What's happening at Knott's Berry Farm this summer? It looks like 2021 will be the most frogciting summer at Knott's yet! With the return of its annual Summer Nights party, a huge birthday celebration and a new ride, Knott's Berry Farm is roaring back to life. Oh yeah, there is also the whole Knott's-Berry-Farm-reopening-after-being-closed-for-over-a-year to celebrate too! We just hopped back from the Knott's reopening and there's so much nostalgia (including photo-ops themed around our past favorite rides).
Knott's Berry Farm's grand reopening kicked off May 21, 2021, marking the beginning of Knott's 100th-anniversary celebration. The party runs through Sept. 6, 2021, so it looks like summer just got a little longer! Ribbit, ribbit! That's not all though. The new ride, Knott's Bear-y Tales opened too! Tad loves the competitive video game aspect of it. New passes and tickets are on sale now.
The water park — Knott's Soak City — reopened May 29 (passholder previews were May 22 and 23)!
Hopping news, the California mask mandate ends on June 15. As of June 15, you may be able to remove your face covering at Knott's. If you are unvaccinated, Knott's asks that you wear a face covering indoors.
There is so much to celebrate at Knott’s Berry Farm this summer. It's a hoppening SoCal destination. Tad and Leap were hopping to "hang ten" on their favorite surf-themed dive coaster, HangTime. And Lily loved meeting new and old characters and seeing her favorite Peanuts characters on stage. Plus there are so many toddler-friendly rides at Camp Snoopy. (Hop over to our post on tips for Knott's Berry Farm with kids to learn more.) We all love digging in to Knott's delicious food (including Knott’s boysenberry pie). After 5 p.m., the Knott's tasting cards and food booths return! I'll try to remind Leap to enjoy his food after he rides Silver Bullet. I loved getting to take a trip down memory lane in the Calico Mine Train. Summer is looking to be berry fun!
What's Hoppening at Knott's Berry Farm in Summer 2021?
SoCal theme park fans have been filling their bellies with Knott's goodness since last summer and it's brought new life to this historic theme park. Not only will diehard fans be returning this summer, but we frogs suspect Knott's picked up a ton of new fans who hopped by one of the many Knott's events during the theme park closure.
Knott's was the first of all SoCal theme parks to think outside the box and offer food and shopping events inside the closed theme park back in summer 2020 (when we theme park fans never dreamed the Southern California theme parks would still be closed the following spring). Without rides to rush to, people got to slow down and appreciate the historic charm of this park that grew out of a berry farm, and later, a restaurant. Their taste buds helped them discover really yummy foods that will bring them back time and time again. Some of those favorites returned for the park's reopening! And the affordability of Knott's really sits nicely with a lot of folks who are still affected by the pandemic. Plus Knott's has had nearly a year to practice all of the physical distancing guidelines, sanitizing and strategies to keep employees and guests safe. All of this sets Knott's up likely to come out of the theme park closure with a summer to remember. The park has so much to celebrate!
Before we take a look at the reasons to visit Knott's Berry Farm this summer, there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting in summer 2021. You'll need to wear a face covering for one. Knott's has to limit capacity to allow for physical distancing space in the park. That means you will need to purchase tickets online in advance. You can find plenty of hopful information in our Knott's Berry Farm reopening post.
Party at Knott's Summer Nights
Every summer night heats up for Knott’s Summer Nights party. The park lights up at dusk with live bands, DJs and party lights stretching from Calico Square to Charleston Circle. It’s not just on the weekends — you can cut a rug every night this summer from June 4 to mid-August, plus weekends and holidays through Sept. 6!
You can rock out to a top 40s band at the Calico Mine Stage, or move to the music of the Boardwalk DJ around Charleston Circle Fountain. Catch smaller musical performances at Calico Town Square. Sing along to favorite songs from bands including Suburban Legends, Hiatus, Suffragettes and others that rotate throughout the summer event. You can find the night's lineup on park signage and in the Knott's app. Be sure to look for Knott's resident partiers around the stage areas.
Knott’s has tasty food, so be sure to purchase a food tasting card to sample delicious one-of-a-kind summertime treats and good eats or drinks. Most food stands are available from 5:00 p.m. until park close. The tasting card costs $45 and is good for six tastes. If you've attended any of the past taste events, you know the portions are HUGE! Good news! You do not have to use all the tastes in one night. We recommend sharing.
In normal years, you can see fireworks light up the sky on Memorial Day Sunday, the Fourth of July and Labor Day Sunday. The fireworks will return for Fourth of July in 2021! We got to experience some fireworks during the official lighting of the new K on the K Tower the night before the park officially reopened! You can catch the K-Lighting Moment select nights (check the schedule on the Knott's app).
On top of the annual Summer Nights event, this year is especially exciting as Knott’s celebrates 100 years since it set up a berry farm stand in Buena Park. Actually, it’s 101 years but Knott’s was closed for the 100th birthday. (Raise your hand if COVID-19 thwarted your birthday plans in the past year too.)
Attend a 100th Birthday Celebration
Knott’s turned 100 years old in 2020. You cannot turn 100 without a big celebration, so the party is taking place all summer long in 2021! Come relive your favorite Knott's memories while you create un-frogettable, exciting new ones at Knott’s 100th Anniversary: A Knott’s Family Reunion. Maybe you remember going for chicken dinner as a tadpole and visiting the Ghost Town Walter Knott created to entertain the crowds that used to flock to the restaurant to wait three hours for fried chicken!
This event invokes all the feelings of nostalgia associated with the historic theme park. In fact, I remember visiting Knott’s Berry Farm as a child in the 1980s. I remember the funnel cake (it’s still here!) and this incredibly cool Wacky Soapbox Car Racing ride near where Xcelerator launches today. On the Parachute Sky Jump, you stood in these cage-like boxes as you free fell from great heights. But The Haunted Shack was my favorite, as it twisted the forces of gravity so water ran uphill, along with other illusions. It was located where the Calico Mine Stage sits today.
It seems these attractions were favorites of others, too, as there are photo-ops themed to these past rides all summer long! The Haunted Shack photo-op is the coolest as it demonstrates one of the illusions! You can find it in Ghost Town and the others in the Boardwalk area.
This once-in-a-lifetime anniversary celebration features festive park décor, themed food items, unique entertainment, a Peanuts show, new characters, the return of old characters, such as Whittles exclusive merchandise, and more surprises along the way. Look for QR codes all around the park to get more information about Knott's history or the historical buildings located there.
One ride is returning as a new modern ride with a throwback theme. It’s so appropriate, as once Knott’s Berry Farm fully reopens, it will be a homecoming for everyone! The 1920s-themed Knott’s Bear-y Tales returns when the park reopens, and we’ll all return to the fair!
Throwback to a New Ride
The original Knott’s Bear-y Tales 1975 dark ride returns in 2021 as a 4-D interactive dark ride that is also a video game. Plus you can smell the boysenberry pie in the ride! The new story of Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair takes place 34 years after the original adventure. Riders follow Boysen Bear and Girlsen Bear on their journey to the Country Fair to earn the blue ribbon prize for their famous boysenberry pies but watch out. Crafty Coyote is back (along with his mischievous pups). They plan to steal all the pies for themselves. (I mean, have you tried the boysenberry pie at Knott's? Yum! It's delicious, but don't steal it or be selfish like Crafty Coyote. Just buy some on your way out. The marketplace is open one hour after park closing.)
Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair takes guests on an exciting journey through reimagined show scenes from the original dark ride, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave and Weird Woods. It culminates in a celebration at the Country Fair.
Guests climb aboard ride vehicles equipped with jelly blasters to try to blast the coyote thieves and recover the stolen boysenberry pies. They travel through whimsical and beautiful environments while competing for the highest score.
You can meet the coyote pups from the ride in the park (and Boysen Bear). Keep an eye out for them! And don't let the pups steal your treats!
The original ride went away in the '80s when it was revamped into Kingdom of the Dinosaurs (which led to a chain of since-closed rides). You may remember the ride building as home to the more recent Voyage to the Iron Reef. Now it's returning to its humble beginnings with a modern twist. If you miss Kingdom of Dinosaurs, BTW, be sure to look for the photo-op in the Boardwalk area.
Attend a Marionette Show
This summer, you can watch Alegre! on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays May 21 through Sept. 5. This colorful celebration of music and marionettes from Bob Baker Marionette Theater takes place in Fiesta Village. You do not want to miss a lineup of samba-dancing cacti, fluttering flowers, a majestic marimba player and many puppets that pay tribute to California's Hispanic roots and vibrant culture. Marionettes performed at Knott's in the late 1950s and 1980s, so we nostalgic frogs are toadally excited to see them return to the Knott's stage.
Happiness Is ... Seeing Peanuts Characters on Stage
You can catch Peanuts characters with singers and dancers on stage. Grab some tasty food, sit at a picnic table and enjoy the outdoor show.
Enjoy small bursts of fireworks on select nights for the lighting of the K Tower. On Saturday July 3 and Sunday July 4, guests can also enjoy a dazzling display of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day at 9 p.m. (following the K Tower lighting). The park will have 4th of July activities for everyone to enjoy.
Travel Back in Time at Ghost Town
Ghost Town springs to life with its residents. Look to the balconies and rooftops to chat with or watch the characters. Guests can immerse themselves into the interactive storyline to explore the Old West. We got caught in a gunfight! Look on the show schedule to see when the Mayfield gang rides again to catch it (along with other hoppenings in Ghost Town)!
If you want to learn more about the buildings and sites or general Knott's history, you can use modern technology to take you back. Look for QR codes all over Ghost Town to pull up information and bring history to life.
Whittles, a Knott's character from the 1960s and '70s has returned! We are not sure what this prospector has been up to for about 40 years, but they say he has been lost in the hills looking for gold. But you can meet him in Ghost Town. Use the Knott's app to locate characters by time and location by clicking Shows & Events.
Stay Cool at Knott’s Soak City
Can we even discuss Knott’s Berry Farm summer without talking about the number one way to cool off on a hot day? Just across the parking lot from Knott’s Berry Farm sits Knott’s Soak City. You’ll need a separate day and ticket and reservation to make a splash in this 15-acre water park. Soak City offers 23 speed, tube and body slides. Shore Break features six different waterslide experiences, plus you can brave The Wedge raft ride. Catch a wave in the 750,000-gallon Tidal Wave Bay wave pool or chillax in the one‑third‑mile Sunset River. Declare a water war on your family members at the three‑story Beach House, featuring 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers and other interactive surprises. The water park is open from May through September.
What are you most looking forward to at Knott's Berry Farm in summer? Let us know in the comments below.