Christmas at Knott’s Berry Farm with Snoopy & Friends

Knott’s Berry Farm hosts a holiday celebration complete with A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade, Christmas Crafts Village, visits with Santa Claus, and even a Christmas ice skating show! Located in Buena Park, California, Knott’s Berry Farm is America’s original theme park. It is better known for its scary Halloween Haunt, but a visit during the holiday season is sure to delight all ages with its fun and festive shows, decorations, and activities.

Holiday Parade at Knott's Berry Farm
Snoopy & The Nutcracker waving to the crowd in the Peanuts’ Holiday Parade

A Peanuts’ Holiday Parade
This traditional parade features dancers, holiday music, and floats topped with Peanuts Gang members – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, and the crowd-favorite, Snoopy. The parade is just long enough to keep kids rapt with attention throughout. The parade ends with Santa ho-ho-ing and wishing a Merry Christmas to all.

Knott's Berry Farm Holiday Crafts
My daughter, Karissa, was smitten with this adorable Knott’s Christmas Craft Village shop

Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village
What I remembered most from my last visit to Knott’s Berry Farm as a teenager was its plethora of roller coasters. As a grown-up, my favorite part of the park is no longer thrill rides, rather it is the Old West decor and feel of Ghost Town. I am a sucker for make-believe, especially when it is done well. This area of the park transports you back in time to an 1880s California gold rush town.

You can purchase a lucky horseshoe emblazoned with your name from the blacksmith, watch a knick-knack being whittled from wood before your eyes, pan for gold, or stop into the school house for a taste of old-school education. The school was made in 1879 and was purchased and recreated by Mr. Knotts in 1952.

Through Christmas Eve, Ghost Town is home to the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village. Artists peddle their one-of-a-kind crafts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, and more from these temporary storefronts.

Snoopy on Ice at Knott's Berry Farm
It’s Christmas, Snoopy! ice show at Knott’s Berry Farm

Holiday Shows
If visiting during the holiday season, you absolutely must head to the Charles M. Schulz Theatre to see the It’s Christmas, Snoopy! ice show. I was fascinated by how these talented skaters glided, spun, and flipped on the small ice stage. The colorful lighting, elaborate sets, playful costumes, and snippets from the famous It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown television special are sure to keep even the wriggliest of kids entertained. White doves even fly onto the stage and snow drops from the sky! Arrive a half hour before the show starts to nab the best seats.

Traditional holiday shows like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and O’Henry’s A Gift of the Magi can be viewed at the Birdcage Theatre. Join the Peanuts Gang in Calico Square for a song-and-dance show, Snoopy’s Calico Christmas Tree Lighting, followed by the lighting of a huge, decorated Christmas tree. A Winter Wonderland show in Camp Snoopy featuring all the Peanuts characters can be skipped in favor of the ice show or tree-lighting.

Holiday Parade at Knott's Berry Farm
A white Buche de Noel cake at Knott’s Farm Bakery

Rides, Lights, Treats & More Holiday Fun
It was chilly the day we visited Knott’s Berry Farm so we did not brave the wetness of the Timber Mountain Log Ride. This ride is tranformed every year into Elf Mountain Christmas, where you can see Santa’s elves readying for Christmas complete with lights and music. I was impressed with a giant drying station outside the ride where soggy riders warmed themselves with heat lamps.

Take little ones to the Ghost Town Bakery, where they can decorate their own Christmas cookie with frosting and candies from noon to 5 pm daily during the holiday season. You can also find delectable holiday treats at the Farm Bakery in the Marketplace. This area of shops and famous Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is located just outside the park’s entrance and was the birthplace of Knott’s Berry Farm in 1934.

In the evening, head to Camp Snoopy, the area of Knott’s geared toward the preschooler-set with child-friendly rides and a giant Snoopy bounce house, for Snoopy’s Christmas Light Spectacular. Hundreds of thousands of holiday-shaped light displays twinkle in the dark from dusk to park closing.

Kids can even pay a visit to jolly old St. Nick during their visit to Knott’s Berry Farm during the holidays. Head to Santa’s Toy Barn to get some one-on-one time with Santa Claus and purchase a darling photo of your kiddo making their Christmas toy wish.

Christmas Tree at Knott's Resort Hotel
Here I am with my daughter in front of one of the Christmas trees at the Knott’s Resort Hotel

Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel Dressed Up for the Holidays
After a busy day at the park it’s nice to take a short stroll through Knott’s Marketplace to turn in for the night at Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel. The lobby is all dressed up in green and red, adding to the holiday spirit. We stayed in one of the 16 special Snoopy rooms, decked out with Snoopy and Woodstock headboards plus paw-print carpeting. The highlight of our stay was when Snoopy stopped by our table during breakfast at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, Amber Waves.

When you think of holiday activities, Knott’s Berry Farm may not be the first place that pops to mind…but maybe it should be!

What part of a Knott’s Merry Christmas would be the most fun for your family? Share your thoughts in the comments!

A Note from The Travel Mama: My family and I received complimentary park entrance from Knott’s Berry Farm and we were hosted by the Buena Park Convention and Visitors Bureau for our stay at the Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel.

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About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is a mom of two and the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of THE TRAVEL MAMAS' GUIDE, she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen teaches blogging classes and has given travel tips on television, radio, and as a paid video blogger. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing.

Comments

  1. Having Snoopy stop by for breakfast was awesome…at Disney you have to pay for a character breakfast and here it was just par for the course…really cool.

  2. Knott’s Berry Farm is one attraction we haven’t been to in SoCal — will have to check it out next time we visit Grandma. (I want to go at Christmastime just to eat that CAKE!)

  3. I used to love Knott’s Berry Farm as a kid and I am feeling super guilty because I haven’t taken my kids yet. It is definitely in the 2011 plans. Wintertime seems like a great time!

  4. It is cool to see the park decorated so festively for Christmas. It looks magical! I’ve never thought of visiting Knott’s Berry Farm around the holidays, but it looks inviting. Who knew?!

  5. I have actually never been to Knott’s Berry Farm but have always wanted to go. Now I want to go at Christmas time!

  6. We’re heading to So Cal in February and I haven’t been to Knott’s for years. I’m going to have my teen/tween read this report and see if they’d like to visit. My seven-year-old will be up for it for sure!

  7. I love all the holiday decorations! I’m such a sucker for any theme park, I know I would love Knott’s Berry Farm. When I get there, I’m heading straight for that candy store:)

    Glad you had a good time!

  8. Wow, what a fun trip you guys had!! I haven’t been to Knott’s Berry Farm in so long but it definitely looks like a trip is in order! Thanks for sharing your wonderful day.

  9. Thank you for your comments! I hope each of you gets a chance to experience Knott’s during the holidays someday!

  10. Looks like a fun trip so festive and fun! I think I will spend way too much time at the Christmas craft store. :)

  11. I remember going to Knott’s Berry Farm in the 60′s and the most memorable thing was the delicious chicken dinner and a huge water pump in front where I took my daughter’s picture – I can’t remember the rides, if there were any.

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