Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Ark Encounter - The Outside Grounds

This week's travel post is part of a travel series of our visit to see our grandchildren in Carmel, Indiana.  If you want to start at the beginning, go HERE. Other posts in chronological order are HERE,  HEREHERE, and HERE.

For he past two weeks on my blog, I shared about our visit to The Creation Museum in Kentucky.  The very next day we visited the Ark Encounter, which is the sister attraction of the Creation Museum.  This time, we left the grandkids at home.  We thought they needed a day at home to rest because all the day in/day out of traveling was getting to them.  They only live two and half hours from the Ark Encounter, so hopefully they can visit another time.

Just like I did with my posts of the Creation Museum, I am going to divide our visit to the Ark Encounter into two separate posts:  the outside grounds, and inside the ark.  Otherwise, this post would be way too long.

  Using the Bible as their guide, the Ark Encounter built a full size ark according to the dimensions given in the Bible, spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. It is really something to see this in person!  It is the largest timber frame structure in the world.  It is built from standing dead timber, in part by Amish craftsmen.  What an architectural marvel!

The grounds of the Ark Encounter are absolutely beautiful.  There are stunning floral displays everywhere you look.  The next three pictures were all taken on a path as we entered the ark.  The lush plant displays created an atmospheric mood of how the world might have looked in Noah's time.  There were audio sounds of wind, rain, and animals as you proceeded up to the ark.

I loved these giraffe topiaries!  So perfect for the theme of the park.

The ark has three decks of exhibits, (all of which we will explore in next week's post).  After we finished exploring the first deck, we were hungry and decided to head to lunch.  Of course we had to stop for a photo shoot at the bow of the boat first.

Like the Creation Museum, there are many dining options available at the Ark Encounter.  You can choose to have a picnic lunch on one of their tables or in a pavilion, they also have plenty of outdoor food venues like the Village Smokehouse and Grill, Zofars, and the Village Ice Cream and Sweets.  It was all so tempting, but ultimately we chose Emzara's Kitchen.  It is a two story, cafeteria-style restaurant with spectacular views of the ark and the surrounding area.

You can choose to eat inside or outside on one of their decks.  We chose to eat outside and enjoy the stunning views!

The food was incredible!  We couldn't believe how much food they gave us for $14.99 per person.  We couldn't even eat it all!

Did I say the views were amazing?

And in case you don't like eating outside because of bugs or heat, here is a peek of the inside.  Lots of taxidermy!

The front of ark, as you can see in the very first picture of this post, is very realistic, but the back side of the ark tells another story.

Of course hubby had to play a little photo illusion game. 😂

Unlike the Creation Museum, the Ark Encounter did not have a big beautiful botanical garden, but they made up for it by having gorgeous floral displays scattered throughout the park.

The Ark Encounter has many of the same activities that the Creation Museum had but because we were child-less this time, we didn't go to all of them.  They have a Virtual Reality Experience (Pictured below. Extra charge), a children's playground, zip lines, Aarat Ridge Zoo, Fossil Find (extra charge), and lots of special presentations and musical concerts.

Because we didn't have our grandchildren with us, we were able to attend a special presentation this time and to our great delight we got to hear Ken Ham himself speak.  We were also treated to a southern gospel concert, which was so much fun!  More on that next week!

After Ken Ham's presentation and the concert, we decided to check out the Aarat Ridge Zoo.

The zoo appeared more modern that the Creation Museum's zoo, but it seemed a tad smaller.  It also looked as if they were not quite done finishing it and were still adding more exhibits.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed looking at all the animals, like this funny looking guy here, an African Crowned Crane.

There are daily  20-minute animal shows where you can learn all about the different kinds of animals.  

They have a petting area and camel rides.

This is an African Spurred Tortoise.

The Kangaroo Walkabout was my favorite part of this zoo.  You could walk right into the kangaroo enclosure and get so close to the animals. 

I also loved being able to see the ark from just about anywhere in the park.  Of course, with something that big, how could you miss it?

 I hope you enjoyed walking around the grounds of the Ark Encounter with me.  Next week, is the most exciting part:  going inside the ark!  I can't wait to show you!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. They really did a great job with all the pretty plants and flowers throughout the grounds! The giraffes do look gorgeous but I'm not sure I could visit the restaurant with the taxidermy. I don't mind it as much inside a museum for educational purposes but not inside a restaurant. Would definitely have chosen to eat outside too with that pretty view!

    1. You sound just like my daughter, she is terrified of taxidermy. I was surprised most people were eating inside when it was such a beautiful day to eat outdoors.

  2. Looks like a nice place to visit and love the views.

  3. That sounds like another super fun day!

    1. It was one of the funnest days I've had in a long time.

  4. Gosh Amy. You make me want to drive out there now. What an incredible exhibit!! And I haven't even seen the inside yet!

    1. Well it would be a long drive for you, but I think it'd be worth it. You could see the Smokies while your out there!

  5. This looks amazing Amy! I wish I would have seen this back when I lived in Ohio. I'm in Colorado now and we have a daughter in San Diego. Every trip we can take is always west. Thank you for sharing!

    1. It really is amazing to see. I know what you mean about always having to travel in a certain direction, with my kids in Indiana, we always try to fit in a stop there when we travel, although we're hoping to take a trip out west this fall.

  6. I have a lot of friends and family that have gone to see the ark encounter and it is on my bucket list! It looks like a lot of fun and I'm sure you learned a lot.


    1. Yes, it's not that far of a drive for you. You really should go; your kids are the perfect age for it!

  7. It does look so big and fun to see too! :) It's a shame the grandkids couldn't join you, they would have loved the animal experiences, but I'm sure as you said they've been there a few times living so close.

    Hope you are having a good weekend :)

    Away From The Blue

    1. The day before we were at the Creation Museum and they went to the petting zoo there. They really need a day off to rest at home.

  8. The grounds are beautiful and I can't believe the size of the ark! It sounds like a fun experience!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  9. The flowers along the walkway are so pretty to see. I'm glad you shared both places with us.

    Your link is a welcome addition to My Corner of the World' this week!

  10. Amy, this is truly breathtaking! The ark, the ground, etc...but mostly the experience of seeing an ark built according to the Biblical instruction. What a grand experience.


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