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15 Unforgettable Adventures in Buena Park California with Kids

15 Unforgettable Adventures in Buena Park California with Kids

Are you ready for an adventure that your family will never forget? Look no further than Buena Park, California!

This vibrant city is bursting with thrilling experiences and unforgettable memories that will leave your kids begging for more. From heart-pounding roller coasters to mouthwatering treats, we’ve curated a list of the top 15 things to do in Buena Park that will make your family vacation truly extraordinary.

Whether you’re seeking entertainment, nature, or delicious food, our Buena Park attractions guide has got you covered. Get ready to plan your next exciting trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.,

From thrilling theme park rides to scenic nature trails, our things to do in Buena Park travel guide has everything you need to plan your next trip.

Here are some of the adventures in Buena Park we got up to on our recent family vacation to California.


Los Voladores Swings at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park California

1. Ride Roller Coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm

One of the most adrenaline-thrilling adventures in Buena Park is riding roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm. This iconic amusement park is known for its adrenaline-pumping rides and family-friendly atmosphere.

With over 40 rides to choose from, including some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in California, Knott’s Berry Farm has something for all ages.

Our two-year-old was 36 inches, and there were 15 rides she could ride, and our four-year-old was 44 inches, and there were 18 rides for him. The best rides for toddlers at Knott’s Berry Farm were:

  • Balloon Race – Minumum height 36 inches or accompanied by an adult
  • Flying Ace – Minumum height 32 inches
  • Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies – Minumum height 36 inches or accompanied by an adult
  • Linus Launcher – Minumum height 36 inches and accompanied by an adult
  • Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer – Minumum height 35 inches or accompanied by an adult

For the bigger kids and adults who love roller coasters, here are a few of the best rides at Knott’s Berry Farm:

  • Xcelerator The Ride – Go from 0-82 MPH in 2.3 seconds
  • HangTime – The first dive coaster in California hangs 150 feet over the boardwalk and then does the steepest vertical drop in California.
  • GhostRider – Not only is this the biggest attraction at Knott’s Berry Farm, but it is also one of the largest and tallest wooden roller coasters in the world.
  • Silver Bullet – Instantly climb up 146 feet and then come soaring down with an initial drop of 109 feet!

two children standing with Snoopy

2. Meet Snoopy & Peanuts Characters at Camp Snoopy

Step into this whimsical land filled with colorful rides, interactive experiences, and of course, beloved Peanuts characters. Camp Snoopy is a haven for young adventurers, offering a range of attractions designed specifically for kids; there’s no shortage of fun for the little ones.

Ride roller coasters, meet & greet with Snoppy & Peanuts characters, and try some tasty treats. We spent over 6 hours alone in Camp Snoopy! Our kids didn’t want to leave.

Father and kids eating cottong candy at a theme park

We suggest going on a few rides right away when you enter the park. We found the lines shorter earlier in the morning. We never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride.

We can’t wait to go back, as Camp Snoopy is currently being reimaged with a bunch of fun new changes, complete with new rides like Snoopy’s Tenderpaw Twister Coaster & Sally’s Swing Along, new restaurants, a camp store, character experiences, Camp Snoopy Theater, and more. It is set to open in the summer of 2024.


3. Pirates Dinner Adventure Show

If you like dinner shows, you must put the Pirates Dinner Adventure show park on your list! We loved that the show included a three-course meal, which for families is great as we didn’t have to figure out our dinner plans for the night.

Pirates of all ages will love this live interactive dinner show. Throughout the show, we really loved how they got the audience involved in the show with different scenes. Up to 150 volunteers can help participate in one of the best attractions in Orange County.

There are several shows a day, and they vary based on the season. Click here to check showtimes and book tickets.


4. Indulge in Tasty Treats at Porto’s Bakery

Porto’s Bakery is a Cuban bakery that still uses family recipes they brought with them from Cuba in 1963. It is the perfect place for lunch or breakfast in Buena Park

You’ll often find a line stretching out the door, which is a testament to the bakery’s popularity and the quality of its offerings. We suggest checking out the menu while you wait in line. Everything looks so good you’ll want to narrow down your selection in advance.

Breakfast Bakery Box from Porto's Bakery & Cafe in Buena Park Californa

We ended up ordering a little of everything, lol. We went for breakfast and got some desserts to enjoy back at the hotel once the kids fell asleep.

Some of the most popular menu items are: cheese rolls, potato balls (papa rellena), butter croissants, Parisian chocolate cake, vanilla and berries cake, and more.

There is always a line, but it moves rather quickly. Once inside the restaurant, the staff will direct you to what counter you can go to and order. At the counter, you can see all the menu items in the display case.

Once ordered, the staff will pack your order, and then you pay. If you order any sandwiches or coffee, they will give you a buzzer and bring it out to you once ready. We visited on a Monday morning at 9 am. We waited about 5 minutes to get in, and we got a table right away.

If you are short on time, you can order online and pick it up at the restaurant.


5. Have Fun at the Big Air Buena Park

If you haven’t noticed yet, there are a ton of things to do in Buena Park with kids, and Big Air Buena Park is another fun activity for kids of all ages. It is also a great option for a rainy day activity.

Located in the Buena Park Mall, Big Air features numerous foam pits & trampolines, offering endless possibilities for bouncing, flipping, and soaring through the air. Our little ones love to test their acrobatic skills on the foam pits and challenge themselves on the ninja warrior course.

If you are visiting on the weekend, we suggest visiting on Sundays from 9 am-11 am for toddler time. Toddler Time is for children under 6, making it a safer jumping environment and offering discounted admission.


6. Explore the Ralph B. Clark Regional Park

Nestled within the city at the foot of the Coyote Hills, Ralph B. Clark Regional Park offers a tranquil escape from the water park excitement, allowing you to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.

Walk or bike through the park and discover the natural beauty and lush greenery on the peaceful trails. Stop at Porto’s bakery or another local restaurant, grab lunch to go, and have it on the water’s edge.

Make sure to stop by the interpretive center, which has an extensive fossil collection from up to 80 million years ago. There is also a nice playground for children to burn off some energy.


Mom and daughter having a ice cream cone from Don Melt at the The Source OC mall in Buena Park California

7. Eat & Drink You Around at The Source OC

The Source OC is a foodie destination that offers a tasty and interesting array of dining options. We suggest coming hungry and creating your own little food tour around.

Start your culinary exploration by sampling the diverse flavors of Asian cuisine. From sushi to ramen, you’ll find an impressive selection of Korean delicacies that will transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Seoul.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Buena Park at the Source OC:

  • Mochinut
  • Old Ferry Donuts
  • Gong Cha
  • Basilur
  • Flippoly for Egg Sanwiches
  • Myungrang Hot Dog
  • M Korean BBQ
  • Missoolkwan
  • Don Melt for Dessert
  • Sweet Box

In between restaurants, do some shopping for K-pop goods, Korean cosmetics & skincare, or catch a movie at CGV cinema or visit the EKO Karaoke Lounge or Olympic Golf Zone. Click here for a list of all the restaurants at The Source OC.


8. Knott’s Independence Hall

Knott’s Independence Hall is a meticulously crafted replica of the original Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and adopted.

Make sure to go inside and see the exact replica of the Liberty Bell and other presidential artifacts. It is open daily, 10 am-4 pm, and is free to enter.

It is right across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm & California Marketplace, take the tunnel that connects the properties. California Marketplace offers one hour of free parking, which should give you enough time to visit and stop by the Peanuts Headquarters to shop for souvenirs.


9. Play at PlayPie an Indoor Playground

Located inside the Source OC, Playpie is a 12,000-square-foot indoor playground for children to explore and play. This vibrant indoor playground offers climbing structures, slides, a ball pit, obstacle courses, and more.

Digital Aquarium at PlayPie Indoor Playground in Buena Park

On top of physical challenges, there is also imaginative play and creative exploration stations where children can step into different role-playing scenarios. Our kids also loved the digital interactive aquarium and digital sand art table.


10. Eat & Play at John’s Incredible Pizza

Another one of our favorite family friendly attractions in Buena Park is John’s Incredible Pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza and an arcade?

From classic favorites like pepperoni and cheese to more adventurous options like barbecue chicken or vegetarian, John’s Incredible Pizza has a pizza to please every palate. Plus, with their all-you-can-eat buffet, you can sample a variety of flavors and let your taste buds embark on their own adventure.

John’s Incredible Pizza understands that hunger strikes after a day of non-stop play. And what better way to satisfy those rumbling tummies than with a slice of their mouthwatering pizza?


11. Enjoy Happy Hour at Rock & Brews

One of our favorite restaurants in Buena Park for happy hour and catch a game is Rock & Brews. You can make reservations online in advance, which is a must for us! Waiting for a table with kids is torture.

It is a great family-friendly restaurant, as it is usually busy and noisy with music, games on TV, and people talking, which makes it nice that you don’t have to worry about your kids making too much noise.

The menu is full of classic American favorites like burgers, tacos, nachos, wings, sandwiches, and more. As the name suggests, they have an extensive list of brews on tap and bottles both locally and internationally. Check out the menu and specials here.

If you are flying in or out of Los Angeles LAX airport they have a location in Terminal 1 and Terminal 5. They have several locations throughout the USA; we just found out they have one in our hometown, Milwaukee!


Boysenberry jam and goodies at Knott's Berry Farm California Marketplace

12. Visit Knott’s Berry Farm California Marketplace

Home to the largest Snoopy Store and the famous Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, California Marketplace is a must visit for all visitors to Buena Park. Pick up some of your favorite Peanuts souvenirs or Knott’s famous boysenberry jam and goodies.

Make sure to make a reservation at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant weeks in advance; the next availability was three weeks out on our trip. There is a chicken-to-go door where you can get the famous chicken.

No ticket is needed to visit California Marketplace, and there is free parking for an hour. Many hotels in Buena Park on Beach Boulevard offer a free shuttle to Knott’s Berry Farm.


13. Cool Off at Knott’s Soak City Waterpark

If you visit Buena Park from mid-May to mid-September, head to Soak City Waterpark to cool off on a hot summer day. Located across the road from Knott’s Berry Farm in the heart of Buena Park. Soak City is a 15-acre waterpark with water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.

Families with little kids head to Beach House Slides, which is three stories with water guns, faucets, and a water bucket that dumps 500 gallons of water below every five minutes (listen for the ding). Gemmie Lagoon is a great spot for smaller toddlers with small slides, an interactive octopus, and more in a water depth of only one foot.


14. Eat Breakfast at Broken Yolk Cafe

If you have a busy day planned, make sure to head to Broken Yolk Cafe for the best breakfast in Buena Park. It’s the perfect place to kickstart your day and fuel up for the day.

This popular breakfast spot offers a wide array of delicious options that will satisfy both kids and adults alike. From fluffy pancakes and omelets to hearty breakfast burritos and waffles, there’s something for everyone on the menu.

The Broken Yolk Cafe is within walking distance of Knott’s Berry Farm, so it is one of the best places for breakfast before the park opens.

Heads up, they do get busy and don’t take reservations, but you can join the waitlist online here. Plan on going before 9 am or waiting for a table.


toddler eating Slurpin' Ramen Bar Noodles in Bed

15. Slurp a Bowl of Ramen from Slurpin’ Ramen

The best ramen in Buena Park is at Slurpin’ Ramen Bar. After a busy, fun-filled day at the theme parks, end the day with a bowl of Ramen.

We ended our first full day in Buena Park with dinner in bed back at our hotel. We ordered Slurpin’ Ramen to be delivered. We ordered extra noodles and Kurobuta Sausage, and the kids loved them!


Where to Stay in Buena Park

We stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton Buena Park. The location is right on Beach Boulevard, with the Source OC being right across the street and tons of restaurants and Buena Park tourist attractions within a few miles.

They offer a free shuttle to Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland theme parks. This is a HUGE perk. There is a signup sheet in the hotel lobby and a drop-off and pick-up times schedule.

If you want to go to Disneyland, make sure to sign up two days in advance. The first shuttle leaves at 7:15 am, Anaheim (where Disneyland is located) is only 10 minutes away without traffic but can easily take 35+ with traffic.

If you drive Beach Boulevard all the way down until the road ends, about 25 minutes, you will end in Huntington Beach. We found the hotel to be a great, affordable place to stay, with so many nearby attractions and great food options.

mom and toddler flying sleeping on an airplane

What is the Closest Airport to Buena Park

When looking at flights, we compared prices and schedules for John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • LAX – 30 miles away, average $60 Uber
  • SNA – 19 miles away, average $40 Uber

The Santa Ana airport is so easy and so much calmer than LAX. We flew from our hometown, Milwaukee, and found good flight times and prices with Southwest Airlines. Our flights had one stop, and the total duration was 6 hours.

kids at Peanuts Headquarters store in Knott's Berry Farm California Marketplace

Do You Need a Rental Car in Buena Park?

This depends on what you all want to see and do in Buena Park and attractions near Los Angeles area and if your hotel offers a free shuttle to attractions nearby. You should also consider if you are okay with a shuttle schedule and specific drop-off and pick-up times.

We opted to rent a car at the Santa Ana airport and have the freedom to be on our own schedule. Traveling with toddlers, we find it easier to be on our own time schedule and not have to be somewhere at a specific time. We most likely would end up missing a shuttle and then having to wait another hour for the next one.

Driving was relatively easy, just like any other large city. We didn’t run into any tolls and only had to pay parking at Knott’s Berry Farm ($30). Our hotel and all the restaurants and shops we went to had free parking.


With endless adventure options, Buena Park California is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts alike. Plan your trip now and make unforgettable memories in this thrilling city.

With an array of engaging attractions, Buena Park is the ultimate destination for a family-friendly getaway. Start planning your trip today and create lasting memories that will leave your kids begging for more family fun.

What are your favorite things to do in Buena Park, California?