Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival 2023 Review

If someone were to ask me what my favorite time of year at Knotts Berry farm was, I honestly don’t think I would know how to answer because there are just so many amazing options to choose from. Do I go spooky and say Scary Farm? Do I embrace the magic of Knotts during the holidays and say Merry Farm? Or what about the undeniable magic of Ghost Town Alive? My honest answer would have to be that I love them all as their time comes around each year. And now, the time has once again come around for the amazing, the delicious, the PURPLE, Boysenberry Festival!

Our little family headed down to Buena Park this past weekend to experience all of the wonderfully unique offerings that Knotts cooks up for their annual Boysenberry Festival, and we snuck in a few rides and shows along the way as well! Come along with us as we recount our fun filled trip.

We recently released a companion podcast episode where we talked about our experiences at Boysenberry Festival as well. Check it our here!


As you enter the park you are immediately struck by just how amazingly purple everything is! The decorations are always top notch for every event throughout the year, but there is something special about the uniquely boysenberry decor this time of year. Fresh flowers and purple banners greet you around every corner, as well as several larger than life boysenberries. Our daughter insisted on getting her photo taken with one! We especially love the beautiful purple cherry blossom trees that you see at the front entrance. It’s these small touches of color throughout the park that really help make each celebration feel unique and different from the rest.

As we have a 4 year old, we spent a good deal of time in Camp Snoopy this trip, so we couldn’t help but notice all the joyful decorations in this area of the park as well. While more spring themed than boysenberry, we loved the adorable characters and giant carrots and flowers spread throughout the area. In fact, the little river bed in Camp Snoopy is always a favorite area of ours and is always decorated so beautifully. It’s truly a hidden gem of Knott’s that we feel many people might overlook. A small tip, if you want to have a meal with a gorgeous view. Head on over to the balcony tables at the Grizzly Creek Lodge and enjoy a wonderful view of this area while enjoying some delicious treats.

But now let’s get back to the main reason for our visit and why our mouths were watering all last week in anticipation of our trip. All the boysenberry goodies! Like always, the Knotts team has been hard at work concocting new and delicious ways to highlight our favorite little berry. In fact, there are so many different variations of food that you’ll probably have an extremely hard time indulging in everything in one visit. It’s a multi-day type of experience just for the food alone. Scattered throughout the park, you will find booths offering a variety of boysenberry items. While you can buy a la carte, we would highly recommend that you purchase a tasting card. Especially if you plan on being at the park all day or multiple days. For $55 you get a card good for 6 tastings. As many of the dishes are over $10 on their own, this can add up to big savings! This year the tasting cards are utilizing QR codes to redeem tastings, and we absolutely love this change especially because it worked so well during their “tasting events” during the heart of the pandemic. It seems so much more efficient than pull tabs or hole punches that have been used in the past. 

Now let’s get down to the fun part: the food! There are so many items to choose from, we frankly didn’t know where to start. There is definitely too much to try all in one trip, so we picked our most anticipated items to try first. Which we highly suggest doing for your visit. Having an idea of what the park is offering for Boysenberry Festival will help make decisions much easier while at the park. It also ensures that you won’t leave the park missing a food item that you’d wanted to try.

Our first stop of the day was the tasting location inside of Spurs. We got the Vegetable Chili with Boysenberry Crostini and the Boysenberry BBQ Beef Tips on Parmesan Grits. We definitely started off strong as both of these items were delicious and had large portions! Our only wish was that there was a hint more boysenberry in the vegetable chili. It was an excellent dish, but the only boysenberry accent was the crostini. While delicious as-is, we feel that adding another boysenberry element to this dish would take it to the next level. The Boysenberry BBQ Beef Tips were outrageously flavorful. The grits were rich and the sweetness of the boysenberry really cut through it all. We highly suggest trying this one on your visit. We also enjoyed one of our returning favorites from last year, the Boysenberry Mudslide! This (alcoholic) treat was a standout hit from last year and we were so excited to see it return. Last year this delectable treat was served blended, and this year they switched things up and served it over ice. We did like the blended version from last year, but the version over ice is much less filling. Which can be helpful, especially if you’re trying to eat as much as humanly possible during your visit.

Next up we just had to get one of our all time favorites, the Boysenberry Elote! We absolutely love this treat every year and hope Knotts keeps it around for years to come. Juicy corn, Boysenberry Butter, Boysenberry Mayo and Cheese! What’s not to love!? The only thing that stood out to us on the elote, other than the amazing taste, was it’s presentation. Throughout the day we saw it change. In years past, the husk was used as a handle for the elote, but when we got it this year the husk wasn’t pulled far down enough so only a portion of our elote was dressed with boysenberry goodness. Later in the day, we saw it change to what we typically would see from years past. But we were a bit disappointed because this is one of our favorites and we felt like we didn’t get as much dressings as others did later in the day. I guess it just means we have to go back and get even more elote!

At this time we also shared a Boysenberry Cookiewitch! This yummy concoction was so boysenberry and so purple. Not only was this filled with Boysenberry soft serve ice cream, but the cookies were also Boysenberry flavored. We loved every bite and so did our kiddo.

After a small break in Camp Snoopy to make room for more food and get our kiddo’s wiggles out, we headed over to Wilderness Dance Hall where you can find many of the event offerings all in one place. Including some amazing beers that beer lovers must try. We went crazy and got the Cauliflower Bites with Boysenberry Curry Drizzle, Boysenberry Bread Pudding, Barbacoa over Mac and Cheese with Boysenberry Chipotle Crema, Boysenberry Cider, and a Boysenberry Margarita!

We have to say, the Cauliflower Bites were the sleeper hit of the event. It had a very comfort-food quality to it that made us savor every bite. We also didn’t expect the curry flavor to mix with the sweetness of the boysenberry as much as it did. It overall was just such a pleasant surprise.

The Barbacoa Mac and Cheese was another standout dish for a few different reasons. One, it was a massive portion. By the way, get use to that when you visit. Many offerings at the event have massive portions. Two, typically with dishes featuring Mac and Cheese the aforementioned food is usually just a vessel for the toppings and doesn’t often stand out. But for this dish, the Mac and Cheese was just as good as the Barbacoa and added to the overall dish. Third and lastly, the Boysenberry Chipotle Crema added a much needed level of spicy and sweetness that balanced the entire dish. We even said we could have used more since we loved it so much.

Up next was the Boysenberry Bread Pudding! Another highly anticipated dish for Gabe, this Boysenberry treat did not disappoint! Our only wish was that there was more boysenberry throughout, since what was on the top was so darn delicious! We loved this dish so much that we even went back for seconds later in the evening (along with two more mudslides).  

Of course, the adult beverages are very important to the Theme Park Duo. So Nikki could not resist the Boysenberry Margarita! We weren’t sure what to expect, but this drink was a great balance of sweet and tart. The boysenberry flavor doesn’t over power the traditional margarita flavor but accents it perfectly. Then with the Boysenberry Cider, we have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. It’s one of those drinks that are perfect on a hot day at the farm. Here is another tip, if you happen to find that a location serves both the Boysenberry Cider and the Boysenberry Beer, trying mixing them to create a Boysenberry Bite!

Of course, we did more than just eat our way through Knotts Berry Farm… not that we haven’t done that in the past. We also took time to enjoy several of the fun games and entertainment of the day. First, we stopped by the game booths down in Boysenberry Lane! As parents, we personally love these games because we are guaranteed a ‘Win’ and it helps give our kiddo this sense of accomplishment. Throughout the day she was reminding us how she won her prize and would hug it extra tight. Aside from that, we love that the major prizes are characters or items recognizable to the Farm. So the prize we took home was a cute boysenberry. We would love to see this trend continue throughout all the celebrations at the park.

Aside from the games, you can find more food, merchandise booths, a photo op with Whittles, and a booth to purchase your very own Boysenberry plant. We actually know a fair amount of people who purchased their plants years ago and they are still growing strong. They seem to be resilient plants for sure.

In terms of other various entertainment throughout the park, this year seemed a bit lighter than previous years. Not necessarily in the big shows, but in the atmospheric style entertainment which makes a different in the overall experience and cohesion of the event. But the major shows they did have are wonderful!

Over at the Livery Stable you can find Old MacDonald’s Barn where you can find various different farm animals. There was Fury the horse, Brutus the donkey, other various donkeys and some adorable goats. These goats were very friendly and wandered up to those of us peering over the fence. Our kiddo loved them specially because they were so friendly. She was thrilled to give one a pat on it’s head!

Not too far away at the Bird Cage Theatre, you can find comedy melodrama, Riverboat Revenge. While we didn’t see the show this year, we loved it so much the previous year. It’s not typically a show we would stop and watch because we are so focused on eating, but we were so glad we did. What we loved most was that it really brought the audience into the story by having them cheer for the good guy and boo at the bad guy. If you have a wild audience, it will make the experience that much better.

Close by at the Town Hall, you can see a video that tells the history of the Boysenberry. We love these little educational pieces that Knott’s ties into it’s events. Especially because there is a tremendous amount of history at the Farm that many people don’t know about. And when they do, they leave with a better sense of appreciation for this wonderful park.

If you’re someone that likes to peruse stores as entertainment, there is plenty to look at during Boysenberry Festival with the Crafts Fair and Tied Up In Knott’s Art Show. The Crafts Fair brings in local businesses to sell their unique items. From wood sculptures to calavera paintings, there are so many unique offers for any occasion.

But if you’re looking for something that is more tied to the park, Tied Up In Knott’s Art Show has you covered! Once again, Knott’s has commissioned local artists to create one of a kind pieces of art that celebrate Knott’s Berry Farm. We love these art shows so much! It’s always so wonderful to see everyone’s interpretations of the park and see what is special to them. If you happen to find a piece you like, make sure to snag an art print on your way home. We have many in our home to remind us of our wonderful trips to the Farm.

Over at the Calico Mine Stage, you’ll find Boysenberry Fun and Games taking place throughout the day. This includes the wildly popular and messy Boysenberry Pie Eating Content! There is something so entertaining about watching people dive face first into a boysenberry pie! Grab yourself a treat and take a seat to watch the fun unfold.

Lastly, the highlight of the entertainment at the park this year as the Knott’s Preserved: A Musical Celebration. This show invites guests to celebrate the heritage of Knott’s Berry Farm through song, dance and storytelling. We loved this show so much because it felt like true musical theatre. From the dance numbers, to the dancing, and the story moments; this show felt so polished and well produced. It really reminded us of our favorite musicals like West Side Story or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It reminded us so much that we even made the joke that it should have been called Western Side Story. While a show celebrating the history of Knott’s Berry Farm has a home at ANY event throughout the year (except maybe Scary Farm) this show did feel like something that should have been at the park during the 100th Anniversary.

Last, but certinley not least, let’s talk about the ever growing collection of wonderful merchandise Knott’s has created for Boysenberry Festival. As we always say, Knott’s knocks it out of the park when it comes to the variety of merch they offer at their events. Not only that, much of it is rather affordable for those looking to save a bit on their trip to the Farm.

Specifically, Knott’s always has their event shirt and event pin combo deal. For only $19.99 for kids and $22.99 for adults, you can get yourself a Boysenberry Festival shirt featuring Snoopy. As well as a fun Knott’s Boysenberry Festival pin. You really can’t beat this deal.

One of our favorite new items we saw while visiting the park was this adorable Woodstock floating toy. If you’re familiar with Camp Snoopy, you’ll know that one of the games feature Woodstock floating on their nest and the kids have to match the numbers on the underside of the toy. But for Boysenberry Festival, Woodstock’s nest changed to a Boysenberry pie and it’s simply one of the cutest things we’ve seen in a long time at the Farm. We sincerely need more Woodstock merch at all Knott’s events. You can find these adorable toys in Camp Snoopy, but you’ll find signs throughout the park advertising them too.


Even with less entertainment than previous years, Boysenberry Festival still reigns supreme for best food event we’ve attended at a theme park. Not only does it utilize the unique park history to its advantage, it creates an experience that feels completely isolated (in the best of ways) from the rest of the park. Our only main suggestion regarding our experience would be the way operations handles the first few days of the event. We attended on the second day of the event and it felt as though the teams were still trying to figure out some of the logistics. Which for us, should be worked on prior to the event. Although there were some hiccups, the delicious food, drinks and wildly fun entertainment more than make up for some minor inconveniences throughout the day. Ultimately, our kiddo left happy and our stomachs were filled to the brim. I’d say that makes for a pretty dang good time at Knott’s Berry Farm for Boysenberry Festival.


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