Knott’s Berry Farm is an amusement park that takes its food seriously. After all, its history is grounded in food – first as a farm and birthplace of the boysenberry, then as a roadside stand selling jams and jellies, then most famously as the home to Knott’s famous chicken dinner. During the holidays, Knott’s makes its home-cooked food a central focus and pulls out all the stops to give guests a foodie-worthy experience.
“A lot of people think of an amusement park as just, like, cheeseburgers,” says John Chiu, director of food and beverage at Knott’s. “But it’s so much more than that.” Chiu points to the new handmade maple lollipops as an example of a seasonal treat that visitors will not likely see at other parks. “With the food, we always want to make it entertaining.”
This year at Knott’s, visitors can enjoy the annual tasting feast at Santa’s Christmas Cabin, which includes a new s’mores bar with a chocolate fountain, as well as homemade cookies, roasted nuts, fresh-baked pastries, winter wine and craft beer tastings, jam samplings, and more.
Walking around the park, guests will also discover tasty holiday fare such as roasted turkey legs or a seasonal pumpkin cream-filled churro dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
And back to those maple lollipops: Watching them being made is almost as much fun as eating them. The lollipop maker takes a pitcher of warm maple syrup, pours it in a thin line on ice, rolls it up on a stick, and then pats it into shape. There’s something very down-home and authentic about the whole process – you feel as if you are in your neighbor’s snowy backyard sharing a winter treat.
If you’re in the Southern California area and you’d like to experience some “amusement park food” that’s much more than your traditional amusement park food, check out Knott’s Merry Farm from now through January 4. Knott’s Berry Farm is located at 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park CA 90620.
Blogger disclosure: I was treated to a day at Knott’s Berry Farm to sample the Christmas menu. I did not receive compensation for this post.