Earlier this week our family got the opportunity to tour Museum of The Bible ahead of its Grand Opening. Here’s a look at our incredible experience and lots of sneak peak pictures and information!
Museum of The Bible officially opens to the public today, November 17th, 2017. Not only is it the largest museum dedicated to the most influential book in the world, but it’s also located in- arguably- the most influential city in the world, Washington D.C.
In all honesty, I’m rarely left speechless. But that’s almost how I feel about our experience. There’s really no good place to start when describing the Museum because every inch is more impressive than the one before it. The details that went into the design and construction are unparalleled. And, the technology is like nothing ever seen before. As a whole, the Museum of The Bible is engaging, awe-inspiring, breathtaking, fun and educational.
Before I get into the details of our day, here are a few of the Museum specifics:
- The building itself is 430,000 square feet with 8 levels including a rooftop garden.
- Property cost and construction on the museum totaled over $500 million dollars.
- The location is just 2 blocks from the National Mall.
While the stats on this place are staggeringly impressive, nothing can prepare you for being there! Here are some of the things our family loved the most:
- Children’s Gallery: With its location on the entry floor, we naturally gravitated to this area first. Big mistake! My kids could have easily spent the entire day in this one exhibit. From a playground, to a Bible character game, to the carnival style games- there’s something in this room for children of every age. And, if I’m being honest, I think my husband and I enjoyed this room just as much as our kids. I love how Bible stories and characters were incorporated into every aspect of the room! Additionally, despite the ridiculous amount of technology throughout the Museum, the children’s gallery uses very little. Most of the activities found in this space are hands-on and interactive!
- Washington Revelations: The vision for this particular exhibit was genius! Guests of the museum can take a virtual flight through the city of Washington D.C. The “Flying Theatre” treats everyone to a simulation with loads of special effects. Throughout the flight you will learn all about the Bible’s impact on the city as well as the various locations where Scripture is referenced. I think everyone will be surprised to learn exactly how many times God is mentioned on our nation’s most visited monuments! And, as my thrill-loving daughter commented- “This is even better than a roller coaster. I feel like I’m a bird.”
- Bible NOW: Social media plays such a large and exciting role in today’s culture. For me, the opportunity to break down the Bible’s impact in our “trending” culture provided such fun and relative insight to the global phenomenon. In this area, guests are able to see up-to-the-minute, live news feeds of how the Bible is influencing social networking platforms. One of our favorite parts of this exhibit was answering the question “How does the Bible make you feel?” by writing a word and watching it scroll across the massive screens around the room. We also found the display of the most shared verses from every country really interesting.
- Location: Museum of The Bible has one of the most impressive pieces of real estate that you can get! It’s located just 2 blocks from the National Mall and within a short walk to many other Washington D.C. landmarks! The city itself ranks in the top 100 for most visited cities in the world, situating the Museum in an ideal place for international impact.
- Rooftop Dining and Garden: Speaking of the view- the rooftop garden and dining area is fabulous! We all thought the Mediterranean inspired food from the restaurant, Manna, was delicious. In fact, so much so that Mary Grace asked me to try to make my chili more like theirs- ha! The good news for her is that we were able to pick up a copy of the cookbook. The bad news is that no recipe is going to make me nearly as good as the head chef, Todd Gray! On beautiful days, guests will enjoy dining on the outdoor terrace.
- Narrative of the Bible: Hands down, this portion of the museum is what it’s all about! And, for us, the most exciting (aside from the children’s area, of course!) On this floor guests are able to engage in a trip through the entire Bible. The Old Testament tour begins with the story of Creation and then walks (literally) through the rest of Scripture. Miller (our 5-year old) gasped loudly as the Burning Bush came into view. And, naturally, both my kids wanted to know if it were an actual fire! Side note: have I mentioned that the special effects are ridiculously awesome? Moving on to the New Testament, guests of the Museum are treated to a 12-minute summary in a state-of-the-art panoramic theatre. While the movie itself is almost as realistic as being there, nothing compares to the village of Nazareth re-created to depict what it looked like when Jesus was alive. Our family could have easily spent the entire day in this exhibit too, and in hindsight I wish we’d gone through the whole thing twice.
- Gift Shop: Like most parents, I have a love/hate relationship with gift shops. So often they contain gimmicky, overpriced merchandise. However, the gift shop at Museum of The Bible is impressive. There is a nice mixture of souvenir items depicting the Museum logo, and other biblical/religious items. We found the children’s section and the book selection to be particularly great. Depending on what your needs are, you can find a wide variety of things at very reasonable prices.
- First Impressions: Right off the bat you can tell the designers of this building aren’t at their first rodeo. Just walking by this building is a memorable experience! The two-and-a-half ton bronze doors have been described as the “greatest entrance in the world” and I don’t disagree. Just past the doors is a glass panel depicting a rendition of a 3rd or 4th century manuscript of Psalm 19. And, immediately upon entering the building your eyes will be drawn upward to the rotating 140 foot LED screen. Also worth noting- security is top notch. We were extremely impressed with the system and protocol for screening all guests.
- Technology: The technology available at this museum has been highly publicized and touted as ground breaking. I won’t even pretend to understand the intricacies, but I know we were all impressed. Many features are thought to set precedent for the future of museum tours. Additionally, I found the technology throughout the building to be helpful and engaging. My kids were drawn to the wow-factor, and I enjoyed the simple way it enhanced our experience. Most impressively, every area featured different elements of technology making it fresh and exciting to explore. You can’t help but be impressed at all the technology incorporated!
Can you tell we *kinda* liked this place?
I look forward in the coming days to sharing more about our exciting experience at Museum of The Bible including a behind the scenes look at our trip, as well as some tips for visiting.
My one major piece of advice- start planning your trip NOW! To schedule your visit or find out more information, visit the Museum’s website- here.
And, be sure to check out some of my other helpful posts about the area:
*Museum of The Bible sponsored our visit. As always, the opinions found in this post are uniquely our own.*