Events calendar


Events calendar & outreach programs

Quick links: Click on link below or scroll down for the special event you seek (webpage under construction)

February--CD/DVD/Book sale-Family Sundays-Docent training-Weekend tours
April--Owl Celebration
May--Murals & Roses—celebrating Mother's Day with Marguerite Hardeman’s murals & adobe rose garden
June--celebrating Father's Day with rancho activities and workshops

July-September--Music under the Stars summer concert series

September--Living History Day
October--Ghost Tales, Halloween Workshop & Kerosene Cal's Spooky Show

December--Candlelight Tour

Weekend tours of adobe & grounds each Sat/Sun 11 am-4 pm. Purchase tickets at Gift Shop $5 adult, $3 child/senior

School Outreach brings California history to life for 4th graders. Call 805/677-3961 to schedule school visit M-F

Olivas Adobe Family Sundays Free family friendly activities through the year cover historic aspects of abobe living 

Docent training Contact 658-4728 or for schedule of next training: just 3 Sundays 1-3 pm


February - Book Sales & Family Sundays

BOOK/CD/DVD SALE: Shop for bargain-priced books, music CDs and movie DVDs on all subjects—donated by adobe supporters as a fundraiser—on Saturday and Sunday, February 9 and 10,  2013, 11 am to 3 pm, at the Olivas Adobe, located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura. Books by local history authors Richard Senate and Glenda Jackson are available for purchase in the Gift Shop.

OLIVAS ADOBE FAMILY SUNDAYS: These free family friendly activities throughout the year cover historic aspects of adobe living through pioneer crafts and activities.

Owl Celebration - April 17, 2015, 11 am-3 pm

Just as the famous swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano every spring, a pair of Great Horned Owls comes back each year to breed in one of the large eucalyptus trees at the Olivas Adobe Historical Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars to view the owl family - docents will have some for public use on the balcony - the best viewing site. Click the 2014 Owl Celebration link for more info. Other activities, besides owl viewing, include demos and exhibits by the Ojai Raptor Society (1 pm show), and Channel Islands Gourd Society, and various docent activities (crafts by Junior Docents and music).

Murals & Roses on Mother's Day (on hiatus)

Celebrate Marguerite Hardeman's historic murals & the abobe rose garden on Mother's Day!
California muralist Marguerite Hardeman (1911-1990) - a member of the Realistic Painters Group in Ojai who taught at Ventura College in the 1960s - created fifteen large murals, now in the Olivas Adobe art collection, that depict different moments from the founding of the city of Ventura and its early history, including the Olivas Adobe and Rancho San Miguel. The largest depicts Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo coming ashore to greet the local Native Americans in 1542. In honor of Marguerite Hardeman's birthday, the murals are displayed annually throughout the adobe courtyard and grounds on Mother's Day Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm for visitors to view and learn about from docents. Bring your family (and your mother) and enjoy free refreshments as well as the Adobe Rose Garden in full spring display during this free event.   Click here to view murals

Courtyard Fiesta (above left)
Bell Gate (above right)
Native Americans meet Cabrillo on the beach
Chumash village on the beach
Cattle drive
San Miguel Chapel precursor to ...
Mission San Buenaventura
Unpaved Main Street, Ventura (looking east) 1885 - wide enough to turn around a horse and buggy















Celebrate Father’s Day at free Olivas Adobe event (TBA)

Bring Dad and the whole family and learn from Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters how to rope a steer, track an animal, create an adobe brick and discover more about California’s “Rancho” period in history including its music on Father's Day, 1-2 pm at the Olivas Adobe, 4200 Olivas Park Drive. Part of the periodic Olivas Adobe Family Sundays series, these free family friendly activities throughout the year cover historic aspects of adobe living. It’s also your last chance to see the new brood of Great Horned Owls as they fledge and take flight. Costumed Junior Docents lead tours of the adobe. Free admission but a donation of a non-perishable item for Food Share would be appreciated.

July-September- Music under the Stars summer concert series at the Olivas Adobe

Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy nine Saturday nights of summer magic “dancing with the stars” on a majestic wooden ballroom floor. Listen to top recording artists perform irresistible sets of R&B, Rock, Latin Jazz, Blues, Zydeco and Boogie Woogie. Bring your own homemade feast or reserve a catered hot buffet dinner for fine twilight dining with friends within the warm embrace of adobe-baked courtyard walls. Doors open at 6:30 pm where you can enjoy dining and a full beverage bar on site. The City of Ventura Office of Cultural Affairs proudly presents the 26th year of this popular concert series from 7:30 to 9:30 pm outdoors at the historic Olivas Adobe, 4200 Olivas Park Drive, near Ventura Harbor. The venue is intimate, seating is limited and advanced purchase of tickets, starting April 1, is recommended by calling 805/658.4726. Clickfor Music under the Stars web page.

Living History Day in September (TBA)

Enjoy rancho workday activities of the past and get a glimpse of how early California pioneers lived their lives.

What was California ranch life really like in the 1870s? Find out while having great family fun as you experience the daily activities of a bygone era at Ventura’s historic hacienda—the Olivas Adobe, located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive. Purchase tickets at the door: free for children under 4, $1 for children 4-11 and $3 for everyone else.

Living History Day is a highly entertaining and educational event by the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters that celebrates the historical contribution of the Mexican pioneers who settled Ventura County during the Rancho Period.

Inside the courtyard, visitors will see a typical day in 1872 on Rancho San Miguel (the land grant name for the Olivas Adobe), enacted by docents in period costumes. Daily rancho events such as spinning, weaving, roping, blacksmithing, and baking demonstrations will give visitors an appreciation of these hardy pioneers. Visitors also will have the opportunity to greet various historicl figures as envisioned by costumed cultural interpreters. Local actors Doug Friedlander and Rosalee Calvillo will provide period entertainment, and Leif Engeswick, master of mechanical musical instruments, will provide accompaniment to greet visitors at the Olivas fountain. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.


With no plumbing, cleaning chamber pots was an unpleasant but necessary job (upper left photo)
The Olivas family grew its own grapes to make wine (upper right)
Laundry day
Tortilla making
The horno (baking oven) was hot from sunup to sundown baking bread and pastries.
Raymundo Olivas (historic reenactor) known for his hospitality.
Several of the Olivas men served in the US Cavalry during the Civil War (historic reenactors)
The blacksmith was an important person on the ranch keeping ranch tools in repair.
Boys learned how to make adobe bricks, mixing water, clay, sand and chopped straw.










Last Sunday in October - Old West ghost stories puppet show and Halloween crafts

On Sundday, October 27, 2013, 1 & 2:30 pm, join Kerosene Cal - Ojai actor Doug Friedlander and his Puppet Theater - as he channels ghostly tales of Rancho San Miguel from the 1850s through a variety of puppets such as vaquero (cowboy) Josè Felipe Sanchez and his sidekicks - a confused cat, horse with sparkling eyes, gingham dog, calico cat, hungry fox, and several ghostly spirits as performed by live actors. Audience Halloween costumes welcome but optional. Admission to the performance is free.

Children of all ages will learn a little bit of strange-but-true Olivas history during this delightful show and may be invited to operate some of the puppets.  Afterwards visitors can join in a free docent-led hands-on crafts workshop until 3 pm to fashion Halloween items of a spooky and fun nature to take home. Costumed guides will also be on duty to give historical tours of the adobe home (admission fee) and the gift shop will offer books about the rancho and handcrafted gifts for the upcoming holidays. A food bar will be available for those wanting to purchase refreshments during the event.

Olivas Adobe Candlelight Tours, Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bring holiday magic to your family as you discover how Old California celebrated the season during free Candlelight Tours of the Olivas Adobe, Ventura’s historic rancho at 4200 Olivas Park Drive. Tours, conducted in groups every twelve minutes, between 5:30 and 7:45 pm, are free but require reservations at 805-658-4726. Be sure to dress warmly.

The rooms of the two-story adobe home of Don Raymondo Olivas are traditionally decorated to set the stage for skits performed by costumed docents to bring the adobe’s story to life. Visitors will also enjoy live musical entertainment, free refreshments and a gift shop full of traditional items for purchase as gifts for the holidays.

The Candlelight Tours are presented by the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters, a volunteer non-profit group dedicated to preserving the only Monterey Style adobe home in Southern California from the Gold Rush era by bringing its story to life with weekend tours, educational school outreach, summer concerts and year round special events celebrating its Chumash, Latino and pioneer heritage. For more information contact Gina Reyes at 658-4728 or