I received tickets in exchange for the following honest review
Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this modern engineering marvel amazes visitors young and old. Ark Encounter is situated in beautiful Grant County in Williamstown, Kentucky, halfway between Cincinnati and Lexington and right off I-75.
I remember many years ago, when we were just starting our homeschooling journey, we would often use Answers in Genesis resources. It was our go-to place especially the year we used the Bible as our main textbook. I vividly remember reading about Ken Ham’s BIG project– to build a replica of the Ark. For many years we watched as this project came to life and we always wanted to visit, but it just never happened.
Finally, this past weekend, we made it! And it was so worth the wait!
We arrived at the Ark Encounter and off in the distance, the sight of the Ark was truly something to behold. Once getting our tickets, we boarded the shuttle bus, and we were off!
It was exciting as we came up a big hill on our bus, rounded a corner, and at the top, there it was– the Ark came into sight. And what a sight to see.
Even though I knew it would be huge, to see it in real life was just magnificent. Many years ago when we learned about the historical event of Noah and the Flood, I took the children to a local park to see how big a football field was. I explained that the Ark was about 1.5 football fields. But to now actually see it, was truly breathtaking.
The walk up to the Ark was filled with anticipation. Of course, we took many selfies and photos. There were several stops on the way with explanations of times leading up the Flood as well. And then it was time to go inside!
The Ark Encounter has three decks inside the Ark to visit and each one is filled with exhibits and SO much to see and learn. The Ark Encounter also explains right from the beginning that what you are about to see is not necessarily exactly how things looked on the Ark, but certainly shows how it all could have fit, looked, etc. Based on the research and what is known about the Ark, Answers in Genesis has presented a detailed of account of what things may have looked like and how Noah would have achieved this great feat. The Ark itself, however, is built exactly to the dimensions described in the Bible.
The first deck had many exhibits of animal cages and how the animals were cared for. So many things we would never think of– storing the food and water, getting rid of waste, etc. were shown. It was mind-boggling to think about. They also describe in detail how Noah could fit two of every kind of animal onto the Ark. It was all so fascinating.
The next two decks detail so many exhibits of life on the Ark (the living quarters were intriguing!) and also life after the Flood. Each exhibit has such detail and an enormous amount of information to read. You could spend hours taking it all in. There are also various video presentations to watch if you choose to do so.
Just an aside, but I really appreciated the options for coffee (speaking my love language there!), drinks, bathrooms, etc. inside the Ark as well. Since you are spending a good amount of time inside the Ark, these are a great convenience and help!
One of our favorite parts of the experience, was standing at the end of each deck and looking up or down to see the view across the massive ship! We took lots of photos and the Ark Encounter even tells you where to stand and look for the greatest shots.
My very favorite and most special part was The Door. I remember years ago watching a program about the Flood and was so emotional thinking about that door shutting and those on the outside! How they must have realized their error when God shut the door. I am so grateful to be SAFE inside that door, because Jesus is our door to salvation. The Ark Enocunter had a beautiful and immense wooden door with a description.
At the end of the exhibits on the third deck, the Gospel is clearly presented. I love that aspect. We mentioned when we got out of the car that day how most people visiting the Ark were probably Christians, but then we said we hoped there were many who were not! Because you can’t come to something like this and not be affected! The Truth is so profoundly and beautifully presented. This would be a great place to bring friends and family who may not know Jesus. Conversations would certainly be had.
And for those of us who believe, what a marvel to see. Bring your children! This is the ultimate field trip for homeschool families and Christian families alike. To see the events of the Bible in real life is a magnificent way to learn about the Bible. The Ark Encounter does a great job of appealing to all ages.
Once we finished our inside tour, it was time to head outside. There are a few outdoor eateries, and indoor buffet, and a coffee shop. We grabbed a quick bite and then headed over to the Zoo.
I will admit here, my embarrassing moment. We kept reading about camel rides. I was picturing those camel rides in the mid-East where you can ride a camel through the desert! However, much to my disappointment these were camel rides for children only! I was a bit mortified when the young man running the ride told me I couldn’t do it because I had to be 17 years or younger. Oops! My bad! (insert red face here!)
Oh, and one more funny moment! We got caught in a HUGE rain storm as we were exploring the zoo. We raced back to the main building and just laughed the whole way. Oh, the irony of being in a torrential downpour with the Ark as your backdrop! So much fun. We were soaked! Surely something we will never forget! It sure did add to the experience! The only thing missing, was a real-life rainbow which I thought for sure would happen after all that rain. But alas, it did not. However, the Ark Encounter has provided their infamous rainbow at the entrance way.
All in all, this was probably the BEST trip we have taken for a “homeschool field trip.” I mean, what more can you ask for? To see such a monumental and extraordinary place was truly a gift. I highly recommend visiting the Ark Encounter.
One more thing to note: The Creation Museum, also by Answers in Genesis, is in the nearby area. It has also been something we want to see, but because of our time constraints, we were not able to on this trip. However, you can get combo tickets for both experiences and I would highly recommend making the time to do both! That was our one regret -that we could not!
For more information about Answers and Genesis and the Ark Experience visit www.arkencounter.com