The 2018 holiday season has returned and, with it, comes Knott’s Merry Farm – a transformation of Knott’s Berry Farm into a Christmas wonderland. This year, Knott’s Merry Farm features a variety of shows, attractions, and culinary delights that will please both young and old.

Stepping into Ghost Town, guests are immediately greeting by the Christmas Crafts Village, a collection of vendors lining the Old Western town’s streets. The vendors sell an array of wares, from soaps to signs to art prints and a whole lot more. The craft village is a great place to look for unexpected holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones. Near the far end of the Christmas Craft Village, you’ll run into Santa’s Christmas Cabin. This is a terrific place – a magical place – full of holiday treats like green apples smothered in REAL caramel – not just caramel sauce. Aside from the caramel apples, you can also get roasted nuts, hot chocolate, some adult beverages, and a whole lot more. Also at the cabin, you’ll be able to take a picture with the big man himself: Santa Clause!

The holiday treats are not just in Santa’s Christmas Cabin! You can also find special holiday bites at various food vendors around the park, so keep your eyes open. In addition to food, Knott’s Merry Farm is selling holiday themed items for the season – such as the mystery bags, fudge bites, or even the interactive Ghost Town lanterns, but more on that later!

Walking the streets of Ghost Town are the Calico Carolers, who deserve special mention for their singing and bell-ringing talents. They put on a great, mobile show all day long. Speaking of shows, this year Knott’s Merry Farm is chock full of them. The Calico Saloon Christmas Show is back, along with characters Cameo Kate and Dakota Dan, at the Calico Saloon. At the Bird Cage Theater, guests can enjoy two holiday stage plays from the Knott’s melodrama company: The Gift of the Magi and A Christmas Carol. Each of the shows are somewhat abbreviated, just short enough to keep the attention of the small ones and long enough to make for a restful stop for the older ones. In Campy Snoopy, family’s can enjoy A Peanuts Guide to Christmas. In this stage show, the Peanuts gang shares fun pieces of wisdom on surviving the holidays and a lot of humor as well.

Topping off the Knott’s Merry Farm holiday shows are its two flagships: “It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown” at the Calico Mine Stage and “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!” at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. There are much higher budget productions and full of amazing visuals and holiday cheer. The ice show especially, where the skaters are allowed to put their athleticism on full display with amazing feats of skating.

Starting at 6:30PM, be sure to check out Calico Ghost Town “Snow and Glow” show. This short display takes place ever hour on the half throughout the evening and features some music and then faux-snow fall for families to play around in. It’s a lot of fun and also has an added element this year with the interactive Ghost Town lanterns being sold throughout the area. These lanterns cost $15 dollars each and provide a decent bit of yellow-orange light. What makes them interactive is that, during the Snow and Glow show, they turn on and off with the music. Does this short bit of interactivity warrant the price tag? That depends on how bad your children want it. They do make for nice keepsakes from the event, so it has that going for it. Personally, I would have liked to have seen them somehow interact with other lanterns when they get in close proximity. But, I digress….

Speaking of lights – a special mention must be given to the designers of the Merry Farm lighting scheme as well as the crew that sets it all up. The park looks absolutely stunning in its Christmastime makeover and it is an experience in and of itself just to walk around enjoying it all. Great job, gang!

Overall, Knott’s Merry Farm 2018 is a fun theme park makeover for the whole family with plenty of Christmas cheer to go around. Whether you take in the shows, the treats, or the decor, it will surely become a holiday family tradition for you and yours. Knott’s Merry Farm runs until January 6, 2019.

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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of