Friday, October 11, 2019

Labor Day Weekend 2018-Indy, Cincinnati, Ark Encounter & Creation Museum

{This has been sitting in my drafts for OVER.A.YEAR.!!!! I was having trouble with the pictures b/c of some computer problems, and then never got around to adding the pictures. So yes, this trip was a very long time ago, but thankfully I wrote it all out shortly after the trip, so I still have the details, and just had to add the pictures!}
I completely thought I had already blogged about this trip, but it turns out, I just posted the pictures on social media. Whoops! I wanted to get a little post up about all of the fun stuff we packed into this little weekend. We were able to cross Indiana, Ohio & Kentucky off of our list! 
For Labor Day weekend, my husband took Friday off of work, and we set out early in the morning to head for Indianapolis. We were planning to get there early in the afternoon and go to the Children's Museum. They have the largest children's museum in the world and we thought it would be a lot of fun to take the kids there! We ended up being kind of behind schedule and so we decided to adjust our schedule and go to the museum the following day and cancel the plans we had in Cincinnati because we weren't all that excited about them and this way we could get a whole day at the museum. We actually still ended up getting into Indy pretty early in the day, so we decided to go to 100 acres at Indianapolis Museum of Art . The place was incredible. We maybe covered a couple acres. I'm really curious what else there would have been to see! There were sculptures the kids could climb on, binoculars to check out the wildlife, swings, trails, a lake, and more. It was sweltering hot so we didn't last all that long, but what we did see was really cool! 

We left and got checked into our hotel and took the kids swimming and then had dinner and crashed early. 
Saturday was our museum day. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is like no other. It was absolutely enormous. There's no way we could have done everything! We saw a ton of cool exhibits, and the kids just had a blast all day. It was a long day for everyone, but I'm glad we spent as much time there as we could. It was great for all ages of kids. 

After we left the museum in the late afternoon, we drove on to Cincinnati. We pretty much just ate and got checked into our hotel. I think we may have gone swimming that night. 
The next day (Sunday) we were going to the Ark Encounter, but it didn't open until noon, so we went and played in downtown Cincinnati. They have a really cool area along the river where you can walk along and there are different playgrounds, games, and things to do as you go. They had life size chess and checkers, little spray fountains, climbing things, a playground, and more. Again, it was miserably hot even early in the morning, so we didn't stay for too long. The kids had a lot of fun exploring everything! 

We headed for the Ark Encounter which was about a 45 minute drive. 
When we got there and parked, we waited in line in the sun for about another 45 minutes for tickets and then you also had to wait in line to get on a bus after that. We misread the signs and went to the left which was for people with strollers, but we didn't realize it until after we got on, and no one said anything. So we unintentionally bypassed another extremely long line. Once we got up to where the Ark was, we stopped to eat at their buffet restaurant before we went in. 
After lunch, we finally went into the Ark. It was packed. I'm not sure if it was because of the holiday weekend, or if it's always like that, but it was the epitome of a tourist attraction. It was really cool inside, and enormous. Both my husband and I learned things we had never thought of before, and it was cool to talk with the kids about some of that. We ended up skipping a lot of the areas just because the lines were so long and it was just loud and packed in there and our sensory kiddo was kind of losing it. So we did the best we could. I would love to go back again someday either just with adults or when the kids are older, so we can really take our time reading all the signs and watching the videos. 
That night, we just had a lazy night in the hotel. I was getting sick of hotel food, so I got takeout from the Cracker Barrel next door, and we just watched a movie. I think some of the kids and my husband went swimming again at one point.
Monday we got packed and loaded up and then headed off for the Creation Museum. I was a little nervous based on how the Ark had gone the day before, but the Creation Museum was way different. You park in a lot and just walk right up to the grounds, and then you can walk around and look at the gardens, or head up to the museum. We stopped for a while to let the kids pan for gold and rocks, which was really fun. They each got a little baggie of rocks to take home.

 Then, we walked the path and bridge to get to the museum. It was SO beautiful. It was a really hot day so we were ready to get inside, otherwise I would have loved to walk around outside. It was so serene out there. The museum itself was not crowded at all, especially for a holiday. It was a really nice pace for our family, and we got to see the whole museum. Our kids ended up liking this way better than the Ark (go figure!) and so we just kind of went at their pace. There was a lot of reading, which was super interesting for my husband and I, and it opened up a lot of good & hard conversations with our kids. We got done in time for a late lunch, so we ate there, and then started the trek home after that. 

It was a great little weekend trip! We packed so much into one weekend, and while I would like to go back to the Ark & Creation Museum someday again when the kids are older, I think it had a lot of benefit going now when they're younger, as well. I would definitely recommend both places, though maybe don't go to the Ark on a holiday weekend ;) The museum and Cincinnati were awesome, too! 

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