I don’t often plan trips that are solely centered on what my child would like, but a visit to Buena Park is what most kids would plan if they had the opportunity to plan their own dream vacation. With fantastic options for dinner entertainment and wholesome family fun , everyone will be happy, especially the kids!
Where to Stay?
There are a ton of options on the main strip (Beach Blvd) in Buena Park and all of them are great options for families. We stayed at the super convenient Radisson Suites which is located right in the middle of all the action. Suites come with a bedroom, a kitchenette with mini fridge/freezer and microwave as well as a sitting area, making this great for families. In addition to being within walking distance to most of Buena Park’s attractions, the Radisson also provides free shuttle services to Disneyland. We loved that during our 2.5 day visit we only used the car twice.
What to Do?
Buena Park's close proximity to both Los Angeles and other Orange County cities makes this an ideal getaway to experience everything in Southern California. Below is our rundown of what you should not miss while visiting Buena Park.
Ralph B. Clark Interpretive Center
Just off the main strip of Buena Park is an amazing family-friendly park (Ralph B Clark Regional Park
) where kids can learn more about paleontology at the Interpretive Center. My son had a blast checking out the fossils (many found right outside of this park!) at this nicely organized fossil museum, as well as chasing ducks and watching local fisherman reel in fish at the expansive park.
Buena Park is lucky to have two of the best interactive dinner shows available. Choosing between horsemanship, falconry and knights, or aerial acrobatics and dynamic duals between pirates, will be the challenge. Families will be mesmerized by either Medieval Times
or the Pirates Dinner Adventure
Spending an evening being entertained, fed and pulled into the action will leave lasting memories for everyone in the family. If you are in town for several days, make a point to visit both as they are very different and equally fantastic. My 5.5 yr old was mesmerized. Even though they were well after his regular bedtime, he didn’t want them to end and is always looking for an excuse to visit again.
Knott's Berry Farm
America’s first theme park, Knott's Berry Farm
is a wholesome family-friendly option for kids who are into the Wild West, ‘olden times’ and of course Snoopy. We loved the Camp Snoopy area because my son could go back and forth to the rides on his own.The park is much less overwhelming than Disneyland which makes it great as a first time theme park to visit with your little ones. My son particularly loved the old west area, watching the blacksmith make horseshoes and the log ride.
Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour
Our friends who grew up in this area told us that we *had* to visit Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour
during our stay. Step back in time with servers dressed in pin-striped vests, newspaper menus and an old fashioned candy shop. We only visited for an ice cream with the hopes to return for a full meal as it looked so yummy.
Big Air Trampoline Park
The Big Air Trampoline Park
at the nearby mall is another hidden gem in Buena Park that makes this city so wonderfully kid friendly. Spend a few hours literally bouncing off the walls with indoor trampoline dodgeball courts, basketball courts, foam pits and freestyle areas. Not only do the kids have an amazing time wearing themselves out, but it’s still pretty fun for grow-ups too!
John's Incredible Pizza
Think Chuck e Cheese times 10! Admission to John’s Incredible Pizza
includes a massive buffet of delicious pizza, pasta, salads and desserts with a mind boggling amount of games and rides to keep all ages entertained for hours.Never before has my son repeatedly asked to go to a mall!
Suggested Weekend Itinerary
If you are visiting Buena Park for a quick three day trip, below is our suggested itinerary based on our recent visit.
In advance of your visit, book either the Pirates Dinner Adventure
or Medieval Times
for your first night’s entertainment. This will set the tone for a fun filled weekend adventure and you can find discounted tickets for both on VisitBuenaPark.com
With so much to do, you can spend your entire second day at Knotts Berry Farm
. Arrive early to get in line for opening hours and if you can, check out the rides you want to do in advance so you can head there before more people come.
On your third day you have several options to end your visit to Buena Park. If you have a toddler, I would recommend heading to the mall for Toddler Time at the Big Trampoline Park
. After you have worn the kids out, you can risk your sanity by heading to John’s Incredible Pizza Co.
for even more kid-centric fun. Or go for some wind down time and head to the Ralph B Clark Regional Park
for a relaxing afternoon before heading back home. If you're looking to visit other attractions in Southern California, don't forget Buena Park is only 5 miles from Disneyland, 10 miles from Huntington Beach and 20 miles from Downtown Los Angeles.