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.
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.
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.
It's Christmas, Snoopy! ice show at Knott's Berry Farm
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.
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.
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.