Our family recently took a road trip to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. It was fun, it was inspiring, and gives me an even greater appreciation for the ministry of Answers in Genesis. As we toured both the Ark and the Museum (two separate locations) I just couldn’t help thinking about the impact these two venues have on a person’s faith, and why everyone should visit. So as we visited, I took notes, and I want to share with you six reasons to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.
This post containes affiliate links.
The ministry of Answers in Genesis is aptly named: it is built on the desire to help Christians know and defend scripture, beginning in Genesis. While the secular world becomes increasingly antagonistic toward the Bible and Christianity, AiG is equipping Christians with solid answers about some of the most fundamental parts of the Bible. If we do not believe Genesis to be true, if we do not believe it is real history, we cannot trust the rest of the Scriptures, including Christ’s virgin birth, His death on the cross for our sins, His resurrection and His ascension. Without these, there is no point to the Christian faith. This is why answers are so important.
Throughout the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, the displays go into great detail answering every question you’ve thought of, your children have asked, or you’ve heard from a skeptic. Attend a university, spend some time on social media, or even discuss the truth of Genesis with your friends, and you realize just how important it is to have a solid grasp on the answers. Just a handful of questions addressed at these two venues include:
- How could Noah fit all the animals on the ark?
- Were unicorns on the ark?
- How could Noah’s family tend thousands of animals?
- Did God use evolution?
- Where did Cain get his wife?
- What happened to the dinosaurs?
- Was there really an ice age?
- Is God cruel?
These and literally hundreds of other questions are addressed with clarity using scripture, observation, and science. And these answers are necessary for those who have questions or doubts, or just a nagging uncertainty about the validity of scripture. With impressive attention to detail, the staff has explored every possible question about Genesis, creation, the ark, skin color, history, and more, and they have made the answers accessible and inspiring. Animal cages, human living quarters, food storage, water, animal management, and much more is explored in lifelike exhibits at the Ark Encounter. The sheer size of the ark is mind-blowing! That alone addresses so many answers that people ask about the probability of Noah’s story. Dinosaurs, carbon dating, Darwinism, the Ice Age, the Tower of Babel, extinct animals, the sanctity of life, and other important topics are addressed at the incredible Creation Museum.
As we were leaving the Ark at the end of our day there, my 16-year-old commented that though he thoroughly believes God’s word is true, the Ark Encounter gave him even more confidence in that truth. This would not have happened at any average vacation destination.
Ken Ham and his staff have done an incredible job of making world history and biblical history come alive. For most of my life (and I’m guessing yours, too), we’ve been treated to cartoon versions of Noah and the ark, featuring happy stuffed animals on a pleasant boat ride. The Ark Encounter will literally smash this silly notion of a catastrophic biblical flood that God sent to wipe out mankind because of their sin. Answers in Genesis has gone back to the biblical text and recreated this massive ship from the measurements written down in the book of Genesis. The story of the great flood is treated as history, not myth, and when you stand at the foot of this full-size Noah’s ark, you will be in awe.
Ancient history is woven into the displays inside the Ark. Life in the time of Noah is illustrated with careful attention to costumes, ancient building methods, and stories of a global flood from around the world. A small version of the Museum of the Bible is one of the displays inside the Ark, with archaeology, church history, and so much more.
The Creation Museum treats visitors to a virtual walk through the 7 Cs of history (creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross, and consummation). Throughout, a stunning number of historical events are addressed as they apply to the Bible, confirming the truth of scripture by eyewitnesses and archaeological finds. It is an incredible educational experience for adults and children alike.
I believe this is one of the most important times in our history to know the scriptures and to be able to defend them. Walking through life-size displays from the books of the Old Testament, investigating archeological finds from biblical history, and getting in-depth answers to your questions about Genesis and the entire Bible is such a faith-building experience. Sadly, America in the 21st century is very post-Christian. We are no longer the Christian nation that we were at our founding. What Christians once knew and accepted as the truth of the scriptures is now either completely unheard of or very controversial.
Apologetics is more important than ever, and Answers in Genesis is one of the ministries doing splendid work in this area, making apologetics accessible to adults and children. The Creation Museum displays go into detail addressing subjects that people argue and debate, such as the age of the earth, evolution, humans, animals, the great flood, sin, death, the Virgin birth, the crucifixion and resurrection, and more. The Fearfully and Wonderfully Made exhibit is in its small, temporary stage as I write this, but even so, it is an amazing walk-through of each stage of life before birth. The displays answer all of the questions and objections we are seeing in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Get the Fearfully and Wonderfully Made book here.)
Christians, we must have a solid foundation in the truth of the scripture, because the world is demanding it. Our children need to be equipped before they reach adulthood. We all must be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). The immersive nature of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter will bolster your faith and trust in the word of God.
4. Hope for the Future
I was struck by how many young families were in attendance. Sometimes I wonder if the next generation of parents will be grounded in the Word of God and will be able to share a confident faith with their children. The crowds we toured with gave me great hope!
While we were at the Ark Encounter, we learned that the Truth Matters Conference was happening at the same time. I was very encouraged to see so many young couples attending the conference and touring the Ark. It did my heart good to see. Watching fathers and mothers take their children through these faith-building and educational exhibits and purchasing quality books and videos assured me that the ranks of biblical disciples are increasing.
5. Fun for Kids
We took our three youngest children on this trip, ages 11, 14, and 16. They enjoyed it immensely. The exhibits were not above their heads; in fact, they learned so much and took their time reading and learning. We have studied plenty of creation apologetics and biblical history in our home and homeschool lessons, but for them it was a great confirmation of the things they have learned. They took tons of photos and videos to show their friends!
Besides the main exhibits, there are numerous fun things for kids to enjoy: outdoor parks, live animals and animal encounters, zip lines, ropes courses, a petting zoo, and playgrounds. During our visit to the Ark Encounter, we ate lunch at Emzara’s Kitchen, an all-you-can-eat buffet. The kids loved that! After our meal, my husband took the kids to the Truth Traveler VR Experience. They loved it!
6. Indoor and Outdoor Activities
Inside both venues, there are different short films to watch, including The Noah Interview and the 4D Creation experience. We appreciated these for a nice break from walking (the properties are extensive: wear comfortable shoes!). Inside the Ark itself, there are numerous shops to pick up a snack or drink, fudge shops, and the Village Market where you can buy unique handmade items that seem like they came from the time of Noah.
If the weather is nice when you visit, enjoy the large playground at each site, ropes courses or zip lines, camel rides, and the Ararat Ridge Zoo. And the grounds at the Creation Museum are just beautiful! We took advantage of everything that was available and thoroughly enjoyed it all!
When you visit
I think I would recommend a visit to the Creation Museum first, especially if you are not well-versed in creation apologetics. The book of Genesis is on full display in every possible form. As you walk through the timeline of Genesis you will be awed by the video presentations, museum displays, animatronics, dioramas, and 3D technology that answers every possible question you might have about the world’s beginnings. And dinosaurs?! There is plenty of space devoted to dinosaurs! Plan a full day for the Creation Museum, as you want to give yourself plenty of time for the indoor exhibits and outdoor activities, lunch, movies, and shopping in the gift shop.
Once you have toured the Creation Museum, plan another entire day for the Ark Encounter. You’ll go with a solid background in the history of Genesis, and will be ready to tour the life-size Noah’s ark. Get the combo ticket for both attractions; you’ll save money. (Kids ten and under always receive free admission!)
At the Ark, you’ll pay at the parking lot and wait for a shuttle bus ride down to the main attraction. The bus will drop you off at the entrance to the welcome center, where you can grab a snack (I visited Noah’s coffee), and shop for souvenirs. But don’t spend all of your money there, because you’ll want to see the giant store as you exit the Ark. Head out to the official rainbow entrance to the grounds, where you’ll get to see the life-size ark, the largest timber-frame structure in the world! There are plenty of photo opportunities as you approach the entrance to the Ark and head into the lower level.
There are restrooms on every level, plenty of places to stop and rest your feet, and convenient stops for snacks and drinks. And the gift shop I mentioned at the end of the Ark tour? It’s the best! Prepare to do some serious shopping, and support a ministry that is making a difference. We mostly purchased books. It was fun to see our kids picking out books that they were looking forward to reading. There are also clothes, toys, and plenty of souvenirs. (Note: the gift shops at the Ark and Creation Museum are not the same!)
For more information and to schedule your trip to these family-friendly attractions, visit the Ark Encounter website. To see just a bit of what I described here, watch this videos hosted by Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis. You’ll get a sneak peek of various displays, and just a hint of what you will experience at these amazing theme parks.
Answers resources online
Whether you have or have not visited the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, there is a wealth of resources from Answers in Genesis online for everyone in your family. We use their website and Answers.TV on a regular basis, and have a large stack of books in our home library. When you want to equip yourself and your children with biblical apologetics, go to AiG. Their children’s books, homeschool curriculum, online courses, magazines, church curriculum, and videos will provide you with hours and hours of entertainment and education.
I encourage every family to make the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum a vacation destination. It is loads of fun, and will profoundly grow your faith. You can’t say that for most other vacations!