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All aboard for all sorts of seasonal surprises at this year's edition of Knott's Merry Farm

All aboard for all sorts of seasonal surprises at this year's edition of Knott's Merry Farm

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Can it really only be a couple of weeks since the buildings in Calico Square were covered with cobwebs?


Photo by Jim Hill

These days, if you drop by America's First Theme Park, you'll find that Knott's Scary Farm has given way to Knott's Merry Farm ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And all of those wraiths ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... have been replaced with wreaths.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And as you wander the streets of Ghost Town now through January 5th, you'll find poinsettias instead of poltergeists ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... the Calico Carolers instead of Scareactors.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Not to mention dozens of local artists & artisans who are each selling their own unique wares ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... in Knott's Christmas Crafts Village. Where you could purchase beautiful handmade glass Christmas ornaments ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... or seasonal treats like maple lollipops.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Mind you, if it's holiday snacks that you crave, then you really have to head over to Santa's Christmas Cabin. Which is new for Knott's Merry Farm in 2013.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Here you can not only visit with Saint Nick and then take home a souvenir photo of this auspicious occasion (Just so you know: there's an additional fee for that photo) ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... you can also sample all sorts of Xmas treats like Santa's homemade cookies and hot chocolate topped with hand-carved chocolate shavings by wandering between the various food stands. Which have been set up inside of Ghost Town's Wilderness Dance Hall for the holiday season.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Also new for 2013 is "Christmas On Engine 41." Which features an ever-changing cast of characters from Calico who have climbed about this vintage steam train ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... and then entertains Knott's holiday visitors with all sorts of seasonal songs and stories. Please note that the "Christmas on Engine 41" experience only runs from 11 a.m. -  5:30 p.m. daily (with 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve). More to the point, that the cast of characters which wander through these vintage railcars regularly rotates. So it's quite likely that -- were you to take multiple trips on this stream train -- you'd never see the same show twice.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And speaking of shows ... If you're looking for some old-school holiday entertainment, then you really need to swing by the Birdcage Theatre to catch a performance of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" OR O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Another holiday tradition at Knott's Merry Farm is the annual ice show at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. This year's edition -- "It's Christmas, Snoopy!" -- features a cast of 11 professional skaters, festive sets & costumes and is a genuine feast for the senses.


Copyright Cedar Fair Entertainment. All rights reserved

And speaking of the Peanuts characters ... Camp Snoopy is looking particularly festive this year ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... thanks -- in large part -- to some window displays that pay tribute to that classic holiday TV special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas ."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

As I walked through this 160-acre theme park on Saturday, there wasn't a single inch of Knott's Merry Farm that didn't feature area-appropriate decorations ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Which is why I have to say that Jeff Shadick, the manager of park decor, really out-did himself this holiday season.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And did I mention that entrance to the Christmas Crafts Village is free Monday through Thursday? This is why Southern Californians flock to Buena Park every holiday season so that they can then get on the seasonal fun found at Knott's Merry Farm.

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  • I think Knotts Berry Farm is just getting better and better!  Let's not forget the Ghost Town Miners (formally the Miner 49ers from DCA who were let go by Disney) now play there through Jan. 5 on weekends in the evenings.  They play on their own little stage right across from Spurs Patio Restaurant near the Ghost Rider roller coaster.  They also play regularly in the Summer too.

    Also big news - on New Years Eve Kirk Wall with The Billys will be playing at Knotts (location unknown at this time).  They will be billed as Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies!  Seeing as how Disney is letting this group go too (bad move on their part), just maybe they'll end up at Knotts.  Who knows, but I know where I'll be New Years Eve - at Knotts listening the The Hillbillies, Ghost Town Miners and another former Disney entertainer - Dana Daniels!

  • Hey, give the people at Knott's credit - If Disney's gong to be foolish enough to let these people go just to save money, the Knott's entertainment folks will be there to pick them up.

  • Having already explored Knott's Merry Farm during the day , I thought that I'd make another trip

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