Anaheim with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

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Anaheim with Kids: A Family Vacation

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If you find yourself in sunny Anaheim with kids in tow and you're not sure what to do, the obvious answer is Disneyland. But if you've been-there-done-that, you'll find there are still plenty of things to do with kids in and around this Californian city.

One of the most fun family vacation ideas near Anaheim is Southern California's lesser-known kids' attraction, Knott's Berry Farm. Knott's is the perfect place for a fun-filled family day in Anaheim, especially with young kids.

Hours vary by season and there are various categories of admission fees (including discounts for Southern California residents and AAA members), so check the website for details before planning your trip.

Knott's Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Boulevard in Buena Park, 714-220-5200.


Morning


Start your day at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner (714-220-5055), located adjacent to the park entrance. Here you can get a hearty, home-cooked breakfast that will keep the little ones full all morning and give you energy for your day of family vacation fun. While the restaurant opens at 7AM and serves breakfast until 11AM, the park itself opens at 10AM most days, so plan accordingly.

Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner is known for its hearty chicken dinner, but if you opt to dine there for dinner, plan on waiting in a very long line for a very long time. The breakfast option is just as good, but a little less crowded.

After breakfast, waddle with your full bellies over to Camp Snoopy. Camp Snoopy is the place to be on a family vacation in Anaheim with kids, especially younger ones. With smaller versions of the adult rides, Camp Snoopy will keep you and your kids entertained for the rest of the morning.


Afternoon


Don't think you have to stay in the kid's camp all day; there are plenty of family-friendly rides throughout the park. Try the Dragon Swing -- a giant rocking ship and a favorite of adventurous children -- then head over to the nearby Waveswinger, where kids fly through the air suspended from a spinning centerpiece. Knott's also has stagecoach rides and a craft fair for more family vacation fun.

Midway through the afternoon, make sure you take a funnel cake break. You cannot go to Knott's Berry Farm without tasting a piping hot funnel cake sprinkled with powdered sugar and Knott's Berry Farm's fresh boysenberries. Your kids won't forget their first funnel cake, and the treat just might make them declare this trip to Anaheim the best family vacation you've ever had. You can also buy funnel cake mix and boysenberry jam to take home with you. If you don't know what a boysenberry is, just wait until you taste it.


Evening


If the kids are exhausted by dinner time, there's a T.G.I. Friday's (714-761-6000) adjacent to the park entrance. It's open Monday to Thursday 11AM-8PM, Friday 11AM-9PM, Saturday 11AM-10:30PM and Sunday 11AM-8:30PM, so pretty much whatever time of the evening you go you should be able to grab a quick dinner.

If, however, that afternoon funnel cake has given you a second wind, head up the road from the park to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament (7662 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620, 1-866-543-9637). This faux-jousting, eat-with-your-hands experience is bound to be one family vacation idea you won't forget. Plus, the kids will love that they actually have permission to eat with their hands -- no utensils allowed! The dinner usually includes garlic bread, tomato bisque, chicken, spare rib, potato and a dessert, but vegetarian options are available. Entertainment is provided by knights in 11th-century garb.

Tickets are $57.95 for adults and $35.95 for kids 12 and under, not including tax; make sure to look online for discount ticket offers. Show times vary so check the website before planning your trip.

Now that this jam-packed day in Anaheim with kids has left you and the little ones exhausted, I suggest you leave the following day wide open for some sun, sand, and maybe even a snooze on the shores of nearby Huntington Beach.

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