By Charly SHELTON
It’s that time of year for gingerbread everything, holiday lights and the gentle hiss of a “snoap” machine giving SoCal a white Christmas. That’s right; it’s time for the holidays at the local theme parks.
From Universal Studios Hollywood to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and everywhere in between, the holiday decorations and events are in full swing for family and friend get-togethers over the season. Whether it’s Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or the Old West Town of Calico or even Holidays Around the World at Disney California Adventure, there is something for everyone at the local parks. Even the Queen Mary becomes a giant wintery park this time of year. CV Weekly will be taking a closer look at some of these events over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas and, since the fun stretches into January for most parks, there’s plenty of time to see them all.
Let’s head to Knott’s Berry Farm that has transformed park-wide into Knott’s Merry Farm for the season. Knott’s has some fun offerings for the holidays like its Christmas Craft Village near Ghost Town where artisans sell unique gifts, an ice show featuring Snoopy and a Wild West stunt show, “Frontier Feats of Wonder.”
Notably, each year the Birdcage Theatre in Calico Ghost Town hosts a live stage production of “A Christmas Carol” and this year is no exception. But what is new at the show is the addition of a sequel that takes place in alternate shows. After watching the 30-minute production of “A Christmas Carol,” guests can return for another show – “Marley’s Wings,” a musical sequel to the classic Dickens tale that catches up with Mr. Scrooge one Christmas Eve later to see if the changes brought about by the three spirits the year before has taken root. This clever little 20-minute musical performed on a small stage speaks to those who do good deeds for others simply for the outward show and don’t internalize the real care for others’ wellbeing. It’s an odd show with several catchy songs that are strung together limply by the Dickens characters, but the meaning is powerful and it’s a good time regardless.
While the decorations are beautiful and the shows are fun and festive, for a theme park founded on food, the best part of the holidays at Knott’s are the amazing dining offerings. In addition to the fried chicken and boysenberry pie available all year, Merry Farm brings turkey and cranberry and peppermint everything. In fact, on the park map of holiday events half of its listings are food. From a turkey pasty to maple pecan funnel cake to eggnog Christmas tree cheesecake on a stick, there is an amazing assortment of foods available. The best-ofs include apple pie pizza – an apple pie made uncovered on pizza crust; holiday poutine – sweet potato fries topped in turkey, cranberry sauce and cheese curds drowned in turkey gravy; and cranberry-apricot wild boar sausage with caramelized onions and spicy mustard on a hoagie bun.
But honestly, year after year, the best food in the park is the holiday egg roll, an egg roll filled with turkey, stuffing and cranberries, then deep fried. There are few things in the world better than the holiday egg roll, and they’re only available during the holidays at Knott’s Merry Farm, so stock up and eat as many as possible.
Whether it’s food, decorations or live entertainment that draw you in, Knott’s Merry Farm is a fun time for all during the holidays.
Knott’s Merry Farm runs now through Jan 5, 2020.