things to do in Buena Park

Top Things to Do in Buena Park, California

Located just a few miles from Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park in Orange County, California, is a popular destination for tourists and locals. While it is best known as the home of Knott’s Berry Farm theme park, Buena Park has much more to offer visitors regarding entertainment, culture, dining and shopping. Let’s explore top things to do in Buena Park:

Theme Parks

Let’s start with the massive theme parks that put Buena Park on the map as a tourist hotspot. Knott’s Berry Farm and Discovery Cube OC offer world-class experiences for all ages.

Knott’s Berry Farm

As one of the oldest theme parks in the country, Knott’s Berry Farm opened its doors in 1940 and continues entertaining millions annually. Spread across 320 acres; this park transports guests back in time with Old West-themed areas, shows and rides. Must-dos include the iconic wooden rollercoasters like GhostRider and Silver Bullet, the Peanuts characters-themed Camp Snoopy for little ones, live shows at Ghost Town, and the seasonal Halloween Haunt and Knott’s Merry Farm events. Foodies will love sampling jams, jellies and pies made from the original Knott family berry farm recipes. Pro tip: buy a Soak City water park admission add-on to cool off afterward.

Discovery Cube OC

While smaller than the mega theme parks, Discovery Cube Orange County packs a big educational punch. This interactive science center features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, like an earthquake simulator and a giant heart. Temporary exhibits often focus on space, nature and the human body. Outdoor areas include a mini water park and ropes course. Discovery Cube is especially fun for curious and big kids who still enjoy learning through play. Combination tickets with other local attractions provide added savings, too.

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Dinner Shows

Check out one of Buena Park’s acclaimed dinner show theaters for a memorable night out. The elaborate productions and delicious meals make these top-rated venues worth the experience.

Medieval Times

This castle-themed establishment truly transports guests to the Middle Ages. The centerpiece is a lively jousting tournament and sword-fighting competition between knights while you dine on a four-course feast fit for royalty. Authentic costumes, falconry demonstrations and audience participation add to the magic. It’s a unique twist on the typical dinner-and-a-show format.

Diamond Horseshoe

For a taste of Old Hollywood glamour, head to the Diamond Horseshoe. The lavish theater transports guests back to the Big Band era of the 1940s through its Art Deco design and live stage musical revue. Dancers, singers, and a full orchestra perform hits from the Great American Songbook as you savor a family-style three-course meal. The sophisticated atmosphere and talented performers make it a special night out.

Those are just a couple of the top-rated dinner show options in Buena Park. Others, like Pirates Dinner Adventure, offer similar all-inclusive experiences perfect for date nights or family celebrations.

Historical Sites

While known more for its attractions, Buena Park has a rich history. The following cultural sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past.

Buena Park Historical Museum

Located in a restored Victorian-style home, this tiny museum houses permanent exhibits telling the story of Buena Park from its earliest Spanish land grants to modern development. Don’t miss the rotating local history displays, too. It’s a great free way to learn about the city before it becomes a tourist destination.

La Palma Park & Walking Trail

This charming 20-acre community park offers a tranquil respite from the bustling city. Beyond its playgrounds and picnic areas, the highlight is a half-mile walking trail winding through native plant gardens. Interpretive signs shed light on the natural environment and the park’s namesake, La Palma Avenue, one of the earliest roads in the region. It’s a picturesque spot for an afternoon stroll.

Yorba-Slaughter Adobe

Venture outside Buena Park city limits to find this historic Spanish-Mexican ranch home. It was built in the 1830s and provides a glimpse into early California ranch life. Guided tours share stories of the home’s original owners while showcasing period furnishings and architecture. Outdoor demonstrations like blacksmithing and weaving also bring history to life.

While small, these cultural sites offer a fascinating look at Buena Park’s origins and the people who helped shape it. History buffs will find them a worthy addition to any itinerary.

Shopping Destinations

Shopping Destinations

Buena Park is a shopping lover’s paradise, from outlet malls to antique rows. Here are some top retail attractions:

Factory Merchants

This massive outlet center is ground zero for bargain hunting, housing over 200 designer outlet stores. Brand names like Nike, Coach and Michael Kors offer yearly savings on their latest fashions. The sprawling complex also features a few sit-down dining options if you need a shopping break.

Buena Park Mall

Buena Park Mall is a classic indoor shopping mall with over 100 stores and eateries. Anchor tenants like Macy’s and JCPenney are accompanied by specialty retailers perfect for one-stop shopping. It’s also a convenient spot to grab a bite while exploring. Nearby outdoor plazas like The Source OC add more shopping and dining diversity.

Antique Row

Venture down La Palma Avenue, and you’ll find over two dozen antique stores in a three-block stretch dubbed Antique Row. History buffs will love perusing the wide selection of vintage furnishings, jewelry, art and collectibles. It’s a treasure trove for anyone seeking unique retro finds.

Those represent some of the top shopping attractions, but Buena Park is also dotted with outlet centers, strip malls and standalone boutiques offering everything from fashion to home goods. Retail therapy seekers will stay plenty busy.

Family Fun Spots

When you need a break from the big ticket attractions, Buena Park has lower-key options perfect for family fun on a budget. Here are some top picks:

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark

This water park attached to Knott’s Berry Farm is all-inclusive fun with over 20 slides, pools and activities for all ages. Cool off in massive wave pools, brave high-speed slides or relax in leisure areas. Combo tickets with Knott’s theme park provide the best value.


As its name implies, this spacious indoor park caters primarily to younger kids with mini golf, batting cages, arcade games and rides even the littlest Boomers will love. Parents appreciate the clean facilities and kid-friendly environment.

Buena Park Skatepark

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this free skate park, perfect for BMX biking, inline skating and skateboarding. Several terrain levels provide challenges for all skill levels, and the central location makes it ideal for multi-activity days.

Liberty Park

Liberty Park is a classic neighborhood park that offers traditional amenities like a playground, picnic areas and sports fields. It’s also adjacent to the Buena Park Library, providing educational resources.

Those represent some top affordable options for activities beyond the ticketed attractions. There’s always plenty of fun to be had in Buena Park.

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There is endless excitement, from massive theme parks and elaborate dinner shows to unique historical sites, shopping destinations and affordable family fun spots. Be sure to leave ample time to dine on the diverse cuisines while exploring all this city offers.

With so many options that could keep you busy for days, thoroughly plan to avoid disappointment. Check attraction websites for schedules, special events and deals. No matter your interests or group size, Buena Park provides something for everyone with its wide variety of entertainment venues and eateries. You’re sure to make lasting memories partaking in all this Orange County gem has in store. Bon appetit, and enjoy your experience!

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