Family Fun at Knott’s Spooky Farm

Knott’s Spooky Farm has always been a favorite of our family. Not to be confused with Scary Farm, Spooky Farm isn’t scary at al,  and is geared towards kids ages 4-12. Dressing up in costumes, going trick-or-treating, and enjoying the Farm all decorated for Halloween is so much fun. It’s always #1 on our family’s Fall bucket list…because of course, we LOVE Knott’s, and two…the whole family can enjoy it. If you have never been to Knott’s Spooky Farm, this year is the time to go. It’s happening now at Knott’s Berry Farm on weekends during the month of October and on Halloween. It’s even better than last year, with even more to do. Best of all, its included in the cost of admission.

Insider Tips for Knott’s Spooky Farm

Let me share all the fun you can enjoy at Spooky Farm, along with some insider tips to make the day more fun. First of all, I recommend going on Sunday if you want it to be a little less crowded. It most likely will be a bit crowded during Spooky Farm, but if you aren’t planning on doing a full day of rides, the Spooky Farm activities aren’t busy at all.

Make sure to pick up a map on your way into the park, so you know what happening at Spooky Farm, and where are the Halloween Stations are. There are trick-or-treat stations, fun shows, Halloween activities and more marked on the map.

This year, the kids wanted to dress up in a PEANUTS gang theme for Spooky Farm. And just so you know, anyone can dress up at Knott’s. Their costumes were pretty easy to make…except for Woodstock, which I made from a sewing pattern many years ago. But if you really wanted to dress up like Woodstock, you could get a yellow shirt and a yellow hat online, and glue some yellow feathers to them. a pair of black legging and shoes, and you will be all set to go as Woodstock.

For Charlie Brown, we purchased a Charlie Brown shirt at the Knott’s souvenir shop, and paired with shorts, socks and shoes. For Linus, I got a simple red t-shirt and drew lines across it with a black felt tip marker. Then we paired it with Linus’s signature blanket and black shorts.

For Snoopy, I glued a large black spot to the back of a white t-shirt, then colored in the color with a red felt tip marker. for the tail, I cut two tail shaped pieces of white felt, and sewed them together on two sides. Then I stuffed them with stuffing and had sewed to the shirt. A pair of baseball pants finished off the outfit. The large head was actually made for us when I had the Woodstock costume made, but we found it to be too much hassle at the park, so we purchased Snoop ears at the Knott’s Souvenir shop. They are so cute and can be worn all year round.

Now that I’ve shown you our costumes, it’s time to go Trick-Or-Treating. During Spooky Farm kids can go trick or treating through the streets of Knott’s. This is the first year that Dani is able to walk and trick-or-treat on her own, so it was fun for the whole family to help her through the park.

The Ghost Town monsters pass out the candy to the kids all day long. And don’t worry about bringing your own trick-or-treat bucket because Knott’s will give the kids treat bags when they enter the park. The less stuff you have to bring the better.

If you put in the work to wear a costume, then you must enter The Peanuts Costume Contest. This fun costume contest is held at the Camp Snoopy Theatre. And for an insider tip, the more creative you are with your costume, the better chance you will have to win. And let me tell you, the host of the costume contest is pretty funny. He tells great jokes to entertain the parents!

Snoopy, Lucy and Charlie Brown all pick their favorite costumes, so you have three chances to win. Everyone who wants to enter, lines up and gets their chance on stage. Don’t be late to the contest or you’ll miss your chance to enter.

Here is my gang up on the stage dressed up as the Peanuts Gang. Although we didn’t win, it was so much fun.

Did you know that you can visit Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang dress up for Halloween? There is a meet and greet area located by Snoopy’s Red Baron airplanes. The best time to go is right after one of the Camp Snoopy Shows. After the shows, they usually escort some of the characters out. So jump in line and be the first to get your photo taken.

If you want some hands on fun, make a visit the Creepy Critters of Calico. Inside the Livery Stable in Ghost Town the are a bunch creepy little critters such as bugs, spiders, beetles and turtles. Make sure to say hi to the skeleton horse as you walk in.

You can even touch a giant boa constrictor. No thank you!

Have you ever seen a lizard with a hat?

There is even a rat town where you even pet and play with them.

You know me and fun treats. I am always on the hunt to find the most Instagramable treats in Orange County. Knott’s Berry Farm has plenty of Spooky Treats for Halloween. You will get the best selection at one of the Knott’s Bakeries that are located just outside the park, and inside the park next to Ghost Rider. There will be cookies, cupcakes, donuts, candy and more.

Our favorite are the Halloween donuts. You can even purchase them on your way into the park at the Knott’s Bakery Express located near the security lines.

Year round, Knott’s offers Snoopy Cookies, but during Halloween, you can get Snoopy Vampire Cookies. Oh so cute.

If you had over to Ghost Town, you can find special Halloween Churros at the Churro Factory, or get a Halloween treat at the Calico Candy Store.

I mentioned before, you don’t have to do rides to enjoy Spooky Farm. There are plenty of non-ride activities. In Calico Square, you can visit the Great Pumpkin Patch, and enjoy some down time coloring Halloween Snoopy pages. There is pumpkin decorating and cookie decorating as well!

Finally, make sure to check out some of the Halloween Entertainment at Knott’s Spooky Farm. There are family friendly shows happening all around the park. There is Spooky Story Time and the Calliope Cancert at the Bird Cage Theater.

The “Monsters Are Coming” Stage Show at happening Camp Snoopy Theatre, and the astonishing Magician at the Calico Saloon! These shows are great for all ages, and give you the perfect chance to rest your legs after trick-or-treating through the streets of Knott’s.

You also want to stop and get measured for you coffin! Well, not really, but its fun nonetheless.

As you can see, you can make an entire day enjoying the seasonal offerings of Knott’s Spooky Farm. It’s just one of the Seasons of Fun the Knott’s has during the year. You can enjoy them all by purchasing a Knott’s Season Pass…such a great deal if you want to check out Knott’s for Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

 

Family Dinner Fun at Mainplace Mall

if you have kids, then you probably have experienced the struggle that comes with taking them to a restaurant. i had finally gotten to the point in life with my boys, that going to restaurants with them was fun again. but now that Dani has come along, things are back to crazy! taking a two year old to restaurants isn’t fun at all. so we decided to try a family dinner night at Mainplace Mall since we heard it had been renovated to be more family friendly.

if you haven’t been to Mainplace Mall in a while, then you will be surprised when you go. they have done some great things in the mall, all towards making your family, food and shopping experience better.

there are a bunch of great family restaurants, and outside, Mainplace has created lounge areas with lawn games, plants, lights and music, to make waiting for your table enjoyable. and although there wasn’t a wait for dining at all, the kids had so much fun playing and running around. no fighting, great weather, nice music and a fun atmosphere started our dinner experience right.

on this evening we decided to try out Applebee’s, because we’ve never been to an Applebee’s before. it is a very family-friendly restaurant, with great kids meal options, a relaxed atmosphere, video/game pads for the kids to play and more.

having a family with kids ranging in age from teen to baby, it’s not always easy to find a restaurant to please everyone in the family. but we were able to find food that all the kids enjoyed, and including the parents. some of the things i liked about Applebee’s were the meal deals. they have a bunch of different deals where you could get an appetizer, side and entree for around $12-16, they also had couple deals where you could get two meals and an appetizer for around $20. the kids meals all come with drinks, and there was a little bit of everything on the menu.

after dinner, we headed into the mall to check out some of the improvements. a lot of changes have been made, and stores are being added. just think, the more people who come, the more stores will come, and the better Mainplace Mall will be. i totally see the potential. i was happy to see a lot of my favorite children’s clothing stores.

i was please to find two large family lounges with bathrooms, nursing rooms, changing tables, microwaves, televisions, game boards and couches. if your a parent, then you know how helpful this can be.

finally, we headed down to the first floor of Mainplace to check out the kids place area…

and we also rode the train!

i enjoyed my time Mainplace so much, that i brought back Dani the next week for some mommy and me time. the mall isn’t crowded and there are lots of things to enjoy, there are brand new art murals, and a big food court that have a dining area for families…including kid sized tables. and did you know that there is a movie theater in Mainplace?

yes, Mainplace Mall has changed for the better, and we can’t wait to see what else is instore for this mall. don’t be afraid to check it out, and be sure to go online to find out when they are having special events. there are many fun family friendly events that are being offered free to the public. way to go Mainplace!

Apple Picking in Oak Glen

Fall in Orange County means apple picking time. heading into apple country is one of the rare times us Orange County folks can get a slight glimpse on one of the four seasons. for our family, we have always gone apple picking in Oak Glen…and now we take our kids. it holds a lot of memories for me when i was a child, and i hope it will for my children as well.

(get ready for a super long post. i get asked so many questions about apple picking in Southern California that i wanted to include everything i know about Oak Glen.)

Oak Glen is a five mile loop of apple orchards and family owned restaurants and shops, nestled one-mile above the city of Yucaipa in Southern California. it hosts scenery like that of New England. it’s just over an hour drive from Orange County without traffic. the mile-high climate of Oak Glen provides a beautiful change of season, unsurpassed in Southern California – where its usually 10-15 degrees cooler than it is in the valleys. although Oak Glen is open all year round, the main Apple Harvest takes place Labor Day Weekend through Thanksgiving Weekend. the sooner in the season you go the better!

Oak Glen Apple Orchards

there are some main apple orchards that are family friendly and offer fun fall activities in Oak Glen. you can check out all the information for all of the apple orchards and businesses in Oak Glen here. people tend to find their favorites and go to the same ones year after year. there are unique things about all of them, but lots of similarities. i have found prices for apples, ciders and food are comparable at all of them. you can get apples, cider, baked goods, and food at all of them.

here is a list of some of the main apple orchards:

Snowline Orchard has a variety of fun & exciting activities, including raspberry picking, wine tasting and more. there’s a beautiful picnic area with historical buildings, the oldest Italian chestnut tree and mini apple cider donuts which a must when you visit Oak Glen. they don’t offer apple picking, but you can get plenty of fresh apples and cider. they also have a really neat farm store with artisan balsamics and oils, local honey, unique gifts, and farm made wine and hard cider.

Riley’s Los Rios Rancho is a favorite of our family’s. it offers cider pressing, live music, a country kitchen with fresh bbq and picnic foods including corn, cider floats and apple pie. in the market store you can taste apple cider, hard cider and apples. there are also beautiful nature trails, a petting zoo and miniature farm, wagon rides, tractor rides, and horse back rides.  on the North Side of the farm (closest to Wilshire’s peak) you’ll find…a corn maze, u-pick fruits, popcorn and vintage soda cart and tractor drawn hayrides.

Riley’s Apple Farm offers heirloom apple picking, blackberry picking, corn picking, pumpkin picking, cider pressing, and kids activities on the weekends. activities include archery, tomahawk and knife throwing. on weekends during apple season, Sharon’s Country Store has barbecued chicken apple sausage, hot dogssub sandwiches, cider floats, fresh raspberry shakes, ice cream, and high-top apple pie.  Also sub sandwiches, cider floats, fresh raspberry shakes, ice cream, and lots more!  and don’t forget to get a fresh hoecake (a tasty, historical treat – a cornmeal pancake with a topping) cooked fresh over the fire on the lawn!

Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard offers heirloom apple picking, cider pressing, gemstone panning and kids activities at their kid’s craft station on the weekends. activities may include rag dolls, candle dipping, and birdhouse decorating. the have a snack bar, farm stand and marketplace.

Rileys Colonial Farm is a living history farm and offers history education and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. you will find people dressed up in period clothing and sharing historical demonstrations. you can pick-your-own fruit including apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Ollalieberries, pumpkins and a small crop of peaches. make sure to check their website for availability. visit the dinner theatre, and enjoy a historically-themed overnight stay.

Law’s Cider Mill & Ranch is a smaller stand that offers fresh cider, apple butter & preserves, Oak Glen grown apples, ornamental corn, squash & gourds. they have a historical coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch daily. there you will find a year-round Christmas room, gift shop and collectables.

Moms Country Orchard offers pesticide-free apples and other produce in the area. they also offer a great selection of jams, jellies, honey, preserves, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Moms will ship items to you or for you, just go online!

Apple Picking in Oak Glen

there is something exciting about walking into and apple orchard and picking your own apple of the tree. for some reason, kids enjoy food that they harvest themselves better than if you give it to them. there are a few orchards left in Oak Glen that offer U-pick apples. the different orchards offer different varieties of apples, so if you are wanting a certain kind of apple, check out their websites first to see what they have available. the orchards in Oak Glen that offer apple picking are – Riley’s Apple Farm, Riley’s Los Rios RanchoRileys Colonial Farm and Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard.

when you get to the orchards, you check into the farm stand and get a bag for your apples. the apples are sold by the pound, so you need to purchase what you pick. prices vary according to market price. we ended up paying between $3.00 – $3.50 per pound. most orchards will have a guide run you through the process of how to pick apples without damaging the trees, and then let you into designated areasvto pick the apples.

Apple Cider Donuts at Snow-line Orchard

if you like hot, fresh apple cider donuts, you need to make a stop at Snow-line Orchard. you get 12 mini donuts per pack and they are so yummy! even if you go to the other orchards to pick apples and such, stop at Snow-line to get the donuts. they run just under $5 for 12 mini donuts.

Press Your Own Apple Cider

one of our favorite activities to do when we go apple picking is pressing our own apple cider. although it costs slightly more than the pre-made gallons of apple cider, the experience is really fun for the kids.

first, they get to fill up a 5 gallon bucket with apples and then wash them. once they are clean, the apples get fed into the apple cider press. once they are all crushed, it’s time to press the cider. the crank gets tightened and rotated until all the juice is pressed out of the apple chunks. then the juice is strained and poured into a gallon jug…READY TO DRINK! an boy is it good. the apple cider will last up to two weeks…but if your family is anything like mine, it will be gone much faster than that.

here are some pictures of our family pressing apple cider in Oak Glen.

U-Pick Berries in Oak Glen

if you want to pick berries, peaches, corn, or flowers in Oak Glen, i highly suggest going earlier in the season. in fact, the berry picking begins closer to July. check the websites of the different orchards to see what is still available and how the harvest is looking. Riley’s Apple Farm, Riley’s Los Rios Rancho and Rileys Colonial Farm’s offer berry picking.

this year we decided to pick raspberries and had a fun time. though, we were surprised at how much work it was to fill a little basket. it made us appreciate being able to have them already picked for us. it definitely was a great experience for the whole family and the berries were really yummy.

Food and Activities in Oak Glen

you go to Oak Glen for the apple food and apple picking, but there are also lots of fall activities happening from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. if you go to each of the websites listed above, you can decide which activities you would like to do, and find out which orchards offer them. also be sure to check out the special events happening on the different weekends.

hayrides, horseback riding, corn mazes, sunflower fields, kids crafts and more are offered at different orchards throughout Oak Glen.

and don’t forget about the food!

most of the orchards have farm stands and stores that have tons of baked goods and apple goodies, some have their big bbq’s going with tri-tip and pulled pork cooking. you can also taste jams and jellies and buy different varieties of apples.

Oak Tree Village

Oak Tree Village is a little village at the top of the Oak Glen loop that has shops, museums, restaurants, a petting zoo, carnival booths, and more.

we continue to make a stop here year after year because of the memories i have of going when i was a child. however, i feel the need to say that it is very over-priced nowadays. i don’t recommend buying your food here, as the prices are much better at the individual orchards. it’s fun to walk through, but we usually skip the attractions. i remember when the petting zoo was a $1.00, now it costs $6 per person. however…it is a fun little zoo. and i have to admit, the animal museum is pretty cheesy…but go if you like taxidermy. we passed.

i do recommend getting a pie or a bakery item at the village. they have some yummy mile-high pies and apple turnovers. i have found that the pies at all the orchards run around $16.00, so it almost doesn’t matter where to buy them. but i like the pies here the best. the candy store is also fun to check out. so many apple choices.

finally, if you are wondering about the cost involved with visiting Oak Glen, i am here to tell you that almost everything costs money. the activities, apple picking, and of course the food. if you are wanting to visit on a budget, i highly suggest bringing a picnic and just buying a few apple goodies to enjoy. bring plenty of water, as it tends to get hot. you can visit all the orchards for free and enjoy the beautiful scenery, you can also taste test apples and apple cider for no charge.

my must-dos for Oak Glen are: Pick a bag of apples, press a gallon of apple cider, get a bag of apple cider donuts, take a nature hike at Riley’s Los Rios Rancho and buy an apple pie. if i get to do that each year at Oak Glen i am happy. all else is just icing on the cake….and apple cake that is!

hopefully with these tips, you can enjoy your own stay at Oak Glen. what i love most about Oak Glen is that you will find so many different activities and varieties of food in the one 5-mile stretch that there is bound to be something that you enjoy. its family fun for the entire family with lots of memories to be had!

 

Why We Love Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passes!

knotts-season-passes-benefits if you have been a reader of Sandy Toes and Popsicles over the past ten years, then you know how much our family LOVES Knott’s Berry Farm. we love the convenience of easy parking and access to the parks, the. the main reason we are able to spend so much time at Knott’s are the Knott’s Berry Farm season passes. with them, we can go to all the events that are happen at Knott’s year round. we enjoy Knott’s so much, that i am trying to convince you that you also need to get annual passes for your family. did you know a Season Pass not only provides admission to Knott’s Berry Farm all year long, but ALSO include some cool perks? it’s true….there are even more perks to having a Season Pass beyond its great value (and no blackout dates)!!!! here are some of the reason you need a Knott’s Season Pass.

Why We Love Knott’s

at Knott’s Berry Farm they call it Seasons of Fun because the offerings always change based on the season.

to start of the year, the is the Knott’s Berry Farm PEANUTS Celebration. debuting this year, it was a month long celebration of our favorite PEANUTS pals and the lovable Snoopy. there are PEANUTS inspired treats, fun photo opps, games and fun shows throughout the park.

in spring, you can head to the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, the best time for food at Knott’s! it’s ALL THINGS BOYSENBERRY – a salute to the birthplace of the Boysenberry. it’s a month-long food festival featuring boysenberry-inspired dishes that are both sweet and savory, plus lots of fun family-friendly entertainment.

summertime means a whole lot more fun at Knott’s!

first of all, the town of Calico comes to life with Knott’s Ghost Town Alive! and if you haven’t experienced it, you need to. you can make friends with the citizens, taking part in cowboy shenanigans, solve mysteries, capture the bad guys, play games and attend the Hoe Down at sun down. my kids love it so much we went over and over.

PLUS, don’t forget about Soak City. there is more fun in the sun for Gold Season Passholders at Knott’s. this year was the debut of seven new waterslides and a great restaurant….all a big hit. so you are going to want to upgrade to enjoy this side of the park. it’s the only waterpark of this size in Orange County and is a blast!!!! 

other happenings during summer is the 4th of July celebration fireworks on the Fourth of July, and Snoopy Show at the Charles Shultz Theater….and who knows what else Knott’s has planned!

fall is the season of Knott’s Spooky Farm, the park-wide, family friendly Halloween celebration that is not-so-scary.  kids can wear costumes, and the entire family can enjoy the Halloween happenings around the park – 

PLUS, Knott’s Scary Farm….which is not part of the Knott’s Season Pass, but can be purchased

as winter approaches, Santa Snoopy and dancing lights fill the park for Knott’s Merry Farm. this is my absolute favorite time of year at Knott’s. there are nightly snow falls, festive holiday shows, Snoopy on Ice show, carolers, the Christmas Village, Santa’s Christmas Cabin and more. Christmastime at Knott’s is quite charming and special. it has become a family tradition for ours each year.
Vann with Santa at Knott'sKnott's Berry Farm CarolersKnott's Berry Farm Snow and Glow

finally, you can countdown the final moments of the year and ring in the New Year At Knott’s Berry Farm with a spectacular midnight fireworks celebration.

Knott's New Years Eve Celebration

all this plus hundreds of special memories are included with your Knott’s Berry Farm season pass!

Discounts, Add-Ons and Benefits of Knott’s Season Passes

Season Passholders receive Season Pass Benefits. that means discounts on select merchandise and food and dining throughout the park…that includes the signature Knott’s jams and preserves. you also get discounts on hotel stays and Scary farm. one of the best things about being a Season Passholder is that you will receive exclusive opportunities to attend previews of the Seasons of Fun events.

you can also add a parking pass for only $65. i highly recommend also adding the All-Day Dining pass for $105 – this allows you lunch and dinner every time you visit during the year. and for just $29.99, you can get a Season Pass Drink Plan and refresh every visit in 2019 with unlimited drink refills for one low price.knotts-pass-discounts

don’t forget about early entry. during the summer and select days throughout the year, Season Passholders receive early entry into Knott’s Berry Farm – where the park is open exclusively to Passholders. you can be one of the first in line for your favorite rides! Gold Season Passholders also receive early entry to Knott’s Soak City on select days in the summer. pony-express-at-knottsso head over to the Knott’s website and check out the Knott’s Berry Farm season pass options. if you buy now, you can visit the park once in 2019, or if you renew, you get a bring-a-friend-ticket! there are a million reasons why our family LOVES our Knott’s passes, and we hope that your family also has a chance to enjoy Knott’s Season Passes. as much as my family does. maybe you will even see us at the park one day. make sure to say “hi” if you do!

{ This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Knott’s Soak City is Fun for All Ages Plus a Giveaway!

we are so bummed that this is the last week of summer, and the Soak City will be closing for the 2018 season. we had so many fun days at the park. all my kids including my husband, love going to Soak City…which is pretty cool. you know how hard it is to find an activity that everyone in the entire family loves? especially when you have a teen, tween, pre-tween and toddler! Knott’s Soak City is fun for all ages. so i wanted to write this quick post to encourage you to add Soak City to your Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass. it’s only a few dollars more, and you get to enjoy the Soak City Water Park for the entire summer. check out your Knott’s Season Pass options here.

i asked all my kids what they love most about Soak City to give you an idea of how kids of different ages have fun, and here is what they told me.

Jack, my teen, loves all the water slides. the bigger and faster they are the better. i suspect that this is the case with most teens. we hardly see him at all when we go to Soak City, because he is busy riding all the slides.

Kyle, my tween, loves almost all the water slides at Knott’s…just not the biggest ones. although he is tall enough to ride them all. he’s just happy going on the normal speed slides. and also the Wave Pool. he said the Wave Pool is the best park of Soak City. he is especially good at taking his little sister in the Wave Pool.

Vann, my eight year old could play all day in the Lazy River. actually, the Lazy River is great for all ages. you can go around on it as many times as you’d like, and there is usually no lines. he also loves playing on the Beach House, which has a ton of water features, a big bucket that dumps water on you, and some water slides. these slides are the perfect beginner water slides…not too fast and not too tall.

Dani, my toddler, loves the Gremmie Lagoon. we can stay in there all day. in fact, i wrote an entire post about how to enjoy Soak City with a Toddler in the Knott’s website. you can read about the details there. she loves all the water features in the Gremmie Lagoon, as well as the little slides. she also enjoys going on the Lazy River with mommy and daddy, and dipping her toes in the Wave Pool.

hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what you can enjoy when you add Soak City to your Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass! Soak City is the only water park of it’s size in Orange County. it gets hot in the summer, so you’re going to want to go!

LAST WEEKEND OF KNOTT’S SOAK CITY GIVEAWAY!

you have the chance to win…
(1) 2018 Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Family 4 Pack 
• 4 pack of general admission to Knott’s Soak City Water Park (value: $50 each) 
• 4 pack of Single Meal Deal vouchers (value: $14.49 each) 
• 1 parking pass (value: $18) 

you can use them this last weekend at Soak City! just enter via Rafflecopter below or on Facebook. contest ends June 6, 2018 at midnight. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway