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We’re all the time saying sure to new household adventures, and if our ladies are answerable for how that appears, you’ll be able to guess there’ll be a fear-inducing thrill journey included.
They have been thrilled that we stated YES to go to to Buena Park, California, which included a day at America’s first theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm.
We have been delighted to seek out that there are many issues to do in Buena Park with children that adults will take pleasure in too, that it made sense so as to add it to our California itinerary.
With its central Orange County location, Buena Park is inside simple driving distance to high SoCal sights like Disneyland, Hollywood, and the beautiful OC seashores of Huntington and Laguna. It may be an awesome base when exploring the Orange County area, too.
Buena Park is called the Land of Sure! So, in case your children have been bugging you for a YES Day, why not make it in a land the place sure is adopted by memorable household moments?
That will help you plan your journey, we’ve listed all the highest Buena Park sights for households that you simply can not miss!
Issues to Do in Buena Park CA
On this journey, we stated sure to 80-degree winter climate, sure to screaming curler coasters, sure to swashbuckling pirate kidnappings, sure to household leisure, and sure to scrumptious Southern California meals.
In case you are planning to go to Southern California the under sights in Buena Park with children shouldn’t be skipped.
1. Spend the day at Knott’s Berry Farm
Probably the most well-known Buena Park attraction is after all the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park.
It began again in 1920 with the Knott Household and their berry farm. Mrs. Knott quickly turned legendary for her hen dinners, which helped this entrepreneur household increase their enterprise from a meals stall to the creation of the very first boysenberry, to a duplicate ghost city, to now some of the visited theme parks within the USA.
It’s so standard that even Australians will go to on their journeys to California. I bear in mind listening to my dad and brother’s tales of Montezooma’s Revenge after they visited again within the early nineties. They each stated they loved it greater than Disneyland!
Knott’s Berry Farm has extra thrill-seeker rides than Disneyland at a extra reasonably priced value. Though, in case your finances permits, I’d suggest a Quick Lane Go to maximise your time within the park.
So, if you happen to’re not that into Mickey Mouse, this can be a nice theme park different and it’s solely quarter-hour up the street from Disney in Anaheim. And, Knott’s Berry Farm is 57-acres, which makes it possible to beat in in the future.
There are 40 rides throughout 4 themed areas, which pay homage to the historical past and tradition of this area: the 1800s Ghost City, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, and Camp Snoopy.
You could not discover Disney characters at this park, however you’ll discover Snoopy and the PEANUTS gang. They wander round dancing and taking images with visitors in addition to performing in a number of reveals all through the day.
The Previous West Ghost City was our favourite place to stroll round within the park with its outdated picket shops, salons, blacksmith outlets, cute eating places, and the Hen Theater. There’s a lot to have a look at and do they usually usually have stay reveals and leisure. Take pleasure in one whereas sipping a boysenberry beer on the saloon.
I additionally beloved the enjoyable, seashore vibes of The Boardwalk, house of California’s first dive coaster, HangTime. It additionally has the steepest past vertical drop in California. I discovered the drop thrilling, it was the vertical climb up on the opposite aspect that had me screaming, “I wish to get off!”
We can have a full information to Knott’s Berry Farm within the coming days. For now, listed below are our picks for the very best rides:
- GhostRider – the longest, tallest, quickest Picket coaster on the West Coast. I actually wasn’t anticipating this journey to be pretty much as good because it was. Completely shocking!
- HangTime: 150 toes past vertical drip, 5 inversions and mid-air suspensions, solely the bravest will say sure to this coaster.
- Silver Bullet– Savannah’s first the other way up curler coaster and thrill journey. Wow! 2 minutes of intense velocity, inversions, corkscrews, cobra rolls, loops and 109-foot drop!
- Sierra Sidewinder – a curler coaster that spins because it dips, banks, and nostril dives? I’d say that’s a YES!
- Pony Categorical: Whereas extremely quick, this journey will launch you 38mph in lower than 3 seconds.
- Supreme Scream: 312 ft excessive, spectacular views over Buena Park, and assured abdomen drops as you instantly drop from these heights.
We didn’t get to expertise all of the rides on our day at Knott’s Berry Farm, some weren’t working, however we did many of the thrill ones.
If visiting in Spring, you’ll be able to benefit from the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, to have a good time this berry first created by Walter Knott within the Twenties. The occasion runs from March to April and options stay leisure, interactive experiences and scores of boysenberry dishes.
Additionally they have seasonal occasions. In October, they’ve Knott’s Spooky Farm which is geared toward children, and Knott’s Scary Farm which is geared toward teenagers. Christmas is a giant month, with Knott’s Merry Farm. It’s all the time enjoyable and cheerful at Knott’s Farm!
2. Store Native at Knott’s California Market
Exterior the entrance gates to this California theme park is Knott’s California Marketplace. It’s a set of shops and eating places that provide these visiting an opportunity to buy some Snoopy-themed souvenirs, native jams and jellies.
You may eat on the place that began all of it – Mrs. Knott’s Rooster Dinner Restaurant. It’s been serving up Cordelia Knott’s unique fried hen recipe since 1934, in addition to well-known boysenberry pies!
You should definitely cease in at Virginia’s Reward store to see the massive mural on the partitions sharing the historical past of Knott’s Berry Farm and the Knott Household story. I bought an exquisite purple summer time gown right here.
The Market emporium is one other place for garments procuring – heavy on the nation theme – in addition to a year-round Christmas retailer, and a mini-Sweet Parlor!
The most important retailer within the market, PEANUTS Headquarters has unique Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Gang clothes, plush toys, books and even canine ears to put on into the park.
And what Aussies couldn’t resist choosing up a couple of Billabong objects from Knott’s California Store?
The preferred souvenirs for guests to buy on the California Market are the berry market preserves, particularly the boysenberry, selfmade fudge, and berry market syrup! And you’ll devour some boysenberry funnel muffins from Cable Automobile Kitchen.
That’s a YES to as a lot boysenberry as you’ll be able to eat in in the future! You’re on trip, after all you’ll be able to!
You don’t want a theme park ticket to go to Knott’s California Market, it’s free and open to the general public, making it the most effective free issues to do in Buena Park!
3. Get Moist at Knott’s Soak Metropolis Water Park (Seasonal)
As we visited Buena Park within the winter, Knott’s Soak City Water Park, the 15-acre water theme park, was closed.
However, if you happen to’re visiting from Could by means of early-September, chances are you’ll wish to incorporate a day into your Buena Park trip cooling down on their velocity, tube and physique slides, or of their Tidal Wave Pool, and enjoyable Sundown River float.
We additionally hear the cafeteria serves scrumptious boysenberry pie, so make sure to test it out if you happen to occur to go to in the summertime.
Soak Metropolis is throughout the street from Knott’s Berry Farm and requires a separate ticket.
4. Be taught at Knott’s Independence Corridor
Out the entrance of Soak Metropolis is Buena Park’s very personal Independence Hall. It’s the one place within the nation to have an actual brick-by-brick duplicate of the place the place American signed their Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
So, if you happen to can’t make it to Philadelphia to see the true factor, that is your subsequent most suitable choice. Inside can also be a duplicate of the Liberty Bell.
There’s a small room that has recreated what the signing of the Declaration of Independence expertise would have been like with recorded voice reenactments of the forefathers debating over the doc and plans for independence from Nice Britain.
5. Take pleasure in a Pirates Dinner Journey Present
As quickly as we walked into the Pirates Dinner Adventure Show, we knew we have been in for a blast. Rambunctious visitors have been swilling rum cocktails on the pre-show bar with their swords and pirate patches.
Children have been having simply as a lot enjoyable with their sodas taking images in entrance of the pirate paraphernalia, and you’ll even play mini golf whilst you await the present to begin and luxuriate in free appetizers.
Contained in the theater, you’re seated in rows that encompass the middle stage – an 18th century Spanish galleon adrift on a small lagoon.
We have been within the 1st row near the motion because of a VIP seating improve, which additionally features a pirate headband, beaded necklace, pirate flag (make sure to wave it) and a Picture Guide!
Immediately the pirates wander round interacting with the visitors, questioning what you’re consuming, the place your flags are, and threatening you with swords.
For the subsequent two hours you’re entertained by their swashbuckling antics: sword fights, particular results, pirate songs, and pirate video games as they carry out stunts swinging throughout the ship’s rigging, and aerial trapeze performances.
They invite you to sing alongside and take part in among the video games, and cheer to your pirate crew (we have been the purple crew).
Youngsters have been pulled from the viewers for boat races and to behave as troopers within the closing pirate combating scenes. I had a sword held to my chest a few instances. I believe for not having rum in hand.
We did have two large glasses of pirate cocktails on the desk although! Drink purchases include memento glasses – which might be correct glass, not faux plastic!
All of this as a three-course meal is delivered to your desk all through the night: Soup, roast hen and mash, and chocolate cake for dessert. There are alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and people with meals intolerances.
If you would like one thing else, there are numerous meal improve choices accessible similar to shrimp skewers and turkey legs.
The Pirates Dinner Journey Present is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Buena Park for households eager to let their inside pirate have enjoyable. It was enjoyable for the entire household, vacationers and locals alike!
6. Watch a Medieval Instances Dinner & Match
Much like the Pirate themed dinner present – and just about subsequent door – is a themed attraction for individuals who love Center Age tournaments and combating.
Once more, many visitors – younger and outdated – got here wearing costumes, able to be knighted, and watch their crew’s knights compete in Medieval video games, sword combating, and jousting.
The setting for the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is an 11th century-style fortress, and the match is hosted by the Queen and her Lords. Andalusian stallions carry out dancing acts and a falcon flies across the enviornment.
For this present viewers participation is usually of the cheering and jeering type, though the courageous knights throw roses out to the gang. Savannah was delighted to obtain one from our Inexperienced Knight – the eventual winner and hero.
Once more, it’s a three-course menu of soup, roasted hen (which is a large Medieval sized portion) and a Dessert of the Fortress. I don’t wish to spoil your shock however, chocolate eclairs, YES Please!
There are alternatives for vegetarians, vegans, and people with meals intolerances. Converse to your attentive server and they’re going to assist get the proper meal to you.
In true Medieval style, you can be consuming together with your arms. Embrace it. And naturally, beer in a memento glass. You’re on trip. Bear in mind, Buena Park is the Land of Sure!
Come early to see the horses and to take images in entrance of all of the props contained in the fortress. Seize your self a memento stein of beer – it’s the Medieval Method.
7. Eat & Play at John’s Unimaginable Pizza
This isn’t only a place for lunch – good day all you-can-eat pizza buffet – however a 58,000 sq. foot indoor leisure heart with arcade video games and sights.
After lunch, replenish a card with credit score and luxuriate in some household enjoyable competing in opposition to one another in Pac-man, automobile racing, and different arcade favorites.
We loved the bumper vehicles, a model we haven’t tried earlier than. You management the motion of your round bumper automobile with levers that allow you to go ahead, backward, flip, and spin round!
Households with youthful children will particularly take pleasure in John’s and this Buena Park Attraction.
8. Bounce on the Huge Air Trampoline Park
Our ladies are all the time able to say sure to again flips and warrior programs. We’ve been to sufficient of them to know that The Big Air Trampoline Park has an awesome number of leaping actions and programs.
There’s a Ninja Warrior course the place they’ll navigate their manner round obstacles over a giant foam pit; a giant trampoline space for leaping, backflips and aerials, a trampoline dodgeball courtroom, a battle beam to your personal jousting, the bouncy Huge Court docket for taking pictures hoops, rock-climbing and one thing I’ve not seen earlier than: a mechanical bull.
Whereas older children will get extra out of this household exercise, there are leaping sections for youthful youngsters too.
9. Go Purchasing at The Supply OC
When you have time for procuring in your Buena Park trip, the Source OC is an open-air procuring heart. We didn’t get time to go to, though it was conveniently positioned subsequent to our lodge.
From my analysis, there are loads of nice eating places within the heart as nicely, particularly the candy type with creatively embellished macarons from Candy Field and soufflé pancakes from Basilur Tea. I had In-Sit Espresso bookmarked for my latte repair. YES, for subsequent time.
Day Journeys from Buena Park
After all, you’ll be able to say YES to enjoyable day journeys from Buena Park. You’re surrounded by standard locations and enjoyable sights, that shall be simpler to get to than if you happen to stayed in Anaheim. Listed here are a couple of we suggest from earlier journeys.
10. Seaside Play at Huntington Seaside
Huntington Seaside is our favourite Southern California seashore. With its surfer vibe, spectacular sunsets, and night firepit gatherings, it reminds us of Australia probably the most.
Huntington State Seaside is without doubt one of the cleanest in California and the most effective Southern California seashores for browsing, in addition to subsequent door Newport Seaside.
40 years in the past, it was recognized by the rows of oil derricks alongside the shoreline. Now it’s boutique shops, basic cafes, fine-dining choices and luxurious lodges create a vibrantly enjoyable ambiance. HB within the OC is the place to be seen!
11. Tour the Suan Juan Capistrano Mission
Orange County sights are not nearly amusement parks and delightful seashores. There’s additionally historic attraction only some miles away from the Dana Level shoreline.
A worthy cease in your Southern California street journey, is Mission San Juan Capistrano, the birthplace of Orange County.
It was based by the Spanish in 1776, on the similar time the Founding Fathers have been signing these necessary paperwork over within the East.
With its crumbling sandstone partitions, bell wall, bougainvillea draped pathways, and flowering gardens, it’s some of the fascinating locations to go to in Southern California and a fairly place to wander for an hour.
Whereas right here stroll across the Los Rios Historic district to get an inkling of life centuries in the past.
12. Go to the Dana Level Institute (or Whale Watching Tour)
40-minutes from Buena Park is Dana Level, a departure level for crusing adventures and whale and dolphin watching excursions. You may mix this with a go to to the Suan Juan Capistrano Mission, which is a 10-minute drive away.
Richard Henry Dana, the seaman who Dana Level is called after, described this place as solemn and romantic. It’s a really fairly location with the harbor sitting underneath the cliff tops that you simply see a lot of in Southern Orange County.
It’s additionally the house of the Dana Level Ocean Institute, which makes use of the ocean as their classroom to encourage youngsters to be taught.
We wandered by means of the varied elements of the services that included contact tanks, and life-sized shows of whales, and the rising life cycle of the jellyfish.
The Institute additionally teaches about maritime life and historical past. Exterior within the harbor sits the tall ship, The Pilgrim, a full-sized duplicate of the brig on which Dana as soon as sailed, which you’ll discover.
The Ocean Institute is now open to the general public seven days every week the place you’ll be able to tour the ability, take part in lab actions, go on a Whale Watching Cruise or head to sea aboard a historic tall ship.
You might be near Laguna Seaside, so take into account leaving time in your day for some seashore time. I choose Huntington Seaside, however Laguna remains to be an awesome possibility.
13. Go to Disneyland
And naturally, California is host to among the world’s high theme parks, similar to Disneyland. It wants no introduction.
It’s particularly nice for youthful children with all of the characters and reveals, and for extra sedate rides. California Journey Park subsequent door is the place you’ll discover extra rides for older children.
Staying in Buena Park places you exterior the chaos of Anaheim, however shut by. It’s also possible to simply catch an Uber, get dropped on the door and save on parking prices and problem, or lengthy shuttle bus strains. AND, your Buena Park lodge will in all probability have Disney shuttles, which gained’t be as busy because the Anaheim lodge shuttles.
The place to Eat and Drink in Buena Park
We didn’t get to eat at many eating places in Buena Park as we skilled two themed dinner present experiences and a day contained in the theme park.
It’s Southern California, so that you’ll discover various, distinctive and flavorful meals from all kinds of cuisines, not simply sizzling canines and burgers. Listed here are a couple of we discovered and loved.
1. Damaged Yolk Café
Broken Yolk Cafe has the type of meals typical to Southern California. A South of the border twist, with colourful, flavorful meals utilizing recent, native elements – and HUGE servings.
Benedicts are their signature breakfast dishes: for a singular twist, order a hen and waffle benedict. I actually loved my MOM scramble, stuffed with beneficiant servings of mushroom, purple and inexperienced bell pepper and topped with avocado. I additionally added bacon.
The Unique Damaged Yolk Café began in 1979 in Pacific Seaside, in San Diego, California and has since change into a Southern California favourite for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Because it’s throughout the street from Knott’s Berry Farm, Damaged Yolk is the proper place to gasoline up earlier than the 10am opening.
2. Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
The most effective issues to do in Buena Park is to take pleasure in sweets and savories at Porto’s Bakery.
I don’t assume I’ve ever been in a bakery as massive or busy as this iconic native Cuban bakery. It’s like a huge meals corridor all to itself with an abundance of Cuban pastries, savories, scrumptious muffins, and selfmade bread.
There’s additionally a espresso bar if you happen to simply wish to seize and go (or eat in).
Meals baked with love and high quality elements has all the time been the main target of Cuban-born Rosa Porto, who opened her first storefront on Sundown Boulevard, Echo Park in 1976. She began by promoting muffins to an extended line of household and pals who heard how good her muffins have been again in Cuba.
These lengthy strains now snake round six of her bakeries in California. Rosa’s youngsters and grandchildren now proceed Rosa’s legacy after her passing in 2019.
I discussed it’s busy, so include time and persistence for ordering. Households will love that there shall be one thing to go well with all members of the family – besides if you’re gluten illiberal – and the costs are reasonably priced.
You will get a filling savory or breakfast pastry for underneath $3. Their signature Cuban Sandwich is standard as are their potato balls and guava strudels.
The women gave a double thumbs up YES to apple strudel and chocolate croissant. My pork tamales have been flavorful, and Craig had a meat pie and ham and cheese croissant.
Unsure if Porto’s is the true deal? It landed at #1 on Yelp’s 2016 Prime USA eating places checklist and the LA Instances named it within the area’s greatest bakery in its 2022 Better of the Southlands awards.
3. Rock & Brews
We had an hour to spare earlier than our dinner at Pirates Dinner Journey, so as an alternative of losing that strolling forwards and backwards to our lodge, we determined to cease into the Rock and Brews Restaurant for a drink and a snack.
Rock is our style, so we felt at house on this restaurant devoted to the greats. As quickly as we noticed the large guitar out entrance and the vinyls embedded into the sidewalk, we made a plan to seek out time to go to.
Big murals adorn the partitions of Kiss (this chain was based partly by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from Kiss), Aerosmith, and wall to wall images of U2, Jim Morrison, and any Rock Gods and Goddesses you’ll be able to consider. Lots of which we acquired to hearken to and watch on the TV screens across the restaurant taking part in stay live shows and music movies. I felt like I used to be surrounded by pals and recollections.
Their meals is made out of scratch with regionally sourced elements in dishes that go well with native flavors. We had some garlic parma fries and guacamole and dip for snacks. Their nachos seemed enormous!
There’s a beer backyard out again with the overhead shade material lined in rock icons and a small stage for stay music.
Because the title suggests, it’s a beer lover’s paradise with over 60 brews from world wide. Craig was very impressed together with his Pilsner from close by Buzzrock Brewing and I loved my seltzer from the identical brewery.
The Grammy’s could now not acknowledge Rock, however that doesn’t imply it’s useless.
4. Latte Up at Espresso Code
I’d say it’s a criminal offense to make horrible espresso in California. I hereby proclaim Code Coffee in Buena Park, not responsible. I may inform it might be good at one have a look at the latte art work on the froth – no barista goes to that a lot effort with out backing up the artwork with creamy flavorful brew.
It’s proper close to the Damaged Yolk, so I’d say save your morning espresso till after your breakfast and cease in at Espresso Code.
It’s additionally close to the Knott’s Berry Farm entrance so if you happen to’re in want of an excellent espresso throughout your theme park day, you’ll be able to simply stroll over and seize one from there. You should definitely have your ticket readily available for re-entry.
5. The Cauldron Spirits and Brews
Whereas we didn’t go to The Cauldron Spirits and Brews, my witchy spirit was fairly drawn to what I realized by means of my analysis on issues to do in Buena Park at evening.
Darkish and comfy ambiance, overstuffed chairs, lounge fire, cauldron, and witches and black cats’ paraphernalia (True witches like us have two black cats!)
It’s not simply enchanting brews and alchemic cocktails on provide, however French model meals.
I needed to embrace this simply in case chances are you’ll discover time to sneak in!
Watch Our Video from Buena Park:
The place to Keep at Buena Park: DoubleTree by Hilton Buena Park
Knott’s Berry Farm was underneath a 20-minute stroll, and we normally broke that up with a croissant from Porto Bakery alongside the best way, or a Pirate themed dinner of a night.
The lodge was all the things you’d count on from a DoubleTree – heat cookies upon arrival, trendy double queen rooms, a big inviting lobby, heated swimming pool, health heart, and free shuttles to each Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm (it’s essential to e-book upfront).
Knott’s Berry Farm additionally has its own hotel next door to the theme park.
Attending to Buena Park
Attributable to its central Southern California location, there are a number of simple choices for attending to Buena Park.
Lengthy Seaside (14 miles) and John Wayne aiport (18 miles) are the closest to Beuna Park with LA airport solely 25 miles away.
We flew into John Wayne airport from Raleigh by way of Chicago (have a look at the scenic flight we acquired!) It was a few $30-$40 Uber journey from the lodge (relying on visitors).
As talked about, Disneyland is just a 10-15 minute drive and Huntington Seaside and the OC Seashores half-hour. Check car rental here.
It could be a good suggestion if you wish to incorporate some seashore time in your journey as Huntington seashore (our favourite in SoCal) is just 10 miles away straight down Seaside Boulevard that runs by means of Buena Park.