Prior to our trip to D.C. in 2018, I had heard good things about the Museum of the Bible. Several friends had gone on hard hat tours before it opened and the pictures looked promising. I actually met Steve Green (not the CCM singer-the president of Hobby Lobby) last year and heard about the vision for the monumental undertaking. To be honest, I couldn’t believe that they secured such a prime location off of the National Mall.
The museum was one of our main stops this time around. We had to see it for ourselves.
I was immediately blown away by the digital ceiling in the foyer. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a ceiling quite like it. It was amazing, colorful and ever changing. They passed the first impression test with flying colors.
We were surprised to find out there was not a set entrance free but instead a suggested donation. We were more than happy to pay the suggested donation because we immediately recognized the quality of the presentation.
As the oldest of five children, I know that the ability to donate instead of a high fee would have been a big selling point to my parent’s (a pastor and a Christian school teacher.)
Update: Now it is $20 for adults and $10 for children (7-17). It is worth the price of admission.
I loved the spacious feeling. Unlike some of the Smithsonian museums, you didn’t feel like you were cramped or crowded as you viewed the exhibits. There was a good mix of interactive audio and visual elements. From sitting at a table with a LED display of a Passover meal to exhibits with giant screens showing clips of movies based on the Bible, there was so much to see and do on each floor.
It was totally worth the extra $5 or so to go on the Washington Revelations simulator. In the waiting area, there were screens with Bible trivia which was a great way to pass the time and meet new people who were also trying to test their knowledge. Before the ride, a staff member explains how it works. Basically, if you don’t want to feel as much of the motion it is best to stand in the back rows.
Once you entered the room, you walk out onto a platform outfitted and grip the handlebars and lean into the upright weight bench type rest. A theater screen is directly ahead. Once the staffer starts the ride, the entire platform moves in sync with the presentation on the screen. You are taken on a high flying (it feels that way) ride all over DC to all the spots on the memorials and buildings that have Biblical references etched into them.
The combination of air, mist, movement and the visual component was exhilarating and over too soon. I have toured DC many times on walking tour of these inscriptions which was powerful but this was a cool way to experience it without the heat and humidity.
I’m not a Carowind’s-roller coaster riding type person but this ride was just enough without being too much. My mom went once and she says it was too much for her so maybe she should have stood in the back? She did like the concept though.
The museum features…
priceless collection of artifacts
a live scribe
theaters showing films like Amazing Grace: The Musical
expansive gift shop
additional attractions like the Hebrew Bible Experience and World of Jesus (included but need to secure tickets) + Washington Revelations and a 3D tour of the Holy Land (additional cost, $5 and $10 respectively)
great view of the city
chef managed restaurants called Manna (see what they did there?)
The Museum of the Bible is a great addition to the DC museum scene. It is so well done and very accessible. We recommend carving out enough time to go through all the floors. You could easily spend half a day there. Highly recommend!