We can’t wait to hop back to the western-themed Knott's Berry Farm. The theme park does not yet have a reopening date after its March 14 closure due to COVID-19, but we frogs (and our ever-hungry bellies) got all hopped up to see Knott's think outside the box during the pandemic. Knott's introduced a new beer, wine and food event — Knott's Taste of Calico — that takes place inside the closed theme park! The sold out tickets from the first event tell us that a lot of people can't wait to get a taste of the theme park while waiting for Knott's Berry Farm to officially reopen.
Hungry for more? The new Taste of Knott's event opens the feeding frenzy to the whole theme park (still no rides) on select dates beginning Aug. 21. We have more hopping good news! The Knott's Berry Farm Hotel also reopens Aug. 21! Sadly this good news also comes with a bit of bad news. Knott's Scary Farm is canceled for 2020.
When Knott's Berry Farm does officially reopen, you can expect to see similar health and safety protocols as you would at other California theme parks. There will also be a new ride to explore! More on that below. We’ll also get into what to expect during the Knott’s Berry Farm reopening in terms of new safety and health policies and procedures, but first let's get into the fun stuff.
Knott's Taste of Calico
On select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of July and August, Knott's is holding the sold out Knott's Taste of Calico. If you are familiar with their boysenberry festival, which was postponed due to COVID-19, this brings a little flavor of the festival back to life — in the middle of Calico Ghost Town! The menu has 23 food and drink menu items, most of which involve boysenberries. We have a few favorite Knott's Berry Farm foods, so this event has us drooling for some of those berry good favorites.
Capacity is limited, and you must have a tasting card to enter. You could purchase a tasting card online in advance (sold out) and enter the open-air Ghost Town section of the otherwise closed theme park. When you scan into the park, you will be handed a lanyard with the menu items and their locations. Stores are open but with limited capacity to preserve physical distancing. A $25 tasting card gets you five tastings of bites, desserts, beverages and even up to 2 adult drinks. A kids tasting card (ages up to 11) is $15 for three tastings. The event runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 or 9 p.m. Other treats were for sale (such as pickles, icees and popcorn).
This is an outdoor event. The food is served in and around the Calico Ghost Town area of the theme park at Sutter’s Grill, Fireman’s BBQ, Wilderness Broiler and Ghost Town Grub. Food and drink menu items include a lineup of boysenberry chili, sausages, wings, samosas, churros, bread pudding, lemonade, beer and wine. Masks are required to attend this event.
Taste of Knott's
If you are looking for seconds, you'll be hoppy to know that Knott's Berry Farm is adding another outdoor dining and retail experience beginning Aug. 21. The event takes place on select afternoons and evenings into mid-September. The Taste of Knott's expands upon the Taste of Calico by celebrating the flavors from all over the park. Get a taste of some of 35 items from Ghost Town, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk. You can enjoy Mexican-inspired cuisine, Knott’s BBQ offerings and classic Knott’s dishes that have been pulled from the pages of the Knott’s Berry Farm Cookbook. Shop at the 14 artisan booths or at select Knott’s retail stores to purchase limited event merchandise. And, of course, the experience is complemented by the unique Knott’s Berry Farm western atmosphere.
You'll need to purchase a Taste of Knott's Tasting Card in advance to experience this limited-time food event. Regular (ages 12+) tasting cards cost $30 and include 5 tastings. Junior (ages 3-11) tasting cards cost $15 and include 3 tastings. Children 2 and under are free. Tasting Cards are limited each day and can sell out. The only way to experience the limited-time food event is with a Taste of Knott’s Tasting Card. One tasting card is required per person, per entrance. Tasting Cards are limited each day and can sell out.
What's on the menu? You can enjoy one-of-a-kind eats. Here's a sneak peek at some of the items, but with 35 menu choices, there's more still to come:
- Tater Tots Topped with BBQ Marinated Pulled Pork and Cheddar Cheese
- Shrimp Po’ Boy
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Deep Fried Boysenberry Pie Bites
- Mini Jalapeno Chicken Slider on a Ciabatta Bun with Crinkle Chips
- Hatch Chili Mac and Cheese
- Smoked Pork Ribs
- Carnitas Fries with Pico de Gallo and Sour Cream
- Southwest Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
- Boysenberry Meatballs
- Corn on the Cob with Boysenberry Mayo
- Boysenberry Smoothie
- Boysenberry Flavored Beer, Wine, or Sangria
- Mango Cider
Parking is free for this event, and you can come and go the same day with your original tasting card e-ticket. Any unused tastings can be redeemed on a future Taste of Knott's visit, however, you will need to purchase a new tasting card to gain entrance on a future visit. A few additional food items and locations will be open for purchase.
What’s Open Daily at Knott’s Berry Farm?
While the theme park is, well, a ghost town (outside of the Taste of Calico) you can still visit select locations in the California Marketplace. You can enjoy the Mrs. Knott's Chicken-to-Go Restaurant, Farm Bakery and the Knott's Berry Market (in case you need some boysenberry pie!). For the time that indoor dining is not allowed in California, Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant has outdoor seating. The traffic is blocked off front of the park entrance to create an outdoor picnic area.
In the Marketplace, Knott’s has marks on the floor to show where to stand for social distancing, a roped queue and has added plexiglass and hand sanitizers in front of registers. Guests use scanners to do a supervised, touchless self-checkout and self bagging.
Health and Safety Protocols You can Expect During the Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening
Keep hopping back for the latest updates and reopening dates. In the meantime, here's what you can expect during the Knott's Berry Farm reopening:
- Face coverings required (Knott's sells some, and we saw people who bought Peanuts themed masks online.
- Face coverings can be removed in a designated RelaxZone or when seated at a table for dining.
- Temperature checks: If anyone in the party has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, the party will not be admitted. Thermal through scanners read temperature.
- Employees undergo health screenings, symptom checks and temperature checks.
- Employees undergo additional training.
- The park has added a number of hand sanitizing stations. Guests are encouraged to wash hands frequently.
- Contactless forms of payments are recommended.
- Look for ground markings in stores and restaurants for physical distancing.
- Plexiglass separates guests from associates.
- Guests scan and bag their own items in a supervised check-out.
- Capacity is limited in the park.
- Capacity in stores is limited to 50%.
- Changing rooms are closed, and guests are asked not to handle merchandise unless they intend to purchase.
- Frequently touched surfaces are disinfected daily and sanitized frequently. (We saw a lot of cleaning hoppening during our visit.)
- New ride policies in place regarding social distancing and sanitation.
- A new virtual queue could potentially be in place for rides and attractions.
- Expanded use of park apps to communicate safety protocols.
- Traffic is monitored in restrooms.
We have a few tips for health and wellness in theme parks that may be particularly useful during the pandemic. You might also want to hop over to our post for Hopful Tips for Wearing Masks at the Theme Parks. Those masks do get hot and sweaty, so we've learned to pack a few extras to swap out during the day.
A New Ride Ride to Enjoy During the Knott's Berry Farm Reopening
Once Knott's Berry Farm reopens, guests can ride the new ride — Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair. This all-new 4D interactive dark ride celebrates a beloved classic attraction with a reimagined gaming twist. Climb aboard themed vehicles equipped with “jelly blasters” to try to recover stolen boysenberry pies as they travel through whimsical environments such as the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp and Weird Woods. The ride culminates in a celebration at the County Fair. We love having something new to look forward to! Also is anyone else craving boysenberry right now? We've definitely developed a taste for Knott's Berry Farm!
Keep hopping back for dates and further details about the Knott's Berry Farm reopening. Once it's time to head back to the theme park, be sure to save up to $33 a ticket when you purchase discount Knott's Berry Farm tickets in advance to eliminate contact at the ticket window. Your wallet will thank you too!