Knott's Celebrates Christmas with its 'Merry Farm' Makeover

December 2, 2014, 8:10 PM · When wandering through an amusement park, it’s very easy to forget about the word “park” altogether. The landscape is dominated by roller coasters, rides and various other contraptions that you can wait in line for. What Knott’s Berry Farm has done (to great effect) is to put the park back in amusement park during its Knott’s Merry Farm event.

Knott’s Merry Farm

While at the park a couple of weekends ago, I went on one ride — despite spending over five hours at the park. The rest of my time was spent walking around the themed areas, exploring Santa’s Christmas Cabin and eating literally every bit of holiday fare I could get my hands on. This is, of course, coming from the perspective of someone who has been on Silver Bullet enough times to last a lifetime and will be just fine if he never hits the Calico Mine Ride again. Knott’s Merry Farm made the park, if only for a day, feel like new.

Holiday decorations

It’s no secret that this is the intention of a holiday event. The parks want to bring in visitors that feel like they’ve seen it all, that there’s no need to visit the park again. Between egg nog, holiday beer and chocolate cake; I assure you, there’s plenty to see and to do during the Knott’s holiday event.

Merry Christmas Snoopy entrance

I know I’ve said “holiday” several times, but if we’re being honest, it’s pretty much just Christmas. There’s no “Happy Hanukkah Snoopy” ice show and Kwanzaa doesn’t have its own pavilion; glossing over these other holidays while pretending the event is anything other than Christmas-themed is, well, not great. That being said, if Santa Claus and Baby Jesus are your idea of a good winter holiday, Knott’s has you covered.

Christmas ice show

There are 10 shows, including a revamped ice show themed to everyone’s favorite beagle, and of course, there’s Santa’s Christmas Cabin. Inside of the cabin (near the Pony Express and Haunt Museums at the edge of Ghost Town) guests can purchase holiday beer, holiday nuts, eggnog and desserts. Even as someone who doesn’t get too excited about desserts, the cabin was a lot of fun.

Beyond the shows and the food, Knott’s successfully built an atmosphere that has been sorely lacking at the theme park. Seeing what the park can achieve with an event like this gives me hope that they will continue to create and enhance the park’s atmosphere going forward.

Replies (2)

December 3, 2014 at 11:40 PM · Thanks for posting this. I went to their Spring Boysenberry festival and had a great time. With that event the food options were spread throughout Ghost Town. It sounds like this was consolidated into Santa's cabin? I may need to check this out. Do any of the rides have holiday overlays?
December 8, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Jeff, during the holidays the Calico Railroad is re-themed with characters dressed in period costume supposedly traveling home for the holidays and interacting with park visitors. The train robbers who usually walk through the cars and demand valuables from the guests don't appear during the holiday season.

Besides the Snoopy ice show, the standout entertainment for me were repertory productions of A Christmas Carol and The Gift of the Magi, as well as Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, who used to perform at Disneyland as Billy Hill and the Hillbillies and have since relocated to Knott's Berry Farm. All three perform in the Bird Cage Theatre in Ghost Town.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive