A child draws in the dirt at Gardens of the World’s California mission area, part of the 4.5-acre garden on Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks. Photo by Tina Burch / Staff Photographer Ventura County offers beaches, forests, culture and history as well as a wealth of activities, many of them less than an hour’s drive from the San Fernando Valley. Here’s just a sampling of the activities that can provide a fun family outing or a night on the town: Gardens of the World: Owned by Ed and Lynn Hogan, founders of Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays, and operated by the Hogan Family Foundation, the $7 million, 4.5-acre garden has five internationally themed sections – French, English, Italian, Japanese and Spanish mission _ and a bandstand for summer concerts. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays during standard time at 2001 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Free. Call (805) 557-1135. The Fillmore and Western Railway: Five themed excursions run at different times throughout the year on this scenic three-hour ride from Fillmore to Santa Paula. Among them are a family trip through the citrus groves of the Santa Clara Valley that leaves at noon Saturdays and Sundays. The cost is $21 for adults, $19 for seniors, $11 for children ages 4-12 and $6 for infants and toddlers up to 3 years old. Another excursion is a murder mystery train that departs at 6:30 and returns at 9:30 on selected Saturday nights. For prices and departure times, call (805) 524-2546 or visit fwry.com. The Olivas Adobe: Olivas Adobe Historical Park, 4200 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura, is the former home of Don Raymundo Olivas and his family and dates back to the mid-1800s. It includes a small museum of handicrafts and artifacts from the Spanish rancho era of California history, and rose and herb gardens. On June 3, the Olivas Adobe will present “Cowboys, Heroes & Outlaws,” to preserve American cowboy western heritage from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and featuring historic re-enactors, cultural workshops, live entertainment and a re-created Chumash village. Beginning July 8 through Sept. 9, the adobe will host Music Under the Stars, a series of concerts every Saturday night showcasing artists performing a worldwide range of music. Free admission; tours available. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. Call (805) 644-6542. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza: The largest performing arts center between Los Angeles and San Francisco houses the 1,800-seat Fred Kavli Theatre for the Performing Arts and the 394-seat Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre. Both combine arts and entertainment with state-of-the-art technology and acoustics. The Civic Arts Plaza’s headliners run the spectrum from contemporary to classic, in addition to touring Broadway musicals, popular entertainers and award-winning children’s programs. The Fred Kavli Theatre lobby doubles as a fine-art gallery for exhibitions by both local and internationally acclaimed artists. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the box office at 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. For more information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787). Beachcombing: A spacious beachfront lies just south of downtown Ventura, with a long pier and a playground on the sand for the kids. A boardwalk-style promenade leads to a point favored by surfers and windsurfers. Just a short walk from the beach are interesting and quirky thrift and antique stores and restaurants. Take the Ventura Freeway and exit on California Street, turn left for the beach, right for Main Street.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Underwood Family Farms: Pick your own produce and visit the animals at this working ranch at 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark. Different crops are available to be picked all year and also are sold at a produce stand. Animals include horses, goats, chickens and rabbits that can be fed and groomed for nominal fees. The farm also is open for birthday parties and school tours. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daylight-saving time); closed Dec. 31 to March 1. Call (805) 529-3690. Camarillo Premium Outlet Malls: Upscale designers with discount prices make this a shopping trip worth the drive. The sprawling complex includes outlets for Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Ellen Tracy and BCBG. Hours vary. South of the Ventura Freeway at 740 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. Call (805) 445-8520. Ventura Harbor Village: Across the street from the beach at Ventura Harbor are more than 40 specialty retail shops and waterfront restaurants. Kids will love the arcade and 36-horse carousel. There are also harbor cruises, pedal-boat and kayak rentals, sport fishing, dive classes, charters, yacht clubs, marina and island excursions, plus occasional art exhibits and carnivals, and other special events for the entire family. A short walk from the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center. From the Ventura Freeway, exit at Seaward Avenue, go left on Harbor Boulevard, right on Spinnaker Drive. Call (805) 642-8538 or go to venturaharborvillage.com. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum: Nearly 50 million pages of documents from the Reagan administration are housed in the cellar of the museum dedicated to the former president. Permanent exhibits follow Reagan’s career and include a full-scale version of Reagan’s Oval Office, a section of the Berlin Wall, a first-ladies exhibit, and 1.6 million photographs. The Air Force One Pavilion, the museum’s newest attraction, opened in October, displaying the jet that Reagan and other presidents flew on during their terms of office. Rotating exhibits include everything from presidential portraits to the history of the U.S. cavalry, in which Reagan served. The facility, the largest of all the presidential libraries, sits on 100 acres with stunning vistas at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Call (800) 410-8354. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, $3 for children 11-17 and free for children 10 and under. California Oil Museum: Learn the inner workings of the black-gold industry through interactive displays, memorabilia, working models, games, photographs and an authentic turn-of-the-century cable-tool drilling rig. Rotating exhibits of science, technology and transportation plus art and history are presented throughout the year at this historic building first erected by oil pioneers in 1890. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $1 for children under the age of 17; kids 5 and under are free. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 1001 E. Main St., Santa Paula. Call (805) 933-0076.