It’s been quite cold and snowy here in Northern Kentucky, as it has in much of the United States, but it’s beginning to warm up. In fact, it was over 60 degrees last Wednesday! Well, as we anticipate the warmer weather, we also anticipate the return of our spring and summer guests to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. So if you’re eager to start thinking about summer and planning your summer vacation, here are 14 things to do at the Ark and Creation Museum, with a bonus idea of things to do in the local area.
But before we get into what you need to know about planning your family vacation, I thought I’d remind you that all children 10 and under enjoy free admission for 2021! And, unlike most attractions, there’s no limit to how many children you can bring for free. (Though, obviously, the children must be accompanied by at least one adult.)
Now, here are 15 things to do this summer when you visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky:
- Tour the Creation Museum and the life-size Ark at the Ark Encounter. Enjoy stunning, world-class exhibits that affirm the truth and authority of God’s Word and proclaim the saving gospel. Be sure to see our new Fearfully and Wonderfully Made exhibit at the Creation Museum, and coming sometime this summer, our new Borderland: Israel in the Time of Jesus display.
- Visit our zoo and animal experience area (and meet the new animals). Ararat Ridge Zoo at the Ark Encounter features a wide variety of remarkable creatures (that help teach the concept of created kinds), including kangaroos and a wallaby that you can walk with, ring-tailed lemurs, camels, exotic birds, a zorse and zonkey, and so much more. Eden Animal Experience at the Creation Museum features animals you can get up close to, such as goats, alpaca, and chickens. Both places have recently expanded their collections, so even if you’ve been before, come back to meet all our new animals.
- Take in a concert. Enjoy concerts from our resident artists at the Ark Encounter, Steve Hess & Southern Salvation, performing in the 2,500-seat Answers Center. And, happening this summer, sit back and tap your toes along with over 80 Gospel artists during 40 Days and 40 Nights of Gospel Music, the world’s largest Christian music festival, taking place August 2–September 10, 2021. Each day’s concerts are included with a general admission ticket, so an annual combo pass gets you access to all 40 days and 40 nights at no extra cost.
- Learn during a presentation. Our researchers and speakers present each day on various topics at both locations, such as creation and evolution, only one race, biblical kinds, and more. We also offer fascinating animal encounters. These are very popular with guests of all ages who love getting up close with some of our ambassador animals from Ararat Ridge Zoo at the Ark and the Eden Animal Experience area at the Creation Museum.
- Get hands-on with Discover programs. We offer a variety of workshop/lab programs on topics such as botany, forensics, herpetology (snakes and other reptiles), biology, and more for our Creation Museum guests at no additional cost. When the lower level of the Answers Center is finished (currently under construction), we will also be offering workshop/lab programs at the Ark Encounter.
- Enjoy a thrilling zipline ride. Both attractions feature a zipline adventure course so you can soar over the lake at the Creation Museum and through the trees or over the trees and valley at the Ark Encounter.
- Play on the playgrounds. Both attractions feature a state-of-the-art playground designed for children of all abilities. Kids and families love these playgrounds!
- Tour the botanical gardens. The Creation Museum has eleven different gardens that comprise our stunning botanical gardens with waterfalls, a suspension bridge, butterfly gardens, rainforest, koi pond, and more. Enjoy leisurely strolling through these gardens or touring the gorgeous grounds at the Ark Encounter, including our eye-catching Rainbow Garden.
- Ride a camel. The Ark Encounter zoo features camel rides. Where else can you ride a camel with a life-size Noah’s ark in the background?
- Mine for fossils or gems. Both attractions offer a sluice where you can pan for real fossils (at the Ark Encounter) or gems (at the Creation Museum)—and you may keep whatever you find.
- Attend an Explore Summer Camp. During our three- or five-day camps, students who have completed fifth grade through high school will enjoy hands-on science taught through the lens of a biblical worldview.
- Browse our gift shops and bookstores. Both attractions feature bookstores and gift shops, including a large fair trade section offering handmade gifts from around the world that help support missions work. It’s a great way to build your creation apologetics library, find souvenirs and apparel, and more.
- Savor some delicious food. Both attractions feature delicious food, prepared onsite by our talented culinary teams, including Uncle Leroy’s Fudge, freshly made onsite.
Snap a selfie with our new cutouts. Coming soon will be cutouts of our mascots, Grace and Junior, two members of the giraffe family that you may have seen on our television ads for the Ark Encounter. People will love getting their photo taken with these fun giraffes! Here’s a mock-up of what these will look like:
We will also be adding cutouts of Noah’s Family so you can “become” one of them in a photograph, with the Ark in the background.
- Take in other local attractions. When you plan your vacation to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area to enjoy the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, you can extend your stay and enjoy some of the other local attractions in the Tri-state area, such as BB Riverboats on the Ohio River, the Newport Aquarium, the National Museum of the US Air Force near Dayton, Ohio (which is free and one of my favorites), Kentucky Horse Park, or the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati. This area is beautiful, and you can also enjoy God’s creation in incredible places like Red River Gorge (a favorite hiking spot of our astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner), Mammoth Caves National Park (the world’s longest known cave system), or Cumberland Falls State Resort Park (one of few places where you can see a “moonbow,” a nighttime rainbow) within just three hours’ drive of our attractions.
Plan your visit today at ArkEncounter.com and CreationMuseum.org.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.