By Charly SHELTON
The fog has dispersed. The screams have all stopped. The blood has all dried. Knott’s Scary Farm has only been back in its grave for two weeks and it’s already time to celebrate the holiday season.
And what a transformation it is – to see the holly jolly warmth of the season so quickly replace the darkness of the haunt season. Knott’s Berry Farm has again transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm, a winter wonderland that encapsulates the joy and spirit of the holiday season. The annual celebration, which commenced this past Friday, is set to run through Jan. 7, 2024, inviting guests to immerse themselves in a world of holiday cheer.
As always with Knott’s, the theme park founded on food, the highlight of the Merry Farm experience is dining. In addition to the already top-notch selection of food and drink offerings that the park has in place on its standing menu, the seasonal offerings are always a draw. Now, to be honest, I was a little disappointed in the Knott’s Scary Farm foods. Out of the many that I tried, one really blew me away and the rest ranged from fine to unpleasant – a rare miss for the park. But it is making up for it with Merry Farm offerings because everything I tried knocked it out of the park. The hands-down winner of the day was the one I expected to like the least – a turkey dinner on top of a pile of macaroni and cheese served in a bread bowl. This was something I ordered just because I thought it couldn’t possibly be good and yet I was proven wrong. The mac was some of the best I’ve ever had and the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and dried cranberries melded together into the cheesiness to create something that I’m not proud to tell my doctor that I ate – but boy was it enjoyable. Honorable mention goes to the garlic truffle mayo and mushroom burger. With that list of ingredients, you know it’s going to be good.
The live entertainment is also a huge aspect of this event. There are so many shows and experiences it’s hard to mention them all in the confines of this humble article, but there is one that was a clear favorite – the Snow and Glow show, a dazzling display that combined lights, music and the magic of falling snow in the relative warmth of an LA evening. This show is always a favorite, watching the buildings of Ghost Town jump to life and dance with lights in time to the music as snow gently falls. And the new interactive bubble wand, which I played with all day at various locations around the park setting off bubble machines, will also interact with the Snow and Glow show, dancing along in time with the other lights of the town. This show brings that classic feeling of a theme park at the holidays and is the most special, to me, out of any of the entertainment offerings.
Although it’s not cold enough for real snow, it is getting colder and surprisingly the Knott’s Merry Mug became a cherished companion for the event. This refillable mug offers unlimited fills of coffee and hot cocoa on the day of purchase, which really takes the edge off the cold night and makes it feel that much more like a classic Christmas. I came to see it not just as a mug but as a vessel of warmth and comfort holding in my hands the coziness of the season.
Knott’s Merry Farm is a celebration of all that is merry and bright with its delightful mix of festive shows, delicious food and heartwarming experiences. It’s an LA classic that feels as much a part of the holiday season as hot cocoa and fake snow.
For more information and tickets, visit Knotts.com.