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50 Best Tips for Knott’s Berry Farm with Kids (2024)

50 Best Tips for Knott’s Berry Farm with Kids (2024)


Planning to visit Knott’s Berry Farm with young kids? This SoCal theme park offers up big coasters and family rides, with plenty of entertainment in between. Get the details and tips for Knott’s Berry Farm with kids, including dining, how to skip the lines, and the ideal one-day itinerary. Keep reading for a free printable height requirement chart to help you plan your Knott’s vacation!

theme park entrance of knott's berry farm

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My family and I received complimentary day passes to visit Knott’s Berry Farm. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What is Knott’s Berry Farm?

This Southern California theme park location predates the Disneyland Resort, with origins going back over 100 years. The current Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park is built on what was the Knott’s family farm, started by Walter and Cordelia Knott.

Kids sitting on benches next to statues of cowboys at Knott's Berry Farm

The popularity of Cordelia Knott’s depression-era tea room and restaurant inspired Walter Knott to bring in entertainment for those waiting to dine. The result was the Ghost Town, pan for gold, and live entertainment at the Wagon Camp.

Currently, Knott’s Berry Farm theme park has dozens of rides and attractions. Rides range from slow kiddie rides to intense roller coasters.

This is a complete guide to everything you need to know about touring Knott’s Berry Farm with kids including big roller coasters and what small children can do. This article will outline tips for Knott’s Berry Farm like line skipping, the all-day dining plan, and where to find boysenberry treats or Knott’s fried chicken!

Windmill at entrance to Knott's Berry Farm theme park

Where is Knott’s Berry Farm?

Knott’s Berry Farm is located in Buena Park, California. This is around 25 miles south of LAX in Los Angeles and less than 7 miles north of Anaheim. The nearest airport to Knott’s Berry Farm is Long Beach, just over 10 miles away.

Other Southern California theme parks include Disneyland (about 15 minutes drive from Knott’s) and Universal Studios Hollywood (about 45 minutes drive). San Diego is about 100 miles south of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott’s Berry Farm Tickets

Ticket prices for Knott’s Berry Farm are reasonable, with rates lower than most other area theme parks. Knott’s tickets can be purchased at the front gate and theme park reservations are not required.

Military members can buy Knott’s Berry Farm tickets at a discount online or on base. However, I discovered that Get Away Today offers an even lower priced Knott’s Berry Farm ticket!

Southern California Discount Travel

My travel partners at Get Away Today offer both discounted theme park tickets and SoCal-area hotels to fit any budget! Many hotels include exclusive discounts like free parking, complimentary breakfast or even free nights, just for booking through Get Away Today.

When you’re ready to book your Southern California vacation, my friends at Get Away Today are ready to help! Call 1-855-GET-AWAY to book your trip.

BONUS DISCOUNT! – Mention code REWRITTEN to receive an extra discount off your SoCal vacation package of two or more days.

Planning a Trip – Best Time to Go to Knott’s Berry Farm

When choosing a date for a Southern California vacation, consider the kid’s school schedule. If children are out of school, the theme parks in Orange County are usually packed!

Visit on Weekdays During the School Year – Weekends are traditionally very busy, when locals with season passes often visit the theme park. Aim to visit on school days for lower crowds.

Check the Schedule – Before planning your visit, view the Knott’s theme park calendar for days and hours. Park hours are extended during Knott’s Summer Nights, when the theme park stays open late. In the fall, the theme park closes early. It reopens at night to special ticketed guests for Knott’s Scary Farm (their haunted Halloween event).

Holiday Season – The holiday season offers longer hours in celebration of Knott’s Merry Farm. Expect busier crowds during the winter break, from mid-December until kids return to school in early January.

Boy and girl meeting with Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm

Download the Knott’s Berry Farm App

Before your trip, add the Knott’s Berry Farm app to your smart phone or device. Use it at home to get accustomed to the functionality.

Interactive Map – The map one of the best features of the Knott’s app, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the theme park. Easily tap to find locations of rides, dining, restrooms, shops, and shows.

Ride Wait Times – I was unable to get the Knott’s Berry Farm app to reflect accurate wait times during our visit, despite reopening and refreshing throughout the day.

Grand Sierra Railway in Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm

Measure Height Before Visiting to Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm height requirements can be a challenge to decipher. Ride signage will explain, as some attractions require young children to reach a certain height and also be accompanied by a chaperone.

Measure your child’s height at home, wearing the shoes they plan to wear during the visit. Height markers at Knott’s Berry Farm are posted on the ride signage as well as near the boarding area of thrill rides. The Knott’s associate may ask to measure your child before riding.

Depending upon their height and the scare factor, younger kids may not be able to ride many of the attractions outside of Camp Snoopy. Keep reading for the full printable height requirement chart to help you plan your Knott’s Berry Farm trip!

Ride safety guide at Knott's Berry Farm

Sections of Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is divided into 4 distinct themed areas. Camp Snoopy is the best area for younger guests. The remaining sections offer up both thrill rides for older kids and entertainment for little kids.

  • Camp Snoopy
  • Fiesta Village
  • Boardwalk
  • Calico Ghost Town

Keep reading to print your own Knott’s Berry Farm ride height printable for help with planning your own trip!

Kids sitting in truck ride at Camp Snoopy

Best Rides for Kids at Knott’s Berry Farm

When determining the best attractions for children at Knott’s Berry Farm, there are several factors to take into consideration. First, you’ll need to know if your child meets the height requirements for the ride.

Second, weigh the thrill factor. The Knott’s Berry Farm app has a key, ranking rides from low, mild, moderate, high thrill, or aggressive.

Finally, know you’re child’s personal temperament. If you’re kids don’t like fast rides, avoid all high thrill or aggressive attractions, even if they do meet the height restriction.

Knott's Berry Farm sierra sidewinder

Top Rides in Camp Snoopy for Kids

All of the attractions in Camp Snoopy are kid-friendly and appropriate for most children. Some rides, like the Flying Ace and Huff & Puff, have a height limit (which means little kids ride without an adult). Other attractions, like the Balloon Race do not have any restrictions, so babies and toddlers can ride with a parent.

Note that none of the rides in Camp Snoopy have Fast Lane access, so you’ll be standing in a regular queue. Naturally, this area gets very busy and the rides tend to load slowly. I’ll discuss Camp Snoopy more in the touring strategy section, so you can best work this area into your day’s itinerary.

Little girl riding Snoopy's Flying Ace ride at Knott's Berry Farm

Kid-Friendly Rides in Fiesta Village

Carrusel de California (the Merry Go Round) and Hat Dance are the best for younger children in this newly refurbished area of Knott’s.

The Dragon Swing is an exciting ride with moderate thrills for those 42″ and up. Jaguar! is a great high thrill ride coaster that’s not too over-the-top intense for kids who meet the high requirement.

Fiesta Village thrill ride in knott's berry farm

Best Boardwalk Attractions with Kids

Sky Cabin is a slow moving attraction that offers a birds-eye view of the city. Most kids will love the 4D interactive ride Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair.

Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler offer moderate thrills for kids over 36″ tall. Kids over 42″ can take the wheel in the Bumper Cars.

knott's bear-y tales ride entrance at knott's berry farm

Rides for Kids in Calico Ghost Town

There are several family rides in the Ghost Town area that are appropriate for most everyone. The Calico Mine Ride, Butterfield Stagecoach, and Calico Railroad do not have height restrictions.

Timber Mountain Log ride is great for kids over 36″ who don’t mind getting wet!

If you’re looking for additional tips about top rides, read my friend Leslie’s guide to Knott’s Berry Farm rides on her site, Trips With Tykes.

Kids in wooden train at Knott's Berry Farm

How to Skip the Lines at Knott’s Berry Farm with Kids

Fast Lane is Knott’s Berry Farm’s line skipping add-on. Guests may ride these attractions as many times as they wish, all day long during their visit.

Purchase a Fast Lane wristband, then enter through the designated queue at participating attractions. Guests with Fast Lane receive priority access to the front of the line for these rides.

Coast Rider attraction at Knott's Berry Farm

Fast Lane Rides at Knott’s Berry Farm

  • Calico Mine Ride
  • Calico River Rapids
  • Coast Rider
  • GhostRider
  • HangTime
  • Jaguar!
  • Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair
  • La Revolucion
  • Timber Mountain Log ride
  • Pony Express
  • Sierra Sidewinder
  • Silver Bullet
  • Sol Spin
  • Supreme Scream
  • Waveswinger (Los Volodores)
Sol Spin ride in Fiesta Village at Knott's Berry Farm

Is Knott’s Berry Farm Fast Lane Worth the Cost?

Guests who are trying to maximize their day at Knott’s Berry Farm will definitely want to utilize the Fast Lane add-on. Purchasing a Fast Lane wristband is one of the best tips for Knott’s Berry Farm for families looking to maximize time. There are some pros and cons to know before you buy.

Pro: Front of the line access is a real thing when using Fast Lane. There is a separate line, often through the exit, for Fast Lane. We visited on a busy Saturday and never waited longer than a few minutes before boarding while using Fast Lane.

Con: The cost of Fast Lane can be prohibitive to most families. Fast Lane pricing varies by the day – the cost was $119 plus tax, per person on the day of our visit. The cost of Fast Lane is on top of regular theme park admission.

Wait time sign for Knott's Berry Farm ride
Wait times for popular Knott’s Berry Farm rides can be extremely long.

How to purchase Fast Lane at Knott’s Berry Farm

  • Buy online via the Knott’s app then pick up Fast Lane wristbands at the ticket booth.
  • Purchase at the front gate ticket booths.
  • Buy Fast Lane at the General Store.

Is Fast Lane worth the cost with younger children?

Fast Lane is most beneficial for big kids that hit the 48″ height mark. It’s probably not worth the extra charge for kids that can only access a few attractions.

Little girl wearing fast lane wristband at knott's berry farm
Fast Lane wristbands cost extra but can be worth it for families wishing to line skip top attractions.

Knott’s Berry Farm Touring Strategy

Each family’s specific theme park touring plan will vary, depending upon individual height requirement and special interests. In general, this section will outline a helpful touring strategy to maximize time and energy. Keep reading for the top planning tips for Knott’s Berry Farm:

Arrive at park opening – Aim to get to Knott’s Berry Farm when the gates open. Allow some extra time for parking and security.

Boy and girl standing in front of waterfall in Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm

Start in Camp Snoopy – This section of the park is most ideal for young kids and is therefore one of the most popular places. Camp Snoopy only gets busier as the day goes on. 

Start here immediately upon park open and tour the entire section before moving into the next area. Return in late evening or during nighttime hours if your kids want to repeat any of the rides in Camp Snoopy.

Buy Fast Lane – Popular ride wait times can be lengthy, at an hour or more in line. Purchase a Fast Lane wristband only for family members that enjoy thrill rides. You’ll get the most “bang for your buck” if kids are over 48″ tall.

wait time sign for sierra sidewinder at knott's berry farm

Have a theme park plan – Each area of Knott’s Berry Farm has rides and entertainment options that are appropriate for the whole family. Check the website (or ride printable at the end of this article) to plan out your day. 

Minimize walking – Try to avoid zig-zagging randomly around the theme park. View the park map and complete each section before moving to the next, to save time.

Knott's berry farm rides showing supreme scream, timber mountain log ride, and silver bullet

Can You Do Knott’s Berry Farm with Kids in One Day?

Knott’s Berry Farm has many rides and shows, which can make it challenging to complete in a single day. However, guests can accomplish a lot by prioritizing their day. 

  • Plan your visit during a day with extended hours to maximize your time.
  • Arrive to the parks early and aim to stay until closing.
  • Use Fast Lane to eliminate long wait times for the most popular rides.
  • Complete each section before moving to the next, to minimize walking. 
  • Pick and choose which shows and entertainment you want to do within each section, noting the times for each.
  • Read the Knott’s Berry Farm touring strategy in the previous section for additional tips on how to do Knott’s Berry Farm in one day.
Hangtime roller coaster ride at knott's berry farm

Is There a Special Needs Pass at Knott’s Berry Farm?

Knott’s Berry Farm offers an Assisted Access Pass for guests with disabilities or special needs. Visit Guest Services (just to the left of the front entrance) to set up this special pass.

For more specific details about the restraint system, rider criteria, and rider access for each attraction, visit the Knott’s website or app to view the Assisted Access guide.

The Knott’s Berry Farm Assisted Access program works like this:

  • Guest and their family explain their inability to wait in a regular queue at guest services. A paper boarding pass may be issued for use to the guest and up to 3 other people in their party.
  • A Knott’s ride operator will assign a return time to a chosen attraction, based upon the actual wait time for that ride. The time will be written on the boarding pass.
  • When the time comes, entire group goes through the “alternate access line” (often the exit) of the ride for entry to the attraction.
boy and girl standing at the entrance of ghostrider roller coaster at knott's berry farm

What Can Babies Do at Knott’s Berry Farm?

While there are some Knott’s Berry Farm attractions that are appropriate for any height, keep in mind that each rider must be able to sit alone. This will eliminate any newborns or infants from riding.

Any Height Attractions

Babies and toddlers must be able to sit upright without support on the bench or seat, next to a supervising companion. Scroll through the printable height requirement chart at the end of this article to review “any height” attractions that might be appropriate for younger kids.

Calico mine train ride entrance at knott's berry farm

Use Rider Swap

For rides in which your baby or toddler cannot ride, use the complimentary rider swap program. This service permits adults to swap places (one person waits with younger children while other adult rides). Check with the Knott’s associate at the ride location for additional details about using Rider Swap.

Other Things to Know About Taking a Baby to Knott’s Berry Farm

Baby Care Centers – There are several semi-private, indoor nursing stations in the theme park. Restrooms also have diaper changing areas.

Strollers – Rent a stroller for the day at the stroller shop inside the park. Guests may also bring their own stroller or wagon into Knott’s Berry Farm.

Top Dining Tips for Kids at Knott’s Berry Farm

Quick service vs. Full service – Most of the dining in Knott’s is quick, with walk-up windows and seat-yourself tables. These locations offer fast food type meals.

For a leisurely meal with wait staff, enjoy a table-service experience. These full-service restaurants include Ghost Town Grill, Johnny Rockets and Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Wait times for food – The lines to wait for food can be long for many of the counter service restaurants. Consider splitting up your party so that one group can order the meals while the other looks for a table.

Tasting card – During specific times of the year (including the Boysenberry Festival and Summer Nights), Knott’s Berry Farm offers seasonal tasting cards. Guests have their pick of hearty portioned dishes, beverages, and alcoholic drinks (for ages 21+).

Mobile ordering – At this time, only the Chicken-To-Go take out menu is offering mobile ordering on the Knott’s Berry Farm app.

Is the Knott’s Berry Farm All-Day Dining Plan Worth the Cost?

Knott’s Berry Farm offers several drink and dining packages for pre-purchase, either online or through the app. For families looking to save on the cost of food during their vacation, this is a viable option and one of the best tips for Knott’s Berry Farm.

These are some of the ways to maximize the All-Day Dining Plan at Knotts:

Order food every 90 minutes – The premium dining plan permits guests to order either an entrée and a side dish OR a snack, every hour and a half. To maximize the cost, I kept track of the time by creating a calendar reminder on my phone. Every 90 minutes, I’d pick up a meal or snack at the nearest participating restaurant.

Share Meals – Guests are not required to purchase a dining plan for each person in your group. Buy one and share food as you wish. Most of the meals are easy to share, including chicken tenders with fries.

Complete Meals Offer the Best Value – The premium dining plan allows guests to choose either a meal with a side or a snack every ninety minutes. To maximize the cost of the plan, choose to get a meal with side versus a snack for the optimal value. For instance, the Snoopy cookie costs around $7, but meals cost more than $10.

Drink refills – On the premium plan, we were able to get a drink every 15 minutes. Simply visit the walk-up Coca-Cola Refreshment Stations located around the park. Scan your wristband and recieve a fresh cup for drinks. There is also a souvenir drink bottle plan with all-day refills available for sale. Get the Knott’s Berry Punch, it’s so refreshing!

boy holding a snoopy cookie at knott's berry farm
This snack is available through the premium All-Day Dining Plan

Knott’s Berry Farm Farm Best Places to Eat

Grizzly Creek Lodge – Typical, kid-friendly fare like burgers, hot dogs, and pizza. Indoor dining in Camp Snoopy area, this locations tends to get busy with families.

Boardwalk BBQ – Big, shareable plates of smoked meats. My kids loved the bowl of macaroni and cheese topped with pulled pork. Don’t forget the Knott’s boysenberry barbecue sauce, it’s delicious!

Panda Express – For the kid who likes familiarity, this popular spot serves up the usual chow mein noodles and orange chicken.

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant – Make dining reservations as soon as you can, this restaurant serving up large platter chicken dinners is extremely popular. Be sure to save room for a slice of boysenberry pie! This restaurant location is just outside of the park gates, so you can visit anytime.

front entrance of Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Knott’s Berry Farm Live Shows and Entertainment

Check the Knott’s Berry Farm app on the day of your visit to verify times and locations of live entertainment. Some entertainment options only happen on weekend dates.

Camp Snoopy Theater – This open air theater features Peanuts characters in kid-friendly shows with music and dancing.

peanuts stage show with lucy, snoopy and charlie brown in camp snoopy area at knott's berry farm

Ghost Town Alive! – Throughout the day, visitors to the town of Calico (Knott’s ghost town) can participate in fun, interactive wild west activities. During our visit, my children joined the Calico fire brigade in a training exercise of carrying water buckets (they might have gotten a little wet!)

Fiesta Plaza – Various acts perform here, including a marionette puppet show, storytelling, and mariachi bands. 

Wagon Camp – Our personal family favorite, we never miss Krazy Kirk & the Hillbillies. The band performs live music in this open air theatre, with lively country twists on classic songs. Sit in the far back of the area inside one of the original stagecoaches for a view with shade.

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies stage show at wagon camp theater in knott's berry farm

Bird Cage Theater – Miss Cameo Kate’s Western Burle-Q Review is a song and dance show that takes place at this indoor theater.

Indian Trails Stage – Native American dance performances with music and traditional costuming.

Character Meet ‘n Greets – There are several locations to meet with Knott’s Berry Farm characters, including the beloved Snoopy! Check the locations and times within the app on the day of your visit.

Boy and girl meeting with Peanuts character at Knott's Berry Farm Camp Snoopy

What Else is There to Do at Knott’s Berry Farm with Kids?

One of my best tips for Knott’s Berry Farm is to round out a theme park day with pastimes other than the rides. Knott’s has lots of unique activities, themed to the wild west and authentic ghost town buildings.

Calico Saloon – Traditionally styled saloon with swinging doors, bar counter, and a stage with live acts. Adults can order beer, wine, and cocktails while kids sip on sarsaparilla or cream sodas.

Old Schoolhouse – This authentic Kansas one-room schoolhouse shows kids a blast from the past. The Old Schoolhouse is not always open, but it’s definitely worth a walk-through.

Kids standing on the porch of the old schoolhouse at knott's berry farm

Western Trails Museum – An ideal spot for history buffs, there’s lots to look at inside this authentic ghost town building.

Blacksmith Shop – Chat with a real blacksmith as you watch him perform his daily duties of making horseshoes and souvenirs. Then step into the Livery Stables to see the horses.

Bench Sculptures – Stop and take a photo at these iconic sculpture benches. Some of these benches go back to the late 1940s!

Kids sitting on benches next to statues of women at Knott's Berry Farm

Pan for Gold – Learn the techniques while panning for real gold bits just like a gold miner. This souvenir activity has an additional cost.

Sad Eye Joe in the Ghost Town Jail – Wander the streets of Calico to peek inside the buildings and chat with the locals. Sad Eye Joe is here, conversing with those who stop to talk with him through the bars of the Ghost Town jail.

Boy and girl peeking inside the Calico ghost town jail at Knott's Berry FArm

Knott’s Berry Farm Souvenir Shopping

There are several great locations to shop for souvenirs with kids at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Classic Knott’s Berry Farm Souvenirs – Look for Berry Market products, including jams, jellies, and salsas (all featuring boysenberry, of course!) For apparel, the Charlie Brown zig zag t-shirt is perfect for a day in the parks. Wooden stick hobby horses are a kid favorite, found in Ghost Town.

snoopy merchandise in gift shop at knott's berry farm

Theme Park Souvenirs – Inside Knott’s, visit the Ghost Town General Store for the biggest selection of items. Snoopy’s Camp Store has Peanuts merchandise. Visit the Pitchur Gallery for a classic Knott’s memento, when your family gets dressed up in wild west gear for a photo shoot.

Shopping Outside of Knott’s – The California Marketplace is an excellent area, just outside of the theme park gates. Peanuts Headquarters is the place for all things Snoopy. Virginia’s Gift Shop and Berry Market offer a large variety of souvenirs, including boysenberry snacks. There’s also a Build-A-Bear location here, where kids love to create their own plush.

bag of boysenberry taffy at knott's berry farm

Cashless Shopping – Like many other SoCal theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm is a cashless location. Expect to use a debit or credit card for all purchases. There are “cash to card” kiosks if you need to convert bills into a card for use in the theme park.

Pressed Pennies – Looking for a budget-friendly souvenir? We found a large bank of pressed penny machines near the entrance of the Calico River Rapids attraction.

knott's berry farm pressed penny machines

Buy Knott’s Souvenirs Before a Trip

Search Amazon for Peanuts, Snoopy, and Charlie Brown merchandising, including apparel to wear on vacation. This set of 4 Peanuts t-shirts fits a wide range of sizes, from toddler to tween.

Final Things to Know About Knott’s

Theme Park Photos – Knott’s photo plan is called FunPix. This offers unlimited downloads of on-ride photos and pictures taken throughout the park by Knott’s Berry Farm photographers. Purchase the all-day plan for a flat fee through the Knott’s Berry Farm app.

Lost & Found – My son forgot to remove his hat during one of the attractions and it flew off into the unknown! Knott’s Berry Farm’s lost and found system is online. Simply fill out a form via their website with descriptions of the item and if they find it, they’re return it to you.

Knott’s Berry Farm Birthday Button – Guests celebrating a birthday can receive a free birthday button at the guest relations center near Ghost Rider.

Lockers – There are rental lockers near the entrance to Ghost Rider. Certain attractions have storage cubbies for backpacks, purses and water bottles when items cannot ride with you.

Phone Recharging – There aren’t any FuelRod stations at Knott’s Berry Farm. Nor are there phone recharging areas. It’s wise to bring your own portable phone charger and cords. The Anker Power Bank is my go-to, as it can recharge multiple phones at the same time, with a single charge.

Best Buena Park Hotels Near Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel

Reach the theme park gates within minutes from this newly refurbished resort.

DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park

Just a block away from Knott’s Berry Farm, kids 12 and under eat free for all meals at the DoubleTree restaurant.

Other Things to Do Near Knott’s Berry Farm

These additional entertainment options are within close distance of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott’s Berry Farm Height Requirement Printable

CLICK HERE to print out your free Knott’s Berry Farm ride height requirement chart!

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