Life-Sized Noah’s Ark Brings the Bible Story Alive
Published: August 30, 2019
By: Lori Chandler Pruitt
Many of us have heard and read the Bible story of Noah’s Ark and the years it took him to build the massive boat to God’s exact specifications. But there is something about seeing an actual sized replica that makes the story even more amazing.
Located in Williamstown, KY, halfway between Cincinnati, OH and Lexington, KY, the 510-feet-long ark is more than 50 feet tall and is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. It opened in July 2016 and draws thousands every year. It is owned and operated by Answers in Genesis.
Visitors enter a parking area about a mile from the ark itself, where tickets may be purchased. Shuttle buses take visitors to the ark and its different attractions outside the ark. Rounding the corner on the bus, the first sight of the ark is spectacular, knowing that it carried Noah and his family, hundreds of animals and everything necessary to survive.
There is a nice, paved curving path to the ark itself. Going inside, it is simply amazing to walk through the structure, seeing lifelike exhibits that depict what it was like to live on the ark. There are several teaching exhibits throughout about the flood, Noah and the animals, answering questions like Noah might have cared for all the animals and how the ark was big enough, and what happened to those in the ark after the flood. Inside, the ark also has a food area and a gift shop. Daily presentations address a number of timely topics.
The ark takes a whole day, if you want to see just about everything. If you are planning to travel 45 minutes away to the ark’s sister attraction, the Creation Museum, it’s a good idea to take a day at each.
Outside the ark, there are many attractions and things to do. Some of those include a great meal at Emzara’s Buffet, a two-story buffet restaurant with a great view of the ark, pan for unique fossils at an authentic mining sluice while learning about science from a biblical perspective, soar on a zipline, visit the Ararat Ridge Zoo and play on the playground.
Speaking of attractions, more is coming. As the ark celebrates three years, tourist-related business is flourishing, with new hotels being built throughout the area. And, the ark encounter is expanding. New features coming this fall will include:
- A 2,500-seat auditorium inside the Answers Center, with a 70-foot-long LED screen on the stage. This will host well-known musicians, Bible conferences and more.
- The Ararat Ridge Zoo, located behind the ark, will double in size soon with a walk-through kangaroo and emu area, along with the addition of lemurs, sloths, African tortoise, aoudad goats, live animal shows and more.
- A new family play area, accessible by all children and adults.
For tickets and other information on the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, go to arkencounter.com.
Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.