If you want to walk into into a biblical experience full of truth, history, and visual artistry, The Ark Encounter will be worth every second.
When I arrived with my family and one year old at the Ark Encounter I had no idea what to expect. I figured it was an ark, and you would walk in to find out what Noah experienced his months on the boat.
We received so much more.
Upon arrival, we were loaded up onto a bus and driven up to the Ark. You enter through a rainbow archway with the verse, "I have set my rainbow in the clouds." (Genesis 9:13)
This started out the experience with a reminder of what kind of God we serve, one who keeps His promises.
We continued through the arch, able to see the ark. We walked the path towards it, stopping for a few photo opportunities on the way.
Inside there were three levels. While the outside is built per biblical instructions, the inside has been created for the purpose of learning. They have signs explaining the difference between the interior they have created versus what the ark would have really been like on the inside.
On the first level, it shows you what the ark would have truly been; cages upon cages upon cages. You learn about how Noah and his family would have fed and cared for all the animals. You quickly realize that even without modern technology the ark was a smart home. Everything as automated, down to the air flow. There are many (fake) animals to be seen and signs to read to yourself or your kids.
The second and third level begins to dive into creation, biblically based science versus modern day atheistic science, and the history and culture of the people pre-flood.
One particular quote hung on the wall stuck out to me in all of this.
"Over the centuries, villages grew into bustling cities. A spirit of evil spread throughout the world like a virus. Vile and perverse religions sprang up following the pursuit of pleasure. The mantra "If it feels good do it" rightly described their mindset."
Sound familiar? Turns out, the Bible stands accurate when it says, there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Yesterday's sin problems are exactly the same today.
As we continued through, we got some great visuals of creation, videos on how the ark was constructed, and a clear gospel presentation—in multiple areas. I've included a few more images below.
You'll notice the last image is the "door" of the ark. This was one of the clear gospel presentations and one of my favorite. They made the connection between salvation and the door into the ark.
"The Ark's door reminds us that we need to go through a door to be saved. Jesus Christ is our one door to salvation, the "Ark" that saves us from God's judgement for eternity."
By the end we were exhausted, but we muster up a little more energy to check out the small zoo. This was a fun additive. (See images below)
This is a full day event, put your walking shoes on folks.
Tickets are expensive (but totally worth it)
While very interactive, there is a ton of reading. If you have anyone who can’t or struggles to read, be prepared to read to them.
Overall, I would go again and very much enjoined it. However all of those who struggle to read in my family said this was a one time event for them—although they also really enjoyed it.