We’re excited for a new year because that means new exhibits, activities, and events are being launched at our wonderful attractions! Here are seven new reasons to #visitbgky this year!  

Laser Fury 360 coming to Beech Bend Amusement Park

If you enjoy thrill rides that will make you flip out, then put a visit to Beech Bend Amusement Park on your calendar to ride the new Lazer Fury 360, coming this summer. Combining bumper cars and laser tag, this radically different ride will have you flipping 360 degrees if you get hit as you aim at targets and other players!  

Renovated Bowling Green Ballpark

The Bowling Green Ballpark is undergoing a $2 million facelift during the offseason, so add a minor-league baseball game to your itinerary to see this impressive venue as well as the reigning Midwest League Champs, our very own Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Additions include a new HD video board, kids’ splash zone, and self-serve soda refill stations while updates are a revamped suite-level lounge, new concessions vendor and caterer, and a switch to Coke products.

Fabric, Fiber and Cuban Arts featured at Kentucky Museum

The Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University features the impressive Richardson Quilt Gallery, and fabric arts will be in full display in two new exhibitions: Even Coverlets Get the Blues and Jacqui Lubbers: A Legacy in Weaving, opening Feb. 1.

On display from March 9-May 28 will be Arte Cubano, highlighting the diversity of the island’s art in conjunction with WKU’s International Year of Cuba celebration. Basketry Now: 10th Anniversary Edition is July 16-Dec. 1, and be sure to see Highbrow, the outdoor stickwork sculpture by Patrick Dougherty that was recently completed in October 2018.

Flying Squirrel Zip Line at Lost River Cave

This highly-anticipated adventure attraction opened last spring, but chances are you haven’t experienced it yet, so it’s likely still a new reason to visit! Plans are underway for an Earth Day Festival the week of April 20-27 including the nature preserve’s annual Invasive Plant Pull. You can also catch some of Nashville’s legendary songwriters at a Water Wheel Rounds night, held the first Monday of select months, in the River Birch Room.

Astronauts and an Anniversary at National Corvette Museum

The NCM turns 25 years old in 2019 and is sprucing up its admissions area and museum entryway in addition to hosting thousands of Corvette owners over Labor Day weekend for the 6th National Corvette Caravan and 25th Anniversary celebration.

But you’ll want to visit before then to catch the new exhibit From Gas Station to Space Station: How NASA Conquered Low-Earth Orbit. On display from Jan. 14-July 30, the exhibit is a partnership with NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center and explains why so many astronauts ended up behind the wheel of America’s Sports Car.

Sidenote: Still no official word from the GM Corvette Assembly Plant about when public tours may resume. Several news outlets have reported delays in production of the new midengine 2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette. We’re certain it will be well worth the wait!

150 Year Milestones

Both Boyce General Store in Alvaton and the South Union Hotel at nearby South Union Shaker Village in Auburn celebrate 150 years of operations in 2019.

Boyce General Store has evolved over the past century-and-a-half from a grocery store and post office at its opening to a gas station, convenience store, and now a fabulous restaurant and pie kitchen. On Aug. 17, Boyce General Store’s Pickin’ on the Patio will double as an 150th Anniversary Celebration.

Stay tuned for details of sesquicentennial events at the South Union Hotel as well as specialty pop-up tours at the adjoining South Union Shaker Village, which preserves and interprets the remarkable Shaker community that developed there in 1807.

Fundraising for Planes and Trains

Aviation Heritage Park ceremoniously broke ground late in 2018 for its planned indoor museum and launched its TakeOff 2020 fundraising campaign. Additionally, the Historic RailPark & Train Museum is starting a “Save the Depot” campaign to secure funds for its planned “Railroads Go to War” exhibit and to takeover ownership of the museum. More details to come about special events in June and August for these growing attractions, but a general visit to both these attractions in 2019 will greatly support the efforts!

Check back soon for a Top Events of 2019 post where we’ll share some insider tips on when (or when not!) to plan your #visitbgky getaway in 2019.