Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Falls Park, SD

On road trips I'm always on the lookout for quick stops where we can stretch our legs and see something new. Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the perfect side adventure!

There's quite a bit to do in this area, but we were on our way to the Badlands and just needed a quick stop so we stuck to Falls Park. The boulders near the falls and scattered nearby are perfect for restless legs and the mill makes for a perfect picture-taking opportunity. 

Speaking of photos, be sure to take time to visit the free 50ft viewing tower inside the Visitor's Center!

There are a few other buildings that might be worth popping into, if you have time. The old horse barn now houses exhibits regarding the history of regional agriculture. The cafe has a few historic items on display.

If you have time and want to explore some more, there's a series of paved paths than can be followed. Sculptures are scattered around the park. Twelve are permanent and additional sculptures are added on a rotating basis.

What You Need To Know

The hours vary slightly during the year and the park is closed on major holidays. 

The paths are paved, but the boulders near the falls are uneven and require sturdy footwear.

When we were there, visitors were allowed to walk out on the rocks and explore. Their website doesn't indicate that anything has changed,  but be sure to look for and obey any signage.

Downtown Sioux Falls is nearby and has lots of dining options, but there is also a cafe at the park during the warmer months. Of course, with some planning, this would be a great place for a picnic, too!

If you'll be driving through at night, consider swinging by! The park is lit up and would still make for great viewing!

Additional Resources

Learn more about the sculptures and even find a map here .

Learn more about Sioux Falls.

Read up on the Sioux people.

Check your local library for the books below, but if you decide to purchase, please use my links as I'm an Amazon Affiliate and any purchases made through my site helps support my blog!

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Ark Encounter, Williamstown, KY

The story of Noah's Ark has always interested me. On one hand, I've heard and read about it so many times that it almost seemed mundane. At the same time, I could never quite grasp the immensity of the structure or really comprehend just how it was all possible. It was one of those "I guess I'll just have to believe it because the Bible says it's true" sort of deals. Until last Summer.

I cannot think of a neater way to bring the Bible to life than to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY. Everything about this attraction is very well done and will be appreciated by visitors of all ages and interests. It will answer questions you had and questions you never even thought to ask!

Is this how the smaller animals were stored? Just one possibility!

The sheer size of the structure is impressive. The attention to detail is fantastic. There's a lot of scientific information to satisfy even the most dedicated, but it's also a very immersive and entertaining for those who just want the experience.

What You Need to Know

The local town doesn't have much going on - or at least it didn't when we were there. Plan ahead for lodging and meals. It's probably best to plan on eating at the Ark.

Prepare to do a bit of waiting and walking before the actual Ark. The parking lot is large and good parking can fill up quickly. Ticket lines were long and once we were inside we had a good bit of walking to get to the actual Ark. Thankfully, there's plenty to entertain and distract on the way there, but you'll want to make sure you have anything you need on hand because running back to the car will be quite the task.

For more FAQs including accessibility, locker and stroller rental, and more, click here. 

Depending on your group, you can spend anywhere from 3 hours to 2 days at the Ark Encounter. Our crew had our fill after about 4 hours. We also went off season so there wasn't much waiting for anything we wanted to see. If you're going during peak hours and members of your group really want to read everything, you might want to consider staying two days. 

Many people visiting the area also take time to see the Creation Museum. If you plan ahead of time, you can purchase combo tickets and save money!

Additional Resources

Worksheets and crafts here.

Bill Nye and Ken Ham tour the Ark video.

Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study 

Search for the books below at your local library! If you decide to purchase, please consider using the links below. I'm a member of the Amazon Affiliate program so buying through my links helps support my blog!

I don't usually promote toys, but the one below is a classic!