**Disclaimer: This is a compensated post but the stories, opinions and photos are my own!**
I grew up in Orange County, California, and Knott’s Berry Farm was a popular place for us to hang out as we grew up. I have fond memories of being dropped off with my friend and literally running around the park all day long. We’d get on rides over and over, like when Montezooma’s Revenge opened. Over, and over, and over. Now? One time and I’m okay to move on for a bit, then I’ll return. Once, my mom packed me a sack lunch and I had to carry it with me. There was this ride in Fiesta Village similar to things you see at carnivals right now, where there’s one long spoke and on each end, a car of sorts. I stupidly took my lunch bag with me and it went flying. Splat, there went my food, even a smashed orange. The things you remember! I even worked in Virginia’s Gift Shop for a time when I was in college, my only retail experience.
Now, things are a bit different. I’m taking my own kids now and there are no sack lunches. We like to go frequently and Knott’s affordability is a huge selling point. We have our favorite foods but try to explore different restaurants each time we’re there. Living so close, Knott’s Season Passes are ideal since you can go over and over, without the blocked days, for less than $100 per year. What a steal, right? With a family as large as mine, it’s nice to have a place to go and hang out for several hours and know you aren’t missing anything that you can’t do next time if a ride is closed or a line is long or there are just too many people and you’re not a crowds person, like me. No pressure, do what you want and head home and return again another day. Weather is bad? You’re not out any money. It makes for stress-free fun.
My memories taking my kids are a lot more fun than my splatted orange! For example, we can’t visit without having a funnel cake covered in boysenberries. (If you haven’t tried Knott’s Berry Farm’s boysenberry jam, you are missing out. Truly.)
Another fun memory? The day we went to ride Xcelerator and Little Dude decided he just wasn’t up to it. We were all in line and could see him sitting all by himself on a bench right next to the ride. (By “Little,” I mean 13, so he was fine by himself, in case it sounded like I left a small child alone!) Woohoos and yells and screams and he sat leaning back in a very odd angle, totally oblivious to the world. What a sight.
One of my favorite memories is of when we took all four of our kids probably about 11 years ago. My youngest was a toddler and he loved the race car ride in Camp Snoopy. My oldest daughter was so proud to be a big sister, she sat on that ride over and over with him; my oldest boy also took his turns with him, as he loved the way your body slid in the seat when you turned the corner. They both were small enough to really slide together, and we’d laugh and laugh at the looks on their faces each time they’d ride. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, them or us!
As I’ve shared before, my youngest has mild autism. He develops routines and habits and has expectations which can sometimes be hard to live up to. Get a souvenir once, gotta get a souvenir every time. One visit, we were searching for a place to eat we could all agree on — not necessarily a hard thing to do, but this day, it was crazy — and Little Dude wanted his souvenir. Right then. Off I went, and he ran ahead. I found him in the Wild West food area, playing with this gun that made a popping sound when the cork on the end was popped out. Pop. Pop. POP.POP.POP. But he had a smile on his face. Now when we visit and I hear that sound, I can’t help but laugh, though that POP sure got on our nerves on the ride home that day.
So many memories, I could list them all day. There’s the day we got on the Silver Bullet first thing, right after breakfast, and we all laughed but got so nauseaous, we had to walk around for a bit to get over it. The time we forced Little Dude to get his picture taken with Charlie Brown and Lucy (and he secretly loved it). The night we took our RV and some car blocked us in, so we had to make spaghetti from a jar for dinner since we couldn’t leave. Listening to Little Dude scream his head off on Boomerang.And this day.
Knott’s Berry Farm is a memory from my childhood and I’m excited to be able to share it with my kids. I used to drive by it on the way to school, and the tower that used to be the parachute ride is a landmark that makes me smile all the time. (Anyone else remember riding the Parachute Drop?)
Want to share these kinds of memories with your kids? You can purchase tickets/passes here, but head on over to Knott’s Season Pass Ticket Giveaway Facebook contest to see if you can win them! Passes get you in year-round and you can even add on Soak City and parking. And don’t forget to eat at the fried chicken restaurant! You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten their fried chicken.