BEDTIME STORIES Fine art photographer and printmaker Lis J. Schwitters portrays visual narratives from family stories and Grimm’s fairytales in her new exhibition of digial ink jet prints, Folktales from the Absurd. With an opening reception Dec. 16, 5-8 p.m., and showing through Jan. 15. Harbor Village Gallery, 1591 Spinnaker Dr., Suite 117 C, Ventura. 644-2750. www.harborvillagegallery.com. Hours Wednesday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

BUENAVENTURA ART GALLERY Ines Monguio is the featured artist with her show Layers, which refers to the way she works with watercolors, monotypes and etchings, and is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to meaning in art. With reception Dec. 17, 4-7 p.m. Gallery hours: Tues.-Sat. noon-5 p.m. 700 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. 648-1235.

HANSEL AND GRETEL Dec. 17, 2 p.m. The Intimate Opera Company returns with the childhood favorite just in time for the holidays. $20 adults, $18 seniors/students, $15 children 12 and under. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. 583-7900.

Due to the holiday season and constantly changing schedules, the Reporter encourages all readers to call ahead for all events.

holiday happenings

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD Thursday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Jan. 8. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum welcomes the holiday season with their annual exhibit including trees beautifully decorated to represent cultures and traditions from other countries, toy soldiers, garland and Christmas music. The 30 trees represent Armenia, Austria, Canada, Iceland, Africa, Russia and more. For the first time, the celebration takes place in the new Air Force One Pavilion. The library also serves as an official Los Angeles Police Department Toy Drive drop-off $12 general admission, $9 seniors 62 and over, $3 children 11-17, under 10 free. 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley. (800) 410-8354.

HANUKKAH MAGIC Thursday, Dec. 15, 5pm. Temple Beth Haverim of Agoura Hills presents a sensational Hanukkah program for children of all ages. Amos Levkovitch has created a unique Hanukkah Magic Show guaranteed to wow the audience and be remembered for years to come. $5 donation. (818) 735-6796.

VENTURA HARBOR PARADE OF LIGHTS Fri.-Sat., Dec. 16-17, 4pm. The public is invited to Ventura Harbor’s 29th Annual Parade of Lights, with the theme “Island Holidays” to celebrate Channel islands National Park’s 25th anniversary. Festivities begin with entertainment on two stages, a holiday carnival, local choirs, strolling carolers, Santa Claus and then the parade of lights at 7pm, followed by a grand finale fireworks display sponsored by Andria’s Seafood Restaurant. Free water taxi shuttling service on Saturday, starting at 3:30pm from the public launch ramp on Anchors Way Drive. Free. Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura.

CHRISTMAS TREE LANE through December 26, 6-10pm. Come see some of Southern California’s most beautiful twentieth century Craftsman and Period revival homes decorate in true holiday splendor in the Henry T. Oxnard Historic District, a five block area with F Street, G Street, Fifth Street and Doris Avenue as boundaries. Enjoy Renaissance Christmas carols sung by Madrigali on opening night. Visitors can drive the route or park at Santa Clara Church (3rd and Fifth) and walk. 269-6273 for more information.

THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON Sat. 2pm, Sun. 7pm, Dec. 17-18. Curtain Call Youth Theatre, under the direction of Jeff Wallach, presents the world premiere of Nance Crawford’s musical comedy The Christmas Dragon, with music by Malcolm Atterbury Jr. $10. Theater on High Street, Moorpark. (818) 704-1221 for more information.

NORTH POLE EXPRESS Wednesdays-Sundays, through December 23, 6 and 7:30pm. The Fillmore & Western Railway presents a fun new tradition for the whole family! Ride the train to the North Pole to pick up Santa. Sit back and relax with a carton of chocolate milk and a cookie while you listen to the story The Polar Express, plus sing-a-longs, so be ready to have a lot of fun! Kids encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring favorite stuffed animal. $22 adults, $12 youth 4-12, $6 infant-3. 524-2546.

CHRISTMAS TREE HOLIDAY TRAIN Saturdays-Sundays, through Dec. 18, 10am & 2pm. The Fillmore & Western Railway departs from Fillmore every weekend for a ride to a Christmas tree farm. Ride the train to the farm to select and cut down your perfect tree, plus expect a visit from Santa. $20 adults, $18 seniors 60 and over, $10 kids 4-12, $6 infants-3. 524-2546.

HOLIDAY MAGIC ON ICE Fri. 7pm, Sat. 2&7pm, Dec. 16-17. Channel Islands Figure Skating Club presents Ventura County’s premier annual skating event to help support Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County, a volunteer charity providing assistance for abused and neglected children. $10-$22. VIP tables seating 3 or 4 available for $150 and include hors d’ouvres, desserts, wine or beverage. Oxnard Ice Skating Center, Oxnard. 988-4440.

altruism

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS through December 28. The American Red Cross of Ventura County seeks nominations for the 2006 Clara Barton Awards, recognizing local women whose lives and work have had a profound impact on the well-being of their community. Deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 28. For information on categories or how to nominate, visit www.arcventura.org or contact Debra Creadick at 987-1514.

MATCHING FUNDS FOR FOTM Be part of a team providing valuable arts education to Ventura youngsters by making a tax-deductible donation to Focus on the Masters. Every dollar donated will be matched by an anonymous donor – dollar for dollar, up to a total of $5,000 – when received by December 31. For information or to make donations, visit www.FocusOntheMaster.com or call 653-2501.

RAIN PROJECT HOLIDAY DRIVE through December 31. The RAIN Project Transitional Living Center hosts its 11th Annual Holiday Drive to benefit individuals and families wanting to regain independent living. Donate dryer sheets, scrub sponges, Lysol Disinfectant Spray and any type of cleaning products to help men, women and children in Ventura County by dropping them off at RAIN, 1732 Lewis Rd., Camarillo, between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. 389-3308.

HELP PAKISTAN AND GUATEMALA The Ventura County Community Foundation’s World Disaster Fund is open to receive contributions wishing to aid victims of the recent earthquake tragedy in Pakistan and flooding in Guatemala. Recipients will be organizations that provide emergency relief and long-term recovery in the affected areas, with specific grants designated by VCCF’s board. Contributions should be sent to VCCF at 1317 Del Norte Rd., Suite 150, Camarillo, CA, 93010. Make checks payable to VCCF, note that it is for the World Disaster Fund and specify whether it’s intended to help victims in Pakistan or Guatemala. Forms available at www.vccf.org.

OPERATION SEABEE CHRISTMAS Donate goods in order to put a stocking in the hands of as many deployed Seabees, who will miss Christmas at home, as possible. Visit www.seabeechristmas.org for more information.

FEMA DEADLINE EXTENDED Survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita now have until January 11, 2006, to apply for aid. Call 1-800-621-FEMA, or visit www.fema.gov.

performances

WINTER CONCERT Wed., Dec. 21, 7pm. The Newbury Park High School Choral Music Department holds its annual Winter Concert, featuring classic and contemporary holiday music and a wide variety of choral and solo numbers. Under the direction of Mr. John Sargent. $5. Newbury Park High School Performing Arts Center, 456 Reino Rd., Newbury Rd., Newbury Park. 484-0307.

IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDY Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17, 8pm. Friday: $7.50 Friday, $8.50 Saturday. Livery Theater, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura. 643-5701.

theater

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Friday-Sunday, through December 18. Actors’ Repertory Theatre of Simi presents their production of the Broadway musical. The quick-paced, heart warming holiday classic features a live orchestra and cast of over 30 actors performing the brilliant score and lyrics of Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. Performances: Friday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. $18 adults, $15 seniors/students, $12 children 12 and under. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. 583-7900.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL through December 23. Ojai Art Center presents a musical production of Charles Dickens’ classic at three venues this season (and three of those shows for charity), with Peter Crane directing and Jimmy Calire handling musical direction. Tickets $15-$20, or as noted. At Oceanside Pavilion, 575 E. Surfside Dr., Port Hueneme: Thurs.-Fri. 7:30pm, Sat.-Sun. 3&7:30pm, through December 18. Call 986-4818 for reservations. At Ojai ACT, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. Benefiting charities Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 19-20, 7:30pm. Regular shows Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 22-23, 7:30pm. 640-8797 or www.OjaiACT.org. At St. Joseph’s, 2464 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, as a benefit. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7pm. $10. 646-1466 for reservations.

AN OLD FASHIONED RADIO CHRISTMAS Fri.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 2:30pm, through Dec. 18. the Santa Paula Theater invites audiences to An Old Fashioned Radio Christmas with a recreation of the live radio broadcast Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. Set in 1943 New York City, the show features a radio station’s annual Christmas Eve special when a blizzard blocks most of the original actors and the director scrambles to cover all the roles. Written by Andrew J. Fenady, based around the famous editorial in The New York Sun in response to a letter to the editor from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon. $15 general, $12 seniors/students, $10 children 12 and under. Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 South 7th St., Santa Paula. 525-4645.

CALL FOR PLAYS Theater 150 announces its New/Used Play Reading Series, beginning January 2006. The theater is looking for full-length or one-act plays, either classic or contemporary produced/published plays or new works by Ventura and Santa Barbara County playwrights. New plays with previous productions will not be excluded from consideration. Sent to Deb Norton, Theater 150, PO Box 925, Ojai, Ca, 93024. With SASE if you want play returned.

HANSEL AND GRETEL Saturday, Dec. 17, 2pm. The Intimate Opera Company returns with the childhood favorite just in time for the holidays. $20 adults, $18 seniors/students, $15 children 12 and under. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. 583-7900.

LIFE WITH FATHER Thurs.-Sat., 8pm, through December 17 & Jan. 6-28. Special 2pm matinees on Jan. 8 & 22. The Stage Door theater presents the delightful family comedy written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Based on the book of the same title, Life with Father takes place in the 1880s and revolves around the activities in the Day family’s home when it’s discovered that the father has never been baptized. $12-$15. 28311 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. (818) 889-5209.

NUNCRACKERS Fri.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 2pm, through December 18. Three Saturday matinees at 2pm on Dec. 3, 10 & 17. The Elite Theatre company presents its fifth Christmas musical written by Dan Goggin, which finds the Little Sisters of Hueneme preparing to tape a Christmas show in the Cable Access Studio built by Reverend Mother with part of the prize money won earlier by Sister Mary Paul. $15-$18. Petit Playhouse, 730 S. B St., Oxnard. 483-5118.

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE Fri.-Sat. 8pm, Sun. 2pm, through December 18. The Winter Season at Theatre on the Hill opens with Acorn Production’s hilarious production of Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy placing Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics and the painter set the art world afire with cubism. $10-$14. Theatre on the Hill, Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks. 381-2747 or www.conejoarts.com.

SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM: THE MYSTERY OF THE MAGI’S GOLD Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 28-30, 7:30pm. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Foundation presents the latest comedy from people who brought you the hilarious Late Nite Catechism. Sister tackles the question: Whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? It’s CSI: Bethlehem as Sister engages her audience to solve the mystery of what happened through a forensic examination of the nativity scene. Audience members are selected to be characters in a living nativity/crime scene along with a holiday choir singing Christmas favorites. $39 general. Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theater, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. 449-ARTS.

TICK, TICK…BOOM! Wed. 2 & 7pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8pm, Sat. 2 & 8pm, Sun. 2pm, through December 18. Rubicon Theater presents the heartfelt three-person musical that tells the story of Rent writer Jonathan Larson’s early days as a struggling artist in SoHo. He’s about to turn 30, his girlfriend wants to get married, his best friend is moving uptown and Larson is still waiting tables and trying not to let life pass him by. Tickets $25-$85. With pre-show themed Friday night dinner with Karyl Lynn Burns on December 2, an audio-described performance on Sunday, December 4, and a signed interpreted performance on Friday, December 9. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. 667-2900.

art

ACCOLADES Explosions is a new body of work by Los Angeles artist Miguel Osuna, whose paintings of dreamy SoCal scenes have hung at Deco and previously at Accolades. In this new set of oil paintings, Osuna takes you to the ocean. Show runs through January 30. Hours: Thurs.-Sun. 12-5pm, Mon. 12-4:30pm. 451 E. Main St. #9, Ventura. (805) 648-4080. www.accolades-gallery.com.

ANACAPA BREWING COMPANY In a venture of artistic, cultural exchange, Alison Reynolds and Matias Prassolo bring Uruguayan art by abstract expressionist Guillermo Figoli to Ventura. He’ll exhibit his series of vibrant, accordion-themed oil paintings through January 8. Main St., Ventura.

AROUND THE CORNER GALLERY Featuring the exquisite botanical paintings, prints and cards of Renate Collins, who studied at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York and founded the Arte Botanica, Ltd. Company. Through December 30. 7 days a week, 11am-5pm. 105 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. 640-8844.

ARTISTS’ UNION GALLERY Celebrating 25 years of the limited edition monthly publication Art/Life, the gallery hosts a retrospective show featuring large-scale giclee photo prints and other works by contributing artists. Through January 1. Gallery hours: Thurs. 12-6pm, Fri.-Sat. 12-9pm, Sun. 12-6pm. 330 California St. Plaza, Ventura. (805) 643-3012 or www.venturaartistsunion.org.

BEATRICE WOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS The Happy Valley Foundation announces the opening of the center, once occupied by Beatrice Wood and Rosalind Rajagopal. Featuring a permanent exhibition telling Woods’ life story, as well as a changing exhibit of contemporary artists. The first exhibit will feature a wide array of work, including paintings by Dianne Bennett-Engle. Hours: Fri-Sun, 11am-5pm. Ojai, Ca. 646-3381. www.beatricewood.com.

BELL ARTS FACTORY 432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura.

BROKEN OAK GALLERY 1414 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 213, Thousand Oaks. 497-4022 or www.brokenoakgallery.com.

BUENAVENTURA ART GALLERY Ines Monguio is the featured artist with her show Layers, which refers to the way she works with watercolors, monotypes and etchings, and is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to meaning in art. With reception Saturday, December 17, 4-7pm. Gallery hours: Tues.-Sat. noon-5pm. 700 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. 648-1235.

CAFÉ ON A Collaboration: Master Printer, Jose Alpuche, features more than forty silkscreen images by master printer Jose Alpuche and focuses on the collaboration between the artist and the master printer in making graphic editions. Guest curated by Patrick Ela. On display through December 30. 438 South A St., Oxnard. 487-8170.

CALIFORNIA STREET GALLERY 40 S. California St., Ventura. www.CaliforniaStreetGallery.com. 653-0321 or castgallery@sbcglobal.net.

CALL TO ARTISTS Buenaventura Art Association announced a call for their 20th Annual Open Competition, a highly competitive show open to all Ventura County artists. Cash prizes and awards given to winners. Entries accepted at the gallery at 700 E. Santa Clara St. in Ventura on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 8 & 9, between 11am and 2pm. Contact the gallery at 648-1235 or www.buenaventuragallery.org for prospectus.

D&A FINE ARTS Ojai artists Susan Steinsmuehlen-Amend and Richard Amend show their work, including Susan’s intuitive multi-media combinations and Richard’s paintings, through January 15. 12750 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201, Studio City. (818) 769-7583.

FOX FINE JEWELRY Floral Fusion displays paintings by Stephanie Elise, who works in watercolor, and Lynn Byrne Simon, a highly-trained oil painter. Shows through January 19. Tuesday-Thursday 10:30am-6pm, Friday-Saturday 10:30am-10pm. 210 E. Main St., Ventura. (805) 652-1800.

HARBOR VILLAGE GALLERY Folktales from the Absurd is an exhibition of digital ink jet prints by fine art photographer and printmaker Lis J. Schwitters, all portraying visual narratives from Grimm’s fairy tales and family bedtime stories through contemporary photographic techniques, December 15 – January 15. Opening reception Friday, December 16, 5-8pm. Also showing the Small Image Show, through January 16. Hours Wednesday-Sunday, noon-6pm.1591 Spinnaker Dr., Suite 117 C, Ventura. 644-2750. www.harborvillagegallery.com.

HILLCREST CENTER FOR THE ARTS GALLERIA The Arts Council of the Conejo Valley presents Seasons, Seasons! Celebrations, Celebrations!, an exhibit of artwork featuring art in pastels, water media and oils by artists such as Beverly E. Wilson, Joy Sardisco and Andrea Stanley. Through December 18. Admission is free. Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm. Call for extended evening and weekend viewing. 403 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks. (805)381-2747 or www.hillcrestarts.com.

HUMMINGBIRD NEST GALLERY Random Thoughts is an exhibit of fine art photography by Fred Rothenberg, whose work has been featured in Faces of Ojai, at Twice Told Tales and at Ojai Community Hospital. Runs through January 31. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9am-9pm. Inside Hummingbird Inn, 1208 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. 640-9996.

JOHN NICHOLS GALLERY Blossfeldt and Bristol: Masters of 20th Century Photography features work by internationally known photojournalist Horace Bristol, noted for his poignant images of Depression-era Americans, and Karl Blossfeldt, a German sculpture instructor who used his photos of plant studies to educate students about design elements in nature. Wed.-Sat. noon-5pm. 916 E. Main St., Santa Paula. 525-7804.

JONATHON’S AT PEIRANO’S Light and Shadows is a solo exhibition of watercolor paintings by Ventura artist Carol Simson. On display through January 28. 204 E. Main St., Ventura. 648-4853.

KATHLEEN DINAN GALLERY featuring Ed Moses “Dia de los Muertos” series, showing through December; special Ojai prices own an ED MOSES!. Gallery hours: Thur-Sun noon to five or by appointment (805)646-6205 located within the Ranchos Trading Co, 928 E Ojai Ave, Ojai.

MEXICAN CONSULATE Mexico-USA: Two Countries, One People is images by local photographer Jess Gutierrez, whose objective is to show the diversity of the Mexican/Mexican-American population of Ventura County through 60 black and white and color images. Some images are in honor of the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which took place December 12. Free to the public. Exhibit runs through January 9. 3151 W. 5th St., Oxnard.

NATHAN LARRAMENDY GALLERY Featuring Track and Field: Drawing from the Arena and Good Cheer, new work by Cassandra C. Jones. Show runs through January. Wed.-Sun. 11am-6pm. Mon.-Tues. by appt. 107 S. Signal St., Ojai. 646-2750. www.larramendygallery.com.

OJAI CENTER FOR THE ARTS Gallery hours: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-4pm. 646-0117. Ojai Center for the Arts, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. 646-0117.

OVERTON HALL Free. California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks. 493-3316.

SANTA PAULA BLANCHARD COMMUNITY LIBRARY Watercolor works by 25 Ventura College plein air students and Professor Dorothy Orr on display through December 29. Gallery hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10am-8pm, Sat. 10am-2pm. 119 N. Eighth St., Santa Paula. 654-6400 ext. 1394.

SEA BREEZE ART GALLERY Angels is a juried collection of imaginative angel art pieces. Also featuring Essence of Femininity, a collection by photographer Linda Jordan. Shows run through January 7. Hours: Thurs.-Sat., noon to 5:30pm (or if the flags are up), or call 643-3973 for an appointment. 255 S. Laurel St., Ventura.

STUDIO 84 WEST Thurs.-Sat., 6-8pm. 602 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. 646-3812.

STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS ART CENTER The Art Center celebrates its artist members with their annual juried show, running through December 31. This year’s theme is Personal Best, and judges include Anne Shilton Graumlich, curator of the Ventura County Museum of Art, and Matthew G. Frumanski, Assistant Professor of art, CSU Channel Islands. The event includes a photography show by Robert Diehl entitled Dorset, Devon and Dartmoor-Thatched Roofs, Churchyards and Beaches of England. Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday, noon-3pm, or by appointment. 70 Daily Drive, Camarillo. 383-1368. Online at www.studiochannelislands.org.

THE STUDIO GALLERY Exhibiting paintings, prints, ceramics and sculpture by international and local contemporary artists, including a new kiln-load of ceramics by Bill Creitz and newly-framed silk screen floral prints by Patricia Gunn. Daily, 10am-6pm. 2741 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura. 985-1546.

UPFRONT GALLERY Full Spectrum, a solo art exhibition featuring paintings of LA artist Michael Salerno, has been extended through December 31. The highly-detailed works are built up almost architecturally, revealing an almost limitless depth and range. Gallery hours: Fri.-Sat. 1-5pm, Sun. 2-5pm, or by appointment. 267 Laurel St., Ventura. 648-7878 or 340-1448.

VENTURA COLLEGE GALLERIES Monday-Thursday, 9am-3pm. On the Ventura College Campus, Ventura. 648-8974 or cday@vcccd.net.

VENTURA HEALING ROOMS Featuring Lee Hodges as artist-in-residence. Tuesday & Thursday, 9am-4pm, and by appointment. 701 E. Santa Clara St., Suite 11, Ventura. 647-6641 or www.LeeHodgesArt.com.

museums

CALIFORNIA OIL MUSEUM Coming to America: Immigration Stories of Inspiration and Controversy: features the work of more than 100 students associated with the Agricultural Science and Human Services Academies of Santa Paula High School, including first place winners Janessa flores and Marisela Ortiz (for their display “Traveling Man” about 1927 immigrant Jose Gomez. Runs through February 19. Destination Mars: National Traveling Exhibition was developed by the Space Science Institute with funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation, and highlights the extraordinary explorations of Mars that have taken place over the last decade in the Pathfinder and Rover missions. With hands on learning experiences. Runs through February 19. Toys of the Times, featuring antique and vintage toys that kids enjoyed in the early and mid-1900s, through January 22. Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm. $4 general, $3 seniors, $1 youth. Free for members. 1001 E. Main St., Santa Paula. (805) 933-0076. www.oilmuseum.net.

CARNEGIE ART MUSEUM Art & Illusion: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foudnation features painting, photography and sculpture celebrating the artists’ use of illusion and humor to create new ways of looking at the world. Organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, the exhibition includes postmodern works, photorealism and urban art by 38 artists. Runs through February 19, 2006. 10am-5pm, Thursday to Saturday; Sunday 1-5pm. Suggested admission: $3 adults, $2 senior/students, $1 children 6-16. Free Fridays 3-5pm. suggested admission donation. 424 C St., Oxnard. 385-8157. www.vcnet.com/carnart.

CEC/SEABEE MUSEUM Historical artifacts, multi-media installations and vintage uniforms. 8am-4:30pm Monday to Friday, 12:30-4:30pm Saturday. Closed Sunday and national holidays. Port Hueneme Naval Construction Battalion Center, Sunkist entrance. 982-1249.

GULL WINGS MUSEUM The county’s only hands-on learning museum for kids. 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. 418 4th St., Oxnard. 483-3005 or www.gullwingsmuseum4kids.org.

OJAI VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM Thurs.-Fri. 1-4pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sun. noon-4pm. 130 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai. (805)640-1390.

PORT HUENEME LIGHTHOUSE The Lighthouse is open to the public the third Saturday of each month from 10am-3pm. The current structure was built in 1941, with the original having been built in 1874. The fresnel lens was made in 1897 and is still in operation. Admission is free. Adults age 18 and up require photo ID. Last shuttle pick-up at port gate is 2:30pm. 120 W. Port Hueneme Rd., Port Hueneme. (310) 541-0334.

RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM Admission: free-$7. Hours: 10am-5pm daily. 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley. (800)410-8354. www.reaganfoundation.org.

VENTURA COUNTY MARITIME MUSEUM Celebrating When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleets of the Ming Dynasty, 1405-1433, which highlights artifacts of the early dynasty as well as the early compass and maritime technology of the 15th century. Includes a portrait commissioned by the L.A. artist Mr. Qi Pang and a replica of the Admiral’s formal uniform. Through May 31, 2006. Open daily 11am-5pm. Free; donations appreciated. 2731 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard Fisherman’s Wharf, CI Harbor. (805)984-6260.

VENTURA COUNTY MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ART Arrangements: Paintings by Sherry Loehr showcases 37 paintings by Ojai artist and master contemporary realist Sherry Loehr, with 19 new works. Runs through February 20. Also featuring From Isolation to Empire: Three Centuries of English History, a George Stuart Historical Figures exhibition of 36 detailed figures of personalities like the Stuart Monarchy and the Teapot Tyrants of the Hanover Rule, through January 8, 2006. Regular museum admission: $1-7; Hours: 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. 100 E. Main St., Ventura. 653-0323.

kids/seniors

FRONT ROWS CLUB Families can experience classical music from a dynamic up-close view of Maestro Boris Brott conducting the New West Symphony through a new program offering families with elementary school-age children reduced-price front-row seats at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and Oxnard Performing Arts Center concerts. Front row tickets are $10 for children 5-12, $15 for accompanying adults. Cost includes pre-concert family event and activity packet. Call 777-7886 to join.

lectures/seminars

ART INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA OPEN HOUSE Sat., Dec. 17, 9:30am. Prospective students are invited to attend an open house where they will be able to tour the school’s facilities, meet with faculty and talk with admissions staff about applying for courses and financial aid. Attendees will also learn about career opportunities in media arts and animation, game art and design, interior design, interactive media design, video production, graphic design and culinary arts. Free and open to the public. RSVP at 1-888-646-4610 or (310) 752-4700. 2900 31st St., Santa Monica.

TIDEPOOL TALK Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 17-18, 11am and 3pm. Join National Park Service Rangers in the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center as they show and tell about the many fascinating animals and plants in the marine life exhibit. Free.1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura. 658-5730.

literature/poetry

SOUL AT WORK Thursday, Dec. 15, 6:30pm. Join author Dr. Margaret Benefiel who reads from her latest book about spiritual leadership in organization. Refreshments served. Free. Main Oxnard Library, 251 S. A St., Oxnard. 240-7309.

SPOKEN WORD SALON Thursday, Dec. 15, 7:30pm. The Spoken Word Salon at Zoey’s Café presents Gauvin, a regular on the art and poetry scene. His works in progress include Hey Joe and The Colored Peoples Cemetery. Hosted by Gwendolyn Alley. Free. Seating is limited. El Jardin Courtyard, 451 E. Main St., Ventura. 652-0091.

WRITING WORKSHOP Thursday, Dec. 15, 6pm. Free workshop offered by Local Hero bookstore and FictionWeek.com. Meets weekly. 254 Ojai Ave., Ojai. 640-6865.

OPEN MIC Sunday, Dec. 18, 4pm. The Underground open up their stage and microphone to aspiring and established poets. Parking in rear. 3367 Telegraph Road, Ventura. 644-0064.

OPEN MIC Tuesdays, 6:30-10pm. All ages welcome. Selah Café, 40 Day Road, Ventura.

MUSICIAN’S NIGHT OUT Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7:30-11pm. Traditional gathering of writers and performers. Artists of all blending qualities welcome. California Taco Co., 469 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. 646-7174.

classes/workshops

ADULT ACTING WORKSHOP Thursdays, 7:30-10pm. Ongoing acting workshop covers all areas of the craft of stage acting including, character development, scene study, cold reading, and audition technique. $15 per class, discount for four or more classes. Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. 381-2747.

FREE HOCKEY LESSONS Select Sundays through December. Easy Street Ice Arena announces free hockey lessons for children ages 5 and up. Upcoming lessons on Dec. 4 & 11. All lessons 1-2pm. 131 W. Easy St., Simi Valley. Call 520-7465 ext. 18 for more information.

FREE COMPUTER CLASSES Mon.-Thurs. 8am-4pm. Goodwill Computer School offers 190 hours of computer training in medical office/billing, bookkeeping or Access database management and Excel for applicants looking for jobs. Applicants must be currently drawing unemployment or have drawn it in the last 24 months. For more information, call 983-3414. 350 Cactus Dr., Oxnard.

health

MEDICARE PART D PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT SEMINAR Thursday, Dec. 15, 2pm. All medical eligible seniors and disabled beneficiaries are invited to learn about the new drug benefit at this seminar led by Dennis Jurcak, Senior Health Insurance Counselor and Community Educator for the County of Ventura, Area Agency on Aging. Obtain latest information on how plan works with existing Medicare. Workshop provides updated information, including a complete explanation on all Medicare Plans. Free. 388-5277.

CPR-HEART SAVER COURSE Saturday, Dec. 17, 9am-3:30pm. Simi Valley Hospital offers one-session classes providing life-saving CPR instruction to the general public. $48 per class, including all materials. 2975 N. Sycamore Drive, Simi Valley. 955-6890.

GUIDED HIKES Sunday, Dec. 18, 4pm. Rancho Simi Trail Blazers offer this free guided hike on a trail surrounding Simi Valley. Chumash Trail hikes every Thursday, 6pm. 584-4400.

shows/markets

ARTS BY THE SEA Saturday, Dec. 17, 10am-4pm. Weekly art show featuring mostly fine art including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics and jewelry. Held outdoors between the Holiday Inn and the Artists’ Union Gallery, where California St. meets the sea. 340-0609.

CHANNEL ISLANDS HARBOR FARMER’S AND FISHERMAN’S MARKET Every Sunday, 10am-2pm. Over 35 farmers sell locally grown fresh-picked fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. B-B-Q, baked goods, kid’s corner, arts and crafts, plus live music and entertainment. 3350 S. Harbor Blvd., Channel Islands Harbor. 643-6458.

stepping out

BALLROOM DANCE Thursday, Dec. 15, 7:30-10pm. Live band. Singles and couples welcome. $7 non-members. Oxnard Community Center, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard. 647-9471.

CHANNEL CITIES JAZZ CLUB Sunday, Dec. 18, 1-4:30pm. Join the Jazz Society and their special guests the Diz Mullins Ten for an afternoon of holiday music and dancing. $8. Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club, 2600 S. Harbor Blvd., Channel Islands Harbor. 642-6110.

COUNTRY WESTERN DANCE Saturday, Dec. 17, 8-midnight. Country Lovers Western Dance Club host the Christmas dance. $5, ages 12 & under free. College United Methodist Church, 4300 Telegraph Road, Ventura. 647-1893.

THOUSAND OAKS DANCE CLUB Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30-10:30pm. The Thousand Oaks Dance Club holds the holiday dance with the Unforgettables for singles and couples. $5 members, $7 non-members. Goebel Senior Adult Ballroom Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. 381-2744.

SALSA DANCE Sunday, Dec. 18, 8:30pm. Dance classes 5-8pm. $12 per class, $8 dancing only. Latin Nights, Fridays, 7-9pm classes, 9pm dancing, $10 lessons and dance, $8 dance only. Salsa Bomba, Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30pm classes, 9:30pm Salsa dancing, $10 class, $5 dancing only. Lobster Trap Restaurant, 3605 Peninsula Road, Oxnard. 644-5707.

INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCING Monday, Dec. 19, 7:30-9:30pm. Weekly dance, all ages. First night free. Conejo Elementary School,. 280 Conejo School Road, Thousand Oaks. 497-1957.

VENTURA POINSETTIA DANCE CLUB Monday, Dec. 19, 8-10:30pm. Live band. Door prizes. $6 guest. Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura. 496-9322.

COUNTRY WESTERN DANCE Tuesday, Dec. 20, 7pm. Country Lovers Western Dance Club host their weekly dance party. $3 visitor. Family Center, 10269 Telephone Road, Ventura. 647-1893.

SALSA DANCING Tuesday, Dec. 20, 8pm. Salsa dancing and lessons every Tuesday. Free lessons with cover charge. Beginning 8-8:30pm, advanced, 8:30-9:15pm. Occasional age restrictions. $7. Borderline Bar and Grill, 99 Rolling Oaks Drive, Thousand Oaks. 446-4435.

clubs

CHANNEL ISLANDS PERSONAL COMPUTER USER CLUB Sat., Dec. 17, 9:30am. The non-profit IBM-compatible computer club meets every fourth Saturday, except for December when it meets the third Saturday of the month. Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo, 1500 Temple Ave., Camarillo. 987-1748.

SEASHORE PORCELAIN ARTISTS Friday, Dec. 16, 11am. The group holds their annual holiday luncheon. Several porcelain artists offer hand-painted items for sale, plus a raffle for a Christmas tree decorated with hand-painted ornaments. Luncheon program provided by Docent Shirley Randall from the Camarillo Ranch as Carmen Camarillo. $22. Saticoy Country Club, 4450 N. Clubhouse Drive, Camarillo. 529-4515.