Trip to see the Bible come to life
By Cori & Jim Phelps
With over one million visits per year since opening, the Ark Encounter has quickly become an incredibly enjoyable attraction for all walks of life. Located in Williamstown, Kentucky, mere photographs of this massive, life-sized replica of Noah’s ark do not give the structure the justice it deserves. It measures over 500’ long, and spans multiple decks in height. We had the pleasure of making this destination our first road trip in years, and it was more than worth the scenic, 13-hour trek from Louisiana.
Thousands of years ago, the original structure allowed “Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood”(Genesis 7:7, ESV), and the team at the Ark took great care in depicting how the technicalities of daily life on the ark must have been with so many animals and only eight people. Complete with animal sounds and tons of factual info, it’s fascinating to say the least, and a beautiful learning experience for families!
After an approximate 45-60 minute drive from the Ark Encounter, we explored the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The museum was established in 2007, while the Ark Encounter opened in 2016. President of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, and his staff operate both locations, and we had the opportunity to speak to Patrick Kanewske, Director of Ministry and Media Relations, about both sites.
When asked about their primary audience—Christian or skeptic—Patrick responded by saying, “What we are trying to do is reach everybody. We want to have atheists visit with us. We want non-believers, believers, and any walk of life to come and witness the ark. What’s great about the Ark Encounter is that it’s so iconic, everyone wants to see it in person.” Emphatically, he states, “We simply want it to reach everyone.”
“A lot of people don’t know that Answers in Genesis is the parent organization,” Kanewske continues. “Answers in Genesis was here since the mid 90’s. The Creation Museum opened in 2007. A lot of people don’t know the two are linked.”
Unlike most other major attractions across the U.S., to increase the appeal for families to visit the area, Kanewske tells us, “Most people do not know this, but we have a reduced price for teenagers. Teenagers, 13 to 17, receive discounted rates when visiting. Kid prices, five to 12, are also reduced significantly. Many families come here with kids, so we made the prices more reasonable for them.” He even shared that youth groups can plan an overnight adventure on the ark itself for a great price! Imagine spending the night on the ark?!
It is a trip imprinted in our minds each time we pick up our Bibles to read Genesis, and we encourage all families to add this gorgeous part of our country to your list. (Be sure to also include Mammoth Cave National Park to your excursions while you’re there too—breathtaking!)