Southern California is known for its theme parks: Disneyland Resort, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood, along with smaller gems such as Knott’s Berry Farm. Situated in Buena Park, Calif., Knott’s has been around longer than any of the big parks mentioned above! What started as a humble berry farm has toadally grown into a playground for children and adults alike.
Upon entering, it may feel overwhelming to see the "big kid" rides, but Knott's Berry Farm packs so much more into its smaller footprint, most of it geared toward families. In fact, the youngest froglets will discover small worlds made just for them. Plus there are a ton of medium-thrill rides for bigger kids who are transitioning from Camp Snoopy but not quite ready for the biggest thrills. There are shows for kids, musical acts and a Native American dancer you'll want to experience. You can even meet some animals in the barn!
With such varying experiences for frogs of all ages, here’s how to get the most out of your visit to Knott's Berry Farm with kids!
Our Top Tips for Visiting Knott's Berry Farm with Kids
Knott's Berry Farm has great appeal to kids. Toddlers have Camp Snoopy. Elementary-aged kids have a lot of fun rides to choose from, as well as imagining themselves in the Old West, panning for gold, meeting Sad-Eye Joe in jail and getting robbed on the train. Teens and tweens are in it for the thrills and yummy eats. There is almost always a fun festival hoppening to draw your kids in for food, fun and entertainment. Here are our top tips for visiting Knott's Berry Farm with kids.
Introduce the Family to the PEANUTS Characters
Before coming to the park, introduce your little froglets to Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the PEANUTS gang. They play a prominent part in the park, and the kids will get a kick out of seeing familiar characters come to life. You can meet them at Camp Snoopy and see them on stage. They usually dress according to the season.
Take Smaller Kids to Camp Snoopy
If your frog family has kids under age 8, you’ll want to spend a lot of time at Camp Snoopy. This little land is perfect for those who are just starting to explore and grow. From kid-sized trucks and trains to “thrill” rides and interactive exhibits, this is the place to be. It's all their speed. There are pretty waterfalls and trees shading the paths throughout the day. If you’re looking for a little extra cooling down, stop by the Grizzly Creek Lodge for a quick bite. This restaurant has all of the kid favorites, and it opens earlier than other restaurants in the park, so you can beat the lunch crowd.
Speaking of food, hop over to our posts on Knott's restaurants, best foods and best treats at Knott's to plan out what to feed your tadpoles. Food lines can get long, so plan to get lunch early. You can purchase dining plans to save money on food!
Transition to the Next Level of Thrill With the Big Kids
Kids 9 and up might be ready for bigger thrills, but Knott's has fun for each comfort zone. Fiesta Village is home to some fun rides perfect for elementary-age kids. In terms of coasters, Jaguar, Sierra Sidewinder, Pony Express and Coast Rider are good coasters for kids just getting comfortable on roller coasters and not ready for loops and launches. The log ride and Calico River Rapids are fun water rides. Your true thrill-seekers and teens will love GhostRider, Silver Bullet, Xcelerator and HangTime. There's something for everyone in this park. Kids and adults of all ages will love shooting pies and competing for points on the newest ride, Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair.
Take a Trip to the Old West in Ghost Town
For frog moms and dads who enjoy a little education on vacation, Ghost Town is the perfect place to visit. Explore what life was like in the Wild West: Chat with real craftsmen, walk through a one-room schoolhouse and engage in the antics of the Wild West. The Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride provide a unique perspective on the Gold Rush era as well (as does panning for gold). You can ride a real stagecoach or passenger train. Look in the windows of buildings to see ghosts at play. There is so much to do in Ghost Town that we have a whole post on it. It's a must-read if you are visiting Knott's Berry Farm with kids.
Download the App
Before heading into the park, download the Knott’s Berry Farm app on your smartphone. You’ll be able to navigate showtimes, character meet-and-greets, dining options and ride wait times without having to trek all over the grounds.
Visit During Special Events
Knott’s Berry Farm celebrates the seasons in fun and unique ways. The PEANUTS Celebration kicks off the new year with special character interactions, games, shows and foods. Springtime means the return of the popular Boysenberry Festival, inviting hungry frog families to taste all kinds of treats. Summer brings out live music, lawn games and fun shows for all ages. Ghost Town comes alive for interactive experiences. Camp Spooky and trick-or-treating are part of the not-so-scary fall event, Knott's Spooky Farm. Finally, Knott’s Merry Farm ends the year by putting everyone in a festive mood for the holidays. Keep an eye out for seasonal treats, fun shows and other themed activities all year long.
Let the Kids Take the Lead
Let the kids be your guide. If they want to sit down in the schoolhouse and learn about school 100 years ago, play carnival games, spend time asking Sad-Eye Joe questions or read every headstone in the cemetery (you can feel the heartbeat on one grave!), let them do it. Here's a tip: When the kids head down the alley by the Sheriff's Office to the jail to talk to imprisoned Sad-Eye Joe, stop at the office on the corner. You'll see a pad of paper and a window that's open just a crack. Write their names on it and slide it under the window. Imagine their delight when Joe guesses their names. We have yet to meet the kids who don't get caught up in the spirit of Ghost Town.
Your kids are making very hoppy memories at Knott's and learning about history, so let them explore at their own pace. We've seen kids of all ages get toadally excited by this unique theme park. Let them get swept away to a simpler time.
Knott’s Berry Farm is all about family fun. It’s smaller than the bigger parks in Southern California, meaning it is actually possible to cover many popular rides and shows in one day. If you’re looking for somewhere slower-paced than Disneyland, but more tadpole-tailored than Six Flags, Knott’s is the place to be!
Note the New Safety Policy in Effect
Knott's has a new chaperone policy in effect for kids 17 and under. Check this link before you visit to make sure you have enough chaperones for the day you visit. The rules can vary per day. This chaperone requirement applies to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Soak City Waterpark.
Have a question about visiting Knott's Berry Farm with kids or just a general question about the park? Drop us a line in the comments below! Want to save money on visiting Knott's so you have more money for snacks and souvenirs? Check out our deals on Knott's Berry Farm tickets!