The Creation Museum was on my radar for a while. When we moved up to Ohio four years ago, I knew that at some point I wanted to pay it a visit. However, I had heard that it wasn’t kid friendly. So I have hesitated to go since Logan is still pretty young. I was afraid he wouldn’t enjoy it, which in turn meant Shadrach and I wouldn’t enjoy it.
Well, for our family vacation this summer we ended up having the opportunity to visit the museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Let’s just say; I am pleasantly surprised by the fact that Logan did enjoy it. Plus there is more for children than I expected. So, just in case there are any other parents out there hesitant to take your little ones, I thought I would share with you how you can experience and enjoy the Creation Museum with them!
Purchasing Tickets in Advance
To me, there is nothing worse than standing in lines with a busy, active four-year-old. I constantly find myself apologizing to the people ahead of us because my child seems not to know what personal space is. So, my advice is to purchase your tickets ahead of time online. There is no discount for doing this, but it does help keep you from standing in the line to buy tickets with a wiggly, space invading kid. 😊
Also, if you are on the fence about paying to go, children 5 and under are free! I think that is fantastic because it helps lower the cost a bit when you are bringing young children.
The Main Exhibit – A Walk Through History
Let me just start off by saying that we made the mistake of getting to the museum at 10:30 am. Then we headed straight for the main exhibits. I know you are wondering why this was a mistake. Well, it was super busy and crowded. We quickly discovered that Logan (as well as Shadrach and myself) do not do so well during peak crowds. Especially when you are walking through exhibits, and you are at the mercy of the people around you. My four-year-old just didn’t quite understand why he couldn’t weave in and out of people and go where he wanted.
So, if you don’t arrive before 9:30 am I would wait until after lunch to go through the main exhibits. We realized this later in the afternoon. So, we took full advantage of the lack of crowds and walked back through the exibits again. The second time through we were able to go at our own pace and enjoy it all.
The main exhibit is the section of the museum that can get a little hairy with young kids. Most of “A Walk Through History” has tons of reading, which means if you have a young child, like us, that isn’t reading yet, they don’t stand in one place long enough for you to read anything. So, I noticed a lot of parents taking pictures of the exhibits. It dawned on me that this was so that they could go back and read the information later. What a fantastic idea!
Main Exhibit – Kid Friendly Spots
There are little places throughout the museum for kids. For example, when you are first walking into the main display area, you have a choice of going through the grown-up hallway or walk through the door that takes you through the kids’ hallway. There are also little places that children can touch or short little movies to watch. Logan found things that grabbed his attention, like the mechanical dinosaur that he swore was real! I’m pretty sure he would have stood there all day watching that dinosaur.
My last tip about the main exhibit area is this is one of the places we found ourselves waiting in line to enter. Thankfully, they had some fun displays with animals right next to the line. We had a fun time playing a little game of trying to guess which animals were real and which ones were fake. It was a great way to keep little ones distracted from the wait. Thankfully the line moved quickly, and we didn’t have to wait too long.
The Special Exhibits
After you finish “A Walk Through History” exhibit, you find yourself on the first floor, and that is where there are some special exhibits. I was the most excited about these for Logan. They are a huge draw for little ones. While there isn’t much to touch or play with, there are some amazing and fun things to see.
The first of the unique exhibits is the Dinosaur Den. This room did not disappoint! If you have a dinosaur lover then this room is a must see. It’s full of dinosaur replicas and bones. I was trying to get Logan to stop and look at all the different dinosaurs, but he was too excited. He ran through it, but when he got to the end, he was ready to run through it again. So, I’d say that he liked this exhibit.
Then you have Dr. Crawley’s Insectarium that is amazing! If you have a child that is going through a bug phase, then this display is for them. Logan is just starting to get into bugs, and I thought for sure he would love this room. Instead, he just kept telling me that they were gross. I, on the other hand, was amazed at the various bugs, especially the ones that were so colorful and beautiful. There is a telescope in the corner of the room where your child can pick a number and look at a small bug up close. Logan loved being able to push the buttons.
The last special exhibit is the Dragon Legends room. There were some great things on display, but mostly things to read. Just something to keep in mind about this section, you cannot take pictures! So there is no taking pictures of the displays to go back and read later. It’s not really a kid friendly area but if you can tag team it with your significant other, it’s worth a walk through.
Lunch Break at Noah’s Café or Palm Pizza
I think it’s safe to say that when kids get hungry, they seem to get extra tricky. Thankfully the Creation Museum has some great food options! When we decided to stop for a lunch break, we chose to eat at Noah’s Café because it seemed to have a wide variety of choices. They offer some great kid friendly options, especially for those of you like us, with picky eaters. Logan could choose between chicken tenders or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Usually, when we eat inside museums, there is only one thing for him to choose from on the menu but here he had a few options, which was nice. Plus, Shadrach and I both enjoyed what we ate, and it was all for a reasonable price.
We didn’t eat at Palm Pizza, but it smelled and looked so good as we walked past it. There is also a place right outside of Noah’s Café to get a cup of coffee, which for me was much needed by mid-afternoon. I loved that I could order just a simple cup of coffee, but they did have some fancier Starbucks type options too! The last little place inside the museum I want to tell you about is the place you can stop and get some fudge or a little sweet treat. This is an excellent way to
bribe distract your child. 😉
The Petting Zoo
While we were there, it was raining, and every time we would walk by a window I would look out to see if it had stopped. When it finally did, I jumped at the chance for us to run out and look at the Petting Zoo and Gardens.
The Petting Zoo was one of Logan’s favorite things. He loved the goats and having the opportunity to feed them. Be sure to have a few quarters on hand, unlike us who didn’t bring any. We did not think beforehand about feeding the animals, but thankfully there is a change machine that takes dollar bills!
There are some unique animals to see! Like a zonkey (the child of a zebra and a donkey). Isn’t that fun? Have you ever seen a zonkey? I hadn’t before this. Also, there is the opportunity to take a camel ride. Unfortunately, they were not offering rides when we were there, due to the rain. The petting zoo is the perfect place to stop by while at the museum when you have little ones!
The Botanical Gardens
Unfortunately, the rain started up right as we were finishing the petting zoo, so we didn’t get the chance to walk through the botanical gardens. However, I recommend taking the time to do that, especially if you have little ones. Being outdoors will give them the chance to run off some energy.
If you do walk through the gardens, there is also a mining area which is a great family activity. It was on my list of places to check out, but you guessed it, the rain got in the way 🙂
The Planetarium is worth the time and money!! Logan is very into space and stars right now, so I knew that I wanted to make sure we went to one of the shows. It’s been almost a month since we’ve seen this show and he is still talking about it.
There are two different shows during the year, The Created Cosmos, and Aliens: Fact vs. Fiction. There is a special show at Christmas as well. We watched the Created Cosmos, and Logan sat through every bit of it without moving.
He was on my lap though because children 5 and under are free and all the shows when we were there was sold out, which meant all seats filled up with ticket holders. So, they ask that children 5 and under sit in your lap. It worked out perfect though because the seats lean back and it was kind of hard for me to lean them back, so I’m pretty sure Logan wouldn’t have been able to keep it back on his own.
I do want to warn you though if you think this is something your child will enjoy, buy tickets as soon as you get there. Shows do sell out! Thankfully also, the Showtime is only 30 minutes or less, which is just long enough for little ones.
It’s funny because before we left, I researched and planned everything. However, I didn’t pay attention to the free shows the museum offers because I just assumed Logan wouldn’t sit through them.
Well, after running inside from the rain, we weren’t sure what to do until our Planetarium Show started. So, we stopped and asked one of the museum staff members what they recommend. Can I just pause here and say that every single person we talked to on staff was so nice, kind, and helpful! Shadrach met Mark Looy who is the CCO and he was also kind and helpful. As a matter of fact, he was the one who expedited our media passes from security. But, if you have any questions about what to do or where to go, don’t hesitate to stop and ask. They are more than willing to help and are so knowledgeable about the museum.
Anyway, so the very kind staff member suggested the show Men in White. I asked her if she thought it would keep the attention of a very active four-year-old. And she said yes because it is a special effects show. Let’s just say Logan fought us about sitting and watching right up until it started. Then he sat still for the next 25 minutes and loved it all.
The best part is that it is free, or I should say is included in the purchase of your general admission ticket. That said if you are unsure whether your child will sit through the whole show, just be sure to sit on the end of a row, towards the back. That way you can get up and leave at any time.
Dragon Hall Bookstore
Okay, parent confession here, we are those parents that always buy our kid a souvenir when we visit a place with a gift shop. It’s usually not something costly, but we let Logan walk through and pick something out. The gift shop worked to our advantage while we were here.
We were about half way through the museum, and Logan was just antsy, so we stopped into the bookstore, which is also the gift shop. He ended up picking out a satellite and rocket. They weren’t very expensive, but they kept him entertained and busy for a little while.
This bookstore had a great selection of toys and books! I think I could have spent hours just looking through the books. 😊 But in reality, it was a life saver for us, and yes, Logan is still playing with those toys he picked out. 😉
I know you must be wondering why I’m mentioning the zip lines because there is no way a four-year-old would be allowed to experience them. Well, Shadrach and I won’t go on them either, but they were fun to watch! It seems like a lot of people do them though.
When we were in the ticket line, the tower the zip lines start their journey on is right outside the windows behind guest services. So, we could stand and watch people climb, and go zip lining! It was very entertaining and helped to pass the time. Logan thought it was fun to watch too!
I did not research the ages and cost of this ahead of time only because Shadrach and I will never attempt to try zip lining due to our fear of heights. However, if it is something you think you might want to do while you visit, you can check it out here.
Main Tips for Experiencing the Creation Museum with Young Children
Okay, so I know that was a lot of information and if you stuck with me, thank you! Here are my top tips all gathered in one place for how to explore the Creation Museum with little ones.
- If you go in the morning, do everything else but the main exhibit. Save that for after lunch. The crowds will die down, and it will make the main exhibits much more enjoyable with kids.
- As you walk through the exhibits, be sure to take pictures of everything you had hoped to read. You can go back later, at home (or the hotel) and read about everything you saw. (Just remember this will not work in the Dragon’s Legend Room because no photography or videography is allowed.)
- Make sure to stop for lunch at an ideal time and keep snacks handy throughout the day.
- Don’t hesitate to stop and ask the staff about anything! They are super friendly and knowledgeable about everything in the museum.
- There is a story time on the first floor around 1:30 pm. We missed this, but it is a perfect quiet activity for little ones.
- The Planetarium is amazing and well worth the time. Plus, I think little ones will love it if they aren’t afraid of the dark. That said, be sure to purchase your tickets for the planetarium show as soon as you arrive because they will sell out.
- Make sure to visit the petting zoo and see the zonkeys, as well as the other animals.
- When you make it to the petting zoo, be sure to have some quarters handy. If you don’t, there is a change machine right by the petting zoo.
- Be sure to stop and watch the “Men in White” show as it is only 25 minutes and has special effects that kids will love! Plus it’s a great way to break up all the walking.
- Just have fun! Let your child explore the museum at their own pace. Don’t try to control the visit too much because even when you think they could care less, they are learning and experiencing new things.
- Strollers are allowed. We didn’t use one but if you think your child might want to sit and ride, be sure to bring yours inside. If you don’t, there are strollers that you can rent inside the museum; they just won’t be as comfortable as your own.
- Final tip, I would advise trying to go during the week and not on the weekend. We went on a Thursday, and it was busy, so I can’t imagine what it would be like during the weekends. Also, try to avoid major holidays.
Would We Visit Again?
Well after spending all day at the Creation Museum, we were exhausted and Logan had his fair share of meltdowns throughout the day. So, my feelings as we left the museum was that it was nice to visit, but I think we will wait until he is older to come again.
However, now that I’ve had some time to think back on the trip, I realize that I would take him again at the age he is now. Yes, not everything went as planned and it wasn’t a perfect trip, but we did make some great memories. In fact, Logan is still talking about the museum and everything he saw.
So yes, I would go again with my four-year-old child, and I encourage you to take your little ones. Maybe they can’t read everything or understand everything they are seeing, but they are still learning and taking it all in. As parents, we just need to be willing to allow them to do it in their own way. Plus, if we never take them to museums, they will never learn to love them, as we do.
Have you taken your younger children to the Creation Museum? If so, do you have any tips on how to make the trip fun for little ones?
*Be on the lookout for our post coming soon about whether a journey to the Ark Encounter with young children is worth it!
*Our visit to the Creation Museum was sponsored in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions are our own. For more information, please see our disclosure.