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Staying Engaged: Senior-friendly Activities in Ventura County


Downtown Ventura with a fountain and a mission.

Growing older has some people feeling as if they are invisible in their community and that there are not many things for seniors to do, but that is far from the truth here in Ventura County. We at Senior Choice believe one of the most important practices for maintaining a good quality of life for older adults is their frequent involvement in physical, mental, and social activities to ensure they are enjoying and learning every day. Ventura County offers people of all ages engaging activities and this article will enlighten older adults to the possibilities that are out there and easily accessible*.


The History of Ventura County…

Previously home to the Chumash Native American Tribe, Spanish explorers landed at an inlet near Point Mugu in October 1542, and by 1769, Spain had gained full occupation of California. In 1822, the governor of California swore allegiance to the newly independent Mexico. From 1846-1847, the American-Mexican War broke out leading to California becoming part of the U.S. in 1850. After the American Civil War, settlers then migrated to the area buying land from the Mexican Ranchos, or simply taking the land over by squatting. And that's just a very brief story of how Ventura was born in 1866.


Local Farms

Ventura County boasts numerous local farms that provide an array of offerings, including guided tours, educational sessions, and hands-on experiences. Older adults can derive extensive value from a day spent on these farms, engaging in enriching learning activities, gaining insights into the complexity of the farms ecosystems, and discovering the secrets to cultivating the most delectable and nutrient-packed produce. This outing can be particularly thrilling for seniors who have a passion for gardening or are considering it as a new and engaging hobby. Additionally, some of these farms offer interactive opportunities, such as visits to their on-site petting zoos featuring goats, pigs, and chickens, and the chance to savor locally produced honey.


Underwood Family Farms: Located on Tierra Rejada Rd. in Moorpark, Underwood farms has been operating for over 40 years and providing an experience of a lifetime, from hand picking your own fruits and vegetables to special events and an on-site petting zoo, this is a farm people come from counties near and far to experience!


Apricot Lane Farms: Located a short distance from Grimes Canyon in Moorpark, this farm was revived from the dead after 50 years of over production and extractions from the land's previous owners. Now with a beautifully balanced and reawakened ecosystem, Apricot Lane Farms has been thriving for over 12 years and offers farm tours, special events, locally sourced products and much more!


Bennett’s Honey Farm: Currently located off East Telegraph Rd. in Fillmore, Bennett’s Honey Farm has been housing bees for over 40+ years. Having a swarm of bees land in the backyard turned into a sustainable and profitable business producing products like honey, bee pollen, and skin care products. Today they have a honey tasting room where you can try various flavors of honey.


Farmers Markets

Ventura County is filled with vibrant, weekly farmers markets where local farmers, artisans, and producers come together to sell a variety of fresh and locally sourced products directly to their community. These markets offer a unique and enjoyable shopping experience that celebrates the importance of sustainable agriculture, small-scale food productions, and community connections. Here are a list of local farmer’s markets that can enjoyed every week within Ventura County:


Camarillo: Every Saturday from 8am to noon in Old Town Camarillo.

Thousand Oaks: Every Thursday from noon to 5pm in the East end of the Thousand Oaks Mall parking lot.

Westlake Village: Every Sunday from 10am to 2pm in the Westlake Commons.

Channel Islands Harbor: Every Sunday from 10am to 2pm located at 3600 Harbour Blvd. Oxnard

Oxnard: Every Thursday from 9am to 1:30pm located at 500 S. C St. at Plaza Park

Ojai: Every Sunday from 9am to 1pm located at 300 E Matilija St. Ojai

Downtown Ventura: Every Saturday from 8:30 to noon located on E Main Street in downtown Ventura.


Museums

Filled with history, culture and a trove of exciting knowledge, museums can offer older adults a wealth of benefits. These cultural institutions offer a unique and enriching environment where seniors can engage with art, history, and science, fostering intellectual stimulation and curiosity. Moreover, museums often offer a peaceful and contemplative space, allowing older adults to reflect on their experiences, connect with their past, and find inspiration for the future.


The Museum of Ventura County celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, its collections, exhibitions, and events, and serves as a gathering place for the community. The collection of historic artifacts now comprises more than 30,000 objects and 1,000 works of art and can be visited and toured every Thursday through Sunday from 11AM to 5PM.


The Chumash Indian Museum is a historical site and living history center. This museum is dedicated to restoring and preserving an awareness of the Chumash people and their historical, cultural, material and present-day influence, as well as the natural environment and historical significance of this site. Through exhibits, events, and educational programs, the Chumash Indian Museum serves as a gathering place for a partnership with the native and non-native communities connecting the past with the present to continue our shared future.


The Camarillo Ranch House is a historical site that once housed Adolfo Camarillo, the man that the city of Camarillo is named after, and his family. Today, the Camarillo house operates as a museum offering tours which teaches about the traditions, life back in the day and the history of the city we know as Camarillo.

The U.S Navy Seabee Museum was established in 1947 and has been selecting, collecting and preserving important historical artifacts relating to the history of the Naval Construction Force, better known as the Seabees and the U.S Navy Civil Engineer Corps. The museum offers a unique experience in learning in-depth about the life and work of the U.S Navy Seabees.


CAF SoCal Aviation Museum is a non-profit organization that provides the community with the opportunity to experience aviation artifacts, tour classic all-American planes and educate on the history of aviation. Plus, their planes actually fly and partake in Camarillo’s yearly airshow “Wings Over Camarillo”.


The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library celebrates the life and legacy of the 40th US president who was born in Thousand Oaks, California. This museum of presidential records has exhibits including presidential aircraft, a portion of the Berlin wall, as well as a pristine replica of the oval office. There is more to explore and this experience could take you a few hours to complete.


The Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College provides an educational opportunity to all who are interested in learning about exotic wildlife. This zoo has more than 90 species of animals including African lions, red foxes, concolor gibbon and more! You can simply browse the animals in the park, observe scheduled feedings or enjoy a learning experience from students in training.


Botanical Gardens

An amazing opportunity to experience the various plant life that is local to California as well as from around the world, botanical gardens offer seniors with not only an educational adventure into learning about native species of plants but also cultivate a relaxing and peaceful place to spend a few hours outdoors, enjoying sunshine, fresh hair and maybe even partake in a little grounding action.

Gardens of the World, located across the street from the Civic Arts Plaza at 2001 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Ventura Botanical Gardens, located at 567 Poli St. in Ventura.


Local Restaurants

Restaurants are great meeting grounds for older adults looking to socialize and what's not a better place to enjoy friendly company than a place where you can enjoy high-quality food too! The US is now blanketed with thousands of chain restaurants so finding a tasty family owned restaurant is like looking for a needle in a haystack nowadays. Explore our short list of exciting local restaurants below:


Waypoint Cafe, located virtually on the tarmac of the Camarillo airport and offers classic American and Mexican influenced breakfast and lunch with french toast, omelets, burgers, melts, salads and much more! Their shakes are a must have!

E+ Mon, located off Westlake Blvd. This Japanese restaurant offers an array of sushi options made with the freshest ingredients, as well as an opportunity to explore other asian inspired dishes if sushi isn’t your forte!

Nonna, a quaint Italian restaurant off Westlake Blvd., that offers a relaxing and intimate environment to enjoy authentic family-style Italian cuisine.

Made In Italy, located on Thousand Oaks Blvd., this authentic neapolitan-style Italian restaurant specializes in homemade pasta, seasonal specials, neapolitan-style hand-made pizza and more!

Anarbagh Indian, located on Thousand Oaks Blvd., offers a wide range of authentic family-style Indian cuisine. From tandoori and curry dishes to chef specials and lassi.

Braxton’s Kitchen, located off Carmen Dr., this new-age café creates delicious and unique dishes for breakfast and lunch which include chicken & waffles, breakfast burger, chicken pesto sandwiches, power bowls and more. Plus, they’re dog friendly!

Rumfish y Vino, located off Main St. in Downtown Ventura, is a gastropub of Central American influence. They offer a full menu filled with unique dishes such as fish stew, pork belly tacos, ceviche and more. This restaurant has never missed!


Ventura County has endless places to explore which can help older adults stay engaged in their community. We hope you found this article helpful and discovered places you want to put on your to-visit list. Remember, this is only scraping the top of the iceberg and there are many more places in Ventura County to discover.


Discover more on websites like...

Visit Camarillo: https://visitcamarillo.com/

Visit Conejo: https://conejo.com/


*Disclaimer: Although these activities may be easily accessible to some older adults, this may not always be the case for seniors who may require specialized assistance with things such as wheelchair access. We recommend calling in advance to double check that this activity or location is accessible to your individual needs and circumstances.

 

If you enjoyed this article, read more helpful senior lifestyle articles: here! Or, discover healthy recipes: here!


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