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Summer Nights Return to Knott’s Berry Farm

The summer celebration is back and better than ever.

Nothing truly says summer like a trip to a theme park, and Knott’s Berry Farm evokes some of the best nostalgic summer vibes. We were invited in to preview Knott’s Summer Nights on a special media day (the event is set to take place on select nights through September 5). We wandered the park, tried lots of food and chatted with some of the key Knott’s Berry Farm team members behind the updates. 

Knott's Summer Nights Entry Display | WhereTraveler
Knott's Summer Nights Stage (©Melanie Lee)

Knott’s Summer Nights Are Back

Knott’s Summer Nights brings block party vibes to the park on a massive scale. With plenty of food offerings you wouldn’t usually find at the park, entertainment on multiple stages and plenty of fun summer merchandise, there’s something for everyone at Knott’s Summer Nights. 

Knott's Summer Nights Small Stage | WhereTraveler
Knott's Summer Nights Small Stage (©Melanie Lee)

Tasting Knott's Summer Nights

Make sure to purchase a Tasting Pass—for $50; you can pick six items from a selection of summer food items from seven different booths. We talked with Laura Brubaker, the Vice President of Food & Beverage, about the menu. “When we finished Summer Nights last year, a bunch of us sat around a room while it was still fresh in our minds, and we thought about the things that were successful, and we always think about, the barbecue, the picnic, the community feel like we were having a cul-de-sac party. What would you come out with?” Brubaker told us. 

Seasonal Offerings For Knott's Summer Nights | WhereTraveler
Seasonal Offerings For Knott's Summer Nights (©Melanie Lee)

Expect to see your favorite summer staples with a fun twist. “You’ve got to have a burger, but let’s not have a regular burger. Let’s put Korean barbecue with kimchi on it, so it’s a little bit different,” she explained. “You’ve got to have a bratwurst, but let’s find a really awesome onion poppyseed bun to put it in. And then we really think about vegan and vegetarian options. We’ve got the tofu lettuce wraps, the Soyrizo tacos, we’ve got a portobello mushroom burger, we’ve got a Caprese salad.” 

Cowboy Stew and Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade at Knott's Summer Nights | WhereTraveler

“I think it’s really important for people in the summer to really eat fresh and healthy, so that’s how we think about all those wonderful ideas,” Brubaker said. “Peaches are popular with summer. So what do you want to do with peach? Let’s make a mini pie with streusel. So we really let the ideas flow, and last September, we just sat down and wrote this menu.” 

Knott's Summer Nights Entertainment

In addition to the fantastic selection of fun foods, entertainment options will keep energy levels high. Knott’s Summer Nights Executive Producer of Entertainment Chris Do gave us the inside scoop. “It’s a great backyard barbecue type of feeling where there’s food; there are drinks, there are games with our party planning committee. And then, of course, we have live music all night long. Once it hits seven o’clock, it’s just band after band after band,” he said. 

Live Music on Stage at Knott's Summer Nights | WhereTraveler
Live Music on Stage at Knott's Summer Nights (Courtesy Knott's Berry Farm)

Do also explained the variety of performers that were tagged for the event. “We have the Calico Mine Stage with Top 40 bands, the moment that stops then we have Calico Park Stage which has different types of bands, whether it be like reggae music or Philharmonic, which is a Filipino a capella group, country music, dance music. If one band stops, the other one starts, and they go back and forth. We have a DJ up on the roof at Boardwalk. You just feel like you’re at this fun summer barbecue just having a good time with your friends.”

Those looking for more interactive activities have plenty of options too. “If you just want to sit there and play games, you know this will ring toss game. Yeah, I started playing that by myself. So warm play games. We have data. We have some dice games. We have,” Do tell us. “We have checkers; we have games that we’re going to be putting out there. You could play by yourself or with the party planning committee that we have out there. You can just sit down, eat, relax, can dance to music as much as you want, engage or not engage. There’s something for everyone out there.”

Roasting Marshmallows at Knotts Summer Nights | WhereTraveler
Roasting Marshmallows at Knotts Summer Nights (Courtesy Knott's Berry Farm)