Things to do in Buena Park CA
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For families visiting Orange County, California, a day or two in Buena Park is a must. We recently spent two days exploring all that Buena Park has to offer and had an absolute blast doing it!

After covering a lot of ground, we’re excited to bring you our family-friendly list of things to do in Buena Park California. Get ready for some fun in the California sun!

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We worked in conjunction with Visit Buena Park, who hosted us for two nights and sponsored many of our activities in order to bring you this post. Thanks for reading!

Things to do in Buena Park California

Top Attractions in Buena Park

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knotts Berry Farm - things to do in Buena Park
We came. We saw. We conquered!

Most people will recognize Knott’s Berry Farm, and it is Buena Park’s number one attraction. Plan on spending an entire day in this awesome theme park. The roller coasters are world-class, the shows are entertaining, and the food is yummy! (See: Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant below).

Hangtime at Knotts Berry Farm - Buena Park CA
Surf’s Up on the Hangtime Drop Coaster!

New for 2018 is Hangtime, California’s only drop coaster. We had a front row seat for this (which could be good or bad depending on your tolerance for thrills), and the views didn’t disappoint! The beach vibe on the boardwalk is perfect, and we loved watching the track change colors as the cars whizzed by simulating ocean waves.

Other favorites at Knott’s Berry Farm are the Xcelerator, taking you from 0-83 mph in 2.3 seconds; the Ghostrider, the West Coast’s longest and fastest wooden coaster; and the Silver Bullet. Don’t forget to grab a photo or two with your favorite Peanuts character.

Buena Park California
Xcelerator!

Knott’s Berry Farm Hours
Knott’s opens at 10:00 a.m. but closing hours vary. Check their calendar here before you go.

Knott’s Berry Farm Buena Park Location
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

Looking for a great deal on tickets?

If your trip to Buena Park will last more than a few days, consider purchasing a Go Los Angeles Card. Just choose how many days you're planning on staying, and then visit as many attractions as you'd like from the list during that period. Easy!

We used these in San Diego a few years back, and they're a great deal!

Click here to customize your pass.

Big Air Trampoline Park

Big Air Trampoline Park - Thing to do in Buena ParkFor some indoor fun, head over to Big Air Trampoline Park. Located in the Buena Park Downtown Mall, Big Air delivers as advertised. The kids bounced, jumped, and climbed for an hour without even realizing where the time had gone. It’s a great way to burn off some energy!

The kids particularly loved the Battlebeam, where they got to joust with each other for bragging rights. (Mom and Dad got some good laughs watching).Big Air Trampoline Park Battlebeam

Their climbing wall – X Wall – was also fun. You have to navigate sections of the wall in a certain amount of time. Each completed section starts a new timer, and if you make it to the end, you get a cannon blast to let everyone know you finished.

Don’t leave before trying the Bullpen. This bull ride simulation had us all laughing!Big Air Trampoline Park Bull pen

Big Air Trampoline Park Hours
Hours vary, so check here before you go.

Location
Located in the Downtown Buena Park Mall at 8320 On the Mall, Buena Park, CA 90620.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Pirate Show Buena ParkOur evening at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure may have been the biggest surprise of our entire visit. This is an amazing production! With sword fighting, acrobatics, and special effects, this swashbuckling adventure will hold everyone’s attention to the very end.

Pirates Dinner Buena ParkGuests are seated in a circle and split into color-coded groups looking out towards an enormous pirate ship in the middle of the room. Each group is assigned a pirate for whom they can cheer during the show, which makes for some fun interaction.

As dinner is served (roast chicken and veggies with dessert for us), the show begins. It doesn’t take long before the action starts from every direction and only slows up for some comedic relief and some high-flying acrobatics with ribbons hung from the ceiling.

Pirates Dinner Adventure - Buena Park California
Honorary pirates of Buena Park

Overall, this is a great production, and we had a lot of fun with it. If you need a break from the theme parks and are looking for an easy night out, look no further that the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Buena Park.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Showtimes
7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays
3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Check in starts 90 minutes ahead of time for all shows.

Location
7600 Beach Boulevard Buena Park CA 90620

Catch a 4D movie at CGV Cinemas

CGV 4DX TheaterWe’ve not experienced a 4D movie before (unless you count It’s Tough to be a Bug! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), so we didn’t quite know what to expect. We ended up watching Ralph Breaks the Internet, and it was pretty cool!

CGV Cinemas shows Hollywood hits and Korean blockbusters alike, but a few of their movies get the 4D treatment with moving seats, air, scent, and other special effects that really immerse you in the movie. These tricked-out theaters were really fun, and the snacks and food offered make this a great experience for the entire family.

If rumbling theater seats aren’t your thing, they also have regular 2D screens, or you can upgrade to their Premium Cinema with reclining seats and upgraded sound. For something in between, try Screen-X, a multi-projection screen that wraps around 270 degrees for a truly unique experience.

Hours and Showtimes
Check here for showtimes at the CGV Buena Park.

Location
Located in The Source OC at 6988 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621.

The Source OC

The Source is a new shopping and dining hot spot in Buena Park and is also the location of CGV Cinemas.

From thesourceoc.com
“As Southern California’s newest lifestyle and entertainment destination, The Source offers a unique, innovative dining, retail, and entertainment experience that is unprecedented in Southern California. The Source will also showcase state-of-the-art technologies including Times Square-esque LED’s located at the pedestrian entrance of The Source”.

We didn’t have time to stay and explore every nook and cranny of The Source because it’s enormous, but we did spy a few places we’d like to try on a return visit. First on the list will be Icy Cream Roll. Yum!

Click here for a map and shop listings.

The Source OC Hours
Mon-Thurs: 10AM – 8PM
Fri-Sat: 10AM – 9PM
Sun: 11AM – 7PM

Location
6940 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90621

John’s Incredible Pizza Company

John’s Incredible Pizza Company is located in the Buena Park Downtown Mall near Big Air Trampoline which packs an ultimate 1-2 punch for family fun in Buena Park.

Johns Incredible Pizza
Credit: John’s Incredible Pizza

Enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet with pizza, salad, and desserts, and then head off to play video games, ride bumper cars, and even take a ride on their thrill ride the Twister. Families can also bowl or enjoy a round of laser tag.

Test your skill with ski ball and other games to collect tickets and redeem them for prizes at the giant prize counter. Who doesn’t love pizza and prizes?

John’s Incredible Pizza Company Hours
Mo-Th: 11am – 10pm
Fr: 11am – 11:30pm
Sa: 10am – 11:30pm
Su: 10am – 10pm

Location
8601 On The Mall Buena Park, CA 90620

Knott’s Soak City

Knott’s Soak City is the sister park to Knott’s Berry Farm and is located right across the street. Pop in during a hot afternoon to cool off and chill at the largest water park in Orange County.

 

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Soak City boasts 22 water slides and attractions along with a lazy river, wave pool, and a play area just for smaller kiddos. If you’re spending the entire day at the park, consider renting a cabana. You’ll get the VIP treatment and shade all day long!

Knott’s Soak City Hours
Knott’s opens at 10:00 a.m. but closing hours vary. Check their calendar here before you go.

Location
Right across from Knott’s Berry Farm at 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

For discount tickets to Knott’s Soak City, consider a Go Los Angeles Card. They’re a great deal for exploring Southern California! Click here to customize yours.

Buena Park Downtown

Buena Park Downtown Mall is a destination for shopping, eating, and lots of family fun. Big Air Trampoline Park is located here along with John’s Incredible Pizza Co. If you’re in the mood for a movie, the Krikorian Metroplex 18 with wall-to-wall curved screens and recliners is sure to be a family-pleaser.

Just outside the mall is Portillo’s, famous for Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Yum!

Buena Park Downtown Hours
Mon–Fri 10am–9pm
Sat 10am–8pm
Sun 11am–7pm

Location
8308 On the Mall Buena Park, CA 90620

Knott’s Independence Hall

 

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For something a little different, stop by Knott’s Independence Hall and explore the only exact, brick-by-brick replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The Hall is open from 10-4 daily and contains a Liberty Bell replica, presidential artifacts, and an audio presentation.

Built in 1966, this was Walter Knott’s pet project, and per his wishes, is still free to the public. Another claim to fame – several movies have been filmed here, including National Treasure.

Location
Knott’s Independence Hall is located right next to Knott’s Soak City and across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm.

Related: Want to visit the real thing? Read about Philadelphia with kids here.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Medieval Times Buena Park
Credit: Medieval Times Dinner

If jousting and falconry are more your speed, then be sure to book a show at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Guests will enjoy a 4-course dinner to go along with the jousting tournament. Upgrade your package for front-row eating and extra goodies for the kids to wear and root for their favorite knight. Along with Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, it’s one of two Buena Park dinner shows that are great for families.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament Showtimes
Showtimes for Medieval Times Buena Park, CA vary depending on the day of the week. Click here to book your show.

Location
Medieval Times is located right on Beach Blvd., next to Porto’s and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure at 7662 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620.

Olympic Golf Zone

If you have golfers in the family, take your game digital at Olympic Golf Zone. This state-of-the-art indoor golf simulator lets you play 260 courses without going anywhere. Voted the #1 golf simulator by Golf Digest, Olympic Golf Zone lets you hit the links no matter the weather. Check out the driving range to improve your swing, or dial up one of their golf games to compete with your friends.

If golf isn’t your thing, give their virtual batting and pitching cages a try. Friends can choose pitches and take turns taking swings for the batting title.

Olympic Gold Zone Hours
Hours vary – Click here to make a reservation.

Location
Olympic Golf Zone is located at 6988 Beach Blvd #B208, Buena Park, CA 90621 in the CGV Cinemas building.

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort Monorail at the Grand CalifornianAlthough Disneyland is technically in Anaheim, it’s worth mentioning because it’s right next door. Why not make the short trip from Buena Park to Anaheim and visit both? Disneyland is so much fun to visit with kids, and can easily be visited in a day with Buena Park as your home base.

Take a ride on the Matterhorn, get your fill of churros, and grab a photo with your favorite Disney character. Don’t forget your mouse ears!

Disneyland Resort Hours
The park is generally open from 8 a.m. to midnight except for Extra Magic Hours. Check the calendar here for hours during your visit.

Location
Disneyland Resort is located at 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802 and is easy to get to by car. Click here for directions.

Disney California Adventure

Balloons at Disney California AdventureLocated right across the plaza from Disneyland, Disney California Adventure takes the Disney magic to a new level. Rides like Incredicoaster, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, and the amazing Radiator Springs Racers will have the kids squealing, and have Mom and Dad #winning.

It’s just a short drive from Buena Park to Disneyland and many of the hotels even have complimentary shuttles to the parks, so take a day to stop by. You’ll be glad you did!

Disney California Adventure Hours
Disnney California Advventure is generally open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Extra Magic Hours. Check the calendar here for hours during your visit.

Location
Disneyland Resort is located at 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802 and is easy to get to by car. Click here for directions.

Don’t forget the beach!

Hunting Beach Pier at SunsetIf you’re looking for a few more things to do near Buena Park, head south on Beach Blvd. and it’ll take you straight to Huntington Beach. Hang out at the pier to watch the sunset – it won’t disappoint! It’s a great way to cap off a day of fun in Buena Park.

Buena Park parks and green spaces

Ralph B Clark Regional Park

One of the coolest features of Clark Park may not be the trails and green spaces, but the Interpretive Center. It’s full of fossils found inside the park dating back to a million years ago!

Of course families can enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking in the park as well. Kids will enjoy burning off energy at the playgrounds, playing tennis and volleyball, or even fishing in the lake.

Park Hours
Fall – Winter Hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST
Spring – Summer Hours, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST

William Peak Park

William Peak Park is a city park where families can enjoy swimming, ball courts, playgrounds, and a skate park. In October, families can attend Silverado Days to enjoy games, crafts, contests, rides, food, and help raise money for local charity. The festival draws over 60,000 people and is free to attend.

Location: 7225 El Dorado Drive

Henry Boisseranc Park

Boisseranc Park is run by the City of Buena Park and offers swimming, handball courts, and playgrounds for the kids. In the spring, check out Spring Eggstravaganza! Activities include stage entertainment, children’s crafts, field games, a petting zoo, moonbounces, visits with the Spring Bunny, and an egg hunt for kids 12 and under.

Location: 7520 Dale Street – Buena Park

Top places to eat in Buena Park, CA

85°C Bakery Cafe

85C BakeryWe were first introduced to 85°C Bakery on a trip to Irvine, and this SoCal chain is worth the trip no matter where you are. The pastries are fresh and unique, and you can’t beat the prices! Be sure to try their signature Iced Sea Salt Caramel Coffee – delicious!

85°C Bakery is the perfect way to get your Buena Park vacation going in the morning.

85°C Bakery Hours:
M-Th – 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat – 7 a.m. – 12a.m.
Sun – 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Buena Park Location: 5151 Beach Blvd, Unit C&D Buena Park CA 90621

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Fried chicken at an amusement park. How good could it be, right?

Real. Dang. Good. That’s how good.

Knotts Chicken Dinner Restaurant
Yeah, it’s that good.

For Thanksgiving, we dined at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant where they were offering a set menu of chicken and all the fixin’s. It was amazing in every way, from the juicy chicken to the crumbly biscuits with fresh boysenberry jam, and the homemade pie for dessert.

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant has been open since 1934, and the recipes haven’t changed much. The story goes that Cordelia Knott’s fried chicken was so popular that there was quite a wait to eat there. Her husband Walter began erecting a collection of Old West buildings next door to keep folks entertained. Today, those buildings make up Ghost Town, part of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner RestaurantIf you’re visiting Knott’s Berry Farm (or even if you’re not), make a reservation for lunch or dinner (or breakfast on the weekend) at Mrs. Knott’s. You won’t regret it, and it beats any other theme park food out there. Yup, even Universal can’t compete with this one.

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant Hours
Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm (Lunch and dinner)
Saturday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Sunday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm (Breakfast and dinner)

Location
Mrs. Knott’s is located right outside the gates at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

Farrells Ice Cream Buena ParkFarrell’s has some of the best ice cream around, but don’t take our word for it. Farrell’s has been voted “Best Ice Cream” and “Best Family Friendly Restaurant” by Nickelodeon, and they know a thing or two about what kids like.

We had them make us some DIY sundaes, and they rocked! With tons of toppings to choose from, the combinations are endless. Farrell’s also serves burgers, salads, and sides (but you didn’t come here to read about that, right?) if you’re inclined.

Farrells Ice Cream Buena Park
This disappeared quickly.
Farrells Ice Cream Buena Park
So did this.

You can also go big or go home and order the Farrell’s Zoo, a $65 behemoth that feeds 10 and imparts you with some serious street cred. Bring your comfy pants for this one!

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Hours:

Mon – Th 12 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday –  12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday – 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: 8650 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620

Portillo’s

Portillos Buena ParkFor a taste of Chicago, give Portillo’s a try. Famous for Chicago dogs, burgers, and Italian beef sandwiches, Portillo’s will fill you up with tons of choices for everyone in the family.

Portillo’s started in 1963 as the ‘Dog House”, a 6′ x 12’ trailer in the Chicago suburbs. Since then, Portillo’s has expanded to 50 locations, and their first restaurant outside of Illinois was opened in 2005 – right here in Buena Park.

Drop by Portillo’s and bring your appetite – you’ll need it!

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe

Porto’s Bakery has been a SoCal institution since 1976 when Cuban immigrants opened Porto’s on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park. Today, Porto’s has several locations, and they’re turning out unbelievable Cuban cafe food and pastries that aren’t to be missed. In 2016, Porto’s was voted Yelp’s “#1 Restaurant in the Country”.Portos Bakery Buena Park

We enjoyed breakfast here, and everything from the cakes to the coffee were excellent. Don’t miss their signature potato balls and meat pies, and be sure to take a stroll by the cake case to see all of the works of edible art. If we could’ve taken one home on the plane, we would have!Portos Bakery Buena Park

Get there early because the lines get long (but it’s still worth the wait!).Portos Cafe Buena Park

Porto’s Bakery Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Porto’s Buena Park Location:
7640 Beach Blvd Buena Park CA 90620 right between the Medieval Times and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. Click here for hours and locations of all their bakeries. 

Where to Stay  – Hotels in Buena Park, CA

Buena Park has plenty of places to stay close to the action. Because most of the Buena Park attractions run along Beach Blvd., hotels along here are your best bet.

Holiday Inn Buena Park

For our visit, we were hosted at the Holiday Inn Buena Park. Rooms are good for families, and the staff was attentive. A location on Beach Blvd. and Hwy. 91 gives this hotel easy access to I-5 and the rest of Orange County.

Click here for the latest prices.

Radisson Suites Hotel Buena Park

I have stayed at this hotel during a previous trip and liked it a lot. It’s an all-suites hotel with a good breakfast buffet, which is great for families. The Radisson is also located on Beach Blvd. and is right next door to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.

The Spanish architecture offers a nice retreat, and the pool area is a great place to relax and let the kids splash around before bed.

Click here for the latest prices.

Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel

For families wanting to go all-in with Snoopy and friends, book a stay at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel with a room in the Snoopy wing. Rooms have Snoopy decor, and the kids can even get tucked in at night from the ornery beagle himself between 8 and 8:30 p.m. To top it off, the kids get to take home a plush Snoopy of their own.

Joe Cool indeed.

Click here for the latest prices.

Getting to Buena Park, CA

The greater Los Angeles area has no shortage of airports and options for families, which is great. It gives you the chance to shop around and find the cheapest option. For our trip, we flew into John Wayne International (SNA) which is in Santa Ana (near Irvine), but flew out of Bob Hope International (BUR) in Burbank/Hollywood.

Other airports in the area:
– Long Beach (LGB)
– Santa Barbera (SBA)
– Ontario International (ONT)
– San Diego (SAN)

Buena Park is a fantastic city for families to explore!

Have you visited Buena Park before? What was your favorite thing to do?

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We spent some time exploring the best things to do in Buena Park California and had a blast doing it! #BuenaPark is a fantastic family destination with world-class theme parks like #Knott's Berry Farm, great entertainment at the Pirates Adventure Dinner, and delicious food from #Porto's Bakery. If you plan on visiting Orange County, CA, make sure you spend a few days in Buena Park on your itinerary. You'll be glad you did and everyone will have a great time! | #familytravel #California

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