Cody and I recently celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! He surprised me by planning a three-day trip to Kentucky, where we explored the Creation Museum and visited the newly opened Ark Encounter. We had a really great time; let me fill you in! (Are you ready for a super-long post?)
First, we visited the Creation Museum. This is a museum run by Answers in Genesis, a Christian organization that educates people about the scientific creationist views of world history through the Bible. It’s packed full of informational exhibits about geology and other scientific fields that support creationist beliefs – that God created the world in 7 literal days, exactly like it says in the Bible. Now, I’m not stating my beliefs about all of that here (not that my personal beliefs hold much weight – let’s be honest; I’m no expert.) And I certainly won’t ask you for yours 🙂 Regardless of any of that, the exhibits themselves are fascinating because they help you to really see the beauty and wonder that is the Earth! Whether it came about over 7 days or 7 billion years, God’s creation is amazing, you guys. I didn’t take any photos of the exhibits inside since it was super crowded. But, in addition to the indoor museum, there are also outdoor exhibits to walk through, which I have plenty of photo evidence for 🙂
The outdoor areas include huge, beautiful themed gardens. All over, there was the sound of trickling water from a few different mini-waterfalls and fountains. They have a rainforest trail, where we walked on paths overflowing with huge-leafed plants and bright, tropical flowers.
Then there was the Koi Pond, which is an Asian-themed garden filled with red-leafed Japanese maple trees, a bamboo walkway, an arch bridge, and of course, a large shallow pond with bright red-orange koi fish.
My favorite part of the outdoor area was the Butterfly Garden. This space was filled with colorful blossoming flowers which were supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The flowers were beautiful, but temperatures were about 95 degrees and sunny all day, so any butterflies we saw were hidden in the shade of big bushes.
On the second day of our trip, we visited the brand-spankin’-new Ark Encounter! This was very exciting, especially since I have been following the project progress since it began! We arrived around 10am, and it was perfect because the park wasn’t super crowded yet. After parking, you are directed to a shelter house where you pay for tickets and board a shuttle bus to get to the Ark. The bus ride only ran for about 5 minutes, and after driving up a winding road through forest, the trees stop and you get a glorious view of this huge, beautiful Ark!
There is a spot to stop and take full-scale pictures of the Ark a short walking distance away, which is where I took this photo. The whole exterior of the structure is planked with wood (which looks white because of the sunlight in the photo). The Ark is full-sized, which means it is built to the exact dimensions that God gave to Noah in Genesis 6: 510 ft long, 85 ft wide, and 51 feet high. This thing is HUGE.
You enter on the ground floor, then walk up to the first deck. There are 3 decks on the Ark that have exhibits, plus the entryway and gift shop on the ground level. The entire inside is constructed of wood, and they have many of the features that the real-life Ark would have had. Things like small animal cages with watering systems, big cages for larger animals, walls of clay jars for storage, living quarters, a kitchen, and a metal/wood-working shop area are all examples of practical things the real Ark would have needed that are found in the Ark Encounter.
On the second and third decks, there are exhibits throughout which use artistic license (admittedly) to detail the backgrounds and lives of all the people on the Ark, including Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their lives. Altogether, according to the Biblical account, there were 8 people on the Ark. The Ark Encounter designers created beautiful depictions of these 8 people to show what daily life might have been like on the Ark as they slept, ate, and lived with thousands of animals for an entire year.
In addition to all that, the Ark Encounter also had exhibits which detail the scientific geological and ecological ramifications of a catastrophic worldwide flood, including how it would have affected the Earth’s surface in volcanoes, continental drift, and the fossilization of plants & animals. It was all very interesting, but it takes a long time to go through all the exhibits and read them all thoroughly.
Finally, my favorite part of the exhibit section was the collection of historical Biblical texts. The final exhibit we went through was a large, winding path with seven different sections – one for each continent/region of the world. In each section, there were a few old Biblical texts from different periods of history, which helped tell the story of how God’s Word has spread throughout all of the Earth. In the photo below, the book on the left is printed in Greek and is opened to Mark’s Gospel; it is dated to 1156, found in Cyprus. The scroll on the right is a Torah scroll which is opened to Exodus 36; it is from Persia in the 1800s. These are just two examples of the evidence that God’s truth and love has spread to different parts of the world in different periods of history; how amazing are these to look at!?
We did other things on our trip, like eat at a couple nice restaurants, explore the neighboring towns, and (attempt) to play mini-golf. All in all, it was a great getaway trip for us! Museums probably don’t sound like the most romantic thing to do on an anniversary trip, but it definitely fits with the personality of our relationship. Cody and I both love walking around museums all day, and talking about it all afterwards!
Tell me, what are your favorite museum spots? Have you visited the Creation Museum or Ark Encounter? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments!