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Beyond Knott’s Berry Farm: Top Things to See and Eat in Buena Park with Kids

This post covers fun things to do around Knott’s Berry Farm! It also gives tips on kid-approved places to eat in Buena Park California!

If you are looking for things to do near Knott’s Berry Farm then you are in the right place! Knott’s Berry Farm is located in Orange County in a city called Buena Park. It is less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and only 20 minutes from Disneyland. Buena Park is renowned for its family-friendly attractions and diverse culinary scene. Its range of entertainment options has something for kids of all ages from toddlers to teens making it the perfect base for a family vacation!

We were hosted by Visit Buena Park but all opinions are our own.

Things to do in Buena Park with Kids

Knott’s Berry Farm

Since this is probably the most popular reason to visit Buena Park, naturally I had to put this at the top of my things to do in Buena Park. For those who may have stumbled onto this post looking for things to do in Buena Park, then Knott’s Berry Farm is at the top of that list.

To fans, it is a beloved family-friendly amusement park located in Buena Park, California. It is probably the most well-known attraction in Buena Park. It offers a wide range of thrilling rides, entertainment, and interactive experiences that cater to families with kids of all ages. Families can explore themed areas like Ghost Town and Camp Snoopy, enjoy delicious treats like Knott’s famous boysenberry pies, and create lasting memories together in this fun-filled and iconic Southern California destination.

My 12 and 10-year-old boys are finally getting into thrill rides and Knott’s offered the perfect thrills: we rode Calico River Rapids again and again (thanks to Fast Lane Passes), and enjoyed the Jaguar! as their perfect introduction to roller coasters! We also rode Knott’s Bear-y Tales three times to see who could score the most points with their berry blasters! I personally enjoyed the Pony Express and Ghostrider the most (but they were a little too intense for the kids).

For families who want more extreme fun, there are plenty of thrilling rides, and for the younger kids, there is an entire area with rides that cater to little ones!

We visited in late August and the crowds were minimal, but having the Fast Lane Passes was still a great added benefit. For most of the rides, the Fast Lane Passes went right to the next rider to load! If you want to ride the popular rides with lines (Ghostrider had the longest lines the day when we were there) consider adding these to your ticket!

Location: 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620 

Knotts Berry Farm Rides for kids
Buena Park - Things to do near Knotts Berry Farms with Kids
Knotts Berry Farm kids rides

Pirates Dinner Adventure

Now that we are going beyond Knott’s Berry Farm, there is so much to do for families! Pirates Dinner Adventure is the first thing I would recommend. It is an immersive and thrilling dinner show that transports guests to a swashbuckling world of pirates and treasure. Families and adventure-seekers can enjoy a captivating performance filled with sword fights, music, and acrobatics, making it an exciting and entertaining experience for all ages.

Pirates Dinner Adventure was my 10-year-old’s favorite thing to do in Buena Park. He was absolutely enthralled with the entertainment and the audience participation. He waited with trepidation for his turn to be sworn in as a pirate, raised his colored flag, and dressed up as a red-coat soldier in the finale! This dinner adventure is perfect for kids aged 5 to 10! Those under 5 or those sensitive to noise may find it uncomfortably loud.

Location: 7600 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620

Pirate Dinner Adventure with kids in Buena Park

John’s Incredible Pizza

John’s Incredible Pizza is a popular family entertainment center with all-you-can-eat pizza! It features a large selection of arcade games, indoor rides, and even a tiny bowling alley! It’s a fun place for families and friends looking to enjoy a fun-filled meal and entertainment under one roof.

Mattias (my 12-year-old) thought unlimited pizza was the best part, while Markus (my 10-year-old) loved all of the arcade games (especially the bowling). As a mom, I loved that the arcade games provided great value for money compared to other arcades we have visited in the past. The entertainment lasted long enough to keep them happy and they spent their credits carefully. Credits last the best when used for things like air hockey, compared to the spin for tickets games!

Location: 8601 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90621 

California - John's Incredible Pizza with Kids in Buena Park
Buena Park California with kids - Unlimited Pizza from John's Incredible Pizza
Things to do around Knotts Berry Farm with Kids - John's Incredible Pizza Arcade

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark is located on the Knott’s Berry Farm property. It offers refreshing aquatic adventures for visitors of all ages. With a wide range of water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and splash zones, it provides a perfect place to cool off and have fun during the hot summer months. Families can enjoy a day of splashes and relaxation in this tropical oasis, making it an ideal destination for water-loving enthusiasts seeking a memorable water park experience.

As a mom of kids who are just getting into thrills, Knott’s soak city was perfect! There were so many options, from extreme slides, to midrange fun and then plenty of space for little ones! The dumping bucket play area (Beach House) is popular at any water park and Knott’s was no exception. The lazy river (Sunset River) and the wave pool (Tidal Wave Bay) were where my boys spent most of their time! My favorite was Banzai Falls where you slide down on a mat! The slide with the longest line was the Wedge where families can ride down in a tube together!

Knott’s Soak City is open seasonally (closes Oct 1st).

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620

Buena Park - Knotts Soak City with kids

Enjoy VR Universe at the Source OC

ABOUT

Battle zombies, hunt dinosaurs, drive through space, and more in this VIRTUAL REALITY experience! Immerse yourself with VR headset and earphones and come out as victors of the battlefield. Purchase a pass or pay as you go and enjoy some immersive fun while in Buena Park with your family!

Location: Source OC (Second Floor) 6960 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

VR Universe Buena Park

Knott’s Independence Hall


Knott’s Independence Hall is a meticulously crafted replica of the original Independence Hall in Philadelphia and is located within Knott’s Berry Farm. This historical attraction allows those of all ages to explore the birthplace of American freedom, complete with a replica of the Liberty Bell!

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620

Shop at Knott’s Berry Farm California Marketplace

Home to Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant, Chicken to Go, Berry Market, PEANUTS Headquarters, Farm Bakery, Build-a-Bear, Candy Parlour, Marketplace Emporium, Virginia’s Gift Shop, Cable Car Kitchen, Starbucks, T.G.I Fridays, Knott’s California Shop, and Boba Knott’s there is lots to keep buy outside of the park. My boys, not surprisingly, spent the bulk of their time (and money) in the Candy Parlour coming home with some boysenberry treats!

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620

Knotts Boysenberry Candies
Knotts Chicken to go at California Marketplace.
Knotts California Marketplace

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

For those who enjoy dinner entertainment around Knott’s Berry Farm, also consider Medieval Times! Only one knight will win the tournament and be named Defender of the Throne! Cheer on your knight and enjoy a range of 11th-century entertainment complete with horses (and dinner!).

Location: 7662 Beach Blvd, Buena Park

Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific is Southern California’s largest aquarium boasting 50 unique exhibits with over 11,000 marine animals. Visitors can interact with sharks, wander through a lorikeet forest, and meet a colony of penguins.

Location: 1000 Aquarium Way, Long Beach CA

Big Air Trampoline Park

A family favorite of ours, enjoy the Big Air Trampoline Park when you visit Buena Park with kids! Jump off the walls on Zero-Gravity Court; test your climbing skills on Martian Mountain™; play above the rim on Space Slam; dip, duck, dive and dodge on our Haley’s Dodge-It; flip into thousands of foam cubes on The Launch Pad; saddle-up on The Big Bull; or battle your friends on Galactic Gladiators Battlebeam®! This is a great place to burn off some energy and then eat at one of the great restaurants below!

Location: 8230 On The Mall, Buena Park CA

Nearby Santa Ana

Just a short drive away is Santa Ana, California, the heart of Orange County! You probably did not know, but they have a huge range of things to do with kids. The American Ninja Warrior Park is probably the first thing i would suggest, but there is a lot to keep kids busy. Check out all of the things to do in Santa Ana with Kids!

Santa Ana with Kids - American Ninja Warrior

Where to Eat around Knott’s Berry Farm for Kids:

BEST FOR ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT PIZZA WITH ENTERTAINMENT: John’s Incredible Pizza

I have this listed twice in this article because it is not just somewhere to eat, it is an entertainment destination in itself! It had great pizza and the boys loved the ICEE machine and the soft serve!

Location: 8601 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90621 

John's Incredible Pizza in Buena Park.

BEST FOR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES: Eggslice

Do you love breakfast sandwiches? Then eggslice is your place. Their chili jam is out of this world. My kids are not into eggs as much as I am and enjoyed the tater tot sides and bacon. They offer Vietnamese coffees and OJ to go as well!

Location: 8308 On the Mall, Buena Park, CA 90620

Buena Park - Eggslice all day breakfast.

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe 

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe is a renowned Cuban bakery, restaurant, and coffee shop! It has made a name for itself thanks to its mouthwatering pastries, sandwiches, and Cuban specialties. Visitors can savor delectable potato balls, cheese rolls, and other delicious treats, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic taste of Cuban cuisine in Southern California.

The Potato Balls and the Iced Strawberry Matcha are our two recommendations!

Location: 7640 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90621

Portos Buena Park

BEST MILKSHAKES: Portillo’s Hot Dogs

The classic chocolate cake shake is very popular but we went for the lemon cake shake and were not disappointed! It actually tasted like eating a lemon cake, but in a milkshake! They blend cake into their milkshakes before serving to give them an authentic flavor!

Address: 8390 La Palma Ave. Buena Park, CA 90620

Portillos Cake Shake

CLASSIC FAVORITES: Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant first opened with Mrs. Knott and her children serving the first customers in their tea room. The restaurant has grown over the years into one of the largest in California and their fried chicken is still made with the classic recipe from 1934.

Address: In Knott’s California Marketplace

ALL YOU CAN EAT AT KNOTT’S BERRY FARM

Did you know you can add a dining pass to your visit at Knott’s Berry Farm? It allows you to eat every 90 minutes at a huge selection of restaurants! There are two levels of dining passes (one includes a drink). If you are planning on being there all day, check out one of these passes, and you will save a few dollars! Note that not ALL restaurants are included in the dining pass, and not EVERYTHING on the menu is included either!

Check out Visit Buena Park’s site for other planning deals for your Southern California trip.

THE SOURCE OC

Looking for something a little different to satisfy your foodie cravings? Tired of typical American fare? Head over to the Source OC and try a Korean Hot Dog, a Mochi Nut, a “croffle” (croissant / waffle ), or other ethnic meals scattered around the mall.

Location: 6960 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

Where to Stay near Knotts Berry Farm with Kids

While in Buena Park we based ourselves at the DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park. This newly renovated hotel is conveniently located under 2 miles from Knott’s Berry Farm, and within walking distance to Medieval Times, and Pirates Dinner Adventure. It had a free shuttle to Knott’s Berry Farm every day, as well as the nearby Buena Park Mall (Where John’s Incredible Pizza and Eggslice were located!) DoubleTree also offers a shuttle service to those going to Disneyland. The boys enjoyed the heated outdoor pool and whirlpool when we had our free moments at the hotel. There is also a fitness room, free parking, and a great restaurant on site!

Location:  7000 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

More Resources for Traveling in Orange County California

Just 20 minutes away by car, consider also visiting Santa Ana with your family! It is full of fun things to do for kids of all ages and has a rich Latino culture, art, and food scene! If you are hitting Universal Studios Hollywood, make sure to read these mistakes to avoid at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

If you want to rent a car, get rates on rental cars here.

Check out the best way to fly into Southern California by searching flights here.

Things to do near knotts berry farm with kids.

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