To encourage even more families to visit the internationally popular Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in 2021, the two Northern Kentucky themed attractions of Answers in Genesis have announced they will extend their 2020 offer of free admission to children 10 and under through the end of this year.
As long as there is one adult paying full price admission, all children 10 and under in the party come free.
The campaign started in early 2020, but many families were not able to visit due to a COVID-caused three-month closure of the attractions by the state and then the hesitancy of some people to travel after they reopened. Ken Ham, AiG CEO and visionary behind the attractions, stated: “It was only fair we continue the ‘Kids 10 and Under Free” offer so that families with children who couldn’t make it in 2020 can do it this year and still enjoy some savings.” As long as there is one adult paying full price admission, all children 10 and under in the party come free.
Ham added, “During these challenging times in the country, I’m urging parents and other adults to bring as many children as possible to experience the Ark Encounter for the entire year. It’s a wholesome family-friendly attraction. And our Creation Museum, 45 minutes away, is also offering free admission to children 10 and under in 2021. We want to encourage school classes, whole Sunday schools, and your neighborhood children—as many kids as possible—to visit these world-class attractions this year.”
New for families to enjoy at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown are a high-tech VR experience called “Truth Traveler” and an expanded zoo (with recently added lemurs and sloths). The new 2,500-seat Answers Center hosts daily family programs, movies, concerts, and presentations, included with regular admission. (Entrance to select concerts and conferences may require an additional paid admission.)
Associated with the kids free outreach in 2021, TV commercials are airing nationwide this month to get out the word. Employing cutting-edge animation techniques similar to what is seen in Hollywood films, the new TV commercials airing on various networks depict an animated giraffe family visiting the iconic 510-foot-long ship.
Built according to the dimensions given in the Bible, the ark contains three decks of stunning exhibits and films. Outside the ark, families can find many more new things to do. In addition to the VR experience (a separate ticket), they can enjoy running and climbing all over the huge state-of-the-art family playground and the Ararat Ridge Zoo behind the massive ship. Also, for a fee, children can ride the lengthy zip lines (with some age and weight restrictions).
The Ark’s sister attraction, the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, has added exhibits, and last June opened a $1.2 million planetarium with laser projection. The first third of the museum’s 75,000-square-foot space is new, entirely funded by donations.
“Since we reopened on June 8 after the state ordered attractions to close for almost three months because of COVID-19, I have been greatly encouraged to see so many families, including lots of children, visiting us once again,” Ham said. “With our shut down and with all that’s happened across the nation over the past few months, we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of attendance. But we have been pleasantly surprised by the strong numbers, as have local hotels and restaurants. Industry insiders inform us that our attendance figures are very good compared to other national attractions.”
Ham added: “Many local hotels have told us they have strong bookings for this summer. With our national TV ads, social media, and word of mouth, we expect our already-excellent attendance numbers to rise over time. However, like other attractions, we don’t expect attendance to be back to normal levels until maybe this fall, given COVID-19. Both attractions continue to operate under our COVID preparedness plan to assure our guests that we are doing our utmost to ensure a safe and healthy visit.”
Current hours at both attractions through March 9, 2021: the Ark and museum will be open Wednesday–Saturday (closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday). These winter hours will give maintenance teams and fabricators time to do needed maintenance and make upgrades rather than having to do them at night. Also, Sundays–Tuesdays are typically slower days of the week in the winter for guests to visit. Beginning March 10, 2021, the attractions will resume their seven-day-a-week operation, in time for the spring break crowds.
The Ark Encounter is in Williamstown, Kentucky, off I-75, with a Noah’s ark as its centerpiece. The high-tech Creation Museum is 45 minutes away in Petersburg, west of the Cincinnati Airport.