YIPPEE KI HO HO HO: There are 2,907 things to love about California -- we're fairly sure that number is official, so feel free to look it up -- and way up on that list are all of the well-preserved Old West towns and mines and sites that still exist, and exist in pretty good shape. Of course, there is one Old-West-y destination that came well after the era's heyday, and it happens to be in Buena Park. We speak, of course, of Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town, one of the most beloved and nostalgia-laden areas of the theme park. Surely you had your photo snapped with a rootin', tootin' cowboy at some point there? Visits to the Knott's Ghost Town and Calico Square have been part of a SoCal childhood for decades. But unlike historic ghost towns, the Knott's Ghost Town partakes in something a little festive each year: dressing up for the holidays. Nope, you probably won't see holly hanging from the lightposts in a ruin-filled, hillside Gold Country mine, but you will at the theme park. Plus? You'll see Santa, too.
INSIDE SANTA'S CHRISTMAS CABIN: Of course Kris Kringle has a cabin at Knott's. We wouldn't expect anything different. And after you visit the cabin of Claus, you can head back onto Main Street and eye -- and taste -- the various Knott's seasonal treats. Example A? Maple lollipops, which sounds like plenty old-fashioned to us. And to further the ye olde California yuletide experience, best boot it on over to Calico Square for Christmas on Engine 41. After all, what's the quaintest time of year without a train ride?
PLUS: Snoopy, but of course. There's the sweet ice show, where Peanuts characters glide, and more Charlie-Brown-y haps. A Ghost Town and the world's most famous comics dog, on skates, all in one place? You bet. Spoiler alert: We hear they even sell jams there, too. Stocking stuffers?
OH, AND LEST WE FORGET... This is all called Knott's Merry Farm, not Knott's Berry Farm. Oh, Knott's. You do charm with your seasonal name change-ups. Knott's Berry -- we mean Merry -- Farm twinkles through Sunday, Jan. 5.