How To Do The Ark Encounter: Tips for Family Vacation

We’ve all read Noah and the Ark, but after experiencing the rich story telling of the exhibits at The Ark Encounter, I have a renewed reverence to this part of humanity’s history. Classical educators talk about living books; this is a living experience!  The artistry, craftsmanship, and clear desire to share Biblical truth is inspiring.

Here’s some tips to making your trip to the Ark Encounter the best ever!

If you would like to watch the recap video of this trip, go click here to view it on our YouTube Channel!

  1. Come in September! There were so few people there, it was remarkable! We could linger as long as we wanted all along the way without fear of people waiting behind us.
  2. It’s quite a journey to get to The Ark. Once you have arrived on the property, there’s parking, a required shuttle ride by bus, then another 5 minute walk to get to the entrance of the Ark. So don’t accidentally leave something in your car! Even on a super light day, this process took 25 minutes.
  3. When you first step off the shuttle, there is a big building to the left that serves as a meeting place, but also has a lot of souvenirs. Many of these items are the exact same as what you can buy in the Ark gift shops. Take a look inside this building and make a mental note of what they have for sale. Plan to buy what you can there in your way back to your car. There is usually a wait for the shuttle, so it will give you something to do and  will save your arms from carrying around your new treasures throughout the rest of the attractions, which includes a petting zoo, zip line, gem dig, playground, and food huts.
  4. You enter the Ark in what I would call the belly of the ship. There are beautifully maintained flowers and plenty of shade, so don’t worry about standing in the hot sun.
  5. Once you are inside, there are 3 full floors to visit. The most stunning feature was looking up into the skylight in between the floors. Every inch inside the Ark is filled with life size exhibits of animals, what their cages may have looked like, potential ideas for how Noah’s family lived inside the ark; including food storage, a ventilation system, work areas, a kitchen, and bedrooms. There were gift shops on every level. Some of them to hold unique items, but for the most part, everything can be bought in the main gift shop on the bottom floor- many of these gift shops support those in need in 3rd world countries.
  6. There is so much to see inside the Ark, that I would suggest allotting a full day to be there.
  7. We were encouraged and thankful for how important it is to Answers in Genesis that the Gospel message be shared. They had a large museum style exhibit of a comic strip telling a story of redemption. At the end of it, they had Gospel tracks free for people to take.
  8. Part 2! The outside stuff! Once you have had your fill of the Ark, there are all the other things to do. Take note: The outside activities close a full hour before the Ark does. We weren’t aware of this and had to rush through to do the few things we had told the kids we would spend money on. Petting the animals is free, but camel rides, digging for geodes, and the zip line are not.





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