We can’t wait to hop back to the fully reopened western-themed Knott's Berry Farm. That reopening date may be even closer than we expected! The theme park does not yet have am official reopening date after its March 14 closure due to COVID-19, but new guidelines from the state's health department say that California theme parks may reopen as of April 1, 2021!
We frogs (and our ever-hungry bellies) have been all hopped up to see Knott's continually think outside the box during the pandemic. Our mouths are watering just thinking of the Taste of Boysenberry Festival coming March 5. Beginning last summer and continuing throughout fall, Knott's introduced several new tasting events that regularly brought guests into the theme park for western fun and food — but no rides.
For now, we await the official Knott's Berry Farm reopening date. In the meantime, the park remains technically closed except for A Taste of Boysenberry Festival, and the California Marketplace is open for shopping and outdoor dining every day. Hop down for the delicious details (and over to our post on Knott's Berry Farm events to learn abut more fun heading your way)!
Once Knott's Berry Farm does officially reopen when Orange County reaches Tier 2, the Red Tier (which is expected soon), you can expect limited capacity and to continue to see similar health and safety protocols as you would at other California theme parks. Initially, admission will be limited to California residents. Here's a quick look at the tiers and what they mean for theme parks:
California has come up with a "Blueprint Refresh" for the four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The tiers rate each county's risk level as it relates to COVID-19 cases. Let's take a look at what theme park reopening guidelines look like for each Tier:
- Tier 1 (Purple) - Theme parks are closed except for limited food and shopping events (no rides)
- Tier 2 (Red) - Theme parks can reopen at 15% capacity
- Tier 3 (Orange) - Theme parks can reopen at 25% capacity
- Tier 4 (Yellow) - Theme parks can reopen at 35% capacity
When it comes to masks, sanitation and physical distancing, The 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! So we have that to look forward to! More on that below.
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. A Taste of Boysenberry Festival takes place select days March 5 through May 2. We have a few favorite Knott's Berry Farm foods, so these food events have us drooling for some of those berry good favorites.
Capacity is limited, and you must have a dated tasting card to enter. You can purchase a tasting card online in advance (they sell out early) and enter 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.
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. In 2020, Knott's kicked off the popular events with the Taste of Calico in summer 2020. The following Taste of Knott's event 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. We hopped by the Taste of Merry Farm later in November to fill our frog bellies with holiday favorite eats and treats. Unfortunately, that event was canceled mid-December due to the Regional Stay-at-Home Order. Here's a look at that festival.
Knott's has announced it's next tasting event. The Taste of Boysenberry Festival is hopping up in spring!
Knott's Taste of Boysenberry Festival
The upcoming festival celebrates the boysenberry, a berry that was first cultivated by Walter Knott himself. The Knott's Culinary Team is whipping up sweet and savory dishes and refreshing beverages that pay homage to this flavorful berry. While you digest your tastings, you can visit the retail shops and local artisan craft booths.
What's on the Menu?
The Taste of Boysenberry Festival offers over 80 food and beverages. Here are just a few:
- Boysenberry BBQ glazed wings
- Beer cheese soup with a boysenberry drizzle
- Boysenberry BBQ carne asada pizza
- Pork bao buns with boysenberry kimchi and nam pla
- Beef tips with creamy boysenberry mashed potatoes
- Elote with boysenberry mayo
- Mac & cheese bites over tots with boysenberry sriracha ketchup
- Boysenberry balsamic brussels sprouts
- Fun bun with boysenberry glaze
- Boysenberry mint and pineapple agua fresca
- Boysenberry smoothie
- Boysenberry beer, wine and more
Bring your appetite, because these dishes are toadally filling!
One of the biggest surprises at the last festival was getting to meet Peanuts characters! You could take socially distanced pics with the characters in Camp Snoopy and on the second floor of the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. Knott's allows guests to drop masks for a few seconds for a photo if they wish. Entertainment and music was hoppening around the park. Plus you can always count on some western characters to saunter in and liven up the place.
Taste of Boysenberry Festival Dates and Hours
The Taste of Boysenberry Festival runs March 5 through May 2, 2021.
The event begins at 12 p.m. daily and closes at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays). You can purchase dated tickets (which are tasting cards) for the following dates:
- March 5-7, 12-14, 19-21 and 26 to 31
- April 1-11, 16-18, 23-25 and 30
- May 1-2
Tasting cards went on sale for Knott's passholders Feb. 9 and go on sale to the public Feb. 16. The tasting cards cost $45 (plus tax) for five food tastings and $20 (plus tax) for a junior card (ages 3 to 11) for three tastings. We recommend purchasing early because these popular events do sell out. Taste of Boysenberry hotel packages are available at the Knott's Hotel.
Parking is free for these events, and you can come and go the same day with your original tasting card e-ticket (your photo will be taken when you enter at first). You can redeem any unused tastings on a future Taste of Boysenberry Festival visit; however, you will need to purchase a new tasting card to gain entrance on that future date. (We recommend taking food to-go if you get full since you cannot count on acquiring a new tasting card if they sell out.)
What’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 outdoor seating (available per government guidelines). Reservations are recommended when dining takes place. There's a new outdoor seating area on the restaurant's north side allowing you to dine al fresco near the fountain.
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 (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 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.
- Guests scan and bag their own items in a supervised checkout.
- 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.
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 to Enjoy During the Knott's Berry Farm Reopening
Once Knott's Berry Farm reopens, guests can ride a new attraction — 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!