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Most Unique Things To Do at Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm Guide
Dani Ruben Headshot from Theme Park Lovers
Article By: Dani Ruben
Last Updated: August 28, 2022
Knott's Berry Farm is usually not the first theme park most folks think about when they consider Southern California theme parks. Like all parks, Knott's Berry Farm has a great collection of rides, shows, and eateries to try. 

This long-established amusement park has a charm of it's own, though, with plenty of uncommon attractions and experiences that you just can't find at other nearby parks. It's truly the more unique things to do at Knott's Berry Farm that really set this theme park apart from the rest. Below is our list of some of these exceptional attractions that you should definitely try during your next visit to the park!

1. Pan for Gold

Location: Ghost Town
Price: $10 per person
This experience often gets passed over, due to its location and proximity to the most popular ride at Knott's Berry Farm: Ghostrider. The Panning for Gold activity is located on a lowered segment of the main walkway, jutting against the back of the queue pathway for Ghostrider. It's right across from the usually-closed Spurs Chophouse.

For $10 per person, you can grab a pan, pick a spot in the water, and then swirl your way to riches! Okay - perhaps you won't leave with a bunch of gold, but you'll certainly find at least a few flakes hidden in the sand. The friendly miners at the attraction will help you learn gold panning in just a minute or two. After that, you'll pan away until you separate the sand from the gold in your pan. All the gold you find will be funneled into a small glass vial so that you can bring it home to show everyone what you've found.

This experience is a great breather in between rides and shows and eateries at Knott's Berry Farm. It's not super expensive, leaves you with a great souvenir, and won't take up more than 15 or 20 minutes of your time. You'll also get to learn more about the gold mining process and mines in the California and Nevada area. That's certainly something you won't find at Disneyland!

2. Custom Order at the Blacksmith

Location: Ghost Town
Price: Starting at $4
It's not a secret that Knott's Berry Farm has a working blacksmith shop at the park, which is a cool attraction to check out on its own. Most people are happy to just watch and chat with the blacksmiths at work, but what many don't know is that you can actually order customized horseshoes or metal pieces to take home.

The blacksmiths are happy to make custom horseshoes with names or even horseshoe keychains. These pieces are standard that they're used to making, and they only take about 15 minutes of work for each piece to be hammered out. Custom pieces can be worked out on a case-by-case basis with each individual blacksmith. Horseshoe keychains go for about $9 each (as of Aug 2022), while custom pieces can go for as much as $70 or more, depending on the complexity of the commission. These are certainly some of the most unique souvenirs you'll be able to bring home from a theme park!

3. Crack Open a Geode

Location: Ghost Town
Price: $12 - $40
Near the entrance to the park, in Ghost Town next to the stroller rentals, you'll be able to find the Geode Shop. Inside are some beautiful geode slices, jewelry, and other little trinkets. The shop itself is interesting to check out on its own, but just outside is where it gets interesting.

There's a large selection of rocks that have pricing marked on them. Most are between $12 to $40, with some larger ones going a little higher. You can choose your own geode and have one of the shop keepers slice it open via their waterjet machine. The process doesn't take too long, and it's always exciting when the shop keepers do the big reveal to show you what you'll be taking home.

Some of the geodes are flat with dazzling patterns, while others are hollow with crystal structures inside. You may get a bright white crystal inside, a murkey blue pattern, or perhaps something even more dazzling. Part of the fun is the suspense!

4. Get Hitched

Location: Ghost Town
Price: $15
Judge Roy Beans is an adorable small house in Ghost Town, just next to the Butterfield Stage Coach. It isn't open every day, but on days that it does open, you can get drinks and smaller snacks inside.

You are also able to get married at Judge Roy Beans if you ask (and pay the fee). This isn't a legal ceremony, so there's no need to worry about the legality of it - it's purely for fun! The staff will hold a ceremony for you and your partner. You'll be able to get photos taken afterwards and also get to take home a lovely marriage certificate souvenir with you to remember the occasion. Getting hitched at a theme park is a unique experience that is a romantic way for married couples to renew their commitments to each other without the hassle of having to plan anything.

5. Visit Orange County's Longest Jailed Inmate

Location: Ghost Town
Price: Free
In a back alley of Ghost Town, behind Ghost Town Grub, is a singular jail cell holding a lone prisoner: Sad-Eye Joe. Although regulars often enjoy visiting Joe every so often, most visitors don't even learn of his existence.

Sad-Eye Joe is touted as being Orange County's longest jailed inmate, having been locked up since 1941. Since he doesn't have a cell mate, he's usually pretty eager to chat with anybody who comes to visit. He's happy to talk with anyone who visits, whether that's a kid with a hundred questions or curious visitors who have never met Joe before. It's not like he's going anywhere!

6. Learn a Lesson at The Old School House

Location: Ghost Town
Price: Free
When it comes to unique things to do at Knott's Berry Farm, enjoying a lesson at the school house is one of our favorites! Right next to the Bird Cage Theater in Ghost Town, The Old School House is an authentic one-room schoolhouse that was brought to Knott's Berry Farm from Kansas. It served as a learning environment for children for over a century in Mitchell County, Kansas, before being closed in the 1940's.

On most days, you'll find a history teacher in the school house who's more than happy to teach about what school life was like back in the early 1900's. They're happy to answer questions while you're seated at the authentic desks. The details inside the school house are also fun to take in, with lesson plan samples and school work on the walls. It's also a great way to get out of the sun for a little while!

7. Shoot an Old Time Photo

Location: Ghost Town
Price: Starting at $35
Near the Blacksmith in Ghost Town is an inconspicuous little shop that specializes in classic western photos. You, your significant other, your family, or your friends can dress up in the finest cowboy and cowgirl attire to take an antique photo that will be perfect on the refrigerator or next to those other great families photos you have up.

You can choose from a variety of different outfits, choose a background location in the shop - either at the saloon, sitting on an antique couch, gathered on the stairs, or something a little more different for you. The staff are friendly and helpful, and their goal is for you to have a comfortable experience and leave with a photo you'll cherish.

With packages starting at just $35 for a single person, the price is fairly reasonable. You can even include digital downloads or frames and mattes for an additional charge.
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