A few months ago, some friends of ours called and said they were planning a trip to the Creation Museum & Ark Encounter — and they wanted to know if we would join them.
Um, YEAH we would!
Ever since I heard about these places, it was on my list of things-to-see. I absolutely love museums, and we visited many in our travels — but often times I find myself telling the kids “This sign isn’t correct” or “Don’t listen to that video, that’s not right” — because they are presenting an alternate view of history than the one in which we believe. It can be very frustrating, to say the least!
So what IS this place?
The Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter are two separate museums, run by the same company — Answers in Genesis. (You may have heard of them if you are homeschoolers, like us! They are a very popular Christian curriculum company.) The purpose of these places is to present history as Christians see it, using science AND Biblical fact to show what happened in the past, rather than modern science’s theories. The two locations are about 40 minutes apart, both in Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Ark Encounter
Our group visited the Ark first. Between the two families, we had 4 adults and 7 children, ranging in age from 3 to 10. Upon arriving, we parked in a large lot, and bought tickets at the ticket window. From there, we board a bus that takes us up the hill to the Ark compound. (It’s like 1/4 mile away.) I gotta say, the Ark is a lot of walking. However, the entire thing is stroller/wheelchair friendly, so definitely take one for
carrying all your bags little kids!
I’m going to show you some of the photos I took, but I have to give a disclaimer. It is so much cooler, bigger, more majestic and awe-inspiring in person. Photos, especially my snap-a-pic-on-my-phone-before-my-kids-run-away photos, will not do it justice.
The attention to detail was spectacular. Everything looked and felt authentic — even the nails looked like wooden pegs!
There were speakers in some of the animal cages, so it sounded like there were real critters in there!
Seriously, how did one guy and his kids build this!? #Godtervention
The guided path winds through animal cages and displays, then a history of creation, a tour of Noah’s family suites, and the top floor was my favorite part — an interactive display of the geological effects of the flood on the Earth! It was so interesting!!
The Creation Museum
On day 2, we headed north to the Creation Museum. It was rather crowded on the day we were there, so I had a hard time getting good photos. I really enjoyed the educational displays, and hearing Biblically based explanations of historical events. And ones that actually made more sense than the scientific theories I grew up hearing! Sometimes it’s really hard to be a Christian homeschooling mom who became a Christian late in life and went to public school. The only thing I was taught growing up was evolution and big bang. So when the kids ask me things like, “Mom, were dinosaurs real?” I used to say, “Ummmmmm… I don’t know.” But now I have answers!
I also really enjoyed the massive gift shop at the Creation Museum. I got some great Christian science books for our homeschool lessons. They have tons of awesome stuff — clothes, books, and more! (Do you have any idea how hard it is to find science books about geology that don’t falsely date the earth millions or billions of years old!?)
Where we stayed
When I share about our travels, I don’t generally talk much about our lodging. But this place was so great, I just had to share!
I found the house on HomeAway.com. It’s the cutest little country house, owned by a Christian family. It’s only 5 minutes or so from the Ark. The whole house is Ark-themed, with Bible verses on the walls, and a collection of Bibles & Christian books and movies. And the best part (for the kids) was the Ark-themed loft! The attic bedroom had mattresses for 8 kids, it was painted to look like the Ark, and there was a huge bin of stuffed animals to play with! The grownups were able to play cards downstairs for hours while the kids played upstairs. It was the perfect place for our two families to spend time together.
A few more notes
Both the Ark and the Creation Museum had on-site restaurants with yummy and decently priced food options. The only bad thing about the Ark restaurant was that if you were halfway through the Ark, you had to go all the way through it to get out, go to the restaurant, then backtrack to where you left off. For that reason, I definitely recommend timing your visit to be right after a meal, when you won’t need to eat for 3 hours or so!
Overall, we had a lovely time at both locations. If I had to choose just one, I liked the Ark more — just for the awe-inspiring feel of it. But if you have the time (and money) to do both, they are both quite wonderful!