My family loves visiting museums when we are on the road or on vacation. Remember the circus sideshow museum from this article? Or how about the famous Pink Palace in Memphis, TN? Well, there is something you don’t know about me… my favorite museums to visit are the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museums. My husband and I have been to the ones in Branson, MO on our honeymoon; Gatlinburg, TN; and for some reason I thought one near Niagra Falls (but can’t find it on the website). Our first visit with our kids to a Ripley’s museum was just this week in Grand Prairie, TX….
It was fantastical!
Outside the palace looking building were giant exhibits – the slice of a redwood tree that was estimated 2500 years old, the largest knitting sculptures ever, a ball of wire that was taller than my husband(I’d compare it to my height but that wouldn’t be that impressive – short girl problems LOL), and a whole bunch of giant sculptures made from car parts.
This Ripley’s has a bunch of different attractions to check out… the museum, a mirror maze(which we did), Ripey’s Impossible LaserRace, a 7D theater where you can be part of the movie, and a wax museum. I like to take my time at these museums because I like to read every bit of information on the oddities. That meant we only would have time for 2 attractions since it was already late in the day. Plus, we wanted to save some attractions for next time we are in town. We picked the museum and the mirror maze for this trip.
The first thing we tried out was the mirror maze. There are plastic disposable gloves at the beginning so the glass doesn’t get all smudged up which would giveaway the route. Lights are along the walkway and where the mirrors meet the floor. No big deal right, except the lights change colors constantly and every once in a while it goes pitch black to really confuse your brain. It took a long while for us to get turned around and finally make it back out… the entrance! LOL We all thought for sure we were going back out the exit. No worries though, there is unlimited access to the mirror maze once you buy a ticket. So my daughter, oldest son, and I tried it again after visiting the museum and somehow made it to the actual exit eventually on that try.
Next up… my favorite… THE MUSEUM!!! It did not disappoint! I want to tell you some of the things we saw but don’t want to ruin any surprises. Ok, I’ll ruin a couple… one of my favorite things was the sculpture of Ripley’s head he had done by a blind artist. WOW! And I loved all the manipulated art such as portraits created entirely by kiss marks or carved phone books and sculptures so small they fit on a pointy end of a straight pin. I liked reading about and seeing displays of oddity animals, people, things. Our world is such a mysterious and interesting planet!
Below is one of my favorite things I saw was a sculpted head of Ripley. It was well done but I was even more impressed by how it was created. A blind man sculpted this by feeling Ripley’s face. Amazing!
There were lots of different “rooms” or display areas that were interesting. The first was the pirates/sea room. Then the room with this sculpture. Next room had an animatronic of the world’s tallest man. Another two rooms(and seems like a hallway of art). Next a “scary” area where you can go through a creepy cave of sorts, check out lots of exhibits, and walk across “hot coals”. Luckily, none of our shoes caught fire. LOL There were a bunch more rooms with exhibits. I can’t even remember all the different rooms and things there are to see… except I do remember there was Zoltar! It just doesn’t seem like a Ripley’s without a Zoltar nearby. LOL
I can’t remember a Zoltar not being at any of the now 4 Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum’s that my husband and I have visited. Just like icing on a cake!
Did you know there over 30 Ripley’s museums? Plus a several aquariums. We went to the museum in Branson, Missouri on our honeymoon so many years ago (and got a free piece of fudge for being on our honeymoon). Then we’ve been to the Niagra Falls and Gatlinburg, Tennessee museums. The Grand Prairie, Texas, museum was the one from this article. Click here for more information on the different locations.
If you are thinking about visiting one of the Ripley’s locations, be sure to check the specific location’s link for ticket deals. At the Grand Prairie the more attractions the better the savings which gets more substantial adding more and more attractions. If you are just wanting to visit the Believe It Or Not museum attraction then check out Groupon or other discount vendor for a great deal. We actually saved more money purchasing the “2 attractions” ticket at Ripley’s rather than purchasing the just the museum ticket from Groupon and then seperately purchasing just the mirror maze ticket at Ripley’s. To make Abe cry(aka pinch some pennies), be sure to compare the prices and deals before you go.
This is by far Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums are some of my favorite museums I’ve ever been to. I love the surprising things that they showcase, the interactive exhibits, and of course the unique art! Have you ever visited a Ripley’s location??? Let me know in the comments below. I’d loved to hear about one’s we’d like to visit someday. 🙂
One last hint – while you are at Ripley’s in Grand Prarie, be sure to go to the bathroom. Even if you don’t need to use the bathroom, be sure to go in and push the button. Tee hee!