Our Family Adventure to the Ark Encounter and Beautiful Scenic Areas That Are a Must See!

*Affiliate links, including those from, may be present in any of my posts. You can read my policy in more detail at the bottom of this post. 

Recently I shared our family of nine's trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky and this week I want to share not only our experience at the Ark Encounter but also some incredible places that we visited in the area. If you're visiting either the museum or the ark, you really must also stop by these places!

We've heard so many great things about the Ark Encounter over the years and I'm so grateful that our family had a chance to see it in person. And wow, seeing it personally is truly a must in order to fully grasp the enormity of the biblical account of the Ark.

I'll share from the very beginning how things went so that if you're also traveling with little ones you'll know what to expect but first I'll share a little story that could have ended in a not so great way! 😮

Since the place we were staying at, Haymark Farms (which we HIGHLY recommend) is about 1 1/2 hours from both the museum and the ark, we made sandwiches the night before to eat on the way. Unfortunately, one of our littles one did not like his sandwich at all (I didn't either to be honest ha ha!) so he was saying that he didn't want to eat it. I remember thinking when we got there that he should just give it to my husband to eat but I forgot. And turns out, my 3 year old didn't eat his either. Once we got inside the first main building we needed to buy some extra food anyways like fruit so they ended up being set when it was all said and done. That is not the end of the story but I'll save that ending for later in the post. 😬

If you don't want to stay far from the Ark there is a brand new Hampton Inn and Suites at one end of the parking lot so you can literally just walk from there to the ticket counter. (But we looooved staying in the country!) Since we had little ones we had two strollers with us and they were of course loaded up with a diaper bag, water bottles, cameras, etc. It was such a pleasant surprise to find out that we did NOT have to empty the strollers and fold them up to get on the bus. They simply lower the bus a little so strollers (and wheelchairs) can get on, you park them in a special spot and then they raise the bus when they are ready to go. You take about a 5 minute drive to the ark, unload and are greeted by this big, beautiful rainbow!

Immediately after getting off the bus there is a gorgeous welcome center with extremely clean bathrooms, a lecture/movie area, small food court and gift shop and coffee shop. You then enter the main area and head to the ark. We went on a Wednesday and it really was a great day to go--busy but not overcrowded at all!

You enter the ark by walking up a large ramp and are then greeted by some basic ark features that gradually turn into areas where animals would have most likely been kept.

Working your way through the first floor you can see how much thought and detail would have gone into building not only a structure of this enormity but how everything would need to have been planned out ahead of time to meet the dietary and sanitary needs of the animals and people. It was quite impressive to think about how much thought had to go into not only those that were designing the modern-day ark replica but also for Noah and his family. When you stop and think about how 8 people (over a very long span of time) built this, it's really quite amazing. It really put it into perspective when I told my boys that it would be like three of them and their dad building it (not sure if the women helped build or not but I suspect they were busy with many other details). Talk about a major father son project to work on ha ha!!

Once you are on the main level there is so much to see and you work your way clockwise through that level. There is a lot of information to read as well but enough things to see that even little ones find it interesting. On the main level there is also a seating area with a fictional drama to watch that gives you some insight into the ridicule that Noah and his family faced. It was very well done and we really enjoyed it!

When you get to the second level there is still so much to see and read! I actually liked this level best because it gave me some things to think about that I had never considered before like the fact that they would need plants growing to help supplement their food supply. This would have been possible due to windows they could open up after the rain stopped to let the sun in. And, as someone who enjoys herbs and food preservation, I enjoyed looking at the areas that showed how they would have dried food ahead of time and used herbal preparations as well.

Each floor had very clean bathrooms and as a nursing mother, I greatly appreciated the private, well-furnished nursing room next to the bathrooms!  

On this level there was also seating area/movie that correlated with the movie on the first level except this one was a modern-day movie that involved sharing the Gospel. Loved it!

Once you exit the main ark area there is a gift shop and snack area (we enjoyed both!!) :) After that, there is a beautiful little zoo area which we thought was great!!

We loved the Ark and we are SO glad we went! Hopefully we'll back again someday when our little ones are older so they can learn from the experience as well.

After we finished up at the ark we headed back to the farm where we were staying. And remember those sandwiches I told you about? 

Well, the two little boys fell asleep on the way back and continued to sleep as we all unloaded. When I was in the house, one of them woke up and our oldest daughter saw the one EATING HIS SANDWICH (that he complained about, remember??). It was a turkey and mayo sandwich that had been in the car for HOURS! She immediately told him to stop and he started crying because he said he wanted to eat his sandwich. We got him out of the car and I'm trying not to freak out but my daughter and I took him aside and prayed over him that there would not be any ill effects. I really didn't sleep well that night because I kept waking up and praying for him. BUT HE WAS FINE! Thank you, Jesus!!! That could have really messed up the trip so needless to say I was EXTREMELY grateful to the Lord for protecting him.

Some of our other adventures that week that we definitely recommend led us to Carter Caves. No bats involved so that was good and it was a very kid-friendly cave. My daughter and I are slightly claustrophobic and weren't sure if we could do it but we DID and it was not too bad! You can also hike a lot in that area.

There are a few covered bridges in the area and those were fun to go see!

Our favorite scenic places to go was Red River Gorge (thanks, Emily from Really Very Crunchy  for the recommendation!) and The Natural Bridge. Both places were absolutely breathtaking (and slightly terrifying ha ha) but completely worth it! With the exception of the baby, all of our little ones hiked it alongside us bigger ones and never once complained. But I definitely recommend some serious hand holding when you get to the top of The Natural Bridge and when you go to the lookouts at Red River Gorge. Definitely the highlights of our trip!

Here are some pictures from Red River Gorge (both locations are about 15 minutes from each other). 

And here are some pictures from our hike to the Natural Bridge: 

After the hike, you do need to be able to fit through this passageway (my husband fit fine).

And then after that, you get to walk across this! 

It's a somewhat strenuous hike to the bridge but not too bad and definitely worth it if you can swing it. Like I said, lots of serious hand holding going across this but it was wide enough to not give me nightmares. After you cross it you get to see this....

If you're not able to make the hike to the Natural Bridge you can pay (I believe it's $11 per person) to ride to the top and back down again.

Going through all of these pictures again makes me wish we could go back. I'm so thankful that God planned this trip out for us to celebrate our oldest graduating from homeschool. Taking a special trip when each one graduates is definitely something I want to do. It was such a special time together as a family. Thank you, God, for working out all of the many details!

Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. Stay connected so you don't miss a thing:


·        Subscribe by Email

·        Pinterest 

·        Facebook

·        Instagram


Be sure to check out my "Bee Kind" nature based character development unit and my ebooks as well: A Wife's Guide to Studying ProverbsTopical Devotions for Pregnancy and Early Potty Teaching. Or, if you're looking for a way to get 30 raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, contact me here 

This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...