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Taste of Merry Farm Keeps Season Bright as Knott's Berry Farm Remains Closed

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Closed Silver Bullet roller Coaster near park entranceWe can’t wait to hop back to the fully reopened 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) are all hopped up to see Knott's continually think outside the box during the pandemic. Beginning in summer, Knott's introduced several new tasting events that regularly bring guests into the theme park for western fun and food — but no rides. Knott's has added its newest upcoming event, the Taste of Merry Farm, to its tasting menu.

During the summer, a new beer, wine and food event — Knott's Taste of Calico — took place inside the closed theme park! The sold out tickets from the first event told 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. Its popularity led to a Taste of Knott's event and the reopening of the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel on Aug. 21!

Hungry for more? On select dates leading up to Nov. 1, guests could put on a costume and get their fill of pumpkin spice at Taste of Fall-O-Ween on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 25 through Nov. 1.

And that brings us to kicking off the holiday season with a Taste of Merry Farm craft beer and food event. Hop down for the delicious details.

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Ground markingsOnce Knott's Berry Farm does officially reopen (when Orange County reaches the least restrictive Tier 4 (Yellow Tier), you can expect to continue to see similar health and safety protocols as you would at other California theme parks. Those Knott's Berry Farm reopening guidelines are already in place for the tasting events. Once the theme park can fully reopen, there will also be a new ride to explore! More on that below.

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Boysenberry Funnel Cake Taste of Knott's Food and Shopping Events

On select dates, Knott's has been holding food, wine, beer and shopping festivals. The menu changes for each festival and season, and each event offers many delicious themed food and drink items. Many last summer Taste of Calico items involved boysenberries. We have a few favorite Knott's Berry Farm foods, so these events have us drooling for some of those berry good favorites.

Capacity is limited, and you must have a tasting card to enter. You can purchase a tasting card online in advance (they sell out early) and enter the open-air Ghost Town section of the otherwise closed theme park. When you scan into the park, the attendant will hand you a lanyard with the menu items and their locations. Stores have limited capacity to preserve physical distancing. Other treats may be for sale (such as pickles, icees and popcorn).

This is an outdoor event. The food is served in and around the theme park at select locations. Masks are required to attend this event. Again, no rides are operating, as the theme park is technically closed.

If you are looking for seconds, or thirds, or even fourths, you'll be hoppy to know that Knott's Berry Farm keeps adding new outdoor dining and retail experiences as time goes on. The events (which sell out quickly) take place on select afternoons and evenings. The Taste of Knott's expanded the variety of foods by celebrating the flavors from all over the park. Then the Taste of Fall-O-Ween brought fall flavors, trick-or-treating and Halloween decor. As Taste of Fall-O-Ween wraps up Nov. 1, we look forward to a Taste of Merry Farm later in November with holiday favorite eats and treats. These sold-out events prove that Southern Californians are hopping to get back to their favorite theme parks, even if it's just to get a little taste of them.

To attend one of the limited-time food events, you'll need to purchase a Tasting Card in advance. Tasting Cards are limited each day. One tasting card is required per person, per entrance.

What's on the menu? You can enjoy one-of-a-kind eats that vary according to the theme.

Whet Your Appetite for a Taste of Calico at Knott's Berry Farm-Cup of Boysenberry Sangria in Ghost Town

Parking is free for this event, and you can come and go the same day with your original tasting card e-ticket. You can redeem any unused tastings on a future Taste of Knott's visit, however, you will need to purchase a new tasting card to gain entrance on that future visit. (We recommend taking food to go if you get full since you cannot count on acquiring a new tasting card if they sell out.) A few additional food items and locations will be open for purchasing.

Taste of Merry Farm

The Taste of Merry Farm is sure to fill you with holiday spirit with 60 different items! The event runs on 31 select dates from Nov. 20 through Jan 3. Like the other tasting events, admission to Taste of Merry Farm is included with the purchase of a Tasting Card. The date-specific Tasting Card for an adult is $40 (plus tax) and includes 5 tastes. For ages 3-11, the $29 (plus tax) Tasting Card comes with 3 tastes. Do not end up empty-handed like when your kids ask last-minute for a must-have toy that is sold out everywhere. Purchase well in advance because all the other Knott's tasting events have sold out early.

Stroll through a So Cal winter wonderland of garland and thousands of twinkling lights. If you have holiday shopping on your to-do list, the retail shops will be open along with 24 local artisan craft booths.

What's on the Menu?

We got a sneak peek at a few menu items on the list such as Blitzen’s Christmas tree bundt cake, Comet’s maple-glazed cinnamon bun, Cupid's corn chowder soup, Scrooge’s spicy wings, turkey dinner tater tots, cold salmon winter salad, pulled pork mac and cheese, chocolate peppermint cheesecake bars and much more. And yes, there will be Knott's famous funnel cake, strawberry funnel cake with ice cream, sprinkles and a raspberry drizzle! Quench your thirst with fun holiday beverages such as Rudolph's winter pear lemonade or "Ode to Santa" milk or eggnog with candy cane cookies.

Taste of Merry Farm Dates and Hours

The Taste of Merry Farm will run the following dates:

Nov. 20-29

Dec. 4-6

Dec. 11-13

Dec. 18-24

Dec. 26-30

January 1-3

The event runs from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. most days.

On the following dates it closes an hour early:

Nov. 29

Dec. 6, 13 and 24 

Jan. 3

If you want to stay and play, you can get a Taste of Merry Farm hotel package at the Knott's Hotel.

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Western Entertainers talk to passing guests from balconyWhat’s Open Daily at Knott’s Berry Farm?

While the theme park is, well, a ghost town (outside of the tasting events) 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!). Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant has limited indoor and outdoor seating. Reservations are recommended. There's a new outdoor season area on the restaurant's north side allowing you to dine al fresco near the fountain.

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant with Outdoor SeatingIn 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.

This Thanksgiving, you can pick up turkey and ham dinners to go! Swing by Knott's for a complete Thanksgiving meal. Choose from a full turkey or ham dinner including gravy, mashed potatoes and other delicious sides. Plus, top it off with your choice of boysenberry pie or pumpkin pie for dessert. Order online.

Health and Safety Protocols You can Expect During the Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Peanuts mask and shirt on guestKeep 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 (while at least 6 feet from other guests) or when seated at a table for dining.
  • Capacity is limited in the park. Once Knott's is ready to officially reopen, the government caps capacity at 25% and requires a pre-purchase or reservation system to limit capacity.
  • 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.
  • Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Checks scan items at the registers while supervisedGuests scan and bag their own items in a supervised check-out.
  • Capacity in stores is limited.
  • Changing rooms are closed, and guests are asked not to handle merchandise unless they intend to purchase.
  • Employees disinfect and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. (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.
  • Employees monitor traffic in restrooms.

Knott’s Berry Farm Reopening-Mask and hand sanitizer for sale with safety signWe 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!

Related: What to Expect When the Southern California Theme Parks Reopen

Related: Disneyland Reopening — What You Need to Know

Hoppy Planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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