Summer Family Fun: Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm

Ghost Town Alive! at Knott's Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson

Ghost Town Alive! has returned to Knott’s Berry Farm this summer for select days until September 5th, 2022. The immersive Western experience brings you back almost 150 years to be a part of the beloved town of Calico on their Founder’s Day. Guests become fully submersed in the Wild West while playing along with the characters of Calico, completing tasks and activities, and playing a star role in the Ghost Town Alive! story.

Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson

Knott’s Berry Farm has a full replica of the town of Calico that includes an assay office, barber shop, dress shop, sheriff’s office, town hall, school house, barn, graveyard, bank, jail, and general store.  Starting at 10:00 am the characters of Calico come alive and act out a story of a treasure map that has been uncovered and torn into three pieces, but soon one of the map pieces has gone missing!  Who could have taken it? Could it have been the outlaw gang, the Mayfields, or the Mudbuck gang, the Cavalry officer or maybe even the Judge himself.  As the day unfolds the characters interact with guests to help them with bank robberies, arrests, delivering secret messages, and teaching them what it takes to be a citizen of Calico.

Our day started off at the Assay office where Zeke asked my two boys to become deputies in order to protect his gold from being robbed.  So off we went to the Sheriff’s office where they were sworn in as Deputies of Calico.  Unfortunately things took a turn when my youngest son decided to join the Mudbuck gang, and my oldest urned to the Mayfields.  We came across the bank where it had been taken over by one of the outlaws and they helped rob the bank and stash the money and gold bars in a secret hideout in the graveyard.  

Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson

My boys had the best time being a part of Calico and even made a Wanted poster to frame Miss Audrey Morgan, the Gazette writer in Calico, for the bank robbery.  They had to take their poster to the Sheriff who signed off on it, and then to the judge where they picked up a written warrant.  My sons felt like a part of the story as they worked with the characters to help unfold the storyline of the day.

One of my son’s names was in the Gazette, which is a Calico newspaper printed five times through the day that features guest’s names and how they are interacting with the story and characters.  He was asked in the paper to come down to Town Hall for questioning of the false imprisonment of Miss Audrey Morgan.  

Saturday Watering
Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson

We spent the entire day at Knott’s wrapped up in Ghost Town Alive! and the characters really made my boys feel a part of the adventure.  There is so much to see and do in the town, and every character finds a task for you, sending you from one location to the next. The boys were given little pieces of pyrite from the outlaws as part of their bounty, and you can even stop into the barber shop for a drawn on mustache so you can truly fit the cowboy part. 

The storyline concludes and the true robber of the map is revealed, but you’ll have to go to find out who it is for yourself.  The town holds a fashion show for guests and then a “Whiskeroo” contest where my boys got to be judges of the best mustache in Calico. At the school house, guests learned how to make newspaper hats for graduation and in the Town Hall, the boys raised their hands and repeated after the Judge to be sworn in as an honorary citizen of Calico. The evening ends each day with a Hoedown in Calico Park at 5:30 pm. Live music gets everyone up and moving, and the characters teach guests how to dance to the sounds of the Wild West.

Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson

Before you leave, a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t complete without some Boysenberry. You can get boysenberry Icees in Calico, along with Boysenberry pie at the Ghost Town Grill.  Take a break in the Calico Saloon and enjoy some cold Boysenberry Sarsaparilla and a delicious Boysenberry Mojito for the adults.  Make sure to grab a bite to eat at the Fireman’s BBQ across from the Bird Cage Theatre for a delicious open-air barbecue meal of giant turkey legs, jalapeño bread, and fire roasted corn on the cob to get the real cowboy experience.

For Ghost Town Alive! dates, times and tickets, visit

Ghost Town Alive! at Knott’s Berry Farm. Photo by Ashley Erikson