Underwood Family Farms
Located off of Tierra Rejada Road in Moorpark, right on the edge of Simi Valley, Underwood Family Farms is great for children of all ages. There is an animal center where you can feed the goats, ride the ponies, and visit the chicken house to show your kids where eggs come from. There is a little play area and giant stacks of hay for climbing. There is also a tiny train ride.
The main attraction at Underwood Family Farms is the actual farm. It is a “pick your own food” setup, where you can wander the farm and pick fruits and veggies as fresh as fresh can be. There are wagons for young kids to ride in, and the paths are wide enough for strollers as well. Remember that it is a farm, so try not to wear anything that you don’t want to get dirty. Sandals are not recommended, as the ground can be a bit muddy after the fruits and vegetables are watered.
Admission is $3.00. They have a frequency card that gets you a free admission after a few visits. Check out the website for more information.
Simi Valley and Moorpark have tons of parks! There are so many wonderful parks to visit that it is might be possible to take your child to a different park every week of the year. Rancho Tapo Community Park in Simi Valley, also known as Lemon Park, offers a water play area during the summer. It also has a special Veterans Memorial. Rancho Simi Community Park has a pond with ducks and a little stream where children can wade in the ankle deep water. Rancho Santa Susana Park, located across from the Simi Valley train station, has a nice jogging trail.
For a list of parks in Moorpark, visit the City of Moorpark website.
For more about parks in Simi Valley, visit the Rancho Simi Recreation website.
Gramma’s Place is an indoor playroom without the bells and whistles that some of the bigger places offer. Many of the toys at Gramma’s Place are the type of toys that kids have at home, but just imagine having all the toys in a toy store out to play with. That’s sort of how Gramma’s Place is. They do have a mini bounce house, but most of the toys are focused around imagination, such as dress-up and playing house. The best part is that, unlike having a play date at home, you don’t have to clean up afterwards.
For more information visit Gramma’s Place online.
Paint a Dream
Located in the Simi Valley Town Center, Paint a Dream is a small art studio where kids and adults can come to paint ceramics. When you are done painting, the ceramics are fired in the kiln for a professional looking finish. It is a bit pricey, with admission at $8.00 a pop, and ceramics running around $10-$30 a piece. It is also a small room, so it is not recommended for small children.
Paint Pals Clubhouse
Possibly one of the most fun, kid-friendly places in Simi Valley, the Paint Pals Clubhouse is located on Erringer and Heywood, tucked away behind John’s Bagel Deli and the Quick Stop market. At Paint Pals, kids can pick out a small or elaborate ceramic figure or plaque to paint. Prices range from about $5-$20. Painting is the main feature, but there are several other fun things at Paint Pals. Kids can sing G-rated songs on a stage with real spotlights. A bubble fun area lets kids put themselves in a giant bubble. The art shadow room sticks shadow pictures to the walls, where kids have fun making funny shapes with their shadows. There is also a new feature where, for an additional price (approximately $15-$20), kids can stuff and dress their own stuffed animal. One of the ultimate fun experiences at Paint Pals is the black light maze, where everything is neon and glowing.
Check out their website for more information.
Farmer’s Market on Friday Evenings at the Simi Valley Town Center
For about a year now, Simi Valley has had a farmers market every Friday evening up at the Simi Valley Town Center. It goes from 3pm to 7:30pm, and features all sorts of children’s activities such as inflatable obstacle courses and a petting zoo. There is also live music, as well as the expected farmers market produce selections to shop from.
Borders Kids Activities
The Simi Valley Borders store sponsors all sorts of free children’s events, such as Pajamamania on Friday evenings at 7pm, where kids can come in Pajamas and bring their teddy bears to sit in the children’s book are and listen to a storyteller. On Wednesday mornings at 11am, there is “Tot Time,” where parents can bring their little kids can come listen to a book reading.
Moorpark Teaching Zoo
Moorpark College is known throughout the world for their exotic animal training program, a competitive school for those who wish to work with exotic animals. For a while, the program even had their own show on Animal Planet!
The zoo is open to the public every weekend from 11 am to 5pm. Animal shows are presented at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, where the students come out and present the animals they have been working with. Admission is $5 for Adults and $4 for Children & Seniors.
For more information visit the Moorpark College Zoo website.
Take the Train!
Seeing as how most children just love trains, why not take the train just for the sake of riding a real train? The Ventura County Metrolink line has pickups in Simi Valley, and the fare is just a few dollars a person. A copy of the Ventura County schedule is available online.