Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Thousand Oaks, CA

  • Published 2022/12/19

Thousand Oaks is the second biggest city in Ventura County.

It is a metropolis of dazzling contrasts and vivid hues, located in the northwest portion of Greater Los Angeles, about 15 miles from the city of Los Angeles.

The city of Thousand Oaks, California, was named such because of the abundance of oak trees in the region.

It offers various attractions, from thriving business districts to beautiful natural scenery.

Visit Thousand Oaks with your loved ones and experience the city’s countless attractions without breaking the bank.

Here are 15 free things to do in Thousand Oaks, California.

Enjoy Magnificent Views of Paradise Falls

Daytime view of Paradise Falls

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The 40-foot-tall Paradise Falls is located within Wildwood Regional Park.

Situated at the end of the North Fork of Arroyo Conejo, this waterfall is a sight to behold as it thunderously crashes into a pool below.

The waterfall is a lovely and serene spot for a hike or a bike ride in the Thousands Oaks neighborhood.

Cascades of Paradise Falls

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There are several routes to the falls, and once there, visitors can extend their sightseeing to other attractions like lizard Rock, Indian Creek, and Indian Cave.

Take numerous rest stops along the journey and enjoy a picnic or fresh air.

Paradise Falls can be accessed at West Avenida De Los Arboles, Wildwood Regional Park.

Hiking trail at Paradise Falls

Michelle Sherman /

Put on Your Skates and Head to Borchard Community Park

Borchard Community Park is a 29-acre public park with a community center, a skate park, tennis courts, and a farm-themed playground.

It is right next to Newbury Park High School.

You can find this park near the crossroads of Reino and Borchard Roads in the Santa Monica Mountains.

It wasn’t until 1969 that the Borchard Community Center welcomed its first visitors.

Various amenities, such as a community center and a repair shop, are available to park visitors.

A large skate park was also added in 2001.

Borchard Skatepark is a 9,000-square-foot skate park that welcomes skateboarders of all abilities.

The skate park offers skateboarding, scooters, and BMX lessons.

There is ample illumination throughout the park so that visitors can enjoy it at all hours.

Bring your family and enjoy its many amenities!

The park is located at N Reino Road, Newbury Park.

Go Hiking at Wildwood Regional Park

Dirt trail at Wildwood Regional Park

Steven Guo /

Wildwood Regional Park is one of the most interesting parks in the Los Angeles area.

This hilly, wooded park has a nature center, hiking paths, playgrounds, and facilities.

Thousand Oaks’ 1,765-acre Wildwood Regional Park features an astonishingly varied terrain.

You can hike for 17 miles across 14 different trails.

Grasslands and peaks dominate the landscape, and there are also some unique eroded rock formations.

Hillside trail at Wildwood Regional Park

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It is home to diverse plant, bird, amphibian, and reptile species.

Wildwood Park is a popular place for families and people of all ages to go for outdoor activities like nature walks, bike rides, equestrian outings, day camps, and programs.

While the park includes three water fountains, hikers are still advised to carry their supplies.

The canyon’s only bathrooms are near the trail’s end.

You may find benches scattered all across the park, most of them along the trails.

View of the city from Wildwood Regional Park

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Explore Oakbrook Regional Park

Oakbrook Regional Park is a beautiful spot for anyone who wants to reconnect with nature without going too far from the city.

There are numerous routes to explore on foot in the park and amazing views of the surrounding area.

Ventura County moved Oakbrook Regional Park to the corner of Lang Ranch Parkway and North Westlake Boulevard in Thousand Oaks in 2003.

The Chumash Interpretive Center is another attraction in this 436-acre park.

The center grounds feature a wooded area with oak trees, a seasonal creek, and a network of hiking trails.

The park was established to protect cultural items, the habitat for chaparral, and the live oak woods along Lang Creek.

Check Out the Stunning Blooms at the Gardens of the World

French garden at Gardens of the World

TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gardens of the World is a small gem in the Conejo Valley established by Ed and Lynn Hogan.

Various international garden themes are represented in the garden.

There are winding mazes in the English Rose Gardens, huge French and Italian lawns with white-stone waterfalls, and a Japanese garden with bamboo and a koi fish pond.

If you have kids, you should take them to this charming park.

You can have your meal outside on the patio, surrounded by well-maintained landscapes.

Rose garden at Gardens of the World

TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You may also see Mission-style architecture with a citrus tree garden and an open-air patio.

The garden’s stunning design, water features, and natural elements are sure to impress.

In addition, it is a very peaceful and nice place to relax.

The garden is located on Thousand Oaks Boulevard.

A mural at Gardens of the World

TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the View of the Ponds at Conejo Creek North Park

Two ponds linked by a recirculating stream are at the heart of Conejo Creek North Park.

The development of this 27-acre property was completed in 1992.

The facility also houses the Main Library, Teen Center, and Goebel Adult Center.

This park has almost everything you could want from an outdoor recreation area.

There are shaded picnic spots, exercise trails, beach-style volleyball courts, two separate playgrounds, and other recreational activities.

You can take it easy and enjoy the shade of the many trees that dot the landscape.

Picnic shelters of varying sizes can be reserved to accommodate visitors for large community events.

The Healing Garden, which was officially opened to the public on November 7, 2019, is a place of reflection, meditation, and prayer for the local community.

A jungle-like trail area right in the center of Conejo Creek North Park is excellent for taking the kids on an adventure.

Read a Book at Grant R. Brimhall Library

Exterior of the Grant R. Brimhall Library

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The Grant R. Brimhall Library has an area of 81,000 square feet.

It is one of the largest libraries in Ventura County and Southern California.

Thousand Oaks and the surrounding neighborhoods are its primary clientele.

Since its opening in 1982, the library has provided its patrons access to more than 350,000 publications and other learning materials.

Facade of the Grant R. Brimhall Library

Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Thousand Oaks Library System is responsible for the library’s operations.

The library’s main attraction is a 3,600-gallon saltwater aquarium, which can be found between the adult and children’s sections.

The library is designed primarily for kids but with some secluded spots where adults can get some work done peacefully.

Visit Grant R. Brimhall Library at E Janss Road, and enjoy a fantastic educational experience with your kids.

Have Fun with Your Furry Companions at Conejo Creek Dog Park

The 3.5-acre Conejo Creek Dog Park was established in 2001 as a dedicated space for canines and their companions to enjoy the outdoors together.

Both large and small dogs can enjoy the park’s two distinct parts, each of which features play and running grounds.

This dog park is the largest and busiest in the area.

Large areas with dirt and grass are available for your dogs to run about and explore.

The area has multiple water fountains equipped with dog-friendly plumbing ensuring an ample water supply for your furry companions.

Plenty of free poop bags, garbage cans, and large, open spaces are also available.

Dog owners can take a break under the shade of an umbrella while resting at one of the tables and seats provided.

This fantastic dog park is at E Avenida De Las Flores.

Go Window Shopping at The Oaks Mall

Exterior of The Oaks Mall

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The Oaks Mall is an upscale indoor-outdoor mall with well-known stores, restaurants, and a movie theater.

Located at West Hillcrest Drive, this massive mall offers year-round shopping opportunities.

Enjoy strolling along the over 170 different shops, restaurants, and other establishments.

Children can have fun for free in the play area conveniently positioned close to the food court and family restrooms.

After a long day of window shopping, relax on one of the mall’s many sofas or chairs.

Visit the Oak Mall to connect with residents and take in the sights and sounds of the area.

Enjoy a Short Walk at Lang Ranch Neighborhood Park

Lang Ranch Neighborhood Park is a 10-acre park with a playground, basketball court, and an asphalt jogging path for exercise.

The huge neighborhood park is located close to the natural surroundings of Lang Creek, giving its visitors easy access to open space trails all around the Conejo Valley.

Established in 1993, this park has a picnic space and nine grills, so feel free to bring over some meat to cook.

While the kids play on the swings, adults can enjoy some time under the cool shade provided by the Gazebo.

Completed in May 2014, the park’s improvements include a.4-mile permeable asphalt recreational walking circuit, a bathroom, and the replacement of non-essential turf with mulch and trees.

Enjoy the park’s beautiful open setting at Lang Ranch Parkway.

Enjoy Relaxing Views at Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

Mediterranean garden at Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

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The 33-acre Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is known for its hilly terrain, breathtaking vistas, and informative tours of its various themed gardens.

This public garden is characterized by oak trees, hillside specialty gardens, and walking trails.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, manages the garden with the help of volunteers and donations.

Everyone in the family can enjoy the facility without paying an entrance fee.

You can enjoy the exotic plants and birds and the picturesque vistas of the surrounding hills.

Australian garden at Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The trails are suitable for both strolling and jogging.

In addition, they host events and activities, including tree planting and wildlife conservation seminars.

Enjoy the fresh air and commune with nature at Conejo Valley Botanic Garden on W. Gainsborough Road.

Desert garden at Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

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Hone Your Biking Skills at Sapwi Bike Park

Sapwi Bike Park is the first of its kind in the Conejo Valley.

You can visit it in the beautiful Sapwi Trails Community Park.

This free biking park features a pump track and three jump lines.

The Conejo Recreation & Parks District and the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) have collaborated to make this bike park possible.

In addition to the fantastic biking trails, the Sapwi Bike Park has miles of multi-use paths, a place for launching non-motorized gliders, and a natural habitat preservation area.

Learn Local History at Chumash Indian Museum

Village at Chumash Indian Museum

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The Chumash Indian Museum, located at Lang Ranch Parkway, is both a museum and a cultural center that preserves the history of the Chumash people.

Exhibits chronicling the Chumash people’s long and rich history are on display in the museum.

Have fun learning about Native American culture here.

The Conejo Recreation & Park District graciously subsidizes the entrance fees.

Displays at Chumash Indian Museum

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Hikers can explore a long trail that passes through a recreated Chumash hamlet and visit several displays to learn more about the Chumash people.

Come check out the museum displays, take a nature stroll through the oak woods led by a local educator, and chat with members of the Chumash community.

With the help of this museum, the legacy of the Chumash people and its cultural, historical, and material impact on the world today can be re-established and preserved for future generations.

The Chumash Indian Museum bridges the gap between the past and present so Native and non-Native Americans can continue building a future together.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Hike along the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Backbone trail at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

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The vast mountain range of Santa Monica is home to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The area has nearly 500 miles of hiking trails, offering scenic coastal terrain, views, and picnic areas.

Visitors can reach Malibu’s beaches and other popular destinations within its extensive trail system.

In addition, there are almost a thousand different plant species, which is home to 500 animal species.

Balanced rock at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Churnice, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of cultural and historical sites in the park, from old movie ranches that were never used to community centers for Native Americans.

Enjoy the stunning scenery and gorgeous flowers up close, and feel free to reach out and touch the local fauna.

You can access the park at Mulholland Highway, Calabasas.

Play Some Hoops at Rancho Madera Community Park

Head to Rancho Madera Community Park for some workouts and relaxation.

It is an expansive park with playgrounds, ponds, and sports and picnic facilities.

The neighborhood park is an excellent spot for outdoor recreation.

It is home to a network of trails that cover various terrain.

It’s a lovely spot for a game of catch or frisbee or to unwind and take it easy.

There’s also a basketball court, volleyball courts, picnic tables, and more.

Rancho Madera Community Park in Simi Valley is an excellent place to picnic or have a birthday party.

Final Thoughts

Thousand Oaks has many great parks and other outdoor activities for families, and the city’s schools are among the best in the country.

There is an abundance of excellent educational facilities, recreational opportunities, and extracurricular pursuits.

You can spend the whole day strolling at its different parks, hiking trails, and other attractions without spending a penny.

Take note of these free things to do in Thousand Oaks, California, for your next trip to the city!

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