Knott’s Soak City: How to Have the Best Day with Your Kids

Earlier this month, I shared my family’s recent experience at Knott’s Berry Farm. I also talked about why I decided to get an annual pass for my kids and me this year. One of the major perks of the gold and platinum passes is having unlimited access to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City.

What is Soak City?

If you haven’t heard of Soak City, it is a large water park located in Buena Park, CA. Just about 30-45 minutes east of LA, it is a really fun place to spend a day with your family. Although it is affiliated with Knott’s Berry Farm, Soak City is a stand-alone water park adjacent to Knott’s. It has tons of rides, including nearly 30 water slides, a giant wave pool, a 1/3-mile lazy river, and a giant beach house that includes water guns, and other interactives. Soak City is open from mid-May through early September. You do need a separate ticket to get into the water park unless you have the annual pass as I do. 

soak city 2 stacey freeman posh in progress
Knott’s Soak City Tickets

If you get your ticket online before you go, they are $52. The price at the gate is $70. Parking at Knott’s is $25. One of the major reasons I decided to get the annual pass is that it pays for itself in only 3 visits. If you want to visit Knott’s Berry Farm, the online price is $74, the at-gate price is $99. The annual gold pass, which includes unlimited access to both Knott’s and Soak City, is only $180. It’s pretty simple math – if you got to each park twice during the summer, you will have saved money. Given how much my kids loved the water park, I think we’ll be back several more times this summer. I’m definitely glad I got the gold pass for my kids and a platinum pass for me (so I don’t have to pay for parking each time I visit).

soak city stacey freeman posh in progress
Knott’s Soak City Hours

The hours vary depending on the time of summer, but generally, they are open from 10-6 or 10-7. Near the end of the summer, they are only open on the weekends. You can find out more about their hours here. We arrived right at 10 am. Parking was super convenient, so the walk to the entrance was quite short. When we arrived, there were already a lot of people waiting at the entrance and there was quite a long line to get through security. Although that was a bit annoying, I was glad to see they take their security very seriously. 

This was our first time at a serious water park. My kids have been to Great Wolf, but besides that, haven’t been to a water park of this magnitude. I could tell they were really excited, as we entered. They were literally bouncing to get near the water slides. Our first stop was the wave pool. Then, they really wanted to do the lazy river. In hindsight, next time, I’m going to suggest we do rides first. We waited quite a while after the park opened to get on the water slides, so the lines were already quite long. If we had gone on rides right away, I think some of the rides would have had shorter lines so we could have gone on more rides during the time we were there. Nonetheless, the kids loved the rides, and continued to enjoy the wave pool and lazy river throughout our time there.

What to Bring

When you first enter the water park, there are lockers you can purchase for the day. I opted to keep all of my valuables in one of these water-proof holders. Then, I found an empty beach chair and left our towels and our shoes at the chair. The items you should absolutely bring: water, towels. and sunscreen. The other items I would suggest you bring: a waterproof phone holder and water shoes. Although most people do walk around barefoot or with flip-flops that they leave at each ride, I personally plan to get water shoes for our next visit. I think it will make the whole experience even easier. I actually purchased the waterproof phone holder right at the park because I wasn’t able to get one before we left. It was such a great decision because I got really great footage with it, not to mention, its where I kept my ID, credit card and keys throughout the day. It stayed dry and kept everything safe.

I can’t say too much about the food options at the water park. We stayed for about four hours, and my kids were running around so much, we only stopped to get ice cream. Other than that, we just ate breakfast before we left and had a late lunch. A lot of people I noticed had slices of pizza or other normal amusement park food, like chicken strips and fries. I’m sure it was all great, but we just chose to eat once we got home. Another thing I love about having the annual pass is that we didn’t feel the need to stay forever because we knew we’d be back another time this summer for more waterpark fun. 

Overall, my kids and I had a great time at Knott’s. We’ll definitely be back several more times this summer. If you’re in the LA or Orange County areas, it’s definitely a fun option for the whole family.

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