Don't get dinged for car rental insurance you don't need or damage you didn't cause! Learn more.

Wonderfest

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 9:00am

The Crowne Plaza Hotel
830 Phillips Lane
Louisville, KY 40209

WonderFest is a weekend of hobby escape that’s held every Summer in Louisville, Kentucky USA!

Now in its 30th year, WonderFest features movie special effects guests, the largest model contest in the U.S. for sci-fi, horror And comics-related subjects, model and toy dealers galore, and seminars to entertain and improve hobbyists of all ages!

Area Attractions:
Local Eats

Downtown
Louisville’s downtown has been making a comeback, especially when it comes to dining. Check with the hotel concierge for recommendations in every price range.

Bardstown Road And Frankfort Avenue
The Bardstown Road and Frankfort Avenue corridors are loaded with antique shops, art galleries and unique boutiques. They are also home to some of Louisville’s best places to eat! Check with the WonderFest staff or the hotel concirege for recommendations. Easy driving from the hotel.

Entertainment:
4th Street Live!
The 4th Street Live! entertainment district is within just a few blocks of the Kentucky International Convention Center and many downtown hotels. The $70 million entertainment complex offers bars, restaurants and clubs, including Hard Rock Café, TGI Friday’s, The Improv Comedy Club, Angels Rock Bar, Howl at the Moon, and Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and Lounge.

Kentucky Bourbon:
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour
There’s something for everyone-tours, tastings, big-city nightlife, quaint country towns, Bourbon-themed restaurants and historic accommodations. Remember there is no wrong way to experience the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®, as long as you enjoy it responsibly. Need help? Start at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center in downtown Louisville and they can assist you in planning your trip.

Sightseeing: The Usual Cool Stuff:
Kentucky Kingdom And Hurricane Bay
USA TODAY named their Kentucky Flyer one of 2019’s most anticipated new rollercoasters! Just across the street from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, it’s a favorite spot for WonderFest families. Kentucky Kingdom will have 48 rides, including several new attractions. The Hurricane Bay water park has doubled in size and includes a new Raging Rapids River Ride.

Louisville Zoo:
The Louisville Zoo is situated on 73 rolling acres and home to 1,300 exotic animals living in botanical settings, which replicate their native habitats. Other outstanding adventures include the Gorilla Forest Exhibit, African Panorama, the Islands exhibits and daily animal training demonstrations. Human comforts include a playground, African petting zoo, indoor and outdoor cafés, plus the antique Conservation Carousel, tram and miniature train rides.

Speed Art Museum:
Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum recently reopened after a $51 million renovation and expansion. Displays 5,000 works ranging from ancient to contemporary and spanning 6,000 years of history. Masters such as Rubens, Monet, Rembrandt and Picasso are featured. Whether you’re an art aficionado or don’t know a Dali from a Degas, you can find fresh inspiration and meaning at the Speed Art Museum.

Kentucky Science Center:
Has a rich history, from its founding as a “cabinet of curiosities” in 1871 to its current status as the largest hands-on science center in Kentucky, with about 150 interactive exhibits and activity stations, a four-story IMAX Theatre, teaching laboratories, educational programs, and distance learning capabilities.

Frazier History Museum:
History comes alive at the internationally-acclaimed Frazier as it portrays the history, artistry and technological significance of weaponry and armor in the context of events that have shaped our country. Take an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history with ever-changing and interactive exhibits, daily performances by costumed interpreters and engaging special events and programs.

Louisville Slugger Museum:
The world’s largest baseball bat, standing 120 feet tall, is just outside the entrance. Exhibits at the interactive museum honoring baseball’s greatest hitters include a walk through an under
ground locker room into a full-size dugout and a virtual home plate where you can try your skill against a fastball. There’s a large collection of custom-made Sluggers signed by the stars who used them, including Ruth, Mantle, Mays and DiMaggio. Take a guided tour of the plant to see how wood bats are turned for today’s major league players.

Glassworks:
Explore Glassworks, featuring hot glass, flame-working and cold glass studios, where artists create their delicate crafts. It is the only facility of its kind in the country, bringing together an array of glass artists and galleries in one location and providing visitors with a rich portrayal of the magic, mystery and beauty of glass.

Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs:
Churchill Downs is the most famous racetrack in America and the home of the pinnacle of horse racing success, The Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby Museum, next to Churchill Downs, captures the thrill and traditions of the Kentucky Derby every day in an exciting 360-degree high-definition multimedia show. The museum has exhibits, memorabilia and art to delight all ages. There’s a fine gift shop and a café overlooking a paddock with a resident horse.

Muhammad Ali Center:
Louisville is the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, one of the many reasons he chose to locate the $41 million Muhammad Ali Center, honoring his life, here. The Center not only explores Ali’s life and what makes him such an enduring hero, it also touches visitors’ lives and inspires them to emulate his discipline, perseverance and willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs.

Falls of the Ohio State Park:
Located on the banks of the Ohio River in Clarksville, Indiana at I-65, exit 0. The 390-million-year-old fossil beds are among the largest, naturally exposed, Devonian fossil beds in the world. The park features a spectacular Interpretive Center overlooking the fossil beds containing an exhibit gallery and video presentation.

Howard Steamboat Museum:
Step back in time to the Great Steamboat Era with a tour of the Howard Steamboat Museum. This beautiful 1894 home, built by premier steamboat builders, the Howards of Jeffersonville, features original furnishings, brass chandeliers, stained glass windows, and intricate carvings throughout and even a grand staircase! Models, photographs, paintings, half-hull models and other artifacts from the Great Steamboat Era abound at this unique Museum.
and the Unusual

Cave Hill Cemetery:
One of those old, scenic cemeteries that inspires awe with amazing monuments and abundant history. Locals pack a lunch and take walking tours. Some say it’s haunted; we say it is beautiful.

Waverly Hills Sanitorium:
Opened in 1910 as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. Today this long-closed facility is called one of the “most haunted” hospitals in the eastern United States. The sanatorium was featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, ABC/FOX Family Channel’s Scariest Places On Earth, VH1’s Celebrity Paranormal Project, and Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.   It’s at 4400 Paralee Ln, Louisville, Kentucky 40272;

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest:
Offers a gorgeous getaway for those who love the outdoors, nature trails, and beautiful plants. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 14,000 acre privately-owned non-profit organization nestled in the scenic Kentucky knoblands in Clermont, KY. Bernheim is Kentucky’s Official Arboretum, encompassing a 250 acre nationally-recognized arboretum, landscaped gardens, tranquil lakes, and a 14,000 acre research forest managed as a natural area. Located just 25 miles south of Louisville, down I-65 at mile marker 112.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park:
The Park focuses on Lincoln’s life in Kentucky. The Birthplace Unit demonstrates Lincoln’s humble beginnings with a symbolic birth cabin enshrined within a neo-classic Memorial Building. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek Farm was home to Lincoln during his formative years. Events in Kentucky helped mold a young boy into the man who became the nation’s sixteenth President. About 55 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

Fort Knox And Patton Museum:
Fort Knox is a working Army base, home of the United States Bullion Depository (watch out for Odd Job!), and the location of the George S. Patton Museum. About 36 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

Horse Farm Tours:
Several companies offer tours of the picturesque farms where thoroughbred racehorses are born and raised. WonderFest does not endorse any particular tour company; you may ask the hotel’s concierge for recommendations. You won’t believe the lifestyles of these rich and famous horses!

Maker’s Mark Distillery:
One of the most famous Kentucky bourbon whiskies is made in Loreto, KY. You know, the one with the red wax seal on the top. About 60 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

Four Roses Distillery:
One trip to this historic distillery and you’ll begin to understand why our Bourbon has come to be so mellow. Nestled in the quiet Kentucky countryside near Lawrenceburg, and on the banks of the scenic Salt River, the Four Roses Distillery makes the trip to this very mellow place all that more rewarding. The Distillery was built in 1910 and features a unique Spanish Mission-Style architecture rarely seen in Kentucky. About 30 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

My Old Kentucky Home State Park:
The house that came to symbolize Kentucky’s gracious hospitality and according to legend inspired Stephen Collins Foster to write his immortal song, “My Old Kentucky Home” is one of the most cherished historical sites in the commonwealth. Built between 1795 and 1818, Federal Hill, the home of Judge John Rowan, became a part of the Kentucky State Parks System on February 26, 1936. Tours and theater performances are part of the experience. About 39 miles from the Crown Plaza.

Mammoth Cave National Park:
Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 390 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place,” but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name – Mammoth. About 91 miles from the Crown Plaza.

Dinosaur World:
Dinosaur World is a classic roadside attraction in Cave City, KY, where visitors can see up close and life-size the amazing creatures that once ruled the Earth. Life-sized models of dinosaurs welcome families and classes to learn, have fun, or just enjoy a quiet encounter with your favorite T. Rex. About 80 miles from the Crown Plaza.

Casinos:
Horseshoe Casino (Indiana):
Formerly Ceasar’s Indiana, the Horseshoe Casino and Resort Hotel ate slightly off the beaten path in Southern Indiana. With over 100 gaming tables and 2,000 slot machines, you’ll be sure to find a game that’s right up your alley. About 30 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

French Lick Springs Hotel / West Baden Springs Hotel (Indiana):
Two historic resort hotels nestled in Southern Indiana have been restored to their original grandeur. The French Lick Hotel looks like the Grand Hotel in “Somewhere in Time.” The West Baden Hotel was once called “The 8th Wonder of the World” and features one of the largest unsupported domes, built at the start of the last century. Now a casino has been added to the French Lick Resort. About 70 miles from the Crowne Plaza.

Schedule:
9 am - 5 pm Amazing Figure Modeler's Model Boot Camp
10 am - 4 pm Badger / Black Heart Model Finishing Class
9 am - 4 pm Garage Kits.US Colors Paintfest
9 am - 4 pm TAG Team / Iwata Sci-Fi Modeling School
7-9 pm Friday Night Welcome Party - Main Hallway
9-11 pm Friday Night Frights    - Theater B

Admission:
Adults: $30 for 1-day, $45 for 2-day ticket
Ages 4 to 12: $10 for 1-day  $15 for 2-day ticket
Ages 3 and under: Free
Early Bird Admission (gets you in 2 hours early at 8 a.m. Saturday):  $65 2-day ticket

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in Louisville

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Louisville
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW