Here are some observations about visiting the Creation Museum, based our on first trip there.
One of the things that impressed me about the Museum, something which is actually typical of Answers in Genesis, is the way they bring complex scientific arguments to the average person in a manner that is easily understood. There is a vast array of scientific evidence that supports a Biblical model for Creation and that does not fit with the evolutionary model. At the Creation Museum, a portion of this evidence is presented in a way that is very digestible. At the same time, there is a huge amount to "digest," and I would definitely recommend planning at least two days at the Museum.
The centerpiece of the Museum is the Walk Through Biblical History. It begins on the main floor winds its way around to the lower floor. The website suggests planning 2-3 hours for the Walk Through. You could also break it up into two sessions, though that would break up the continuity. There is an exit midway in case you realize you need to leave the Walk, and there is a bathroom about 2/3 of the way.
The Walk is an interesting mix of display types. There is a great deal you can read; there are realistic life sized models, both stationary and animated; there are videos, both to stand and watch and to sit and watch; plus more I'm not recalling to mind at the moment. The Walk takes you through the 7 C's of History - Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. These C's are repeated often throughout the Museum, so the Walk is a good place to gain some familiarity with them at the beginning.
miniature of the ark
The Planetarium was a highlight for us. You need to purchase separate tickets, but it is well worth it. The Created Cosmos show was my favorite (there are two, and we saw one each day). One word of caution, though - the Created Cosmos show involved a lot of traveling through the universe, and it really feels like you're traveling! Gracie (6) leaned over to me a couple times to ask if we were "outside now." She and Stephen (2) were a bit unnerved by the Created Cosmos and spent a good bit of the time hiding their heads. They were fine, but I thought I should give a heads up for parents with young children that while the Created Cosmos was my favorite, it might not be a favorite with the little ones.
Each day at noon and three, there are special presentations in the Special Effects Theater from various scientists and speakers. The first day we were there, we thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Gary Parker's presentation on fossils. The second day, in the interest of fitting everything in without feeling like we were rushing around, we opted out of the live presentations. Wish we would have had more time!
Also in the Special Effects Theater is a fun show called Men in White. It covers some of the basic evidence/reasoning in support of creation in a format that is fun and entertaining.
On the lower floor is the entrance to the Dinosaur Den, a display full of dinosaurs that Stephen especially liked. They are life sized and quite impressive. The Dinosaur Den doesn't take very long, but is a terrific part of the Museum.
The grounds at the Museum are wonderful. They have an extensive botanical garden, several bridges, and a lovely gazebo overlooking the lake. I took many pictures of the grounds. The water lilies are especially lovely.
Also outside is the Petting Zoo. They have a zonkey and a zorse (zebra/donkey and zebra/horse mixes), a camel, goats and various birds, rabbits, and even a wallaby. Not a huge petting zoo, but fun and interesting.
There are several food venues at the Museum, with a wide variety of food. There are also tables and chairs both inside and out where you can eat. You can take food from any venue anywhere on the grounds, so it would be no problem to get food from a variety of places for your group. Also, they welcome folks bringing in their own food. We brought a picnic lunch the first day, and the second day we had fabulous Hawaiian burgers from one of the venues at the Museum.
This was our first trip to the Museum, so I have a limited amount of knowledge about lodging nearby. However, I can tell you about where we stayed this time and where we're planning to stay next time.
We stayed at the Oak Creek Campground. As I mentioned in my first post, a friendly resident of the campground helped us find our space since we arrived after dark, and she showed us where to place our tents so that we had the best chance of not being flooded in case of rain. I have to admit, that made me nervous!
The campground only has four tent spots, as it is primarily an RV campground. There are many folks who leave their campers parked there year round, and others who are parked there indefinitely while they do construction work, etc. So while in the following adorable picture, it looks like we're camping in the middle of nowhere, on the other side of that gravel road are campers and trailers parked cheek by jowl. Truly.
The Oak Creek Campground was not bad. It had a pool, a decent bath house (that is about 1,500 feet from our tent spot), a laundry room where I took care of washing the lamp fuel out of Grace's backpack/clothes, a game room, and a little store. The folks with whom we came in contact were, for the most part, nice and friendly.
Some things we would have preferred to be different -
We would have thought it lovely if there had been some grass in our area, if the bathrooms had been closer (I was so thankful for the port-a-pot Dad and Mom Smith brought), and if there had been equal to or less noise than we hear outside at home. And really, those things did not make it a miserable experience. We still had a fabulous time. But if we could've changed a few things, that would be our list.
As we exited the highway on our way to Oak Creek for the first time, we noticed a sign for Big Bone Lick State Park. Our curiosity was instantly raised, because we've had great experiences with state parks.
We drove over to Big Bone Lick Wednesday before we went back to our campground, and decided that we definitely want to camp there on our next trip to the museum. It is grassy, spacious, and quiet. The bathroom is more central, too! The is also a miniature golf course, a bison herd, a museum, hiking trails, and other fun looking stuff. I'll be sure to update after our next trip and report whether it's really as wonderful as it looks.
I hope my musings will be helpful if you're considering a trip to the Creation Museum. I highly recommend it as an educational experience, a spiritual challenge, and a motivator to become more firmly grounded and to help our children be more firmly grounded in Scripture.