Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival is finally here! This is our first time experiencing the long anticipated Boysenberry Festival since we got our Season Passes last summer. The Boysenberry Festival is Knott’s version of the Food and Drink celebration featuring their world’s famous boysenberries. (I included a sample itinerary at the end of this post on how to maximize your time balancing rides, shows, food, and entertainment.)
The main reason we have been so excited to attend the Boysenberry Festival is the live entertainment! There are five Boysenberry Festival exclusives that your kids are not going to want to miss. Since the Boysenberry Festival falls right around Spring Break, the Easter Beagle is out for meet and greets!
Camp Snoopy Theater is the little stage next to the Airplane ride in Camp Snoopy (turn right after you enter the gates). If you visit on a weekend, the show will be “Happy Campers” which is the show that runs the majority of the year. I highly recommend that you visit on a weekday so you can catch “Camptivities” which is the new show during the Boysenberry Festival. During “Camptivities”, Camp Counselor Cordelia or Cornelius will invite the kids to the front of the stage to participate in a series of games with Lucy and Charlie Brown. This is a highly interactive show and my girls absolutely love it! Immediately following the show, the characters will head over to the meet and greet gazebo next to the Airplane ride. The gazebo has a cute Easter overlay and this is your best chance to get a photo with all of the characters.
Just outside of the Saloon at Calico Park, you can participate in different carnival style games throughout the day. I recommend snapping a photo of the sign with the times and the names of the games because they change daily. Some of the games like Balloon Pop and Grandpa’s Pajamas require a minimum amount of players (3 and 4 respectively), but the hosts are happy to help and will encourage smaller groups to work together. My sister and her two sons wanted to play “Grandpa’s Pajamas” which requires at least 4 players, so another dad and son team was able to help her out. Good thing she had some helpers because they won! Winners get a blue ribbon and a coveted Boysenberry Festival button.
The Pie Eating contest happens daily at 4:00 on the same stage in Calico Park. This is their most popular game so if you’d like a chance to participate, arrive 10-15 minutes early to enter your name into a lottery. You work in a kid/adult teams where the kid attempts to clear a Boysenberry pie tin on top of their adult’s head! Don’t worry–they give you ponchos! You definitely have to be in it to win it because the winner gets a gift certificate for a whole Boysenberry Pie!
Another Boysenberry Festival offering is DJ Cruz on the Fiesta Stage by the carousel. The best way to describe this show is a baby nightclub. DJ Cruz leads the kids in popular dances like the Cha cha slide and the Macarena. The girls loved the steam and light effects and had a blast dancing with their friends.
Over in the Birdcage Theater in Ghosttown is the “Old Time Melodrama”. This is one of my favorite shows in the Birdcage Theater because the audience is encouraged to cheer, boo, and yell during the performance. The story is super cute and the girls fell in love with the sweet heroes of this show. You can also meet them after the show for pictures and autographs! Also while you’re there, peek inside the schoolhouse to see who is giving a lesson and learn about the history of boysenberries in nearby Town Hall.
The crowning glory of the Boysenberry Festival is the nighttime show, “Snoopy’s Jamboree Revue”. This show is on the big Calico Stage just across the railroad tracks. I’m not kidding when I say that people wait all year for this show! The level of dancing, singing, and musical theater is top notch. Our favorite part of the show is Old MacDonald’s pageant with contestants like Miss Fruit and Vegetable. All of your favorite Peanuts characters are in this show including everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy! The songs are familiar and catchy and you’ll find yourself singing them in your head on the way home. “Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree” runs at 7:00 and 8:30 every night and it’s definitely worth staying up late to see!
But what does everyone come to Boysenberry Festival for? THE FOOD! If you want to try all the speciality Boysenberry foods, definitely get the $30 tasting card. It comes with 8 tabs to redeem for 8 speciality items ranging from Boysenberry Pierogies to the new Boysenberry Quesadilla. Pro tip: don’t use one of your tabs on the Boysenberry Macaroon because you can buy one a la carte for just $1.59. Save your tabs for the more expensive items like the $9 short ribs! One tasting card can easily feed two adults or one adult and two kids. Here is just a sample of the foods we were able to try.
There are also a wide array of Boysenberry items that are not on the food card. The drink that has taken over social media is the Boysenberry Boba drink. You can find this for $4.99 at the coffee cart near the big floral fountain by Iron Reef or at the Ghosttown bakery by Ghostrider. I honestly wasn’t a big fan of this drink, but I heard it’s a million times better if you ask for double the sweetener. And if you’re in the mood for sweets, check out the Boysenberry fudge at the Ghosttown candy store next to the Bank. They will gladly give you a free sample!
The Boysenberry Festival is the perfect Spring Break outing. I would definitely consider purchasing a season pass since the price is not much more than single day admission. Passes are $94 and can be purchased with 6 payments of $15.66. You can also add on the water park Soak City for $19 more ($113 for the remainder of 2018). These passes are only good until the end of the year, so buy them sooner rather than later to take full advantage. This pricing is only good until April 8 (and in my experience the price will only get more expensive!). After Boysenberry Festival is summers with Ghosttown Alive. You DO NOT want to miss this! We got our passes last year specifically to experience the amazingness of the immersive Ghosttown Alive. Hangtime, the new roller coaster, will also open this summer. Halloween and Christmas festivities offer new experiences throughout the year making these passes an exceptionally good value. Boysenberry Festival runs every day through April 8, so don’t miss out!
Here is a good itinerary to experience most of Boysenberry Festival (these are based on showtimes for peak days when Knotts closes at 10pm)
Tl:dr, I created convenient phone sized quick guides. Screen shot these to use as a handy reference while you’re at the park.
- Arrive at around 10:00, find the Easter Beagle around the main gates to take a photo, and head right to enjoy some Camp Snoopy rides (our favs are the airplane ride and Huff & Puff)
- Around 11:30, purchase your Boysenberry Festival tasting card and pick a few foods to try while wandering around Ghosttown. I recommend starting by Ghostrider and trying the Short ribs and Pierogi (both located inside Chop House), the chicken wings and the Boysenberry Elote (you’ll see it on your way to Calico Park). Bring your food items to the sitting area outside of the Saloon to get ready for the Calico Park Fun and Games.
- Head over to the Calico Park small stage outside of the Saloon for the 12:00 game “Grandpa’s Flannel Pajamas”. You’ll need 4 players for this game but you can team up with other small groups.
- Grab some more tasting items around Ghosttown before the Saloon show at 1:00. Since all the food items are centrally located, you have enough time to grab a sample of fudge at the Ghosttown candy store or try the Boysenberry quesadilla.
- Head to the Stunt show “Frontier Feats of Wonder” at 1:30. You can go directly after the Saloon show and still get a good seat.
- Take a ride break in Camp Snoopy before the 2:30 Camp Snoopy Theater show. Remember that during the week is the interactive “Camptivities” and the weekend show is “Happy Campers”. I recommend getting there at least 15 minutes before the show. Follow the characters to the meet and greet gazebo directly following the show for photos.
- Ride some more rides. If your kids want to participate in the pie eating contest at 4:00, be sure to arrive 15 minutes early to enter the lottery. This one is so fun to watch!
- Catch the “Old Time Melodrama” in the Bird Cage Theater at 5:00. Doors open about 15 minutes before the show. Food and drink are allowed inside so grab a snack on the way in. The actors are also available for photos directly following the performance except for after the last show of the day.
- Head over to Fiesta Village and ride the carousel and the spinning hat ride. DJ Cruz takes the Fiesta Stage at 6:30.
- Get the remainder of your tasting card items and sit for “Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree” on the Calico Main Stage past the train tracks. I recommend sitting no later than 6:30 for the 7:00 show so you might need to choose between this and the Dj dance party.
- The next must see show is Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies on the Stunt show stage at 7:45. You do not want to miss this iconic band!
- If you missed Dj Cruz on the Fiesta Stage and your kids still have energy to burn, catch him at his 8:00 show.
- If your kids are still awake by this point head over to the Mystery Lodge for the 8:30 show. This is located at the very back corner of Ghosttown behind Town Hall and even past the Wilderness Dance Hall where the Wine and Beer tasting takes place.
- To fill downtown during the day, visit Old MacDonald’s farm in the Livery Stable, play in the old Schoolhouse, visit the cemetery to feel a beating heart, and talk to sad eye Joe in the jail. Build your own mini Boysenberryberry Pie for $5.95 at Cordelia’s Pie Shop. Peruse the band made items from the craft vendors and take home a crocheted Boysenberry pie hat! There is so much to do at Knotts but this itinerary will help you get the most out of your day!