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!
Knott's Berry Farm's grand reopening kicks up May 21, 2021, and that day also marks 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. Knott's season passholders get to visit as early as May 6, 2021, and the new ride — Knott's Bear-y Tales — will reopen then too! New passes and tickets are on sale now.
The water park — Knott's Soak City — reopens May 29 (passholder previews are May 22 and 23)! Tickets and reservations are available May 10 at 10 a.m. PST.
There is so much to celebrate at Knott’s Berry Farm this summer. It's a hoppening SoCal destination. Tad cannot wait to hang ten on his favorite surf-themed dive coaster, HangTime. And Lily is looking forward to seeing her favorite Peanuts characters and toddler-friendly rides at Camp Snoopy. (Hop over to our post on tips for Knott's Berry Farm with kids to learn more.) Leap is looking forward to some good food (including Knott’s boysenberry pie) after he rides Silver Bullet, and I can’t wait to experience the new ride and 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. 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. As Knott's Berry Farm reopens in May, just before summer, the park has so much to celebrate!
Before we take a look at five 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. That's true for any theme park this year. 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. During the initial reopening period, all California theme parks must limit visitors to California residents. We do not know when that will be lifted, so keep hopping back for updates if you're hoping to visit from out of state! You can find plenty of hopful information in our Knott's Berry Farm reopening post.
Dance the Night Away 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!
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. Sing along to favorite songs from bands including Suburban Legends, Hiatus, Suffragettes and others that rotate throughout the summer event.
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. Most locations are available from 6:00 p.m. until park close.
In normal years, you can see fireworks light up the sky on Memorial Day Sunday, the 4th of July and Labor Day Sunday. We do not yet know if fireworks will return in 2021.
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 will invoke 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.
This once-in-a-lifetime anniversary celebration features festive park décor, themed food items, unique entertainment, exclusive merchandise and more surprises along the way.
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!!
Throw Back 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. 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.)
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 and recover the stolen boysenberry pies. They travel through whimsical and beautiful environments while competing for the highest score.
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.
Travel Back in Time at Ghost Town Alive!
During many summers, Ghost Town springs to life with Ghost Town Alive! Guests can immerse themselves into the interactive storyline to explore the Old West, solve mysteries and work alongside bandits, cowboys, judges and craftspeople. Your elementary and older kids can unlock adventures, solve puzzles and influence the day’s events for the citizens of Calico. Who’s down for a hoedown? We are not sure if this will return for 2021, so keep hopping back for updates.
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 makes a splash when it reopens in late May. The water park is usually 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.