Approximately 50 Thy Word Network listeners joined Rick & Marilyn Barton and I for our first ever daytrip to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati on Thursday, May 8, 2008. Unfortunately for us, we had to do it in pouring rain (although, since the Creation Museum places great emphasis on Noah's Flood, perhaps this was appropriate), but I don't think this dampened anyone's spirits in the least!
The day started early, with everyone arriving at our departure point around 6:30 AM ... well, almost everyone - I was, as usual, running a little late (what can I say - I am definitely not a morning person, and needed to make a quick stop for caffeine!). Nevertheless, we were able to hit the road at 7:00 AM and made great time, arriving at our destination shortly before the lunch hour. This 70,000 square foot museum is located in a rural area south of Cincinatti, surrounded by some lovely grounds that would have been nice to explore on a drier day. As you enter the museum, you are greeted by life-size animal and dinosaur sculptures inside and outside the huge stone portico (entry hall). Our first stop was the green-screen "Special FX" photo both, where all of us crowded together for a group picture - the one we bought for the station had rampaging dinosaurs added in to the background after the fact. Very cool.
From there we ventured into the Main Hall, which is lined with animatronic people and animals above what is essentially a giant fish tank on one side, and display cases topped by a huge moving brontasauras on the other. From the main hall, you can also access Noah's Cafe & Grill (they serve really good food, by the way), the Special Effects Theater, the Stargazers Planetarium, and the Dragon Hall Bookstore. At the back of the hall is the entrance to a maze of exhibits that make up the bulk of the museum.
These exhibits are an interesting mixture of biblical history/apologetics and scientific display. This includes the "7 C's of History" - Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross and Consummation. They're all heavy on dioramas and interactive media, which helps to capture the attention of museum visitors of all ages. My personal favorites were the sections Adam Naming the Animals and Noah's Ark Construction Site. Both scenes contain a number of incredibly detailed and extremely lifelike people and animals - this is not a place I'd want to hang out in after all the lights have gone out (if you've ever seen the film "A Night at the Museum," you know what I'm talking about)! If you vist sometime, take a minute to study the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - if you look really closely, you can detect a depiction of Christ on the cross in the bark of the tree (I never would have noticed it if it hadn't been pointed out to me by a helpful State Trooper). When you move into the Ark room, you're confronted with a lifesized section of boat construction work, complete with heavily-accented narration by one of the animatronic craftsmen.
As you exit the displays, you come in to the lobby area of the Last Adam Theater, where visitors are encouraged to see an evangelistic film about Christ. I skipped this particular feature, but Rick assured me that it was very well done. At this point, you are on the bottom level of the museum, and can chill out in the Palm Plaza with a snack, vist the Dinosaur Den (my other favorite display area), or watch another film about the relationship between dragons and dinosaurs. The history geek in me really enjoyed that last one.
When I eventually figured out how to get back upstairs, I found myself in the Dragon Hall Bookstore, which is one of the more inventively decorated bookstores I've ever been in. A large variety of Answers in Genesis materials are available for purchase, as well as the usual souvenir-type merchandise. The clerk who checked out my book on ancient Egypt and a mousepad informed me that he finds so much of their stock interesting that his wife is getting annoyed with him for bringing it all home and cramming their bookshelves. I could sympathize with his dilemma.
There are two other areas of the museum that you should definitely take the time to visit. The "Men in White" Special Effects Theater offers a film with a humorous look at the creation/evolution debate, complete with moving seats and ... something else (don't want to spoil the surprise!). The Stargazers Planetarium costs extra, but is very much worth the small expense. The information presented in the show is rather mindblowing, and really well done. I have it on good authority, however, that you should not try to attend this show directly after lunch, as the comfortable chairs recline, and you may end up taking a $7 nap! Oh - and sit in the back row, if you can manage it.
And this concludes your tour-by-proxy of the Creation Museum! I encourage you to take a day or two to check it out for yourself, and if the current gas prices are a little daunting, then plan to join us on our second planned bus trip this Fall!
See all of my photos from the trip, now uploaded to our Photo Archives (captions to be added soon).