Indians, one of the oldest tribes in the United States. Families can also participate in a guided hike in the surrounding park. The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm each day. Adult admission is $5, children 12 and under are $3, and a special rate of $10 applies to families of up to 5.
1125 Lindero Canyon Rd. Unit A7, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
This indoor playground has something for parents and children. Parents will appreciate the lounge which overlooks the play area. The lounge is furnished with a big screen TV, free WiFi, and more. Kids will enjoy the “tree house,” pretend area, small slides, art section, and more. Open Play is available Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm and costs $10 per child with a 20% discount offered for each sibling. In addition, Hideout hosts special monthly events which are included in Admission. (Check the website for more information regarding the monthly events).
Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
A variety of events are held at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza throughout the year. Performances include music, dance, a distinguished speaker series, and more. Upcoming family shows include a ballet performance of Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid.
Stagecoach Inn Museum
51 S. Ventu Park Rd., Newbury Park, CA 91320
You can get a sense of how times have changed when you explore the Stagecoach Inn Museum. Over the years, The Stagecoach Inn served as a hotel, a post office, a restaurant, and a boys’ military school. The Stagecoach Inn was named a California Landmark in 1965. Exhibits include the Chumash Exhibit and the Jungleland Exhibit. Docent-led tours are available. The Museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Suggested donations are $5 for adults, $4 for youth 13-21, $2 for children 5-12, and children under 5 are free.
Wildwood Regional Park
928 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Wildwood Park is the place for families who enjoy the outdoors. Here, you can hike, bike, ride a horse, and more. Fourteen trails cover seventeen miles. One of the highlights you’ll discover while hiking is Paradise Falls, a 40 foot waterfall!
MB2 Raceway Indoor Go-Karting
1475 Lawrence Dr., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
NOTE: this location is closed and they are moving to a new location in JANSS Marketplace. Stand by! For a unique family activity, head to MB2 Indoor Go-Karting. Here, you’ll participate in a high-speed race simulation in an indoor road course. Junior karts are available for kids (who must be at least 48” tall to race). Racers are provided helmets and must be wearing closed-toe shoes.
North Ranch Playfield
952 Rockfield St., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
North Ranch Playfield is a 12-acre site offering fun for the family. You’ll find picnic tables, soccer fields, a children’s playground, a basketball court, and more.
Thousand Oaks Library – The Grant R. Brimhall Library
1401 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
The Library hosts a variety of activities for children including special story times as well as family programs and performances. Check the website for an upcoming schedule of events. You’ll also be delighted by the library’s 3600-gallon salt-water aquarium, home to a variety of fish from all over the world.
And don’t forget about …
Conejo Valley Days
Conejo Creek Park South
1300 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
The five-day event celebrates valley’s rich heritage and volunteer spirit. This annual event, which happens every year in the spring, includes a variety of carnival rides, a Garden and Home Show, live entertainment, food, and more. Check website for admission prices and dates.
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