Review of The Creation Museum
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Did you know all animals were herbivores before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit? Did you know Noah brought dinosaurs on the Ark? Did you know you can tell a legless lizard from a snake by the eyelids? I learned all of this and more at The Creation Museum. It’s located in Petersburg, KY, which is just miles from the Cincinnati Airport. It was about an hour and a half drive from my home in Louisville, Kentucky, but I felt it was worth it for a day trip.
When you first walk in, you purchase your tickets, get your picture taken against a green screen (for an optional picture to buy later), and proceed to the Main Hall. The Main Hall has a giant dinosaur skeleton, life size trees, moving dinosaurs and people, and a real stream with live fish and turtles. The museum is laid out so that you begin with either the Special Effects Movie Theater, or proceed to the Exhibits. The website says it gets busy on weekends and holidays, but when we got there a half an hour after it opened on a Saturday, it felt almost empty, even though a large bus group came in before us. We started by looking around the Main Hall until the first Special Effects Show started. Amazingly, the movie appealed to both my kids and myself. It takes facts and concepts that scientists debate far above my comprehension, and puts them into understandable explanations. It is an entertaining movie with funny characters and interactive effects. You get rained on, your seat shakes, and you feel the wind around you, making the movie come alive as you watch.
The Creation Museum prides itself on bringing the pages of the Bible to life. Once you enter the Exhibits Hall, it leads you around the museum from creation to Jesus’ life leading up to the cross. There are lots of amazing exhibits. My kids especially loved walking through the Garden of Eden, the Noah’s Ark area with touch screen quizzes that help you build your own ark, and they loved all of the life-like dinosaurs. But their favorite part by far, was the Snakes Alive show. A separate ticket was required for this show, but since it was a 45 minute presentation, I didn’t think my kids would make it through and didn’t buy them at the entrance. However, once we got near the show area, the presenter was out in the lobby with two of his reptiles. He let me kids pet them, hold them, and allowed me to take numerous pictures of them. Then he asked me and the other family there with us if we wanted to have our own Snakes Alive show since no one else was around. There was a register right there, and the tickets were only $3.50 each, so we decided to give it a shot. It was the best decision I made all day. The Herpetologist, Rick Teepen (www.snakesalive.vpweb.com) was an excellent teacher. He was interactive and had the kids sitting on the edge of their seats the whole time. He must have had well over a dozen different kids of snakes plus several other reptiles – almost all of which he let the kids pet, hold, and get their picture with them. The presentation ended with him bringing out his 80 pound python for us to pose with for numerous pictures. (The Snakes Alive show can also be brought to your birthday party, VBS, youth group, or other events, and after seeing his presentation, I would highly recommend it!).
We continued through the museum which (of course) ended at the gift shop. I was happy to see the gift shop was not over priced, but was comparable in price to other regular stores. While I did spend almost $50 at the gift shop, a lot of it was on gifts and products you can’t find just anywhere. Especially if you have any affiliation with a church, pastor, or any other religious groups. After the gift shop, we headed over to Noah’s Cafe restaurant (there is also a cafe in the middle of the museum, and an outdoor restaurant during warmer months). Again, I felt the prices were not bad for a museum restaurant. The Creation Museum does not allow outside food to be brought into the museum, but you are welcome to eat meals from home outside under one of the pavilions in the garden, or you have the option of leaving the museum for lunch and coming back in with your original ticket from that day. We only spent less $20 for my kids and I for lunch, however we didn’t indulge in any of their desserts, event though their funnel cake looked so tempting! The restaurant had a great set up with lots of long tables that could be used for groups, or multiple families with space between. The coffee and fountain drinks were at both ends of the dining room to keep the lines down.
After lunch we headed outside to the Botanical Gardens and Petting Zoo. These are included in your admission price! There’s not a lot to see outside in the winter, but there are several cool bridges including a floating bridge, a suspension bridge, and arched bridge, plus waterfalls, ponds, and several different paths to walk around. (Beware – some of the bridges are not allowed to have strollers or wheelchairs cross them!) During the warmer months they say there are bright flowers, hummingbirds, butterflies, and even Venus Flytrap plants! The petting zoo included a zonkey (zebra-donkey), a zorse (zebra-horse), wallabies, llamas, birds, and other types of animals. There are a few food machines to feed the animals, but my kids weren’t up for it in the cold. There are $5 camel rides five afternoons a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday) March through October. Sadly, Gomer (the dromedary camel) rests the months of January and February, so we’ll have to go back another time to take advantage of such low-cost rides!
For admission, adults (ages 13–59) are $25, seniors (age 60+) are $20,and children (ages 5–12) $15. Kids under age 5 are free. At first I was thrilled to be getting one of my kids in for free, but I quickly realized why. The museum is amazing, but a lot of it requires reading…and my 5 year old and 2 year old were not going to stand still and listen to me read each sign. There was plenty for them to look at, and lots of chances to teach them about nature, science, and the Bible, and how they all come together. While I think it is great for kids and adults alike, it is definitely geared towards older kids – especially readers.
Some of the great practical things about the Creation Museum? There are strollers and wheelchairs you can borrow (for a $5 refundable deposit). There are bathrooms everywhere, including family bathrooms. There is a changing table in the Men’s and Women’s rooms. There is a nursing room. They will help you jump-start your car or unlock your vehicle if you need it. And the restaurant has options for special needs diets.
I think you could easily spend the whole day (or two) at the museum if you go to the planetarium, any special shows, walk around the gardens and petting zoo, or if you read every display or sign in the building. The museum opens at Noon on Sundays, 9am on Saturdays, and 10am the rest of the week. I think it’s a great way to spend a day – especially once your kids reach the age of asking how everything came to be, ask about evolution versus creation, or how dinosaurs fit into the Bible. The Creation Museum is not only entertaining, but educational and enlightening as well.
By guest contributor: Caryn