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First-Century Bethlehem Brought to Life for Creation Museum Christmas

Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a news release that was recently distributed to the media.

Today marks the kick-off of “Bethlehem’s Blessings” at the Creation Museum, a free live nativity and spectacular outdoor light display, along with the “Road to Bethlehem” replica of a first-century Jewish village complete with shopkeepers and Roman soldiers.

“We are so excited about this amazing presentation our designers have put together, and can’t wait for our guests to visit,” said Mark Looy, chief communications officer for the museum and its parent ministry Answers in Genesis. “People wonder what the creation account of Genesis has to do with Christmas, and we believe that the story reveals Christ’s purpose in coming, as the sacrificial Lamb of God. His coming to earth was actually prophesized in Genesis chapter 3. So we get excited about Christmas and the opportunity it gives us to present even more of the whole gospel of Christ, which is truly the museum’s focus.”

Bethlehem’s Blessings

The centerpiece of the museum’s “Bethlehem’s Blessings” presentation is a live, outdoor nativity scene, featuring human actors in each of the Christmas story roles, and of course sheep, donkeys and camels – animals typically associated with the birth of the Christ child – courtesy of the museum’s own petting zoo. Museum staff and volunteers will alternate as Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and caravan traders. A special lighted trail, “The Road to Bethlehem,” will feature a glimpse of the first Christmas in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.

Because the live nativity is an outdoor exhibit (open 2 p.m. – close, December 12 – January 4, except Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day), guests can experience “Bethlehem’s Blessings” for free and not pay admission to visit the museum building. Visitors to the museum grounds will also enjoy hayrides, dazzling seasonal lights and decorations, holiday food and fun events and activities for children.

As a Christmas gift to the community and to remind everyone of the wonderful free gift of salvation through Christ, the entire museum will be open to the public for free on Christmas Eve, December 24, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The “Bethlehem’s Blessings” festivities get under way on December 12 and run through Jan. 4. The live nativity will run from 2 p.m. until close (except on December 24 and 25) and the seasonal light displays will begin at dusk each day. The schedule for the Christmas events is as follows:

  • December 12
    Live Nativity 2–8 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • December 13
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • December 14–18
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
  • December 19–20
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • December 21
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
  • December 22–23
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • December 24
    Museum open free to public 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., No Live Nativity
  • December 25
    Closed for Christmas Day
  • December 26–27
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • December 28–30
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
  • December 31
    Live Nativity 2–4 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 4–6 p.m.
  • Jan. 1
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
  • Jan. 2–3
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.
    Road to Bethlehem 6–8 p.m.
  • Jan. 4
    Live Nativity 2–6 p.m.

Visitors from throughout the region may be especially curious about the museum this season, due to the recent controversy involving the nearby Cincinnati Zoo, which pulled out of a promotional agreement with the museum due to complaints from evolutionists about the zoo partnering with a creationist organization. The museum was disappointed but agreed to honor the discount promised through the agreement for visitors to the museum up until December 11.

The Creation Museum, located near the Cincinnati Airport, is a ministry of Answers in Genesis, a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to confirming the validity of the Bible from the very first verse.

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