A Family Trip to Washington, D.C., Part 11: The Creation Museum

In case you missed the first few posts in this series, we are chronicling our family trip to Washington D.C.  The first post in the series is here.  You can find the rest under the travel menu on our main page.  Last week Todd described how we kept all of us entertained outside the car on our travel days.  Today I will talk about our experience at the Creation Museum in Lexington, Kentucky.

Two years ago, when we began to seriously plan our two-week adventure to Washington, D.C., we knew there was one must-see destination our family would visit before ever stepping foot in our nation’s capital.

Todd and I have wanted to see the Creation Museum since it opened almost ten years ago.  As Christians, we follow a creationist perspective of science.  The Creation Museum supports what we believe, and we wanted to view first-hand the ministry happening in Lexington, Kentucky.

Unfortunately, Kentucky is a very long drive from our home.  We were never able to justify the trip.  Detouring into Lexington for a day along the travel route to D.C. only added about an hour of time in the car for us, though.  It was a no-brainer.  Our family was going to get up close and personal with all the museum had to offer.

Of all the things we did and saw along the way to and from Washington, D.C., the Creation Museum was our favorite.  We spent a full day exploring exhibits, listening to speakers and presentations, and walking the grounds. We were excited to see an educational experience that thoroughly, respectfully, and accurately depicts the beliefs held by creation scientists.

What, in specific, did we like so much about this place?  Here are our favorites:

1.  We studied creation before learning about evolution on our trip.

Todd and I knew that the Smithsonian Museums in D.C., with the Natural History Museum being the best example, would be full of information about evolution.  Since we teach our children that the theory of evolution is false, we wanted to get information we believe into their minds first.

In the end, this was an excellent choice.  As we explored the museums of Washington, we found many opportunities to compare and contrast creation science with the teachings of evolution.  Our children exercised their critical thinking skills extensively by examining exhibits that showed both sides of the origin debate.

2.  The dinosaur exhibits are pretty awesome.

Jo Rex-min

Buddy Davis is the Creation Museum’s resident dinosaur dude.  He designed and built all of the site’s life-sized models.  We heard him speak at a homeschool conference several years ago.  He is fun and impressive.  So are his dinosaur displays.

3.  Ken Ham is an engaging speaker.

By accident, we were able to listen to Ken Ham give a an hour-long lecture.  He travels a lot and is not always at the museum.  We were wandering aimlessly in a bookstore when someone mentioned that Ken Ham was starting a presentation next door in five minutes.  The girls did not find him nearly as interesting as we parents, but it was good for them to listen to Mr. Ham all the same.  Ken is the brains behind the operation at the Creation Museum.  He is also the one that famously debated Bill Nye the Science Guy a couple of years ago.

4.  The museum provides an excellent visual representation of the book of Genesis.  And other times in history, too.

IMG_0014

We all learn differently.  We hear, see, and handle information in order to interpret it.  For many of us, especially children, visual and tactile experiences help with learning retention.

We saw models that represented the magnitude of Noah’s Ark.  We viewed scenes of dinosaurs walking the earth with humans.  We looked at an artist’s interpretation of the fall into sin.  They all made a lasting impact upon us.

5.  The representation of Satan as a serpent was creepy enough to give us chills.

creation museum serpent

Sinister eyes.  Beautiful red scales.  Head of a lizard.  Presence of a Gremlin.  The image of the Creation Museum’s Satan is burned into my brain.  And I kind of wish it was not.

6.  The petting zoo and outdoor space are fun.

IMG_0016

We visited the museum during the off-season, so not all of the animals were on exhibit.  And the grounds, while still pristine and impressive, lacked the foliage and flowers of summer.  Even so, it was an enjoyable walk.  The museum also has a zip line.  We did not use it, but friends who have tell us it is a lot of fun.

This summer, a full-size wooden representation of Noah’s Ark is also opening to the public.  I can only imagine how impressive it will be.

7.  The food court is a great place to have lunch.

Our children insist that the food at Noah’s Cafe was downright excellent.  While I think they may exaggerate somewhat, I do remember that it was quite good for cafeteria fare.  In addition, the portions were generous and the prices were reasonable.

Unlike many on-site food court options at museums and zoos, this one does not exist to gouge tourists and turn a ridiculous profit.  Instead, they are there to simply feed hungry people at a fair price.  I liked that.

8.  Other visitors are generally polite and courteous. 

I am not naive enough to think that just because we were at a Christian tourist attraction that everyone there was inspired to be on their best behavior.  After all, everyone is capable of being obnoxious wherever they may be.

That being said, there was a noticeable difference in behavior between people visiting the Creation Museum and virtually every other museum, zoo, or tourist attraction we visited.  Even the groups of teenagers on field trips were easier to share space with than at other locations.

There were many things that we did and saw on our road trip.  Most of it was fun (or at least educational).  The Creation Museum was both.  Given the opportunity, we would definitely go again.

Have you ever been to the Creation Museum?  What did you like?  Send me an email or comment below!