Knotts Berry Farm knows how to turn on the Christmas cheer.  So much so that they actually change their name to Knott’s Merry Farm every year from Thanksgiving into the new year (November 22nd-Jan 6th 2013).  They earn their name change by offering a Christmas crafts village that you can shop in, the wonderful It’s Christmas Snoopy Ice Show, the Elf Mountain Christmas overlay to the log ride, holiday parade, stage shows, holiday decor and more amazing food than you could ever eat in one visit.

A large Christmas tree stands just outside the park gates.
Just inside, a traditional manger scene is set up.


This is the last weekend to take advantage of the wonderful shopping in the Christmas Crafts Village. The last day for free admission into this section of the park is this coming Monday the 24th (The Crafts village is available this weekend as well, but  you will have to pay for park admission). If you are just planning to visit the Crafts Village on Monday, we suggest you park in the 3 hour parking for the Knott’s Marketplace and enter the park just behind Virginia’s Gift Shop.

Monday – Thursday guests can enter the Christmas Crafts village behind Virginia’s Gift Shop. Dec 24th is the last day for this event.

Almost the entire area of Ghost Town has been transformed into a crafty kaleidoscope of home made gift ideas. It is certainly a charming, much improved production from previous years.  This season, the booths are uniform and orderly.  Each location is decked out with festive garland and standardized signage.

Clean signage raises the level of professionalism for this event.
Knott’s Main Street is a great place to shop.
One of our favorite booths, the scented candles

The Bird Cage stages A Christmas Carol and Gift of the Magi throughout the day.

A really cool addition is the Glass blowing booth next to the old school house.

guests can watch this fascinating craft and the artisans at work.

That’s hot.


Molasses pops. $3.00 of yum

The Haunt Museum has remained open.
Even the Haunt Museum has been given a festive vibe.

Don’t forget to visit Santa and let him know what you’d like for Christmas.


The fruitcake in the holiday festivities at Knott’s is the Christmas Parade. It’s a homespun procession featuring the Peanuts gang. Unfortunately, it really is the weak link in the Knott’s holiday offerings. Since so much else has been improved in this year’s slate of holiday attractions, we hope that perhaps the parade will receive an upgrade by next season.

This is not exactly a bad parade, it is an intimate parade.  We would even say that this is the best that it has ever looked.  But the production could use a little polish.

Trailer hitches jut out from the front of each float, while a thin veil of mylar tries to hide the wheels below.
The choreography and under-rehearsed dancers needed a little work.
Turn-turn-kick-turn, turn-turn-kick-turn

The music volume levels were uneven throughout the parade route.  We hear that this is being addressed.  The best place to catch the parade is in Ghost Town near Calico Saloon.

The big pay off is Santa, who is wonderful.

Those accustomed to the grandiose hyper-produced parades from Disneyland may simply turn up their noses and walk away.  But they would be missing out on the home spun charm that Knott’s is famous for. However, if Knott’s really wants to play the parade game with the big boys, the bar needs to be raised considerably on this production.


Make no mistake, this years production of It’s Christmas Snoopy is the best it has ever been and one of the best Christmas offerings at any theme park.

The show is the same as last year, with minor adjustments here and there.  But the ensemble of skaters hit every mark perfectly.  The spruced up costumes and fine-tuned lighting also bring the show to a more polished level.

Every skater was perfectly in synch.

The Silent night sequence was particularly transcendent.

The ending of the show will leave you with a lump in your throat.


There is a nightly Tree Lighting show in Calico Square that happens nightly. It’s a fun performance which includes the Peanuts characters and culminates in the lighting of the tree.


Disneyland isn’t the only theme park capable of fun holiday overlays on their classic attractions. Knott’s Elf Mountain Christmas returns this year with a few new surprises.  We already love this thing.  But they seemed to have upped the production level in the indoor sequences with better lighting and sound.  It really adds to the quirky, fun and frantic feel of the attraction.

The boarding station is decked out for the occasion.

The trees could use a little work.
The Elves say hello.

Inside the mountain, colorful lighting has been refined from previous seasons.

The elves are running amok.


Curious? Here’s a ride through for you:


The holiday version of Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular is back with bright strings of lights and holiday music.

If you haven’t had a chance to get over to Knott’s for the Holidays we suggest you do so soon.  The Merry Farm festivities will be available until January 6th (but the Craft Village will end this Monday).

Now for a few other notes from around the park.


If you don’t get enough Jack Skellington at Disneyland, Knott’s has it too.

Though you might note that most of these items are not available at Disneyland.


The recent resurfacing near the Wheeler Dealer bumper cars seems to have already been worn out.  The slurry treatment which was applied prior to summer is showing a surprising amount of wear.


We now take a look at the progress on Knott’s additions for the upcoming 2013 season. Three family rides will call this area home.

Knott’s has even installed peep holes in the construction walls for guests to observe the progress.


Knott’s Berry Farm will have offerings for everyone this New Year’s Eve with a variety of dance music, a family friendly comedian magician, Clueless Remix Featuring DJ Resso and Kenny Metcalf, and an Elton John impersonator.

There will be two dance parties in the park. Salsa instruction in Knott’s Fiesta Plaza and line dancing in Knott’s Wilderness Dance Hall. The evening will also include a live performance by the popular band, Clueless Remix Featuring DJ Resso, in Calico Square.

In addition, Camp Snoopy will be open with rides and shows for the young and the young at heart including “Happy New Year Charlie Brown!” at the Camp Snoopy Theatre where Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang will ring in the New Year with song, dance and some fun audience participation.

At midnight, the skies above Calico Square will be ablaze with color as Knott’s rings in the New Year with a Midnight Mayhem Fireworks Show.

We’ve got to hand it to Knott’s, their folksy brand of holiday entertainment was a true Christmas delight.

  • unclemike

    I was just there on Wednesday and the park looked great. The parade is certainly an improvement over previous years’ offerings, that had maybe half as many (or less) floats and dancers.

    P.S. I believe those are maple syrup pops, not molasses.

  • Malin

    Thanks for the Knotts update. Mix thoughts really to Knotts Christmas Event. Some of the offerings look nice but a great deal of it looks tacky in my view. Love the arts and crafts section. The Manger scene looks rather cheap and something I’d expect to find in a School or Church. But some of the other decorations do look nice and blend in well with the area.

    The Parade looks abysmal. Sorry maybe I’m one of these people that is use to the more lavish productions you get at Disneyland. But to me if your going to put on a Christmas Parade only minutes away from Disney then it needs to be better then this production.

    I was able to see the Summer Ice Skating show and so I know these shows are always excellent. One of the unique offerings from Knotts. And should feature more in its marketing. And sorry I think the Elf Mountain looks terrible. Next year Knotts needs to keep what works and drop several of the other offerings.

  • Knotts offers an honest heartfelt and down home Christmas. If you expect the super polished Disneyland sort of thing, you may be disappointed. But most average folks should be completely thrilled with Knott’s holiday offerings. It’s charming.

    While the parade tries, it’s really the weak link (still fun, but not up to what they could do if they really tried).. But the ice show is fabulous and nearly worth the price of admission to the park all by itself! Folks will be split on Elf Mountain, but I just think it is fabulous, if slightly creepy. They’ve somehow managed to make it look the right age and period as the attraction. And I LOVE the Craft Village. It is much improved and a unique holiday shopping opportunity which blows Disneyland out of the water. You can easily spend hours at Knotts just shopping and not run in to the same merchandise over and over. Disney could learn a thing or two here.

    Great update Fishy. Thank you for giving up part of your holiday weekend to bring it to us!

  • Wendygirl

    I’m looking forward to going to Knotts with a friend later this coming week. Just a couple of things. That magician/comedian is Dana Daniels who used to work at Disneyland. He performed in the Golden Horseshoe after the Revue show ended and before the Billies began performing in there. He is really great and performs often at the Magic Castle, magic clubs, in Hawaii, and also in Las Vegas. Knotts is very fortunate to get him. Also the Ghost Town Miners (formerly the Miner 49ers from DCA that were let go by Disney) are at Knotts for the Christmas Season. Beginning December 26 they will be performing every day across from the Spurs Patio restaurant. Knotts had them all Summer and now they are back. Knotts has treated them very well and they will hopefully be back in the Summer again.

  • Algernon

    Those don’t look like family rides to me. Family rides are not “harrowing” or spin around rides. Knott’s has become polarized, catering mostly to screaming teenagers on one hand and Camp Snoopy four year olds on the other. I used to go every summer. Now I never go. Aside from the Log Ride and Mine Train ide, there really isn’t much for a family to experience together. Disneyland is moving in that direction as well. Knott’s would do well to bring back rides like Knott’s Beary Tales and other fmily rides to fill the gap Disneyland and other places are leaving behind.

    I do like the slurry pavement better than that of Disneyland, with it’s paving stones.

  • Eagleman

    Looks Like it be lot’s of Fun….
    Thank You for the information and picture’s
    of Knott’s Merry Farm…..
    Monday the 24th The Crafts village ,Being Christmas Eve
    I wondering what hour’s are?

    Look like a place to get a little Christmas spirit…..
    Thanks again

  • Ravjay12

    It’s refreshing to see the manger scene! I’m glad some theme parks still know what Christmas really is all about. Great photos, great update on all Knott’s has to offer for Christmas!

  • eicarr

    Cars land aside, that looks way funner to me than the stuffy stuff I see photos of at Disneyland. I love laughing while pointing at hokey silly xmas stuff rather than having to sit through overproduced dull/stuffy corporate stuff. The molasses or maple pop looks way funner and cheaper than standing in line waiting for an expensive candy cane. Dentists must love those. They’re putting a lot of love into Knott’s…. I’ll have to swing by on my next trip down south.

  • DisneySarah

    Thanks for the great article, Fishbulb! I didn’t make it out to Knott’s this Christmas season, so your photos are the next best thing to being there.

    Knott’s holiday offerings really are homespun and I love them for that. It’s like how your own Christmas tree ends up looking kinda funky with all the random ornaments you’ve collected over the years, but those funky ornaments have meaning to you and it gives you a special feeling that those professionally decorated trees at Macy’s just can’t touch. Knotts isn’t trying to be Disney, and I love them for that.

    Also, Elf Moumtain is fantastically creepy and it’s awesome that the Haunt museum is still open. I’ll definitely be getting an annual pass to Knott’s this year.

  • ralzap

    KBF keeps improving. Nice to see, they can still do more. I bought a pass, and just bought 2 jars of jams. Just keep moving, and mostly work on the sight lines. Make Ghost town real without a coaster in the way. Happy hollidays to all the Miceagers. Special thanks to Art and Dusty. Great job. I love your your posts.


  • ralzap

    I’m so sorry, I meant Al Lutz nor Art. My most sincere apologies. Your articles are great……
    You do an amazing job. Happy holidays to you.

  • SpectroMan

    Most of my sentiments exactly. The parade is extremely weak, even though it has been fully rehabbed , with new music and adjusted floats from previous years. The sound is horrible because Knott’s never fully built a true parade route with area speaks so they rely on the few old relics scattered around the park that are used for PA announcements. Unless you’re right under one, you barely hear anything coming and when the performers are actually passing you by, there’s no sense of place or pageantry. If they can fix the sound and then hire an actual choreographer to do real dancing, not just first grade movements, it’ll be a pleasure.

    The ice show, on the other hand, needs NO improvement and is a beautiful piece, both now and during the Summer.

  • Rex Dopey24

    beautiful pictures thanks. i cant wait to go there next year.

  • Baforrest929

    Why is there a compelling need for everyone to compare DIsneyland to Knotts/Knotts to Disneyland? You know, there are countless regions thru the nation, where people do not get any degree of amusement park ingenuity, and here we are, in SoCal, butting heads, in regards to which park is better. To me, Disneyland is more fantasy/whimsical, and Knott’s is more down-home. “Elaborate” works for Disneyland, and “simple” works for Knott’s. To me, both parks deliver, in that regard. I love both the ingenuity and imagination of Disneyland, AND the simplicity of Knott’s. And, I feel both parks deliver, A+
    The Christmas parade Knott’s is delivering is charming, and fun. And the parade that Disneyland offers is amazing. But, keeping in mind the mind-set of Knott’s: I think their Christmas parade delivers, hands down. i DO NOT wish to see Knott’s get all technical/futuristic/mind-boggling/whatever in their approach, ala Disneyland. That goes against what Knott’s represents. I don’t expect that of them. It is not what makes Knott’s so charming.
    I appreciate what both parks have to offer, and I think they deliver the goods, in terms of their “personality.” Ease up people, quit comparing both parks to each other. Let’s respect what they have to offer, and appreciate both parks, on their own terms.

  • Rex Dopey24

    baforrest. i agree with you its the simple stuff down home style that makes me appreciate knotts more often. agree with you about too much fancy technical stuff. it dont have to bee too fancy. good review baforrest. 929.

  • to_dee

    Loved seeing all the photos TFS! My family love Knotts but havent had a chance to go there at Christmas so that was fun to see the seasonal celebrations