An In-Depth Look at Knott's Berry Farm's Camp Spooky
Written by Danilae Smith
From Snoopy to Spooky
An in-depth look at Knott's Berry Farm's Camp Spooky - the perfect option for celebrating a kid-friendly Halloween
Though, many enjoy the spine-chilling images and haunted houses, Halloween has to offer, some — especially young children — find it unpleasant. Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang know that Halloween doesn’t have to be scary in order for it to be fun, which is what started Camp Spooky at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Every year in early October, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Camp Snoopy is transformed into a family-friendly world of Halloween happiness and renamed Camp Spooky. The daytime, non-scare event is geared for children between the ages of three and 11and has a wealth of Halloween activities that will keep kids occupied and entertained while aiming to spread Halloween cheer, over Halloween fear. From costumed Peanuts characters such as Charlie Brown, Lucy and, of course, Snoopy, to beautiful décor and fun treats, Camp Spooky and Snoopy’s Costume Party are the work of a joint effort of an entire team. “Camp Spooky is created by the Knott’s entertainment department, Knott’s décor department, Knott’s food department and Knott’s marketing department. They seek to create a festive atmosphere with a variety of fun and engaging Halloween activities,” explained Jennifer Blazey, senior specialist for public relations at the park. The consorted effort brings a pulse to Camp Spooky making it look like a cartoon come to life.
One of the biggest ways of breathing life into Camp Spooky is the Peanuts gang characters. Decked out in cute Halloween costumes, the oversized characters resemble giant stuffed animal versions of the Peanuts gang cartoons and add a fun flair that young children flock to. The characters are the work of Tim Barham, area manager of wardrobe services. According to Barham, the challenge of creating costumes during Camp Spooky is creating a look that is cute and scary at the same time and has to tap into his inner child. “For Camp Spooky, I must really look at each design from a kid’s point of view,” he said. “Typically, I use brighter colors and more kid-friendly (designs) and (the costumes) must fit into the Camp Spooky décor.” With that said, some of the costumed characters that will be parading around Camp Spooky include, Snoopy dressed as Zoro, Charlie dressed as Frankenstein and Lucy dressed as a witch — all of which are cute, fun and fit perfectly into the cheery Halloween decor.
While the characters at Camp Spooky are a big draw, perhaps the biggest attraction is the wide assortment of activities that keep children occupied. Since 2005, Camp Spooky has been giving parents and children an alternative option for Halloween celebration — no scares, no gore and no haunts. Instead, just smiles, fun and cheer throughout the 6-acres that is Camp Spooky.
While all the regular rides of Camp Snoopy are available for play, it’s the activities of Camp Spooky that really set this Halloween event apart from others. Family-favorites include: The Costume Party Parade encourages all children to dress up and take Halloween costumes on a test run. Later in the day, participants will join in for a spirited procession through Camp Spooky — perfect photo ops for parents. Halloween Spooktacular is a dinnertime performance right on the main stage. The Great Pumpkin Hay Maze is another family-favorite and a great way for children to put problem-solving skills to good use. The Creepy Crawly Critter Cave will once again host a Knott’s Berry Farm naturalist with slithery, creepy crawly critters for children to get an up-close-and-personal look. Though these activities are tried, tested and approved by parents and kids alike, there are some new activities coming to the park.
This year, in it’s seventh consecutive run, Camp Spooky has added some fun, new activities. “Scary Stories at the Lodge” is a fun new activity; master storytellers will spin silly, crazy, creepy tales of the Great Pumpkin Patch. Also, this year, children can grab a trick-or-treat bag and take part in the “Spooky Ookie Scavenger Hunt” where they can follow clues to find five great treat locations. Lastly, Camp Spooky is bringing back Snoopy’s Costume Contest, where kids who dress up can win prizes.
Preparation for Camp Spooky takes months of planning and organizing. However, once completed, Camp Spooky and all its activities are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween in a fun and scare-free way. Entrance into Camp Spooky is included in Knott’s Berry Farms entrance.