What’s the most amazing, spectacular, greatest, and best wonder of our world?
Well, there have been the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which include the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. But it’s not any of them!
Today, there’s the New Seven Wonders of the World. Announced in 2007, the list features The Great Wall of China, Petra, and five others. But it’s not any of them!
Then there’s the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, which include the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. But it’s not any of them!
There is a wonder that makes all these wonders pale by comparison—in fact, makes them insignificant.
What could possibly be greater than any of them? Yes, there is a wonder that makes all these wonders pale by comparison—in fact, makes them insignificant.
This Christmas, you can encounter the most amazing wonder of all in a unique and spectacular way. You can experience this wonder in a manner that has never happened in the history of the world. I can confidently say that no one has ever encountered the wonder like this. But you can this Christmas.
What is this amazing wonder? Let me introduce it with the lyrics to a song.
As a child, I remember George Beverly Shea (a soloist best known for singing at Billy Graham crusades) singing:
O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all!
The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.
Ah yes, that truth is the most amazing wonder of all. God so loves us that he sent his Son to become a man (the God-man Jesus). But he was a perfect man, who was born of a virgin as the babe in a manger, died on a Cross, and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sin in Adam. Oh, the wonder of it all!
We celebrate this truth all year long, but at Christmas we emphasize the wonder of it all as we remember the babe in a manger, Christ the Lord! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Now you can experience this amazing wonder with your family and friends at our world-famous landmark, the Ark, in Northern Kentucky. In fact, I have heard numerous Ark guests refer to the massive ship as the “8th wonder of the world.” So, over the next several weeks, you can encounter the wonder of God’s Word and the wonder of the incredible Ark in a very special way.
November 1–February 28, 2018: Ark grounds open all day for free for only the cost of $10 parking (extra charge to enter the Ark and other ticketed activities)
December 8–23 and December 26, 2017–January 15, 2018: ChristmasTime at the Ark; free (parking $10). Each evening you’ll “encounter the wonder” of the world-famous Ark and for free watch the stunning state-of-the-art video projection. Extra cost to go inside the Ark
December 8–23, 26–30, 5–9 p.m.: ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum; outdoor lights and festivities free for only the cost of parking (extra charge to enter the Creation Museum and for other ticketed activities.)
Both attractions are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
What will be so extra-special at the Ark over the next several weeks that we are using the word wonder?
You may have heard of 3D mapping. AiG is producing a spectacular animated program, “Encounter the Wonder,” that will be projected onto the side of our huge, life-size Ark. Using 15 laser projectors, we will display images onto the Ark in a show that will be full of wonder (and it won’t require you to wear 3D glasses). Yes, this 510-foot-long ship will become a screen for a remarkable new show during what we call ChristmasTime at the Ark, December 8–January 15.
The screen (the Ark) is over one and a half times the length of a football field. For those of you who have been to Disneyworld, you will see us doing something similar in quality to the video projection shown on the Disney castle—only ours will be on the side of the Ark . . . and with a very Christian message! For the first year, the show won’t be as long as Disney’s, but it will nonetheless be spectacular and, we pray, life-changing for the guests.
This jaw-dropping, laser-projected program will run around 10 minutes. “Encounter the Wonder” will be projected onto the side of the Ark three times a night (7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.), December 8–January 15 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). The first images will be of the creation account, followed by Noah’s Flood, then the babe in a manger, and finally the Cross and resurrection.
At one point in the stunning program, the projection will reveal a cutaway of the inside of the Ark. Guests will also watch a depiction of animals going up our ramp and into the Ark and see the floodwaters rising. And, of course, through it all, the gospel will be clearly presented.
I’m confident you’ll want to experience this high-tech program over and over again and wonder at just how this exceptional production was put together by our talented video team!
Also for the Christmas season, the Ark grounds will explode with Christmas lights, and between “Encounter the Wonder” showings, the Ark will be lit with the colors of the rainbow.
See ArkEncounter.com/christmas for opening and closing times. From December 8 through January 15, the only cost to visit the Ark grounds and see our world-class laser-projection program will be the normal $10 fee for car parking. Visitors will take the one-mile bus ride across the valley to the Ark and zoo. Tickets to walk inside the Ark and to take the fun camel rides can be purchased on site. The Ark closes immediately following the 9 p.m. projection show.
That’s not all at the Ark Encounter! From November 1–February 28, 2018, guests can also
enjoy the Ark grounds and see the Ark’s exterior up close
have meals at the various food venues (such as the wonderful Emzara’s Restaurant with its all-you-can-eat buffet that includes drinks and desserts; the Smokehouse; Shem’s hotdogs; and Zofar’s flatbreads)
browse the Ark’s huge gift store, featuring a large fair trade section of items
tour our Ararat Ridge Zoo and petting zoo
They are all open to visitors for the cost of parking ($10). Those who want to go inside the Ark and tour the three decks of world-class exhibits must pay the usual entrance ticket. Note: the Ark and grounds will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
There’s a lot going on at the Ark Encounter this month and during the Christmas season, and finally through February 28. Combine this with the wonder of the gospel proclaimed through a state-of-the-art projection show, and you can see why I titled this article “Encounter the Wonder.”
For some great Christmas shopping and one-of-a-kind gifts, the Ark and Creation Museum stores are two of the best places to go.
Meanwhile, 45 minutes away at another world-class attraction, our Creation Museum will once again be hosting the increasingly popular (and increasingly more spectacular) ChristmasTown. Many visitors have told us that the remarkable garden with its tens of thousands of lights is the most exquisite Christmas light display they’ve ever seen.
And you can also experience our popular live nativity and other activities that take place all over the Creation Museum’s grounds. We have just added a large new parking area with hundreds of additional spaces, and the only cost for enjoying ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum’s outdoor events will be $5 for parking. Those guests who want to tour the exceptional Creation Museum (including a walk through biblical history!) will need to purchase a normal entrance ticket. Also, tickets will be available for sale to attend the awe-inspiring Stargazer’s Planetarium and take a camel ride.
ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum will be from December 8–30 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). The beautiful grounds and museum will be open until 9 p.m. each evening.
So set aside the dates and plan to visit ChristmasTime at the Ark to “encounter the wonder,” and then enjoy an evening at the Creation Museum for ChristmasTown.
No other region in the world offers you the opportunity to experience two amazing wonders that reveal the greatest message of all: God’s free gift of salvation available through Jesus Christ.
Invite your friends who do not yet know Jesus as Savior. They will have the experience of a lifetime as they encounter the wonders of the Ark and Creation Museum—and the gospel.