The Ark Encounter picture of the ark

My Visit at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown Kentucky 2023

The Ark Encounter in beautiful Williamstown, Kentucky is a wonderful place of learning and fun that captures the story of Noah’s Ark as told in the book of Genesis. With its amazing exhibits, zip lines, and a life-size Noah’s Ark, this theme park draws visitors from everywhere. It’s a perfect mix of faith, history, and entertainment.

Ken Ham, a creationist and the CEO of Answers in Genesis built the Ark Encounter to bring the biblical story of Noah’s Ark to life. His vision was to create an immersive, educational experience that would help modern audiences connect with this ancient narrative in a tangible way. He believed that by recreating the Ark according to the biblical dimensions and offering engaging exhibits, he could enhance understanding and appreciation of this significant biblical event.

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Maximizing Your Visit to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum

With the 3-Day Bouncer Pass

If you are interested in visiting the Creation Museum too, I recommend getting the 3-day Bouncer pass. This combo ticket allowed us to explore both the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter at a discount. Getting the 3-day Bouncer pass is the best way to say money. The Bouncer Pass allowed us to freely visit both the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum as much as we wanted over three days within a week. If you are 60 and above ask about their senior discount. In addition to the senior discount, I highly recommend getting the parking pass. You will end up paying less and getting one day of free parking. Children 10 and under are free! See their site for the admission price here.

The Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum is about 40 min from each other. 

Tip: To make the most of your visits to both the Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum, consider staying somewhere in between. We found Florence, KY, to be an ideal location. It’s just about 20 minutes from both attractions. This will save you travel time and let you enjoy both experiences without feeling rushed. To check out where we stayed during our trip, click here.

Noah's coffee at the Ark Encounter Museum

Getting to the Ark

Once you get to the parking lot, there is a free shuttle bus that takes you to the Ark Encounter. It’s about a 5-minute ride. The buses came frequently so we didn’t have to wait long. We entered a building that had a food area, restrooms, gifts, and books. 

From this area there is a nice walk that leads to the ark. There is a beautiful rainbow arch we walked under. Along the way to the ark are beautiful gardening or landscaping. I particularly loved the elephant that was creatively shaped out of a bush. 

Truth Traveler

An Immersive Journey Back to Noah's Time with Virtual Reality

As we strolled toward Noah’s Ark, we stumbled upon the Truth Traveler. Here, you put on the VR headset and take a seat in the dynamic chair to embark on an amazing journey. You’re taken through the construction of Noah’s Ark, the experience of the great flood waters, and an exploration of the Ark with its many animal inhabitants. And that’s not all, there are even a few thrilling surprises in store! It was a fun and exhilarating experience. However, it’s worth noting that this is not included in your ticket price, so there is an additional charge for this.

Tip: It’s best to try this in the late afternoon. When we arrived early, there was a long queue, but by late afternoon, there were only a few people.

Elephant brush at the ark encounter

Ark Encounter Food Places

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While we didn’t dine at the restaurants, we did notice several dining options.  Emzara’s Kitchen is the sole sit-down restaurant and it serves buffet items like fried chicken, pot roast, and mashed potatoes.

We also saw Noah’s Village which serves ice cream, burgers, pizza, and tacos. For a complete list and prices click here.

The Ark Encounter Employees

The Ark Encounter is not only known for its jaw-dropping exhibits but also for its dedicated employees. They play a significant role in shaping the visitor experience. From the minute guests arrive, they are welcomed by warm smiles and helpful assistance from the staff. It seemed to be many happy visitors.

Whether it’s guiding guests in the parking lot, serving at the ticket counters, or answering queries about the exhibits, the employees are always on hand to offer help. Their dedication to providing a seamless visitor experience is commendable.

the ark at the ark encounter

The Ark Encounter: Largest Timber-Frame Structure

The Ark Encounter is the full-size Noah’s Ark. At 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this is the largest timber-frame structure in the world, built in proportion to the dimensions specified in the biblical text. The size of the Ark comes from the Bible’s book of Genesis.

Its sheer size is evident from the parking lot itself, with the Ark dominating the skyline from the long hill leading to the entrance. The Ark seems as large as a football field and as you approach it, a feeling of awe and wonder surrounds you. The meticulous detail and artistic license incorporated into the Ark’s design make it a masterpiece worth admiring.

Noah's prayer at the ark encounter.

The Ark Encounter

An Amazing Giant Structure

 The Ark Encounter takes you back in time, and every part of it, inside and out, shows the great care taken to build it. It’s not just a copy of Noah’s Ark from the Bible but also a work of art. And even though the designers used some creativity, this makes the Ark even more interesting. It’s not only a big ship but also a place where the past comes to life!

Inside Noah's Ark

As you approach, it’s hard not to be in awe of the Ark’s magnificent size. The intricate details and imaginative touches in its design make it a sight worth admiring.

Inside, the grandness of the Ark continues including its enormous decks. Spread over three floors are numerous exhibits ready for exploration. The Ark Encounter feels like stepping into a time capsule, taking you back to a different time period. Every aspect, from inside to outside, showcases the meticulous attention to detail and effort put into its creation.

Inside the Ark: A Journey to the Pre-Flood World and the Great Flood

Venture inside the Ark to find a pre-flood world coming alive through various displays and digital animations. The exhibits within the Ark portray the worldwide flood, an event of biblical proportions that reshaped geological formations according to the Book of Genesis.

The jaw-dropping exhibits are immersive, helping visitors understand how human beings and animals could have lived and survived during the great flood. While the queue may be long at times, the Ark Encounter has air conditioning, making the waiting period comfortable and ensuring a pleasant experience for everyone.

A Vivid Journey through the Ark Encounter

Lots of displays and computer animations bring the Ark to life, showing what life could have looked like before the flood. The comprehensive exhibits immerse you in the story of the great flood, a monumental event that, according to the Book of Genesis, dramatically altered the Earth’s geological features. These exhibits offer insights into how life might have endured during this catastrophic period. With detailed replicas of living spaces, cages containing model animals, and recreations of pre-flood landscapes, all elements combine to bring the biblical account to vivid life.

Noah and dove at the ark encounter.

These exhibits do not merely tell a story; they help visitors understand the logistical challenges of housing and sustaining humans and a host of animal species inside a ship during the flood. 


Equally engaging are the exhibits that portray the event of the great flood itself. Visitors can walk through a darkened corridor where sounds of thunder and pouring rain fill the air, creating a chilling representation of the storm that lasted for forty days and forty nights. Interactive digital animations offer a visual representation of the earth before, during, and after the flood, showing how the deluge could have dramatically altered the earth’s landscape.

Food on ark at ark encounter

They help in visualizing how Noah and his family could have fed and cared for the animals, how waste could have been managed, and how life could have gone on inside the Ark for more than a year.

Despite the potentially long queue during peak times, the Ark Encounter ensures a comfortable experience for all its visitors. The structure is equipped with air conditioning, providing a respite from the summer heat. Rest areas are strategically placed around the Ark, offering a place to sit, reflect, and absorb the enormity of the narrative that the Ark Encounter brings to life. Every effort is made to ensure that your journey through the pre-flood world and the events of the great flood is an enlightening and pleasant experience.

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Exploring the Ararat Ridge Zoo and Petting Zoo: A Wildlife Encounter

Just a stone’s throw away from the Ark lies the Ararat Ridge Zoo, a delightful exploration for animal lovers. The zoo, much like the Ark itself, serves as an immersive experience, home to an array of live animals.

The highlight of the Ararat Ridge Zoo are the camel rides, an experience. These gentle creatures offer an adventurous ride, creating a lasting memory for visitors of all ages.

Petting Zoo

The zoo isn’t limited to viewing animals from a distance. Visitors can also immerse themselves in an interactive experience at the petting zoo. Here, you can get up close and personal with various farm animals. From petting goats to feeding llamas, this is a place where you can truly feel a connection with the animals.

The Ararat Ridge Zoo is nestled in the lush surroundings of Northern Kentucky, providing a tranquil backdrop to the animal enclosures. Beautifully maintained paths meander through the zoo, leading you from one enclosure to the next amidst a setting of rolling hills and green pastures.

The surroundings not only add to the visual appeal of the zoo but also offer a peaceful ambiance. 

Discovering Wildlife Wonders

The zoo also houses other animals like Tibetan yaks, kangaroos, ostriches, emus, and more, giving visitors a global safari experience right in the heart of Kentucky. Informative signs throughout the zoo provide interesting facts about each species, creating an educational experience intertwined with fun.

Benches are scattered around the area, providing spots to sit and enjoy the calm while observing the lively antics of the zoo’s inhabitants. From the playful jumping of the lemurs to the peaceful grazing of the alpacas, there’s always something to catch your eye and bring a smile to your face.

In the Ararat Ridge Zoo, the Ark Encounter offers an engaging and fulfilling experience for all animal lovers. Amidst the serene environment of Northern Kentucky, the zoo presents a harmonious blend of nature and animal life, proving to be an enjoyable escape for all visitors.

Adventurous Zip Lines

If you’re after some excitement, Ark Encounter has thrilling zip lines on offer. These rapid lines let you glide above the canopy and take in the beautiful sights of the northern Kentucky surroundings. The zip lines are often chosen by visitors who want to add a dash of adventure to their Ark Encounter trip. However, during our visit, we didn’t observe anyone using them.

Books are another popular item at the gift shop. With a range of titles covering the story of Noah, the construction of the Ark Encounter, and the animals of Ararat Ridge Zoo, these books allow you to take a piece of the Ark Encounter experience home with you.


Shopping Options

The gift shop is a treasure trove of souvenirs to remember your journey. From handcrafted artifacts that echo the biblical era to modern mementos featuring the Ark and its animal inhabitants, there’s plenty to choose from. 

They do offer a small Noah’s Ark for purchase, but in my opinion, it didn’t justify its cost. It seemed quite basic and lacked detailed craftsmanship.


For those who want a more personalized keepsake, the gift shop offers the option of a keepsake photo. You can pose in front of a green screen, and through the magic of digital imaging, find yourself standing in front of the Ark or surrounded by animals. This personalized memento serves as a fun and unique reminder of your visit.

The dining and shopping options at Ark Encounter add another dimension to your visit, turning it into a full-fledged experience that caters to all your senses. Whether you’re a food lover or a souvenir hunter, there’s something at the Ark Encounter to satisfy you.

Ken Ham's Vision: Bringing Noah's Ark to Life at the Ark Encounter

The driving force behind the awe-inspiring Ark Encounter is Ken Ham. Known for his unwavering dedication to sharing the biblical account of Noah, Ham envisioned a place where people could witness the biblical narrative come to life in a very tangible way.

Born in Australia, Ham’s journey led him to Northern Kentucky, where he laid the foundation for the Ark Encounter. A creationist and the CEO of Answers in Genesis, Ham had a clear vision: to recreate Noah’s Ark as accurately as possible and provide an immersive, educational experience for visitors.

The Ark Encounter website, a vital tool in Ham’s mission, provides visitors with all the information they need to plan their visit. From operating hours to ticket prices, special events, and more, the website is a comprehensive guide to the Ark Encounter experience. Ham’s personal blogs provide an insight into his thought process and the rationale behind the Ark Encounter’s various features. He often shares helpful tips for visitors, suggesting the best times to visit, what to expect, and how to maximize their experience.

Ham’s commitment to bringing the past alive is evident in every detail of the Ark Encounter. From the life-size Ark built according to biblical dimensions to the realistic exhibits within and the meticulously designed zoo, everything speaks volumes about Ham’s dedication to his vision.

Through the Ark Encounter, Ken Ham has managed to connect a modern audience to an ancient narrative, enhancing understanding and appreciation for the biblical story of Noah. His passion and commitment have resulted in a unique and engaging tourist site that continues to draw visitors from around the world.

Chart Noah's family at ark encounter.

A Unique Blend of History, Education, and Entertainment

In a landscape where tourist attractions often prioritize amusement over education, the Ark Encounter presents a unique blend of biblical history, learning, and fun. It’s a great place to do group tours or school tours.  The site serves as a testament to the power of human imagination and dedication, breathing life into an ancient narrative and making it accessible to the modern world.

Dead sea scrolls at the ark encounter

Not only is the Ark Encounter a stunning recreation of Noah’s Ark, but it is also the world’s largest timber-frame structure. The awe-inspiring sight of the Ark, coupled with the craftsmanship that went into building it, is enough to captivate any visitor. The immersive exhibits within it only add to the overall experience, transporting you back to a pre-flood world and the subsequent great flood. You will also find information about the Ice Age, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and many other events.

The Ark Encounter doesn’t stop at the Ark, though. The Ararat Ridge Zoo and petting zoo invite visitors to interact with a variety of animals, bringing another dimension of fun and engagement to the experience. Dining and shopping options cater to every taste and preference, ensuring your visit is comfortable and enjoyable.


Other Attractions

Family Playground

The playground area at the Ark Encounter is a treat for young visitors. It’s designed to entertain children of all ages, providing a fun-filled break from exploring the exhibits.

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The Carousel at the Ark Encounter is a delightful feature that adds a touch of whimsy to the visit. Suitable for kids and adults alike, it’s a charming attraction that offers a joyful ride amidst the historical and educational explorations.

Featuring an array of beautifully crafted animals, some of which are unique and reflect the Ark’s animal theme,.

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Camel Rides

Camel rides at the Ark Encounter are a fun and different way to see the park. These rides are part of the Ararat Ridge Zoo and let you see and ride real camels.

Camel rides at the Ark Encounter are available from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Each ride costs $10 per person.

Answers Center Auditorium

The Answers Center Auditorium is another significant feature of the Ark Encounter. It is a multi-purpose auditorium that hosts a variety of presentations, workshops, concerts, and conferences that align with the Ark Encounter’s mission of educating visitors about the biblical account of Noah’s Ark.


We saw the Building of the Ark Encounter here which was a 30 min video. 

Exploring the Wonders of the Ark Encounter: Your Ultimate Q&A Guide

Dive into our comprehensive Q&A guide about the Ark Encounter, the life-size recreation of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky. This guide covers everything from the Ark’s impressive dimensions, educational exhibits, and family-friendly activities, to practical details like ticket pricing, accessibility, and on-site amenities. Whether you’re planning a visit or just curious about this unique attraction, our guide offers engaging insights and essential information to enhance your understanding and experience of the Ark Encounter.

What is the Ark Encounter?

The Ark Encounter is a full-scale model of Noah’s Ark, based on descriptions from the Bible. It’s a massive wooden structure located in Williamstown, Kentucky, designed to give visitors a sense of what the biblical ark might have looked like.

How big is the Ark at the Ark Encounter?

It’s huge! The Ark in the Ark Encounter measures 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. This makes it one of the largest timber-frame structures in the world, offering an immersive experience into the biblical story of Noah’s Ark.

Can you take tours inside the Ark?

Absolutely! Inside the Ark, you can explore three decks filled with exhibits. These exhibits include detailed models of animals, informative displays about life on the Ark, and insights into Noah’s family. It’s a walk-through experience that’s both educational and entertaining.

Is the Ark Encounter suitable for children?

Yes, it’s a family-friendly attraction. Kids will love seeing the life-sized animals and interactive exhibits. There are also outdoor activities and a zoo, making it a fun day out for the whole family.

Are there dining options at the Ark Encounter?

Definitely. You’ll find a variety of dining options, from casual snacks to buffet meals, all designed to cater to different tastes and dietary needs. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, there’s something for everyone. We grabbed a quick snack but decided to have our main meal outside of the museum because it’s less expensive.”

Is there a gift shop at the Ark Encounter?

Yes, there’s a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, books, and unique items related to the Ark and its themes. It’s a great place to pick up a memento of your visit or gifts for friends and family. We got our grandsons some light up swords and they loved it!

How long should I plan to spend at the Ark Encounter?

To fully enjoy the Ark and its surrounding attractions, plan to spend at least half a day. This gives you ample time to explore the exhibits inside the Ark, enjoy the outdoor activities, and maybe even sit down for a meal.

Are there hotels nearby the Ark Encounter?

It’s a good idea to pick a hotel halfway between The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum if you plan to visit both. We stayed near the airport in Florence, Kentucky, which was about 20 minutes from both sites. The area had lots of shopping and eating options, including restaurants, sandwich shops, and fast food. Some of the places nearby are: Some of the nearby places are: Potbelly Sandwich shop, Meijer grocery, Chick-fil-A, Cracker Barrell, McAlister’s, and Lornhorn and many more. For more information on the newly built hotel we stayed in click here

Yes, there are several accommodation options near the Ark Encounter, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to more luxurious stays. Some even offer packages that include tickets to the Ark Encounter.

Is the Ark Encounter accessible for people with disabilities?

The Ark Encounter is designed to be accessible for all visitors, including those with disabilities. There are ramps, elevators, and wheelchair-friendly paths throughout the attraction.

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You can rent ECV & Strollers


In conclusion, The Ark Encounter stands as more than just another tourist site. It’s a place where history, faith, education, and recreation intersect, offering a truly unique experience. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, an educational field trip, or a deeper understanding of biblical history, the Ark Encounter is a destination that’s sure to impress and inspire. It is, without a doubt, a must-visit attraction in the beautiful region of Northern Kentucky.

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7 thoughts on “My Visit at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown Kentucky 2023”

  1. This sounds like such an interesting place to visit! I was sold at the elephant topiarys lol. The whole place looks like such a good visit. I’m going to save this as a place to go for if I’m ever over that way! Thank you for sharing!

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