That’s right. You you read it. You can get into Knott’s Berry Farm for FREE on select days to experience the Christmas Crafts Village in Ghost Town. This is one of the best kept secrets and it’s actually how I first started visiting Knott’s 5 years ago before I had a pass. The dates for FREE Ghost Town Admission for 2019 are December 2-5 and December 9-12.
The Christmas Crafts Village is a shopping wonderland where local artisans sell their unique gifts in pop up kiosks in the Ghost Town section of Knott’s Berry Farm. Many of these artist have been part of the Christmas Crafts Village for years and it has become part of our family traditions to peruse their shops. The girls love the handmade beaded necklaces and sand dragons, and we always make a point to stop to say hi to Miss Doolittle and “Mama” (they are set up right outside of the saloon, so be sure to stop by!).
Admission is FREE to visit the Ghost Town area, which also means you have free access to everything within Calico. This also encompasses Santa’s cottage where you can meet Santa, take your own photos with him or purchase a photo package, and indulge in some of the Holiday food offerings.
Here are some of my favorite attractions in Calico (show times are subject to change):
- Calico Carolers Bell Ringers (sets are 12:30, 1:30, 3:00, 4:00)
- Calico Saloon Show (11, 12:30, 2, 3:30, 4:30)
- Wild West Stunt Show (12:30, 2, 4)
- Snow and Glow (6:30, 7:30, 8:30)
- Tree Lighting (5:15)–this happens just beyond the gates of Calico, but you can still see it!
- Visit the School House
- Cookie Decorating near Santa’s Cabin (extra fee)
- Paint and Take Pottery (extra fee)
Foods and Restaurants: Definitely take advantage of the Holiday food offerings right outside of Santa’s Cabin (I wrote an entire article just about food)–the turkey dinner bites are my favorite and are a steal at 2 for $5.99. When you visit Santa, you’ll be greeted by the smell of a freshly baked cookie, which is served with milk for $3.50. Other seasonal food items are the fried green beans from Calico Fry Company (by the Stunt Show), Mac n Cheese Lorraine from Wagon Wheel Pizza (by Ghostrider exit) and the Holiday White Pizza and Apple Dessert Pizza Beachy Keen’s and Wagon Wheel Pizza.
Outside the park, you can pick up a gourmet Dough-Knott from the bakery right before the security clearance. Right next door at Cable Car Kitchen, you can get all FOUR seasonal funnel cakes with scooped ice cream (side note: this is the only place you can get scooped ice cream–all the other vendors inside the park are soft serve). You can also take home Mrs. Knott’s famous fried chicken at Chicken to Go, or make reservations at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner restaurant for a sit-down experience.
Christmas Craft Village free entry days are Monday through Thursday, December 2-5 and December 9-12. Admission is required for all other days. To enter, go to the side of the entrance near the Starbucks. On-site parking is available for $20, or short term MarketPlace parking is complimentary for up to 1 hour. Each additional half hour or portion is $10 each with a maximum daily charge of $30. All lost tickets will be charged $30. An additional 2 hours of free parking is available with a validated ticket and receipt showing a $19 or more minimum purchase from any California MarketPlace restaurant or shop. In sum, you can enjoy 3 hours of free MarketPlace parking if you spend $19 at one of the shops or restaurants. More information about the Christmas Craft Village can be found here. You can also view a highlight reel of our Knotts adventures on Instagram @littlegraythread.