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Christmas at the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum

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Thursday, November 16, 2023 @ 10:18 AM Christmas at the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Rebecca Davis The Stand (Print) Editor MORE

It’s what many deem as “the most wonderful time of the year,” especially at the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum – both attractions of Answers in Genesis, an apologetics ministry that helps equip Christians to defend their faith and proclaim the gospel. The life-size replica of Noah’s Ark, located in Williamstown, Kentucky, and the state-of-the-art museum of biblical history, located in Petersburg, Kentucky, are both transformed into Christmas wonderlands each holiday season.

Brilliant light displays, biblical dramas, musical performances, animal encounters, seasonal treats, carousel rides, ornament making, a Christmas meal, and a live Nativity scene are just some of the special offerings that families can experience at ChristmasTime at the Ark Encounter and ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum. Most of the Christmas festivities are free after paying only to park, while food, camel rides, planetarium shows, ziplining, and a virtual reality experience, among other things, can be experienced for additional costs.

The Stand recently had the opportunity to ask Ken Ham, founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Ark Encounter, and the Creation Museum, about the beginning, the purpose, and the future of ChristmasTime and ChristmasTown.

The Stand: Where did the idea come from for ChristmasTime at the Ark Encounter and ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum, and how did they both come to fruition?

Ken Ham: Two of our staff members had a real burden to provide a family-friendly Christmas event honoring the Lord Jesus Christ at the Creation Museum. Working with the heads of our exhibit design and horticulture and grounds departments, a plan was made to install a stunning array of lights, a live Nativity, and Christian Christmas music, and special programs.

At a time when Christmas is becoming increasingly secularized, Christ is being taken out of Christmas, Nativity scenes are being removed, and antagonism toward Christianity is increasing, it was deemed important that we, in a sense, help “take back” Christmas and restore a Christian view of the holiday.

TS: When were these Christmas events first held?

KH: The first ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum was opened to the public in 2008, the second year from the opening of this attraction. ChristmasTime at the Ark Encounter was added the year it opened, in 2016. Since that time, stunning lights and unique Christmas programs continue to be added. Many tens of thousands of people visit at Christmas to experience the world-class light displays and the God-honoring programs.

TS: What type of response have you had to these events over the years? 

KH: Since the Christmas lights and events are free (except for parking) to the public, both Christians and non-Christians have thanked us for providing such a wholesome experience for their families. Many have told us that family members and friends who they couldn’t get to go to church would come see the lights and programs at these two attractions.

Parents have told us how refreshing it is to come to such attractions and not have to worry about what their children will see or experience because everything is honoring God and His Word. And families love the live Nativity, as not many places provide such an event anymore.

TS: What do you hope is accomplished each season through these events?

KH: We trust it will provide a place for great family bonding, and a fun, safe, and God-honoring celebration of the Christmas season, where all can also be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas concerning the Creator who became our Savior. People will also see Christians providing worldclass Christmas lights and programming as we proclaim the greatest message in the universe – the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.

TS: Why should families plan a visit this year during the Christmas season?

KH: This is a way to make new traditions with your family and help pass on that wonderful, godly, spiritual legacy to coming generations. Families can enjoy traditional Christmas music, unique musical drama programs, camel rides, live animal programs, stunning lights, festive foods, and much more.  

(Digital Editor's Note: This article was published first in the November 2023 print edition of The Stand).

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